Poetical Revolt in Second Life

Galerie des Machines: Poetical Revolt

Currently open at Galerie des Machines, curated by Olympe (OLYMPES Rhode), is an immersive, interactive exhibition entitled Poetical Revolt (with a play on “love” in the title), an ensemble installation by Yoon (Onyxxe), along with Mi-Angie (Angie Abraham), Tutsy Navarathna, and ChimKami Resident.

The installation is an interesting concept, taking as its basis a poem by Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud (1854-1891), often regarded as a “revolutionary” French poet known for his influence on modern literature and arts, which prefigured surrealism. The poem in question is Vowels, which linked the vowels of the alphabet with colours: A = black; E = white; I = red; O = green; U = blue, and the thoughts they bring to mind.

Galerie des Machines: Poetical Revolt

Here they are used to outline concepts of change, with the artists noting:

Arthur Rimbaud … the man whose poems not only drastically transformed poetry but also opened a new window of understanding for the new world.

Is this not what art is about? Contribute to a change of consciousness! So it is for the poets, musicians, and singers introduced here.

Those singers, artists and musicians comprise Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, Patti Smith, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Oksana Shachko, and the Sex Pistols, all of whom are considered revolutionary in terms of their music and art.

Galerie des Machines: Poetical Revolt

Viewing the installation requires you have the viewer’s Advanced Lighting Model (ALM) enabled (Preference > Graphics), and should have the time of day set to midnight (or, if you have it available, set your local windlight to Phototools No Light). Locals sounds should also be enabled. Those wishing to more fully immerse themselves can also use the free colour avatars offered at various points in the installation.

The installation is split into a series of rooms representative of the vowels, and each tending to focus on at least one of the named artists. Interactive elements are to be found within them: animations, links to You Tube videos.

Galerie des Machines: Poetical Revolt

However, how this installation might be interpreted is down to individual insight; I confess, I found the potential of a message to be mixed. On the one hand, the introduction speaks of celebrating change, and one of the artists frames the installation as being a “battle” focused on injustice, climate and pollution. However, on the other, I found the reflection of this within the installation  – or choice of figures within it – to be somewhat narrow: Joplin, Smith, Morrison, Cobain, and the Sex Pistols have certainly been influential in shaping modern music and music genres – but instruments of change in matters of injustice, climate and pollution? I’m not entirely convinced.

Nevertheless, there is enough within this installation to catch the eye, so my confusion should not be seen as a reason not to visit it; Poetical Revolt may speak more powerfully to you.

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2019 SL User Groups 24/1: Simulator User Group

City of Solace; Inara Pey, May 2019, on FlickrCity of Solaceblog post

Server Deployments

There are no planned deployments for week #24, leaving the SLS (Main) channel and the primary RC channels (LeTigre, Magnum and BlueSteel) on server maintenance package 19#19.05.17.527341.

SL Viewer

On Monday, June 10th, the Lover Me Render and Bakes on Mesh viewer updated as follows:

At the time of writing, these updates (again) had yet to appear on the new Alternate Viewers web page (or on the Release Notes web page), but can be found on the Release Notes index page.

The 360-snapshot project viewer appears to have been temporarily withdrawn. The remaining LL viewers in the pipeline remain as:

  • Current Release version 6.2.2.527338, formerly the Teranino RC viewer, promoted May 22nd – No Change.
  • Project viewers:
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.2.3.527749, released on June 5th. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
  • Linux Spur viewer, version 5.0.9.329906, dated November 17th, 2017 and promoted to release status 29th November 2017 – offered pending a Linux version of the Alex Ivy viewer code.
  • Obsolete platform viewer, version 3.7.28.300847, May 8th, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

Script Processing Issues

As I’ve recently reported, there have been numerous reports of script run time issues. See  BUG-226851 and BUG-227099 as examples. These continue to be felt across the grid, and the Lab is continuing to investigate, with Rider Linden noting:

We’re looking into a couple of things that we think will help. But we don’t have anything to report yet.

Oz Linden added:

 We’re also doing things to get a more global picture, and to allow us to accurately measure how any new simulator compares to existing ones on this and some other metrics.

In Brief

  • There should be two new simulator updates going to the RC channels in week #25 (commencing Monday,  June 17th), and these should have fixes for the EEP bugs being seen today.
  • Simon Linden has been continuing to work on teleport issues, and indicated that there may be a further group test of updated coded on Aditi following the Server Beta User Group meeting (held Thursdays at 15:00 SLT).
  • General points of discussion: these following is a short list of more general items discussed at the meeting, many of which are likely generally known:
    • Empty regions will not go into idle mode if they can be seen from other regions with avatars; nor should they switch to idle mode if they only have registered agents in them. Finally, the switch between a region being at idle and running at full speed is “very quick”.
    • Regions able to idle can offer a measurable boost in performance for other regions on the same host server.
    • As is often pointed out in these pages and elsewhere: viewer performance can be improved by managing things like your draw distance and viewer bandwidth setting (see the Firestorm guidelines for bandwidth settings – these apply equally to all viewers).
    • User of the 64-bit version of Firestorm can optionally set the viewer to clamp the maximum resolution of all textures to 512×512 (this is automatically clamped in the 32-bit version of Firestorm), reducing the amount of memory used by textures. See Preferences > Graphics > Rendering > Restrict Maximum Texture Resolution to 512 px.

