The art of words in Second Life

Lin C Art Gallery: Tim Timaru

When thinking about art is Second Life, the mind perhaps tends to focus on thoughts of paintings and photographs and sculptures and 3D models. It’s rare that why immediately think of the written word as a form of art in SL, despite the extensive use of the spoken word in readings and performance pieces like plays and musicals.

So it was with a degree of pleasure I found myself at the Lin C Art Gallery, which is – through until the 10th of August, 2018 – hosting an exhibition of the poems of Tim Timaru.

Lin C Art Gallery: Tim Timaru

Occupying two levels within the gallery, Tim’s poems are presented framed within images that help define the mood and tone of the written word. Most of these images have been taken from the physical world, but some have come from Second Life.  In terms of subject matter, many of the poems are focused on a subject close to many a poet’s heart: love and relationships (and loss). Others are perhaps more philosophical in nature, questioning or seeking to challenge our perspective. All cause the grey cells to cogitate as the eye appreciates the accompanying images.

Most of the pieces here stand as a perfect fusion of image and words giving rise to a response from within us. But some reveal just how liberating the medium of Second Life might be for a poet as much as a photographer, painter or builder. Words are, by their nature, static. Once arranged and written, their metre and measure generally points towards a single interpretation. But within Second Life, the poet has a certain freedom: words unchanged can be presented side-by-side, but with different images to underpin them, rendering their interpretation dynamic.

Lin C Art Gallery: Tim Timaru

Take The Deck and The Deck 2, in this exhibition, for example. Both are the same poem, but where the image of one presents a couple walking hand-in-hand up a crystal-like staircase leading to a cabin floating idyllically against a night sky, the second offers images of a coastal setting behind a wind-blown sky coloured by a sunset. Thus, with the first image, we’re encouraged to think of the poem in terms of togetherness and what is and what will be; poem and image are together, uplifting. However the second leads us in a different direction. Here, perhaps, is not promise, but regret; no looking forward to what is now beginning and will grow, but what has passed and what was – and will never be again.

With playful tickles of humour, considered reflections on life and love, echoes of Eliot and even Shakespeare (in form if not in words), this is an enchanting collection of poems and images; an absolute delight for any lover of the written word.

Lin C Art Gallery: Tim Timaru

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2018 SL project updates week 29/1: Simulator User Group

Abandale; Inara Pey, July 2018, on FlickrAbandaleblog post

Sever Deployments

Please refer to the server deployment thread for the latest updates.

  • There was no SLS main channel deployment or restart on Tuesday, July 17th, 2018, leaving regions on that channel running on server release 18#18.06.14.516450.
  • On Wednesday, July 18th, the release candidate channels should be as follows:
    • Bluesteel and LeTigre will remain on server release 18#18.07.03.517389 and will not be restarted.
    • Magnum should receive a new server maintenance package, 18#18.07.11.517746, comprising “internal fixes”.

The Main channel roll – which was to have included Animesh – was postponed, as Simon Linden explained at the Simulator User Group on Tuesday, July 17th:

We unfortunately held back this morning’s update with the Animesh roll. Late last week we found some code that is probably causing problems with the physics shapes of mesh bodies … not Animesh, but other normal mesh stuff …  Not using the correct physics shape. When building with mesh, there are a few ways to set that shape, and the Animesh code changes affected that code.

Simon Linden, SUG meeting, Tuesday, July 17th 2018.

It should be pointed out that in the context of Simon’s comments, “mesh bodies” means “in-world mesh objects, as worn mesh items doesn’t have a physics shape per se.

Deployment of the Animesh code to the SLS channel will therefore likely await the deployment of a fix for the issues encountered.

SL Viewer

There have been no Sl viewer updates / changes to mark the start of the week, leaving the pipelines as follows:

  • Current Release version 5.1.6.516459 and dated June 15, promoted June 21 – formerly the Pálinka Maintenance Release Candidate – No Change
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Quinquina Maintenance RC viewer updated to version 5.1.7.517594, on July 12.
  • Project viewers:
  • Linux Spur viewer, version 5.0.9.329906, dated November 17, 2017 and promoted to release status 29 November – offered pending a Linux version of the Alex Ivy viewer code.
  • Obsolete platform viewer, version 3.7.28.300847, May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

Attachment Loss / Ghosting on Teleport / Region Crossing

Some people are reporting loss / ghosting of attachments on teleporting. The problems sees to vary in the number of teleports taken before it is noticed, and tends to take the form of others noticing an avatar is missing parts, rather than the wearer (for whom everything still appears to be worn).

It’s not clear how widespread the issue is, although it seems it has been reported a lot through the Firestorm support groups. Mazidox Linden did confirm some attachment / region crossing testing was occurring on Aditi, but it’s not clear if this is in reference to this specific problem, or to with examining / improving region crossings in general.

Firestorm has a Refresh Attachments option (Advanced menu), however, addressing the issue from the viewer is seen as a less than optimal approach, a server-side fix being preferable.

Commenting on region crossings and attachments in general, Simon Linden said, “From what I can tell with my investigations so far, most attachment problems with region crossings come down to messaging failures, and then the viewer and region(s) get out of sync and don’t recover. ” He also noted that his own testing of “double” region crossings (e.g. cutting across the corner of a region while moving between two others) lead him to want to say “stop!” at the first, and not even attempt the second until the first hand-off have completed.

At this point I want to improve the code and communications so after a crossing, both regions and the viewer can agree that everyone is on the 2nd region with all attachments and vehicles and, when something goes wrong, try to recover … At both ends, viewer and region, it should be able to realize it’s been a few seconds and things are missing or not, and then re-try.

Simon Linden on investigating region crossing, Tuesday, July 17th, 2018

As an aside, one of the reasons the Lab is working on region crossings and attachment issues beside trying to make region crossings smoother and more predictable in general, is so that they might increase the limit on the number of attachments that can be simultaneously worn (currently 38). However, as Oz Linden noted at the Simulator User Group meeting, this won’t happen until such time as attachments can remain reliably … attached.