Terrygold’s visions in Second Life

Onirica - +Black Label Exhibitions Corner+
Onirica – +Black Label Exhibitions Corner+

Onirica, literally meaning “dream”, is the latest exhibition to be hosted at the +Black Label Exhibition Corner+. It features the work of Italian artist Terrygold, who also curates the Art on Roofs exhibition space at Solo Donna.

It was at Solo Donna that I first became acquainted with Terrygold’s remarkable images, during her exhibition Ceramic Dolls, which I reviewed here. At the time I was struck by the exquisite beauty of her avatar studies, and I’m pleased to say that Onirica continues in a similar vein, further illustrating her skill and artistry with design, composition and imagery.

Onirica - +Black Label Exhibitions Corner+
Onirica – +Black Label Exhibitions Corner+

The majority of art is displayed with two rooms of an exhibit space which itself forms an overall part of Onirica, and which perhaps suggests different states of vision.

In the first – which forms the arrival point – is bathed in turquoise light and features 11 pieces arranged along two walls of a room bearing a subtle hint of science-fiction about it.  Most of the pieces here are in colour, and feature Terrygold herself as the model. Two of the pieces, locating among the six lining one wall, carry an echo of Ceramic Dolls, offering something of a link between the two exhibitions, whilst two others have clearly been composed within the Onirica spaces, as is one of the pieces on the facing wall.

Onirica - +Black Label Exhibitions Corner+
Onirica – +Black Label Exhibitions Corner+

This room also features a sixth image, framed and hanging at the far end, relative to the landing point. This presents a dramatic study of a nude Terrygold standing within a room pock-marked with dimples in the floor, into which frozen drops of liquid appear to be falling, trailing long strands behind them, which disappear into the darkness overhead.

An arrow on the floor invites you to step through the picture. Doing so leads you into this room of drops, the turquoise space you have just left now framed on the wall behind you, suggesting a move from one state of dreaming to another. A single framed image lies in front of you, a further arrow inviting you to step through it. But before you do, be sure to try the poseball floating amidst the frozen drops, and become a part of Terrygold’s art yourself.

Onirica - +Black Label Exhibitions Corner+
Onirica – +Black Label Exhibitions Corner+

The third room contains a large colourful mobile surrounded by 16 further images spaced around the walls, the majority in black and white.  Some of these images again carry faint echoes of Ceramic Dolls, featuring as they a porcelain-like Terrygold. At the same time the images here are all quite individual, standing distinct from her earlier exhibition, each of them an evocative study guaranteed to capture and hold one’s attention.

Terrygold describes herself as “a builder, interested in art”. I think she is being too modest. Onirica demonstrates that in both her images and her designs, Terrygold is very much an artist first and foremost; the blending of setting and pictures within this exhibition is simply exquisite.

Onirica - +Black Label Exhibitions Corner+
Onirica – +Black Label Exhibitions Corner+

Onirica remains open through until Friday, February 12th, and is not to be missed.

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RFL of SL: 2016 team registrations are open

logoMonday, February 1st, 2016 marks the official opening of team registrations for the 2016 Relay for Life of Second Life season. This year, core fund-raising activities will take place between March 6th and August 14th, 2016. The theme for this year’s season is “Once Upon a Cure”.

As with last year, teams are required to have Team Captain and Team Co-Captain, but this year, teams must comprise at least 5 people (inclusive of the captains), although it is not necessary for teams to already have 5 members when they register; additional members can be added to a team post registration. There will be exceptions made for smaller teams but prior approval from the Steering Committee must be obtained.

For 2016, teams will have the opportunity to attend a class with RFL of SL’s Fund-raising Advisors, who are tasked with primarily helping Team Captains become better fund-raising leaders for their teams. Classes will cover a range of topics, including setting and achieving goals, event promotion, using the fund-raising tools, etc.

An option is included on the team registration form for teams to indicate whether they would like to attend a class, which the RFL of SL Steering Committee note are a requirement for all teams participating in RFL of SL for the first. In addition, the Steering Committee note that other teams may be required to attend, based on their previous fund-raising totals.

