Visitors to a Museum in Second Life

The Eye Arts: Hermes Kondor – The Museum (The Visitors), March 2021

Now open at The Eye Arts, operated by Wan (Wan Laryukov) is a new exhibition of photography by the magnificent Hermes Kondor. Offered under the joint title of The Museum (The Visitors), it is a collection of Hermes’ work from the physical world that could also be called Watching the Watchers.

Spread across the two floors of the gallery is a series of black-and-white photograph that offer a unique take on a visit to a museum that Hermes explains thus:

I passed a few days in the Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon, seeing how people react and behave in the presence of Art and Beauty. Some stop, look and enjoy it, others sit in front of it, looking deeply into the details trying to find the hidden magic and beauty of each piece of Art. Quite a lot, with ‘phone in hand take photos of every work, keeping it in a memory card for later enjoyment.

– Hermes Kondor

The Eye Arts: Hermes Kondor – The Museum (The Visitors), March 2021

The gallery is home to what is regarded as one of the most important private collections of art in the world, that of Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian. Comprising some 6,000 pieces covering 5,000 of human civilisation, it includes 2D and 3D art representing Egyptian, Greco-Roman, Mesopotamian, Islamic Oriental, Armenian, and Oriental history, as well as westen art which in includes sculptures, the art of the book, paintings and one of the most extensive collections or pieces by the French glass artist René Lalique, from whom Gulbenkian personally commissioned 140 individual items.

Given this, the halls of the museum offer a considerable amount to see and appreciate – and, as Hermes notes, captivate those who visit. As such, it is a rich source of material for the skilled photographer, and Hermes demonstrates this to the full in the images gathered in this collection.

The Eye Arts: Hermes Kondor – The Museum (The Visitors), March 2021

These are a remarkable set of studies in human nature and behaviour, the use of monochrome giving them a timeless edge that perfectly fits the historical context of the museum and the collection within it.

The richness of human interactions – direct and indirect – found within these images cannot be overstated. Within them we find multiple expressions of how we interact with art and one another; from the unconscious use of stance – leaning forward or backwards whilst studying a painting – to the close inspections Hermes mentions and the manner in which phones are being used; even the manner in which some interactions can take place seemingly without awareness for those around us, caught as we are within our own social group, is perfectly reflected in some.

The Eye Arts: Hermes Kondor – The Museum (The Visitors), March 2021

For me, what makes these pictures especially captivating is the fact that they have often been taken without the awareness of the subjects within them. Thus, there is a natural vigor about them that gives the museum itself a vitality of life. In addition, this approach allows the pictures to be presented as a most unique series of studies into the human body as a statement of art.

As well as the individual images being available for purchase, Hermes has also collected them together as a book that can be purchased at the reception desk on the lower floor, allowing visitors to keep a memento of the exhibition.

SLurl Details

2021 CCUG and TPV Developer meetings week #9

Wildwood Gardens, January 2021 – 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, March 4th 2021 at 13:00 SLT, and Pantera’s video recording of the TPV Developer’s meeting of Friday, March 5th, a copy of which is embedded at the end of this article.

The majority of the TPVD meeting was given over to a discussion of the texture cache issue, together with a general discussion on the simplified cache structure and also on Jelly Doll avatars.

These meetings are chaired by Vir Linden, with dates available via the SL Public Calendar. The venue for the CCUG is the Hippotropolis camp fire, and the TPV Developer meeting is held at the Hippotropolis Theatre.

SL Viewer

[From the CCUG meeting & TPVD Meeting]

Release Roll-Back & Issues

  • The Simple Cache viewer, version, had to be rolled back following its March 2nd promotion due to a number of bugs (e.g. cache location not being adhered to – BUG-230337; uploads of textures above a certain size were failing – BUG-230295).
  • The roll-back saw the Jelly Doll improvements viewer, version (originally promoted on February 17th) revert to being the de facto release viewer.
  • However, the roll-back resulted in some users who had updated to the Simple Cache viewer users experiencing a corrupted texture cache when using an older version of the viewer.
  • Unfortunately, LL are having problems consistently reproducing the texture caching issues, so it is unclear how matters will be resolved.

This means that for the meantime:

  • Those experiencing texture issues on the official viewer as a result of having used the Simple Cache viewer and then rolling back to, or installing, another version should try clearing cache and re-starting the viewer.
  • Until the Lab have more of a handle on the texture cache issues:
    • Those RC viewers that had been internally merged with the Simple Cache viewer will also be rolled-back to an earlier version.
    • Internal viewer testing procedures will be reviewed.
    • TPVs that have also merged the Simple Cache code will also likely need to roll back their code.
  • One suggestion for resolving this issue is for the official viewer to increment the texture cache version number, forcing a complete wipe / reset of the cache
  • Independent of the texture caching issues, and due to BUG-230337 and BUG-230295, the Simple Cache viewer will go back to a development status so the issues can be fixed.
    • Firestorm apparently has fixes for these particular issues, and these may be contributed to LL.

General Viewer Notes

  • A new Maintenance RC viewer – Eau de Vie, version, was released on March 4th.
  • The Custom Key Mappings viewer updated to version, also on Thursday, March 4th.

The rest of the official viewers in the pipeline remains as follows:

  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Love Me Render (LMR) 5 project viewer, version, February, 23, 2021.
  • Project viewers:
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version, October 26.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version, December 9, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version, November 22, 2019.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version, July 16, 2019.

There may be a viewer promotion during week #10 (commencing Monday, March 8th).  While no final decision has been made, it is possible the LMR 5 may be the viewer that gets promoted.

Viewer Rendering

[CCUG Meeting]

  • Euclid Linden continues to work on separating UI rendering from general scene rendering in order to improve overall viewer performance.
    • Currently the UI is completely redrawn every frame, along with the rest of the scene, whether or not it requires update.
    • This can take up to 40% of the rendering time, depending on the complexity of the scene being rendered, with around 10-20% being an average, so it is hoped the changes will particularly help those on less-capable systems.
    • There may be some subtle / slight reduction in UI responsiveness under certain circumstances, so a means to tweak the UI update rate may be provided via something like a Debug setting.
    • Note: this work is not physically altering the appearance of the UI, only the frequency with which it is drawn.
  • Ptolemy Linden continues to work on more general rendering performance improvements and rendering bug fixes.

In Brief

  • [CCUG] Map tiles are still being worked on. In the future the lab may look to implement a new means of generating the Map tiles in a more robust way.
    • The Lab has an internal proposal for updating terrain textures, but it has yet to be formally adopted.
  • [CCUG] Allow upload of ground  constrained animations – on the LL’s list,  but has not been looked at as yet.  Vir believes that as the capability is already supported (but undocumented) is should only require an alteration to the simulator animation code to ensure the constraints are correctly understood.
  • [TPVD] Firestorm has entered QA, with a release planned for mid-March.

Date of Next Meetings

  • CCUG: Thursday, March 18th, 2021.
  • TPV Developer: Friday, March 19th, 2021.