Wandering Spirits in Second Life

Diotima Art Gallery: Wandering Spirits

Recently opened (October 3rd, 2019), at Diotima Art Gallery curated by Red Bikcin is Wandering Spirits, an immersive exhibition of 2D art with 3D elements by TerraMerhyem. It offers a fascinating trip into the artist’s imagination.

I started reading science fiction, fantasy and heroic fantasy at the age of ten and since then I have continued; this literature is one of the elements that has shaped me. It has taken me to live other lives, it has trained me to live in other worlds and I have always had a tendency to escape from what is called the “real world” – through writings and poetry, dreams, art, music, images and imaginations, trance…

– TerraMerhyem describing the inspiration for Wandering Spirits

Diotima Art Gallery: Wandering Spirits

Set behind an animated piece and against an ebony backdrop, Wandering Spirits presents visitors with glimpses into the worlds of fantasy to which TerraMerhyem’s imagination has carried her – most with her character prominent within them, a Barbarella-like figure rendered within intricate, fractal-like creations and hanging against backdrops of aliens skies and liquid forms.

I have spent a lot of time imagining – and I have the ability to feel, sometimes deeply, what I imagine … It has happened to me to be a wandering spirit: I have sailed in unfathomable places; I have brushed against the suns floating in icy spaces; I have met other spirits and entities, also wandering – always beautiful … I have screamed in the dark (but I think the universe has been deaf to my cries).

– TerraMerhyem describing the inspiration for Wandering Spirits

Diotima Art Gallery: Wandering Spirits

Along with these 2D elements are 3D pieces: the models use to give form to the spirits within each picture perhaps; but I confess it is the 2D pieces that most fascinated me in their composite execution. Two of the fractal-like forms that feature in them also appear alone in a pair of pieces towards the front of the exhibition, where they are set against backdrops of what might be the surface of Titan when cleared of its dense atmosphere. These serve to give the fractal forms a sense of life such that they might be considered alien organics, floating over their mother world(s), alive – and perhaps even aware.

By presenting these strange forms, with their reflective coatings an appearance of life, these two initial pieces convey the impression that the creations, other with the others like them that appear in the images with the human “spirits” are also living, and perhaps conscious. Thus, rather than simply being a “prop” or element around the figure sharing an image with them, they become a living part of it; a companion, if you will – perhaps, even the other spirits TerraMerhyem imagines in her thoughts and dreams.

Diotima Art Gallery: Wandering Spirits

Nuanced and layered, Wandering Spirits is engaging and – as noted – fascinating to witness, both for its art and narrative, and for its presentation.

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Unconditional in Second Life

Unconditional, October 2019 – click any image for full size

Unconditional, designed by Tomisnotaboy and Moonsoul, is a Homestead region that has been garnering attention since it opened to the public in the past week – and rightly so. It is a visually stunning region, one that appears to have been brought together in a remarkably short period of time: the About Land floater suggests it arrived on the Grid on Tuesday, October 1st, 2019, yet it was open to all before the weekend had started!

The above should not be taken to mean the region has been in any way rushed – far from it; what is presented (although in part still a work in progress during our visits) is well put together, and offers a visually engaging setting that is rich in charm and flows naturally throughout.

Unconditional, October 2019

Unconditional love — in its most simplest form — means appreciating someone else for who they truly are. It means loving them when they are unlovable, and in spite of their imperfections and mistakes.

– from the region’s About Land description

Split into a number of islands, most of them low-lying, Unconditional presents the kind of place I think many of us would like to escape to and set up home, were we able to do so. Two houses are to be found on the region, both towards its eastern extreme, and to the south and north respectively. These have been placed by Chavonne McAuley, whom I believe is the region holder. Unfurnished at the time of out visits, both houses appeared to be open to the public, although the one to the north-east, and sitting on the highest point within the region, is placed within its own parcel and so may eventually be intended for private use.

Unconditional, October 2019

The island this house sits upon is the largest is the group, sitting above the rest as a pair of table-like hills that are home to both the house and a windmill that sits as if guarding the steps leading up to the house. The pairing of house and and windmill suggest this may once of been a working environment – perhaps a small farm (there are still geese and goats to be found here), but which has now been re-purposed.

Paths of various sorts run across the land here, perhaps the most fetching of them being an avenue of bent trees, reached from the house and windmill by a trail of cut log sections, that points the way to the western end of the island, a rocky bluff on which sits a little table of rock complete with brazier and seating – just one of many places to rest scattered throughout the region. A wooden board walk that also starts close to the windmill to present an alternative route west, stepping out and around the island’s northern cliffs, where waters tumble in a series of falls from a humped hill (which is also cut into by the sealed mouth of an old tunnel or shaft).

Unconditional, October 2019

To the west, the land falls away sharply, a little stone bridge connecting it to a sandy isle. Such is the narrow channel between isle and island, the two might have one time been a single mass, the gap between them created by a partnership of time and tide. Now this western lowland encircles a pond of  – presumably – fresh water, whilst itself is bounded by wetlands. The latter extend to the south and east in a haze of sun-bleached reeds and grasses through which winds a further board walk, this one offering the way to a stilted cabin standing above the reeds and water, a cosy deck – and at its end, a little sandy bar that almost forms the region’s centre.

The second house on the region looks, from a distance, to be a rather grand affair. It sits on its own island that has sea wall to one side and rocky shoulders on the other, allowing most of the island to offer a flat expanse of grass, rock and sand that forms a garden / yard space where, given the chairs and tables set out and the presence of a coffee / hot chocolate bar, visitors are more than welcome. Reached via a bridge connecting it to the larger island and its house, this is a place experiencing its own little pocket of weather: while the region as a whole sits in sunshine, here the rain falls lightly but persistently.

Unconditional, October 2019

The landing point for Unconditional sits on the long finger of a sand bar to the west of the region. Currently experiencing a low tide, the edge of this island has clearly been shaped by the action of tides rising and departing, as they have cut a low, but clear lip around much of the land in their back-and-forth passage. Linked to the rest of the region by yet another board walk (and rather novel tree trunk “tunnel”), this sand bar offers something of a different look and feel to the rest of the landscape, one that offers its own enticements and photographic appeal.

Rich in detail without ever feeling overcrowded, Unconditional really is a striking location for exploring, photographing and simply enjoying. Rezzing is open, but if you need props, etc., please remember to clean them up behind you.

Unconditional, October 2019

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With thanks for all the pointers: Shawn, Morgana, Wurfi, Miro!

2019 viewer release summaries week #40

Logos representative only and should not be seen as an endorsement / preference / recommendation

Updates for the week ending Sunday, October 6th

This summary is generally 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.
  • Note that for purposes of length, TPV test viewers, preview / beta viewers / nightly builds are generally not recorded in these summaries.

Official LL Viewers

  • Current Release version 6.3.1.530559, formerly the Umeshu Maintenance RC viewer, dated, September 5th – No change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Love Me Render viewer, version 6.3.2.531296, released on September 30th.
  • Project viewers:
    • No updates.

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V6-style

V1-style

  • No updates.

Mobile / Other Clients

  • No updates.

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links