RFL of SL 2016 Key Dates

  • February 28th – March 6th: Paint it Purple
  • March 6th: RFL of SL Kick Off
  • May 14th / 15th: Half Way There
  • July 16th / 17th:Relay Weekend
  • August 14th: Wrap Up

About Relay For Life of Second Life

Relay For Life of Second Life is an annual activity that takes place in Second Life in July each year. Volunteers form or join teams to have fun while fundraising and raising awareness from mid-March through mid-July. In July teams build camp sites and walk a track, just like a Real World Relay. Since 2005, Relay For Life of Second Life has raised almost US $3 million for the American Cancer Society.

About the American Cancer Society

For more than 100 years, the American Cancer Society (ACS) has worked relentlessly to save lives and create a world with less cancer and more birthdays. Together with millions of supporters worldwide, ACS helps people stay well, helps people get well, find cures, and deal with their journey against cancer.

2016 viewer release summaries: week 4

Updates for the week ending Sunday, January 31st

This summary is published every Monday, and is a list of SL viewer / client releases (official and TPV) made during the previous week. When reading it, please note:

  • It is based on my Current Viewer Releases Page, a list of all Second Life viewers and clients that are in popular use (and of which I am aware), and which are recognised as adhering to the TPV Policy. This page includes comprehensive links to download pages, blog notes, release notes, etc., as well as links to any / all reviews of specific viewers / clients made within this blog
  • By its nature, this summary presented here will always be in arrears, please refer to the Current Viewer Release Page for more up-to-date information.

Official LL Viewers

  • Current Release version: 4.0.1.310054, January 15 – no change download page, release notes
  • Release channel cohorts (See my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
    • HTTP updates and Vivox RC viewer updated to version 4.0.2.310349 on January 27 – combines the Project Azumarill RC and Vivox Voice RC updates into a single viewer  (download and release notes)
  • Project viewers:
    • No updates.

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V4-style

  • Black Dragon updated to version 2.4.4.8 on January 26th  – release notes
  • Catznip updated to version R10 on January 30th – core updates: major release bringing Catznip back to to par with recent LL viewer releases – release notes

V1-style

  • Cool VL Viewer updated as follows: Stable version to 1.26.16.10 and Experimental branch to 1.26.17.8, both on January 30th (release notes).

Mobile / Other Clients

  • Group Tools updated to version 2.2.36.5 on January 27 – no release notes available.

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links

New Second Life machinima series première Feb 1st, 2016

BreakOut TVA new Christian-focused machinima series filmed in Second Life, has its première on Monday, February 1st 2016. BreakOut Joyful Noise will air on the gospel / urban Dynasty Television and Charter Cable 198.

The series “centres on the town of Release and its residents. A cosy community filled with societal issues that resident’s experience. This series will address those topics that individuals struggle with in life and provide story lines that will encourage viewers to face those issues head on through the way of Jesus Christ.”

The 30-minute pilot focuses on 24-year-old Joy Jamison who works in a high-end boutique who is struggling with matters of self-image and faith.

The show has been written and produced by Exquisite Xpressionz, a group of Second Life residents comprising Keyia Hynes, Twylitedawn Keng and Wisdom Price, who have set themselves the goal “to educate, inspire, and entertain all users of the secondlife [sic] community; bridging the gap by promoting real world awareness and positive change.” Filming is by Rockford Ewing  / Double Trouble Video Productions, with music by Creative Nation.

BreakOut Joyful Noise premières via stream on Dynasty TV / Charter Channel 198 at 06:00 SLT on Monday February1st, and features its own page on the Dynasty TV website. A teaser / trailer has also been produced, and is embedded below.

Space Sunday: day of remembrance, seeing Mars and flying over Ceres

This week marked a sombre period in the annals of NASA’s history. In a period of just 7 days – albeit spread across 50 years – America lost 17 astronauts in just three space flight related tragedies. Every year, the US space agency marks this loss of life – the results of the Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia accidents – with a special Day of Remembrance on the 27th January. This year’s event was particularly poignant in that 2016 marks the 30th anniversary of the Challenger disaster.

It was on January 27th, 1967, that NASA suffered the first of these tragedies when, during a pre-launch rehearsal of what was intended to be the first manned flight of the Apollo Command and Service modules, a fire broke out inside the Command Module as the vehicle sat on the pad of Cape Kennedy Air Force Station Launch Complex 34. A combination of a pure oxygen atmosphere at a high internal PSI, and highly flammable materials used in the vehicle’s interior construction resulted in the deaths of Command Pilot Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom, Senior Pilot Edward H. White II, and Pilot Roger B. Chaffee in just 16 seconds.

