Akim’s Anima in Second Life

Kondor Main Gallery: Akim Alonzo

Akim Alonzo, owner and creator of The Itakos Project, is also an excellent photographer artist in his own right, as I’ve noted in a number of pieces in this blog where I’ve covered his exhibitions (see Water and a Matrix: Reflections on Life by Akim Alonzo, for example).

The latest selection of Akim’s work is now on display at the Main Gallery of the Kondor Art Centre, curated by Hermes Kondor. It presents a mix of works that offer a choice of themes within it, and which also echo past exhibition themes Akim has produced, making for another eye-catching and thought-provoking display of art from a man who is a master of frame, tone and composition.

Kondor Main Gallery: Akim Alonzo

The images presented are offered under the title of Anima and comprise 27 individual images and 2 slide shows. One of the latter pages through a selection of the images on display, the other displays a collection of additional portraits. Between them, these two slide shows present the core themes to be found within this collection – both of which intertwine into a single, larger perspective.

One of these themes is that of the avatar-as-a-person. Avatar studies are a common theme with Second Life art – although more often than not, such studies tend to focus on presenting an emotional story / emotive response utilising the entire image – expression, pose, surroundings, etc., – that together form a single frame narrative. Akim, however, is one of the few Second Life artists who takes a very deliberate path in his studies: one that focuses on the emotions that may exist within an avatar.

Kondor Main Gallery: Akim Alonzo

Whether these emotions are real, or a projection of our own, or a reflection of the emotions Akim felt in composing each image, really doesn’t matter; although I would suggest that there is combination of all of these aspects involved. What is important is that each piece is a marvellously layered composition, the focus always on the subject, the  background and lighting a means to project / capture the emotions that we see as coming from within the avatar. This are pieces that make extraordinary use of chiaroscuro to imbue the subject of each image with a depth of life and feeling that is bewitching.

The second theme to be found within this collection is that of life itself – real or virtual – and the questions we can harbour about it; in this, some of the pieces are drawn from or reflect his 2019 exhibition The Matrix. There is a wealth of metaphor within these particular pieces – the majority of which can be found on the gallery’s upper floor – and also question: what is real? Is the digital realm any less “real” than the physical? Might we all in fact be unwittingly operating within a virtual realm, our need to project ourselves into a digital realm a reflection of this?

Kondor Main Gallery: Akim Alonzo

Both of these thematic strands come together to offer a broader set of ideas / questions related to the identity, self and who we are as individuals;  to questions of – dare I say it – soul.

Beautifully composed, perfectly executed and presented, Anima is an extraordinary exhibition by an extraordinary artist.


Kokua updates to revised viewer UI

Kokua released version 6.4.20 of their viewer on Tuesday, June 29th, which sees all three versions include the Lab’s Project UI viewer updates (see: Lab issues Project UI viewer aimed at new users and The Project UI viewer: a look at the new user Guidebook); however it does so with a couple of twists. The release also includes a number of bug fixes.

As noted in the two blog posts linked to above, and via the Lab’s official blog post via Alexa Linden (see: Viewer UI enhancements), the UI changes are the first in an on-going series of updates designed to improve the viewer and – with these in particular – help new users get to grips with the viewer more easily, including during their initial orientation as a part of the on-boarding New User Experience.

In all, the changes comprise:

  • A new menu option called Avatar, and streamlined / revised right-click avatar context menus intended to make it easier for new users to get to grips with basic avatar-related functions.
  • Improvements to the Inventory panel.
  • An updated Places floater design to make getting around SL easier.
  • A new Guidebook, intended to help new users gain a familiarity with basic functionality in the viewer – walking, talking, finding places and people, etc.

Kodua 6.4.20 includes all of these changes, most of which I’m not going to go into great detail here, as they have been covered in the blog posts linked to above. However, it should be noted:

  • If you are using Kokua with the classic menu layout enabled (Advanced check → Classic Kokua Menu + viewer restart), then the Avatar menu will not be displayed.
  • The right-click context menus retain some of the original options found within these menus (both from the official viewer and from previous versions of Kokua).
The revised right-click context menus (l) the official Avatar menu and the Kokua implementation (purple menu option highlight); (r) the official attachment menu & the Kokua implementation

Kokua Changes

Several of the Kokua updates are bug fixes for issues with the Bugsplat crash reporting code, and address issues with the Kokua viewer.

Most notable among the latter is a fix for issue KKA-866 “Double-click to TP bug”. In short, prior to the arrival of the custom key mappings ability (SL viewer version / Kokua version 6.4.17), double-click teleports would be ignored if any one of ALT, CTRL or SHIFT was also pressed. Following the introduction of custom key mappings, an accidental double-click whilst using one of these keys (e.g. when ALT-camming) will trigger a teleport.

To avoid confusion, Kokua has added a new Preferences option: Preferences → Move & View →  Mouse →  Do not treat ALT/SHIFT/CTRL modified mouse clicks as unmodified mouse clicks when no specific ALT/SHIFT/CTRL modified binding exists.

  • When enabled (as it is by default), this option will not trigger a teleport when double-clicking in combination with pressing ALT, CTRL or SHIFT (e.g. pre-custom key mapping behaviour).
  • When disabled (unchecked), this option will trigger a teleport when double-clicking in combination with pressing ALT, CTRL or SHIFT (e.g. post-custom key mapping behaviour).

For the remaining Kokua updates, please refer to the Kokua 6.4.20 release notes.


A further incremental update from Kokua that allows it to maintain pace with the official viewer, and also become the first of the popular v6 viewers to incorporate the UI updates from Linden Lab.

The decision to include the additional options in the right-click avatar and attachment  context menus tends to make these menus more involved than their LL equivalents, which might be argued as making them more confusing to new users. BUT, the options that have been retained by Kokua can useful for established users, and so are worth the effort of inclusion.