A summer’s farewell to Frisland

Frisland; Inara Pey, May 2016, on FlickrFrisland – click any image for full size

The time has finally come to bid farewell Frisland’s golden reign…

We have shared two amazing years since opening Frisland back in March 2014, and have been blessed with so many precious moments shared with all of you, which we shall carry with us as treasured and priceless memories in our hearts and minds.

So reads, in part, a note from Charlie Namiboo, Anna (Annabell Barzane) and Frislanda Ferraris announcing the forthcoming closure of their photogenic and popular region, Frisland.

Frisland; Inara Pey, May 2016, on FlickrFrisland

I first visited the island on March 23rd, 2014, shortly before its public opening. An invitation had been extended to me to do so by Charlie, something I was more than happy to accept. And like many who have visited the region, I instantly fell in love with it – and with the fact the over the intervening two years, other than marking the passing of the seasons in the northern hemisphere, it has changed little over time, presenting itself as a familiar and welcoming place with each visit.

The region came into being as a result of happenstance. . “A few weeks ago,” Charlie explained back when the region was about to open for the first time, “Frislanda did a search on Google about the origin of his name and found an article about a phantom island called “Frisland” in the North Atlantic. He just asked us what we would think of creating a region in Second Life based upon the idea of that phantom island.  We were all for it! And so we started the project with the working title Frisland’s rebirth …”

Frisland; Inara Pey, May 2016, on FlickrFrisland

As I noted at the time, the “original” Frisland first started to appear on maps of the North Atlantic from about the 1550s, and continued to do so for at least the next 100 years, although its position was prone to movement, travelling as it did from south of Iceland to close to the British Isles then back across the Atlantic, where it was imagined as a southern spur of Greenland, separated from the rest by an ocean strait.

How it came to be on maps in the first place is a mystery – although one romantic notion had it as a last remnant of Atlantis. However, for Fris, Charlie and Ana, it offered the opportunity to present a part of the island as it might look today, sitting in the Atlantic and quietly settled.

Frisland; Inara Pey, May 2016, on FlickrFrisland

The result – as noted – has been a beautifully imagined and much photographed and loved region, one that will be missed when it finally follows its namesake and vanishes from maps. However, there is still time to visit, either for the first time, or to say a fond farewell. The region will remain open until Saturday, June 4th. And then? Well, as Ana, Fris and Charlie remind us, “when one door closes, another one opens … who knows what fabulous adventure will be coming next!”

I hope to get back to Frisland before it closes and film there. However, just in case time conspires against me, here’s a video I made back in December 2014. It’s a little long in the tooth, but I hope it serves as a reminder of a winter’s Frisland.

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Cica’s Web in Second Life

Cica Ghost: Arachnid
Cica Ghost: Arachnid

Arachnid is the title of Cica Ghost’s latest installation, which opened on May 22nd. As the title suggests, it’s one that might have arachnophobes (like me!) a little cautious about entering. However, this is Cica’s work, and so it contains much of her delightfully fanciful outlook, rather than being intended to outright scare – although I did find possible hints of double meanings here and there which may or may not have been intended.

On arrival, visitors find themselves inside a large cage within a foggy environment. Are the bars perhaps a warning about venturing forth? Or are they there to present a feeling of security and safety?

Cica Ghost: Arachnid
Cica Ghost: Arachnid

Other cages loom nearby, some on the ground, others on pedestals. Several present a bedroom scene; beds are a frequent motif in Cica’s work, and thus we have something of a connection between this and her earlier installations, such as Moonlight. Here however, the bedrooms seem to offer one of those double meanings.

“Rooms are a kind of hiding places,  so they look like cages.” Cica said to me as we talked about her work. I suggested there’s another aspect however: bedrooms offer us the comfort of sleep, but also the risk of dark dreams, which oft can feature spiders; thus our bedrooms could be cages trapping us in our nightmares. “Could be,” Cica replied, enigmatically.

There’s certainly a hint of this darker aspect to be found as you explore: in one corner of this landscape, filled as it is with strange, twisted tree-like forms, a web holds a couple of human victims. Suspended above the ground and cocooned to their necks in spider silk, looking for all the world like they are snuggled in sleep.

Cica Ghost: Arachnid
Cica Ghost: Arachnid

Elsewhere, webs strung across the strange trees have captured large butterflies, wings flapping helplessly, alerting the spiders to their presence. The butterflies in turn, seem to have emerged  from a huge garden cloche, where some are still feeding on the vegetables growing beneath it.  Given cloches are intended to protect the items grown beneath them, is there perhaps another message here in keeping with the (false?) security suggested by the cages?

Whether one chooses to seen meaning or message in the installation or not, time should be taken to explore, as there is much that is presented here which might easily be missed. One of her little stick figures from the likes of Ghostsville resides within a wardrobe, for example, while touching the televisions in some the cage bedrooms will, if you have media enabled in your viewer, play music videos. Be sure to click around elsewhere as well, as there are spots you can sit and float and become part of the setting.

Cica Ghost: Arachnid
Cica Ghost: Arachnid

Meanwhile, towards the south-east corner of the region, a pianist plays on a stage, his only audience a crow and little rat. Hie seems oblivious to the surrounding webs, although one has captured some of the butterflies close by, and he pays scant attention to a spider lurking nearby. If the music videos on offer through he televisions are not to your liking, then the sound stream offers a perfect accompaniment to his playing.

And the spiders? Yes, they’re here as well, both on the ground and overhead. But again, arachnophobes need not fear. These aren’t prone to pouncing, stinging, wrapping or devouring. Rather they are content to observe the comings and goings of visitors; and if they do spin webs, it’s likely to happen we all aren’t looking!

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2016 viewer release summaries: week 20

Updates for the week ending Sunday, May 22nd

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: 4.0.5.315117 (dated May 11), May 18th – formerly the Quick Graphics RC viewer 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):
    • Inventory Message RC viewer, version 4.0.5.315019, released on May 16th – removal of deprecated and unused UDP inventory messaging mechanisms from the viewer (download and release notes)
  • Project viewers:
    • No updates.

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V4-style

V1-style

  • Cool VL viewer Stable branch updated to version 1.26.18.6 and the Experimental branch updated to version 1.26.19.8, both on May 21st (release notes).

Mobile / Other Clients

  • No updates.

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links