SL17B the artists and the art

SL17B Welcome Area

Second Life’s 17th anniversary celebrations officially opened on Friday, June 19th – although members of the Second Life Birthday in-world group have been able to access the celebratory regions since June 18th. Those looking for a general guide to the region and facilities can do so by following my Pocket guide to the celebrations, which covers some of the major activities and includes links to all the core locations within the celebratory regions and to the SL17B Shop & Hop event that also opens on June 19th.

The seven regions devoted showcasing exhibitor builds are packed with installations that reflect the breadth of creativity and activities available in-world. However, for this article, I’m focusing on some of the art installations that are now available for your enjoyment and appreciation.


Ethereal II “Where Will You Go?” by Pixels Sideways

A tiered installation offering a touch of the surreal. At ground level sits a display that offers what might be a commentary on the physical / social distancing forced on us by the SAR-CoV-2 pandemic: a series of sculptures asking people to indicate what they would like to do: just click to register your interest.

Ethereal II “Where Will You Go?” by Pixels Sideways

The second element of the installation is overhead, reached by three teleport spheres. Forming a globe of the world, it allows those using the teleport spheres to walk around the world, again perhaps in a comment on our current and necessary inability to travel freely – and a reminder that once the threat of the virus has properly receded / been countered, we’ll once again have that luxury. It also, perhaps reflects the fact that as a virtual world, Second Life brings us together.

A further teleport leads to an underground “surrealist gallery”. This offers numerous poses that can be found by exploring with your mouse pointer to locate them or via CTRL-ALT-T to highlight them or clicking on the Polaroid images on the floor of the platform.

Direct teleport.

G.O.D by Moki Yuitza

G.O.D. – Galaxies of Dreams – is a digital installation challenging visitors to consider the things they might dream about if they were a god. In describing it, Moki notes:

Nothing more appropriate in the context of a metaverse like Second Life is, which in its conception is a perfect metaphor of a Universe. A reality built as a result of different dreams, but combined by the same universal order, the creator’s thought itself, where they magically find logic and harmony. In this universe, eternally balanced between order and chaos, the single creations represent the wish of declare the dreamer’s existence, itself in everlasting memory of the thousands flights of Icarus.

G.O.D by Moki Yuitza

Direct teleport.


  • Alchemelic Adventure by d-oo-b – jump on a robot with a couple of friends and take a ride around the installation and pick an Alchemelic tune from the jukebox.


Conversation With a Stranger by FionaFei

An interactive exhibition in which visitors are encouraged to consider how lack of empathy for others can divide us. Visitors are invited to sit on a chair facing one of the multiple seated characters as if in conversation. Words on the floor and floating around the figures force us to reflect on the life of the seated figure before them prior to attempting to judge them.

In this way, we’re given pause to further reflect on the fact that in the physical world, judging someone purely on their physical appearance / situation can so easily mean we miss the opportunity to connect with someone who may share similar interests, values or background to us.

Conversation With a Stranger by FionaFei

Direct Teleport.

Further Installations Electrify

  • The Dirty Grind IAC and Radio Grind – visit their installation and learn more about this arts and performance community in Second Life, find out about the groups members and their ground-breaking field trip group and grab your gifts.
  • Join me in my dream. by Vincent Priesley – a novel examination of our voyage through second life as eyes looking at computer screens.
  • Ciottolina Xue – Second Life is a ship: a celebration of the many journeys Second Life allows us to take.


  • Burn2, The Journey Home:  the trek to Burning Man in Nevada can be long, but here in SL at Burn2, the journey is a lot easier. Rez a car and take a ride to the “playa” for supplies at the top, and then get a ride back down!
  • John Huntsman: a personal installation.
  • United Artists of SL: UASL is an art group that supports all artists and art venues of SL.
  • Tempest Rosca: a personal installation.



If You Have a Sense of Distance by Kerupa Flow

An installation guaranteed to challenge your perspective! Rich in detail, it comprises numerous elements that will cause you to consider your cognitive abilities. Is the picture of a girl really what it appears to be? Why do floor tiles bend and sway when the lines between them all move at a constant speed? How can a floor be flat when it appears to roll like waves?

