A union of Art and Fashion in Second Life

Art and Fashion Union: Sisi Biedermann

Have you ever imagined a painting come to life? When the image from the canvas expands the frames and steps towards you? When do paints and brush movements turn into folds of fabric falling over a figure?

So reads the invitation sent to artists requesting they participate in Art and Fashion Union, and ensemble exhibition of art that opened on January 19th, 2020 at the Dragon Sanctuary Gallery. It was an intriguing invitation: to offer three pieces of art for display, with creators / models invited to use the art as inspiration to produce new fashion pieces that are to be featured in a special fashion show to take place on the last Sunday of January.

Art and Fashion Union: Alpha Auer

I didn’t have the confidence in my work to participate, but I’m pleased to say some 27 other artists weren’t so shy, and have come together to participate in the exhibition, with each – as noted – offering three pieces of art. The result is an intriguing selection of pieces from artists who may well be familiar to some, new to others and some of whom may not have exhibited that widely of late.

The complete list of artists comprises: Carelyna, Etamae, EvangelinaBurroughs, Jessamine2108, Lampithaler, LydiaFairmount, MTH63, Mylena1992, SecondHandTutti, ViktorSavior, Alpha Auer, Michiel Bechir, Sisi Biedermann, GeeJAnn Blackadder, Sheba Blitz, Zia Branner, Ilyra Chardin, Kayly Iali, Anibrm Jung, Silas Merlin, Saul Morigi, JolieElle Parfort, Melusina Parkin, Tom Prospero, Jamee Sandalwood, Talullah Winterwolf, and Callum Writer.

Art and Fashion Union: Kayly Iali

The display is presented across the two floors of the gallery, and given the nature of some of the pieces, it will be interesting to see the fashion items produced for the show. Will designers seek out an individual piece for inspiration, or see several pieces as a means to visualise a design, or will they be drawn to a specific artist rather than one or more pieces?

Thematically, the work of Sheda Blitz, Alpha Auer and EvangelinaBurroughs, as three examples, present pieces that might collectively inspire a fashion design, rather than one of the three pieces each presents forming a single point of inspiration. By contrast Sisi Biedermann, Lampithaler and Callum Writer – to keep the list to another three – perhaps offer pieces that individually encourage designs based on each of them.

Art and Fashion Union: Callum Writer

Exactly how designers will get to choose which work or works or artist they see as an inspiration is unclear to me. But regarding the art on display as potential incentives for design work isn’t the only reason for visiting the gallery during this month-long exhibition: each selection of three pieces by the participating artists offers a unique insight into their work and how they look upon art and Second Life.

Those wishing to attend the fashion show at the gallery can do so on Sunday, January 26th, 2020 at, I believe, 11:00am SLT.

Surl Details

2020 viewer release summaries week #3

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

Updates for the week ending Sunday, January 19th

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, formerly the Wassail RC viewer, dated November 5th, 2019 – No change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Xanté Maintenance RC viewer, updated to version, January 13th, 2020.
  • Project viewers:
    • No updates.

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers


  • No updates.


  • Cool VL viewer updated to version (Stable) on January 18th (release notes).

Mobile / Other Clients

  • No updates.

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links

Space Sunday: commercial crew test flights & exoplanets

An artist’s impression of the SpaceX Crew Dragon IFA test as the SuperDraco pushes the Crew Dragon away from a malfunctioning launch vehicle. Crew: NASA / Mack Crawford

Sunday, January 19th, 2020 saw SpaceX complete a major test that should help bring their Crew Dragon vehicle much closer to the point where it can commence carrying crews to / from the the International Space Station (ISS).

The test, referred to as a in-flight abort (IFA) test saw an uncrewed Crew Dragon vehicle launched from Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Centre atop a Falcon 9 rocket in what was primarily a test of the vehicle’s launch abort system, is designed to push the capsule and its crew clear of a malfunctioning launch vehicle. However, the flight also served as an opportunity to test a further update to the vehicle’s descent parachute system (marking the first time this particular type of parachute had been used on a flight) and for SpaceX to further refine its crew recovery procedures for meeting returning Crew Dragon vehicles.

