Images of Entropy in Second Life

Nitroglobus: Entropy, May 2020

Officially open from Tuesday, May 5th at Nitroglobus Roof Gallery curated by Dido Haas, is Entropy, by EmberPolaris.

In terms of thermodynamics, entropy is defined as:

A measure of the unavailable energy in a closed thermodynamic system that is also usually considered to be a measure of the system’s disorder, that is a property of the system’s state, and that varies directly with any reversible change in heat in the system and inversely with the temperature of the system.

More informally, entropy is referred to as a general running down of the universe into a state of disorder. For her exhibition, Ember presents an almost Shakespearian view of modern life; one in which we might as a well be mannequins, we have so little little say in the fate of the universe as a whole; that all we say and do, all that we build, is merely a stage for the greater passage of life – ours and the universe’s.

Nitroglobus: Entropy, May 2020

It is a stark, but captivating view of things; one that might be referred to as emphasising the futility of life. But there is more here; through the use of mannequins in place of humans, Entropy folds within it question of identity – not only who we are or might be, but also a challenge as to what our role in life might be when framed against the bigger backdrop of the universe’s slow passing.

More then this, through the framing of each picture is a reminder that creation – and creativity – can offer a richness of beauty that far surpasses any darkness that might otherwise be inherent in these pictures: sunlight falling through the scaffolding of an advertising hoarding, Shadows falling across an alleyway or a sudden bright splash of colour amidst the grey; sunlight falling through clouds. 

There is a stark beauty within these pieces that is astonishing; life is present in every image, the use of mannequins as models notwithstanding; a vitality that stands in contrast to the basic meaning of entropy. There is also, conversely, the suggestion of disorder that is entirely in keeping with the precepts of entropy; it surrounds and enfolds the sense of order also suggested elements present in these pictures and their sense of structure and order of life as can be witnessed in the settings for many of these images.

Nitroglobus: Entropy, May 2020

Those Entropy is a richly layered exhibit, offering multiple commentaries on life, the universe, and our place within it, as well as presenting rich images in and of themselves.An excellent first-time exhibition from an artist I hope we’ll see more of in the future.

SLurl Details


2020 Simulator User Group week #19 summary

Studland Bay, March 2020 – blog post

The following notes were taken at the Simulator User Group meeting held on Tuesday, May 5th. Not a lot to report; most of the meeting was general chat about wish-lists for alternatives / updates to LSL, general commentary on animations and enquiries about the CEF viewer related to the Adult Swim event (see:Adult Swim special streaming event in Second Life).

Simulator Deployments

Please refer to the simulator deployment thread for updates.

  • On Tuesday, May 5th, the majority of the grid was updated to server maintenance release 540928, first deployed on Wednesday, April 29th, and comprising an update to the simulator build tools.
  • On Wednesday, May 6th. there should be a single RC deployment. Server update 541440 again comprises updates to fix issues with the Name Change feature still calling avatars by their “old” names for up to a week, together with some internal logging changes and improvements to how the simulator accesses internal servers, and a fix to llBase64ToInteger, the colour space LSL functions.

SL Viewer

On Monday, May 4th, the Zirbenz Maintenance RC viewer,version and dated April 27th, 2020, was promoted to de facto release viewer status.

The remaining official viewer pipelines are currently unchanged from the end of week #18:

  • Release channel cohorts:
  • Project viewers:
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version, December 9, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version, November 22, 2019.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version, September 17, 2019. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version, July 16, 2019.

Adult Swim special streaming event in Second Life

via Adult Swim

In what has to be the most curious event to reach Second Life is a while, Linden Lab has teamed up with Adult Swim, the American adult-oriented night-time programming block of the children’s basic cable network Cartoon Network to stream four episodes of The Shivering Truth at a special in-world event.

For those not familiar with it, The Shivering Truth is a stop-motion animated surrealist anthology sketch comedy television series, featuring the voice talents of creator Vernon Chatman, together with cast members such as Janeane Garofalo, Trey Parker, Michael Cera, Jonah Hill, Zack Pearlman, Maria Bamford, Conner O’Malley, David Cross, Martha Plimpton, and Peter Serafinowicz.

The Second Life event will take place on Friday, May 8th, 2020, starting at 16:00 SLT. It is to comprise two episodes from the first season of The Shivering Truth, followed by two episodes from the show’s second season, which will start airing in the United States on Sunday, May 10th, 2020.

The in-world streaming will take place in-world at a special location created for the event, with the Lab noting:

During the event, you can chat with fellow fans of the show and other special guests as you experience the show together for the first time in the virtual world. Free limited-edition virtual gifts and mementos will also be distributed during and after the show — just look for the “Free Gifts” kiosk near the front entrance.

Exclusive Adult Swim Second Life Event, Linden Lab, May 5th, 2020

The showing is open to anyone to attend – details below – however, those attending will need to be running the special CEF (Chrome embedded Framework) viewer issued as a release candidate on Thursday, April 30th. This viewer will help with streaming content on more sites in general, with the Lab further noting:

The event also marks the first media partnership utilising the new limited-release Second Life Viewer, which enables content creators and entertainment companies to broadcast live video events to virtual world audiences. In the future, you may see several new forms of entertainment including movie and TV premiers, live concerts, and artist/fan meet-and-greets. We’re very excited to partner with Adult Swim for the début of this new feature, which we plan to integrate into the main Second Life Viewer release in the coming weeks.

Exclusive Adult Swim Second Life Event, Linden Lab, May 5th, 2020

Those wishing to be a part of the event can do so as follows (again, as per the Lab’s blog post):

  • Download the CEF RC viewer and install it ahead of the event. Note that other viewers will not  be compatible with the live stream during the screening event.
  • On the day of the event, this link can be used to teleport to the venue from 15:30 SLT. Early attendance is recommended, as seating is extremely limited.

For those unable to make the premier, the programme will be repeated hourly through until 21:00 SLT on Friday, May 8th.

To help promote the event and steer non-SL users to the in-world venue, the Lab has launched a special Second Life landing page focused on it, and which provides further information on the event and the sneak peek video of the venue, embedded at the end of this article.

The banner for the Second Life landing page created for The Shivering Truth event

The choice of Adult Swim to premier a new service / option that is clearly intended to appeal to an audience of potential interested partners from outside Second Life is an interesting one.

Certainly, similar events held in Sansar (notably around the Star Trek franchise, which have seen cast members from the various Trek incarnations, as well as writers and other backstage crew, mixing it with users and fans at meet-and-greet / QA sessions, proved to be an popular means of drawing people into that platform – if not necessarily retaining them as engaged users. So it will be interesting to see who else the Lab has lined up for such events / streaming activities like this is the future, and what the response is among SL users and non-users alike.

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