Touring Jilin in Second Life

Jilin Estates; Inara Pey, June 2019, on FlickrJilin Estates, June 2019 – click any image for full size

Jilin is the name of one of the provinces of north-east China that borders North Korea, whilst also sharing a border with Russia. It is a region rich in minerals (a total of 136) including gas, coal, iron, nickel, molybdenum, graphite, gypsum, gold and silver, and has China’s largest reserves of shale oil. As well as this, it is the garden of traditional Chinese medicine resources, with approximately 27,000 kinds of wild plants and 9,000 kinds of medicinal herbs.

A rugged place, with four major mountain ranges, Jilin is a richly diverse place. It also lends its name to a new, visually stunning residential Full region within Second Life operating under the title Jilin Estates. It’s a place that offers a considered balance between private rental properties and public spaces that are open to visitors to explore – a group joining fee of L$250 additionally gives visitors rezzing rights, if they desire.

Jilin Estates; Inara Pey, June 2019, on FlickrJilin Estates, June 2019

The work of Li Zhu (JamaicasianBaby) and Jin Zhu (KidDreamz), the region offers, in the words of the website, “pre-landscaped private residential and community residential spaces, where tenants can enjoy scenic views from all angles of their respective homes.”

The majority of the residential spaces are places around the outside of the region, each to its own island space offering views out over the ocean. In addition there are three “community cabins” offering smaller rental space, but which are more integrated with the public / community areas of the region. What is interesting about the rentals is the eclectic mix of houses that are supplied; there is no central theme, instead the houses ranging from a Tuscan villa through to converted industrial units going by way of wooden homes in what might be considered “traditional” looks and far more modern units of wood or cement construction.

Jilin Estates; Inara Pey, June 2019, on FlickrJilin Estates, June 2019

All of this makes for an interesting layout and visually appealing appearance those seeking a new Second Life home within a private estate might find appealing. The various style of home also make for an interesting and varied backdrop for photography. However, it is the public spaces that potentially offer greater interest to those who enjoy exploring second Life.

These occupy the large central land mass of the region, together with a couple of the outlying islands. With two large tables of rock rising from low-lying cinder-tracked roads and a rocky coastline, the primary landmass is rich in detail and finely laid out with much to discover and photograph. The landing point sits in the shadow of one of the rocky plateaus, a little garden / picnic space looking east to where the some of the private homes straddle their various islands.

Jilin Estates; Inara Pey, June 2019, on FlickrJilin Estates, June 2019

A track winds through the area, bordering the landing point as it does so. This connects to the trails leading up to the cliff-top tables, and to the other points of interest: the garage and “secret garden”, the old docks, a bridge spanning the water to one of the “community cabins” and the walled garden of a second “community cabin”.

A third rental place sits at the top of one of the rock plateaus, while the second plateau is home to one of the region’s public events spaces: a space for music and dancing. Reached via a winding rocky path, this rises above the community “games cabin” and open-air theatre space to the north. These are linked one to another via wooden platforms, one of which offers a public seating area, and via a rope bridge that spans a narrow channel of water to the region’s beach lounge and dining space.

Jilin Estates; Inara Pey, June 2019, on FlickrJilin Estates, June 2019

The latter is an impressive structure that sits astride a rocky waterway than tumbles to the sea channel, and which has an infinity pool fronting its ocean view. These public spots are the focus of special events within the region – DJ party nights up on the high plateau, movie nights at the cosy theatre and karaoke at the games cabin. In addition, the public spaces are available for hire with private events – contact the owners through the website for details.

Whether or not you’re looking for somewhere different to live in Second Life, or are looking for somewhere new to explore and photograph as part of your SL travels, Jilin Estates is an eye-catching, photogenic and enjoyable place in which to send time and explore (and there is more to discover than I’ve directly mentioned here: take the Games Mountain and the secret fishing spot for example). One that is as richly diverse as its Chinese namesake.

Jilin Estates; Inara Pey, June 2019, on FlickrJilin Estates, June 2019

Our thanks to Miro Collas for the tip-off and SLurl.