Apollo 1: (l-to-r) Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, Edward H. White II, and Roger B. Chaffee standing before the Apollo 1 launch vehicle, on January 17th, 1961
Apollo 1: (l-to-r) Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom, Edward H. White II, and Roger B. Chaffee standing before the Apollo 1 launch vehicle, on January 17th, 1961

Nineteen years later, on January 28th, 1986, NASA suffered its largest loss of life in a space mission up until that point in time. It occurred when Space Launch System mission 51L, the 25th flight in the space shuttle programme and the 10th flight of the shuttle orbiter vehicle Challenger – regarded as the veteran of the fleet, having flown more orbital missions than the other three orbiter vehicles at that time – exploded 73 seconds after launch, resulting in the loss of all seven crew.

The Challenger 7: (l-to-r) Sharon Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik, Francis "Dick" Scobee, Ronald McNair, Michael Smith and Elison Onizuka, during a countdown training exercise on January 9th, 1986
The Challenger Seven: (l-to-r) Sharon Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik, Francis “Dick” Scobee, Ronald McNair, Michael J. Smith and Ellison Onizuka, during a countdown training exercise on January 9th, 1986

Tragedy struck the space shuttle programme again on February 1st, 2003, when the space shuttle Columbia broke-up following re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere at the end of mission STS-107, killing all seven crew. On board were Commander Rick Husband, Pilot William McCool, Payload Commander Michael Anderson, Mission Specialists Laurel Blair Salton Clark, Kalpana Chawla, David M. Brown, and Payload Specialist  Ilan Ramon, a colonel in the Israeli Air Force and the first Israeli astronaut.

The official STS-107 crew photo (l-to-r): Brown, Husband, Clark, Chawla, Anderson, McCool, Ramon
The official STS-107 crew photo (l-to-r): David M. Brown, Rick Husband, Laurel Blair Salton Clark, Kalpana Chawla, Michael P Anderson, William C. McCool, and Ilan Ramon

There have of course been other lives lost within the fraternity of astronauts and cosmonauts over the decades. However, these three tragedies perhaps stand larger than others because NASA has always undertaken its missions in the full glare of the public and media spotlight. Apollo 1, for example, was the headline mission for America meeting President Kennedy’s requirement for “landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth” before the end of the decade. Similarly, STS-51L, the Challenger mission, had been specifically engineered to be in the public eye, featuring as it did the first teacher in space, Sharon Christa McAuliffe.

McAuliffe had been selected from more than 11,000 applicants to participate in NASA’s Teacher in Space Project, initiated by US Present Ronald Reagan and intended by NASA to rejuvenate public interest in the space programme, which has been declining steadily since the first space shuttle flight in 1981. The gamble paid off and McAuliffe, became a media sensation, attracting world-wide public interest in STS-51L; so much so that it has been estimated that around 17% of Americans watched Challenger’s lift-off live on television as a direct result of McAuliffe’s presence on the mission, and that around 85% heard about the disaster within an hour of it occurring (and if that doesn’t sound unusual, remember 1986 was well before the Internet and media revolution what has placed information and news at our fingertips wherever we are).

It could be argued – particularly with regards to Challenger, and also with Apollo 1, that the disaster could have been avoided. Warnings about the precise type of failure which caused the loss of Challenger date back as far as 1971, which tests carried out in 1977 revealing the risk of what because known as an O-ring failure being inherent in the design of the shuttle’s solid rocket boosters.

Things are less clear in the case of the Columbia tragedy; while it has been suggested that a rescue mission might have been mounted using the shuttle orbiter Atlantis, which was being prepared for a mission due to lift-off at the start of March, 2003. However, in order to get the vehicle flight ready for a launch ahead of the February 15th deadline (the point at which lithium hydroxide, a critical part of the systems used to remove carbon dioxide from the air in a space vehicle, would run out aboard Columbia), was itself fraught with risks.

But whether they could be avoided or not, these three disasters remind us that the cost of becoming a space faring civilisation – something which could be vital to our survival – is not without risk. Which is why I’ll close this part of Space Sunday with the words of Francis R. Scobee, the Commander of STS-51L, written shortly before his death aboard the Challenger:

Continue reading “Space Sunday: day of remembrance, seeing Mars and flying over Ceres”