All the early indicators from the test are that everything ran as expected. Following lift-off and ascent, and at 84 seconds into the flight and an altitude of around 19 km, the first stage engine cut-off triggered the simulated malfunction, causing the abort system to release the clamps attaching the Crew Dragon to the dummy upper stage of the Falcon 9, the SuperDraco engines simultaneously firing, each one generating some 16,000 lbs of thrust. These immediately powered the Crew Dragon clear of the booster, travelling at a speed of over Mach 2, just as they would when trying to get a crew away from a malfunctioning rocket during an operational launch.

The moment of lift-off: the thrice-used Falcon 9 booster with a dummy upper stage topped by the Crew Dragon test vehicle, rises from Pad 39A. Credit: NASA

With the capsule detached, the Falcon 9 continued its own ballistic flight upwards, but the open end of dummy upper stage effectively functioned like a large, open-mouthed air brake, putting huge stresses on the vehicle. These caused the booster to break up, the remaining fuel on-board igniting in an explosion the test team had been expecting.

The SuperDraco motors fired for just 10 seconds. However, this was more than enough to put the craft on its own ballistic trajectory, allowing it to reach a peak altitude of around 40 km three minutes into the flight. Shortly ahead of reaching that point, the service module – referred to as the trunk, and designed to provide power and life support to the vehicle –  was jettisoned. Then as the capsule reached the zenith of its flight, the smaller Draco manoeuvring motors fired, stabilising it as it started its descent back towards Earth, enabling the drogue parachutes to deploy.

This pair of small parachutes allowed the vehicle to properly orient itself and act as a trigger for the release of the four main parachutes – as the drogues are jettisoned, they pulled clear a hatch covering the main parachute bay, just below the docking port that forms the nose of the Crew Dragon, allowing them to deploy, slowing the craft and bringing it down to a safe splashdown.

2:24 into the flight and the service module trunk is jettisoned from the Crew Dragon. Credit: SpaceX / NASA

For crew recovery operations, SpaceX make use of two specially-equipped ships, GO Searcher and Go Navigator. Originally leased by the company from Guice Offshore (hence the GO in the name) for use in the recovery of Falcon Payload fairings, Go Searcher was extensively refitted in 2018 to manage recovery operations for Crew Dragon, gaining a new radar system for tracking incoming Crew Dragon vehicles, a new crew recovery area and medical facility for post-flight check-ups of returning crew, and an upper deck helipad for emergency medivac. Go Navigator completed a similar refit in 2019.

Ahead of the test flight, GO Searcher departed SpaceX’s facilities at Port Canaveral, and took up a loitering position on the edge of the expected splashdown zone some 30 km off the coast of Florida. Following splashdown, teams aboard rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIBs) raced to the capsule to start the work of safing the craft and securing it ready for recovery. During normal flight recovery work, the recovery vessel and its crew will additionally have the services of Air Force Detachment-3 to call on, an emergency team of divers and personnel trained for astronaut recovery operations. For this flight, once the capsule has been recovered the the GO Searcher’s stern deck, it will be returned to SpaceX’s facilities along with the recovered parachutes for study.

While the initial response ot the flight has been positive, post-flight review is expected to take several weeks, and NASA has pointed out that there are still a number of additional tests that need to be completed ahead of crewed flights.

The GO Searcher, of of the crew recovery ships now operated by SpaceX, undergoing sea trails following her 2018 sea trials. the ship was used to to recover the IFA Crew Dragon capsule. Credit: NASA

There are some additional system-level tests of the spacecraft’s upgraded parachutes still needed to be completed, as well as other reviews of the spacecraft. [But] stepping through that [abort test] together and making sure that we’ve dotted all the i’s and crossed the t’s before our crew demonstration flight is very, very, important We’ve got work to do, but, honestly, getting this test behind us is a huge milestone.

– NASA Commercial Crew Programme manager, Kathy Lueders

As such, no date has been confirmed for the first crewed flight – officially called Demo-2, and which will see a 2-man crew fly a Crew Dragon to the ISS, where it will remains for approximately two weeks before they return to Earth. However, should the post-flight IFA test analysis prove positive, speculation is the Demo-2 flight could be staged as early as March, with “operational” flights starting later in 2020. In the meantime, the test flight can be followed in the video below, which has a start time set to just before the Falcon 9 ignites its main engine.

Continue reading “Space Sunday: commercial crew test flights & exoplanets”