The art of Bicycles in Second Life

DiXmiX Gallery: Bicycles – Melusina Parkin

Most of us have probably owned – or still own – a bicycle, whether it be for fun, sports, fitness, part of our daily working routine (or even a requirement to work) or simply an alternative means of getting out and about and enjoying the countryside / local sights. We can lavish care and attention on them to keep them in tip-top condition, or we can simply regard them as a utility and replace them when they get too old or break. But are they art?

Well, yes they can be – as the July / August 2018 exhibition at DiXmiX Gallery demonstrates. Entitled Bicycles, it is a slight departure from the more usual run of exhibitions at the gallery, in that it takes up all three halls as a single display of themed art, featuring images by 25 Second Life photographers.

DiXmiX Gallery: Bicycles – Anu Papp and Ornella Batriani

Taking part in the event are: Calypso Applewhyte, Ornella Batriani, Skippy Beresford, Bliss Bookham, Jimmy Boots, A.DeLauren, Mareea Farrasco, Carisa Franizzi, Gaus, Huckleberry Hax, Kimeu Korg, Loverdag, Mich Michabo, Key Monk, Tutsy Navarathna, Mr Noboby, Randonee Noel, Karen Oliven, Anu Papp, Melusina Parkin, Megan Prumier, Grace Rotunno, Dixmix Source, Twain, and Jonda Zabaleta, with each artist submitting one or two images.

The pieces vary in style and presentation. In some, it is not unfair to say that the bicycles might be considered incidental to the overall image; they were simply a part of the landscape or setting when the picture was taken. Equally, some appear to have been use to frame an image intended to convey a broader emotional response than a focus on the bike itself. Then there also those where the bicycle is clearly the intended focus, bit it being ridden, standing on its own, lying broken, or images just in part. Thus, we get to view the bicycle in numerous ways, whether central to an image or not.

DiXmiX Gallery: Bicycles – Tutsy Navarathna

Which is to say this is a richly diverse exhibition in which the subject matter is more broadly presented than one might think. All of the images are captivating in one way or another, be it the way in which they are offered, the narrative they encapsulate, the use of colour and tone – or the various combinations of these factors. Presentation is also a significant part of the images and their presentation: the collection of monochrome pictures on the upper level of the Grey Gallery, for example, offers a power contrast to the majority use of colour images through the rest of the exhibition, while the considered placement of Cloudy Day by Gaus and Bicycle 3 by Key Monk also providing a contrasts with their surrounding images, and thus capturing the eye. Meanwhile, the two large format images in the foyer area of the Grey Gallery demonstrate how humble velo can be an icon of pop art.

The emotional content of the images is equally as broad as the colours, tones and subjects offered through the pictures. But there is one emotion often associated with bicycles that within this exhibition is conspicuous by its almost total absence: joy.

DiXmiX Gallery: Bicycles – Skippy Beresford

Yes, bicycles can be props to frame moods and offer a sense of depth and feeling, be it with someone leaning moodily back against their bike, or walking it gently over terrain unsuitable for riding, or in the sight of a machine lying broken or bent. But bikes are also fun. Riding one can give a wonderful sense of freedom, a liberating sensation of speed and escape. It is for this reason I fairly leapt at Skippy Beresford’s Last Day of School (seen above). Yes, it’s not unfair to say the bicycle is in some ways incidental to the broader idea of escape from the routine a rigours of the school week – but it’s equally fair to say the sense of exuberance and excitement exuded by the picture perfectly encapsulated the sheer sense of joyful freedom a bicycle can offer.

Which is not to detract from any of the other images displayed here; all do have something to say, and all are fine examples of the subject and the artistry of the photographers. Why not take a ride to DiXmiX yourself and have a look?

DiXmiX Gallery: Bicycles – Jimmy Boots and Mr Noboby

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2018 SL UG updates #28/2: TPVD meeting

ChouchouMemento Moriblog post

The majority of the following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, July 13th 2018. A video of the meeting is embedded below, my thanks as always to North for recording and providing it. This was a short meeting – just over 30 minutes in length, but with some significant pauses throughout.

SL Viewer

The Quinquina Maintenance RC viewer updated to version 5.1.7.517594, on July 12th. All other SL viewers in the various pipelines remain as for the start of the week:

  • Current Release version 5.1.6.516459 and dated June 15th, promoted June 21st – formerly the Pálinka Maintenance Release Candidate – No Change
  • Project viewers:
  • Linux Spur viewer, version 5.0.9.329906, dated November 17th, 2017 and promoted to release status 29th November – offered pending a Linux version of the Alex Ivy viewer code.
  • Obsolete platform viewer, version 3.7.28.300847, May 8th, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7. This viewer will remain available for as long as reasonable, but will not be updated with new features or bug fixes.

Animesh

[0:44-2:20] Some bugs have surfaced in the server-side Animesh code which may delay the code from being deployed to the Main (SLS) channel in week #29 (commencing Monday, July 16th).

There is still some validation testing going on for the LOD / bounding box issue in Animesh viewer, but the viewer should be promoted to release candidate status “fairly soon”, possibly by the time the server-side code has been deployed grid-wide.

Bakes On Mesh

[2:21-2:38] A further update to the Bakes on Mesh project viewer is anticipated, possibly in week #29 (commencing Monday, July 16th). This will include several bug fixes.

Upcoming Project Viewers

Environmental Enhancement Project (EEP)

[3:01-3:40] A project viewer for EEP should be surfacing soon, but the functionality will not be available on the Main grid until the supporting back-end inventory updates have been deployed to Agni.

Texture Caching Updates

[3:44-4:21] A project viewer (the TCO viewer) with new texture caching capabilities is still anticipated as coming soonTM.

Estate Management Tools Updates

[4:45-5:27 and 21:59-23:31] A viewer supporting the updates to the estate management tools – improved ban lists, etc., had been held up while some issues around Friend requests and group invites are fixed (these issues are related to the recently introduced capability to deliver off-line IMs, etc., via HTTP rather than UDP, with group invites and friendship offers requiring more back-end updates in order to work correctly through the new capability). These issues have now been resolved, and both the server-side updates and the viewer changes are with the Lab’s QA team.

Last Names

[16:30-20:25] Still no date for roll out, but as these keep coming up:

  • There are no plans to re-introduce legacy last names (i.e. no Pey, Widdershin, Sideways, Munro, Fizzle, etc.).
    • [27:27 (text) and 28:18-28:25] However, a suggestion was put forward in the meeting to offer legacy names at a higher price than other last names, and Oz indicated this might be considered.
  • People will be able to suggest last name options (excluding legacy last names, per above).
  • There will be no change to Display Names, which will remain available as an option for those wishing to continue using them.
  • Changing your name will levy a real-world fee – the exact amount is still TBD.

A focus on the work for this is updating back-end services so they properly support / recognised changed names. Until this work is completed, the Last Names capability cannot be deployed.

In Brief

  • [5:43-6:36] Dynamic user interface (DUI): referred to at the recent Meet the Lindens sessions at SL15B, the ability to separate floater and panels out from the main viewer window is not being worked on at present, and so it is extremely unlikely anything on this will appear in 2018.
    • For a broader discussion on the idea and some of the Lab’s thinking on is – please refer to this section of my SL15B summaries.
  • [7:11-7:30] Multi-core graphic pipeline: raised at the meeting, this is not something the Lab is liable to tackle at the moment. A more important focus is how to handle Apple’s deprecation of OpenGL.
  • [9:29-9:45, with text comments to 11:43] BUG-225039: “with transparent texture and alpha masking at cut-off 1, the underlying colour shows through in small patches” – the Lab is actively investigating this.