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Athazagoraphobia, Evolution and a touch of colour at Vibes Gallery

Vibes Gallery: Store’s Helendale – Athazagoraphobia

I confess that Vibes Gallery, curated (I believe) by Eviana Robbiani, is a place that I’d not come across until I received an invite from Storie’s Helendale (GlitterPrincess Destiny) to attend her latest exhibition there – one of three that can be experienced within the somewhat grunge-like gallery setting that offers an appeal of its own.

Storie’s often tends to take the more unusual / thought provoking as the theme for her exhibitions, and this – although brief in some respects – is no different. Entitled Athazagoraphobia, it takes its title from what is perhaps one of the least talked about human phobias: fear of being forgotten or of forgetting others.  It is often associated with the families / loved ones of Alzheimer’s/dementia patients, who fear their loved ones will forget them eventually, but can be encountered elsewhere, and in the form of a fear of being forgotten by those we love after we have passed.

Vibes Gallery: Store’s Helendale – Athazagoraphobia

In this, athazagoraphobia has a role to play in our digital lives. What happens if we leave SL, will those we have known be remembered? How long will our work / activities here help hold us in the minds of others? Even if our work remains, will it help people to recall us, as the people responsible for that work? What happens if someone we know decides to leave Second Life? will they continue to think of us, to recall our friendship, our company? Will we live on in their thoughts?

Through words and images, this appears to be the element of athazagoraphobia Storie’s explores in this small, but evocative exhibition. In it, she uses images to offer the suggestion of fading memories and words to question how we might be recalled, to bring in the focus the desire to be remembered, to be more than a fading memory or the name assigned to an image or object. It’s a dark subject – emphasised by Storie’s request that a dark windlight setting is used when visiting – but it is also one hauntingly brought to life through her images.

Vibes Gallery: Lexia Kohime – Evolution

I retained the same windlight setting – Phototools No Light, although Midnight will also work – to view Evolution, an exhibition by Lexia Kohime. In difference to many avatar study exhibitions, the focus of this exhibition is the male portrait: close-in head studies present in a range of finishes: colour, monochrome and sepia finishes, these are fascinating pieces, each rich with its own life, a capturing and framing of the nature of the subjects.

The exceptions to the pieces sit to one end of the gallery space, where a smaller selection of female avatar head studies can be found. I confess that, as engaging as the male studies are, I found several of these to be more coptivating. Not because they are of female avatars (I have no bias either way when it comes to avatar studies), but because I found four of them to be rich in the kind of narrative I love to discover within images.

Vibes Gallery: Lexia Kohime – Evolution

The final exhibition – which commenced in mid-May 2019, and so might not have much longer to run – is an ensemble selection featuring Aurora Donner, Zoota Manota, Petra Messioptra, Meilo Minotaur, Marina Munter, Armand Parks, Erika Xaron, Patrick of Ireland and Rodnoc.

Again entirely focused on avatars, perhaps the best way to describe the theme of this selection is “colour”; each piece contains a colour palette and / or tone that immediately draws the visitor into it.

Vibes Gallery: ensemble exhibition

With three engaging exhibitions offering a richness of art and avatar studies for May / June, I look forward to returning to Vibes Gallery to witness future exhibitions.

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RFL 2019: are you ready for the Weekend?

RFL of SL 2019: Relay Weekend

The Relay For Life of Second Life Relay Weekend for 2019 is upon us, and will feature everything one would expect from the event – walks, celebrations, remembrances, the luminaria ceremony, interviews, music, dance, and more, all in aid of the American Cancer Society in its efforts to eradicate cancer.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have a couple of sneak peeks around the regions that make up this year’s walk, together with the activities regions, and to say they are extraordinary would be an understatement. Spanning 36 regions, including the core American Cancer Society region, the Second Life RFL Relay Weekend promises to be spectacular.