Lab opts to temporarily continue Quarterly Premium plan for new sign-ups

via and © and ™Linden Lab

On May 29th, 2019, Linden Lab issued a blog post outlining a number of changes to fees charged in connection with Second Life (see Land Price Reductions, New  Premium Perks and Pricing Changes). In particular, for the purposes of this article, the Lab’s post indicated the Premium subscriptions would be increasing after June 24hth 2019 as follows:

  • Monthly subscriptions will be increasing from US $9.50 per month to US $11.99.
  • Annual subscriptions will be increasing from US $72.00 per year to US $99.00.
  • Quarterly subscriptions will be increased from US $22.50 to US $32.97.

In that blog post, it was also indicated that from both Monthly and Quarterly subscriptions would be applicable to user in EU countries, while Quarterly subscriptions would be discontinued as an option from June 24th for those upgrading to Premium after that date, but would remain available for those already subscribed to that option.

These changes, and the others announced in the Lab’s blog post have generated considerable feedback. Some of this feedback, voiced through forum discussions and via assorted blog posts (see my own Dear Ebbe II” (on the subject of Basic account changes) resulted in the Lab reversing a decision to decrease the Basic account group allowance in favour of an increase in the same allowance for Premium members (see: LL reverse planned Basic account group limits reduction).

However, on Monday, June 10th, in responding to the comments left in the forum thread on the subject of the changes, Grumpity Linden indicated the Lab were making a temporary adjustment to the planned Premium fee changes, stating that the Quarterly subscription plan will now remain available to new premium sign-ups through until the “all-new membership level for those who want to get the absolute most out of their Second Life” is officially announced. The original blog post has been updated to reflect this.

Grumpity Linden’s forum comment on the short-term continuance of the Quarterly Premium subscription plan for users upgrading to Premium

This doesn’t offer much to those still feeling aggrieved by the fee changes as a whole (although – at the risk of earning a degree of ire – such changes are going to remain inevitable if the Lab is to maintain its ability to generate revenue whilst also meeting demands to lower virtual land tier), however, it does offer those wishing to upgrade to Premium but who are uncomfortable with playing the annual fee a further option to do so, albeit at the increased rate after June 24th, 2019.

Also, as can be seen in Grumpity’s reply, the Lab will try to address matters around the fee changes through their annual Meet the Lindens sessions that form a part of the Second Life Birthday events. As always, I will endeavour to provide a summary of these sessions, with audio extracts where relevant, as soon as possible after each session.

The tropical splendour of Lotus Bay

Lotus Bay; Inara Pey, June 2019, on FlickrLotus Bay, June 2019 – click any image for full size

Lotus Bay is a new homestead region design by the combined talents of Maria Kobaiernen (Dreamy Lebed) and Aydenn Palazzo (Aaydenn29) that recently slipped into the Destination Guide, and in doing so caught our attention.

Described as “a luxurious tropical island with a hedonistic resort vibe”, this is a quite marvellous design rich in content and detail. Admittedly, the amount of mesh and texture present can take something of a toll on a computer if you happen to like running with a lot of the viewer’s options active; however, this does not mean Lotus Bay should be avoided by the keen SL traveller, as doing so would rick missing out on seeing a very special place.

Lotus Bay; Inara Pey, June 2019, on FlickrLotus Bay, June 2019

Rising from the sea with beaches to the west and east offering a buffer between land and water, Lotus Bay sits atop a magnificent table of rock. Sheer cliffs on all sides seem at first to rebuff visitors. However, the stone steps carefully cut into them just a short walk from the landing point give the lie to this.

Winding upwards and slightly inland from the beach, these steps lead the way to a lush plateau, rich in foliage and colour, and home to a large, whitewashed house with a distinctly colonial look to it.  Old and with its walls patched and the home to strands of vines, it is nonetheless furnished inside, witnessing its occupancy while the presence of the piano in the wooden-floored courtyard perhaps gives an indication that the rainy season here is very predictable.

Lotus Bay; Inara Pey, June 2019, on FlickrLotus Bay, June 2019

While open to visitors, this house nevertheless raises questions: is it a primary residence or a holiday home? Certainly the nature of the island suggests it was never the centre of something like a working plantation. The log marked trails that extend away from the house at various points to make their way through the foliage and between rocks, suggest that the house is a vacation retreat, a Second Life Necker Island, if you will.

These paths, running snake-like and often branching to offer choices of route, provide access to swimming pools and  open-air decks where people can relax and sit or dance. They offer the way to other steps leading back down to the golden sands of the beaches below, or to where a hot tub sits under the shade of rocks and palms. However, all of these little touches, each beautifully executed and presented, also speak to the idea that this is a resort more than a private location; a secret getaway for the well-informed.