If You Have a Sense of Distance by Kerupa Flow

An engaging installation that fascinates at every turn, perhaps best experienced with your viewer set to midnight.

Direct teleport.

Further Installations Sparkle


Phoenix Artists Collaboration

The Phoenix Artists Collaboration is a community of artists and their patrons working together to promote artistic expression and creativity through and in Second Life. For SL17B more than 30 artists in the group have each provided an image within the “PAC Motel” gallery. Some celebrate the SL17B theme, others provide a glimpse of the artist’s talents, all are eye-catching and engaging.

Drop into the gallery, enjoy the art – discover the artists by touching the images and viewing their biographies – and learn about PAC itself.

Phoenix Artists Collaboration

Direct Teleport.

Further Installations at Stunning

2020 Content Creation User Group week #25 summary

Thermae, May 2020 – blog post

The following notes were taken from my audio recording and chat log of the Content Creation User Group (CCUG) meeting held on Thursday, June 18th 2020 at 13:00 SLT. These meetings are chaired by Vir Linden, and agenda notes, meeting SLurl, etc, are are available on the Content Creation User Group wiki page.

SL Viewer

  • It had been planned that the next viewer to be promoted to de facto release status would be the Love Me Render (LMR) RC viewer. However:
    • LMR is being held over pending the inclusion of various EEP bug fixes, including a fix for the HUD issues (see BUG-225784) and a fix for the specularity problems (see BUG-228781 and BUG-228581).
    • This means the next viewer that will likely be promoted will be the CEF RC viewer, and this could be promoted in week #26 (commencing Monday, June 22nd).

Viewer Caching

  • Work is continuing to try to improve viewer caching.
  • First outcome of this work is liable to be a viewer that has improved VFS caching (the system used to cache information on in-world objects). This will be a complete replacement of the VFS cache with a new format that retains data better and is more performant.
  • The next element of work after the VFS update is liable to be an overhaul of the viewer’s texture caching.


Project Summary

An attempt to re-evaluate object and avatar rendering costs to make them more reflective of the actual impact of rendering either in the viewer. The overall aim is to try to correct some inherent negative incentives for creating optimised content (e.g. with regards to generating LOD models with mesh), and to update the calculations to reflect current resource constraints, rather than basing them on outdated constraints (e.g. graphics systems, network capabilities, etc).

As of January 2020 ARCTan has effectively been split:

  • Viewer-side changes, primarily focused on revising the Avatar Rendering Cost (ARC) calculations and providing additional viewer UI so that people can better visibility and control to seeing complexity.
  • Work on providing in-world object rendering costs (LOD models, etc.) which might affect Land Impact will be handled as a later tranche of project work, after the avatar work.
  • The belief is that “good” avatar ARC values can likely be used as a computational base for these rendering calculations.

Current Status

  • Vir now trying to roll the jelly doll updates into the rendering cost calculations and performance measurements.
  • One thing the core work on ARCTan has been awaiting is a fix to the Bake Service for errors arising when calculating height offsets with complex mesh items, which can result in the avatar bake failing. The fix for this is in place, and the updated Bake Service should be exposed to a simulator RC for testing “fairly soon”. The change itself should have no visible impact other than to correct the rare instances where the issue occurred.

In brief

  • There have been reports of avatar bakes taking longer to complete recently.However, it is not clear if this is an actual issue; LL have not noted any Bake Service processing issues, and also note that users may be noting a perceived “slowing” due to changes made a while ago to try to prevent avatars de-clouding fully nude (e.g. due to latency between the viewer and the CDN, or local caching issues, etc.).
  • In terms of avatar rezzing, there is also work being put into reducing the instances of rigged mesh elements rezzing offset / incorrectly sized related to an avatar (e.g. clothing appearing off to one side and rotated to be on its side; gigantic heads rezzing, etc.).
  • Next meeting: Thursday, July 2nd, 13:00 SLT.