RFL of SL 2019: recall RFL mega events, such as the SciFi Con

Activities will kick off at 10:00 SLT on Saturday, June 8th, and will feature 24 hours of themed laps, activities and entertainment. The weekend will wrap up 24 hours later, on Sunday, June 9th at 10:00 SLT. Featured events between those two times include:

Saturday, July 16th 2016

  • 10:00 SLT Opening Ceremony:  the weekend formally begins at the Ceremony Stage.
  • 11:00 SLT Celebrate: The first lap of Relay weekend begins with the celebrate ceremony.  A Survivor/Caregiver honour walk
  • 21:00 SLT Remember – The Luminaria Ceremony:  a solemn reflection with readings and inspirational music as the regions are darkened in remembrance of those and their loved ones who have lost their battles to cancer or are still battling it; all are invited to participate.  Please walk the track in silence

Sunday, July 17th 2016:

  • 06:00 SLT Fight Back: Collect your Fight Back Kits and Fight Back Flags available at the Relay Information Stations along the track, and pledge to save a life: your own, a friends, a family member, or someone you don’t even know yet
  • 10:00 SLT Closing Ceremony: a closing tribute to al that RFL of SL has accomplished at the Ceremony Stage.
RFL of SL 2019: witness art – with pieces like this, by Cica Ghost and Bryn Oh

Track Themed Laps

From 11:00 SLT on Saturday, June 8th through until 09:00 SLT on Sunday June 9th, relayers will be able to join in laps around the relay track that winds through all of the event regions will commence, each with its own focus / theme. The times mean that no matter where you are, if you believe in supporting efforts to reduce  / eliminate cancer in all its forms, there is likely a slot when you can spend time walking the track. You don’t have to go a whole hour – just hit the start line, walk – and make a donation!

All times below are SLT.

Saturday, June 8th
Sunday, June 9th
11:00: Survivor/Caregiver Lap sponsored by the Relay Rockers 00:00: Midnight Masquerade!
12:30: Teams Lap sponsored by Together We Are Mighty 01:00 Wear the Rainbow
14:00: Purple Hour 02:00: Demos!
15:00: Halloween Hour sponsored by River Park Club 03:00: Girl / Boy Next Door (library outfits)
16:00: All Aboard! Uniforms (conductors, pilots, flight attendants, ship captains, etc.) 04:00: Beachwear
17:00: All Aboard! 15th Anniversary Lap (wear any Relay shirt from year’s past) sponsored by the Relay Rockers 05:00: Crazy Hats
18:00: Animals, Prehistoric, Dinosaurs sponsored by Harmony of Hope – In loving memory of Kate 06:00: Fight Back Lap
19:00 Walk your pet / Shoulder pets 07:00: Pajama Party!
20:00: Formal Wear 08:00: Mother Earth sponsored by Harmony of Hope
21:00: Luminaria Ceremony 09:00: Black and White
22:00: Fantasy / Magical 10:00: Closing Ceremony & Victory Lap
23:00: Game of Thrones

Entertainment

Music will be provided throughout the weekend by the following DJs (all times SLT):

Saturday, June 8th:  09:00 Trader Whiplash; 11:00 Nuala Maracas; 12:30 Gem Sunkiller; 14:00 Fizban Underwood; 15:00 Anni Braveheart; 16:30 Tazzie Tuque; 18:00 BenVee; 19:30 Tril MacLeod; 22:00 Fuzzball Ortega

Sunday, June 9th: 00:00 Lia Vipera BrightFlame; 01:00 Madonna; 02:30 Elrik Merlin; 04:00 Luke Flywalker; 06:00 FIGHT BACK LAP with Nuala Maracas; 07:00 Madelyn Majestic; 08:30- 10:00 Trader Whiplash; 11:00 Nuala Maraca.

You can catch all the music both at the event or anywhere on the grid or on-line, by tuning into T1 Radio – including coverage of the ceremonies.

RFL of SL 2019: Relay Weekend

Where To Start

If you’re new to RFL of SL weekends, probably the best place to start is the ACS Welcome Area, or you can opt to drop in directly at main stage at RFL Unity. And don’t forget to visit the RFL Museum, and recall RFL events of the past!

So, are you ready to Relay?

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