Lotus Bay; Inara Pey, June 2019, on FlickrLotus Bay, June 2019

This feeling of paradise delight is furthered down on the sweep of the east-side beach, where a deck awaits those wishing to partake of a Second Life wedding. There is also a little cluster of cabins built over the water, each one offered for rent by those wishing to extend their stay on the island as a vacation away from the rest of SL. Rates for both cabins and weddings can, I understand, be obtained by contacting Maria.

The care put into the design of Lotus Bay is evident throughout. The use of space, the placement of rocks, trees, paths, buildings, and so on has a perfectly natural feel that greatly enhances the sense of immersion; Lotus Bay feels like a place in which the building and structures have been placed to both take advantage of the landscape and utilise available spaces, rather than the landscape feeling it has been designed to fit around the buildings and locations within it.

Lotus Bay; Inara Pey, June 2019, on FlickrLotus Bay, June 2019

The landscaping itself also has a wonderful eclectic feel to it: temperate shrubs and bushes mix with Junipers and cacti and palm trees in a glorious mix that gives Lotus Bay no fixed location, but the ability for it to be anywhere we might wish to imagine it – off the coast of central America, or an Indonesian island, or somewhere sitting off the coast of Vietnam or China, and so on.

For me, and despite the differences in local plant life, I was put in mind of the forests in Dambulla region of Sri Lanka and the Sinharaja Forest Reserve further to the south of that country. While there is nothing specific to the landscape at Lotus Bay to align it with Sri Lanka, I was nevertheless put in mind of walking through forest trails there, and reminded of the care with which some resort spaces in those places have been blended into their surroundings.

Lotus Bay; Inara Pey, June 2019, on FlickrLotus Bay, June 2019

But wherever you might wish to place this setting, the important thing is that you go and see it, because it is a true delight for the eyes. Photographers can obtain rezzing rights for props by joining the local group. Photographs themselves can also be submitted to the region’s Flickr group.

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SL Legacy Profiles project viewer

In February 2019, it was indicated in a Third-Party Viewer Developer (TPVD) meeting that an upgrade to the system powering user profiles seen in the viewer, on the web, together with the  feeds, etc., was in the pipeline (see 2019 SL User Groups 7/3: TPV Developer Meeting).

At the time of the announcement, it was indicated that the overall impact of the update on the feeds has a whole had yet to be determined. However, it was also made clear that the current web-based profile floater seen in the Lab’s viewer would in the coming months be replaced by a “legacy” style profile floater (e.g. the type seen within the Firestorm and Cool VL viewers).

On Wednesday, June 5th, the Lab took the first public step towards this by issuing the Second Life Legacy Profiles project viewer, version 6.2.3.527749. This viewer offers a first pass at the re-introduction of the “old” style profile floater to the official viewer, utilising code originally contributed by Kadah Coba of the Firestorm team.

The new Legacy Profiles project viewer replaces the current web-based profile panel (left), with an “old-style” profile floater panel (tight)

With this viewer, it is important to note a couple of things:

  • This is an initial release of the viewer with the profile floater. As such, it may be refined / altered / fine tuned as the viewer progresses towards release.
  • There are a number of known issues with this initial release – see the release notes for a list of these.

As TPV user – notably (but not exclusively) Firestorm – I’ve always tended to find the legacy style of profile floater to be preferable: it tends to be faster loading, and (to me) has a more user-friendly means of navigation. As seen within the project viewer, the “new” floater is perhaps a little large in its default size, but adjusting it is easy enough – although having it a little smaller by default perhaps wouldn’t go amiss.

Those interested in trying this project viewer can do so via the Alternate Viewer page.

Xirana’s art at the Lin C Art Gallery

Lin C Art Gallery: Xirana

Now open at the Lin C Art Gallery, curated by Lin Carlucci, is an exhibition of physical world paintings by Xirana (Xirana Oximoxi).

An artist from Catalan, Xirana notes of her art:

My works reflect my concerns and my different moods. They are based on my experiences and express a personal sensitivity nourished by impressions from the external world and my internal world. In this latter sense, I like to call them abstractions or ‘mental landscapes’. The works reflect the influences of impressionism, expressionism, abstract expressionism of artists like Jackson Pollock and the informalism among many others.

Lin C Art Gallery: Xirana

For this exhibition, Xirana demonstrates this breadth of approach by offering pieces that range from landscapes, to impressionist pieces through to the more abstract.

The majority of the latter are located on the ground floor of the gallery. These are very tonal pieces carrying with them a strong geometric form within them, while the lines and colour offer a sense of informalism to which Xirana alludes in her biography.

Lin C Art Gallery: Xirana

The mezzanine level of the gallery contains a range of Xirana’s watercolour landscapes, most of which have a focus on water. Within some there is a hint of abstractionism, whilst one bridges the other six with five pieces that move more towards impressionism in their style, even as they maintain that hint of abstractionism.

Once again, an engaging exhibition presented by Lin that allows us to again share the work of a physical world artist whose work might otherwise remain beyond the reach of many of us.

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