03 July 2011

AM Radio at IDIA Laboratories

Back in April, AM Radio announced that he will be closing his space at IDIA Laboratories this fall. If you haven't been there, go, because they're among the most remarkable environments in Second Life, and they're pristinely beautiful. To me what is most striking, even now after many, many visits, is AM's use of depth, a reorientation of our sense of distance and space. His textures, sounds and animations are superb. Much has been written about his work (see for example Rowan Derryth's interview on Prim Perfect), so I won't say more here, but I will provide a brief guide to the five spaces at IDIA, all at different elevations. You'll want to turn your draw distance up when you visit if it isn't already well over 200. And have fun, too...there are intentional opportunities for playing around and being silly here. (Click on the images for closer views, and click on the headers for slurls.)

The Quiet: Further Away and Further Apart
On the lowest level of the sim, visit The Quiet, a wintery world where snow delicately falls and crunches under your feet. You'll receive an offer of a few things as you arrive to help you enjoy your visit. Do click on things and try sitting here and there—you'll discover some unexpected surprises (as you will in some of the other spaces too).

The Ferry
When you visit The Ferry, which is modeled after a real life location, you'll explore the ferry itself, a small house on the water, and maybe the little rocky island. But do click on the boat on the ferry's deck to get one of your own, and then race it about! Jump down a few blog posts here and you'll see a video of me crashing into various things (including AM) as I try to navigate.

Surface
Train tracks that extend off into the distance are bordered by fields (some on fire!) and a house, with freight cars seemingly abandoned on the tracks. Here, click on the spray paint can to actually decorate the sides of the train! Your images will be uploaded to the surfacegraph stream on flickr for posterity (these are great to look through!), and will also appear on the cars, at least until someone else comes along. Again, click on things—you'll get a gift inside the house.

Superdyne
A more surreal space with a sewing machine out of control (or perhaps doing exactly what it should be doing!), this is a great place for driving around as if you're on some salt flats. There are some exquisite small creations here—I love the microscope.

A Little Further Than Before
The most minimal of all the spaces, A Little Further Than Before is a vast expanse with a solitary house, but it's no less beautiful than the other environments. There's a lovely quietude here. [Update on 4 August 2011: This level has now closed.]

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