26 November 2015


If you're in the mood for wintery weather and striking expanses, don your coat and head to Furillen, a new creation by Serene Footman based on the real world island by the same name, situated off the coast of Sweden, on which deserted limestone factory and military installations have been oddly converted into a hotel and tourist destination. That curious dichotomy is plainly evident in the virtual space — probably more an evocative than literal interpretation — to gorgeous effect.

"I saw pictures of Furillen two years ago and wanted to do a version in Second Life," Serene explained. "I love the contrast between the luxury hotel and the wasteland — it just took me two years to get around to doing this ... One person visited here who knows Furillen in real life, and he seems to like what I did." Serene plans to keep the sim going as long as visitor interest continues — he has additional ideas he'd like to develop as well — and adds that some elements in the build are continually changing, such as the furniture and decor inside the hotel.

Explorers will find plenty to discover as they venture through the surreal landscape, ranging from the curious hotel area itself to forgotten industrial areas, a garage, a docked boat named Queen of Denial, a forlorn tree and chair perched high overhead, a trailer (photo below — "the Airstream is a signature of the real Furillen," says Serene), and a long pier lined with colored chairs, mirroring a quirky real world sight. (If the snow gets to be too much for you or your browser, you can toggle it on and off by hiding or showing alphas using shift-option-command-2 (Mac) or shift-alt-control-2 (Windows)). Please consider leaving a contribution toward the sim's support if you enjoy Furillen.

25 November 2015


Now open at Berg by Nordan Art, owned and curated by Kate Bergdorf, is Memories, an installation by Giovanna Cerise that was inspired by the poem "Non recidere, forbice, quel volto" (or "Do not chop away, shears, that face") from the 1939 collection Le Occasioni by Italian Nobel Prize winning poet Eugenio Montale. In this work, faces on semi-transparent cubes emerge, merge, and recess away, much as memories do, and symbols of time — the gears of a clock — rotate around a faceless form. The evocative elements are bathed in the fading light of evening.

The installation will continue through the end of the year, as will a concurrent exhibition of three surreal, moody and striking images by Sina Souza, collectively entitled Passively, in the small gallery space overhead. An additional venue, available via teleport, displays a series of works by Kate.

24 November 2015


ARNICAR India, creator of past sims such as Moon [Imagination] (read here), Winter [Imagination] (read here), [Imagination] (read here), and Just Visiting (read here), has just opened her newest creation, Everlong, at which she invites each visitor to "celebrate (the moments of your) life." Consistent with the style of its forerunners, Everlong is a water sim with remarkable vistas and enchanting landscaping.

Visitors arrive at a little stage area, where a family of rabbits seems ready to enjoy some sort of performance. From there, one ventures out onto a narrow V-shaped path, anchored by a giant winter tree, along which one discovers little spots that include a photo booth (good for some silly moments), a pair of horses quietly enjoying one another's company, and Bryn Oh's Milkdrop character befriending another colony of rabbits, with carrots at the ready, hidden under the bench.

The sim's default windlight setting, Torley's Sunset - Warmer, is shown here, imparting a golden, ethereal feel to the trees and landscape, but others work admirably well. Contributions to support Everlong may be made at the landing point.

15 November 2015

Escenas — Decisiones

Now open at MetaLES is the second scene — entitled Decisiones — in the ongoing installation Escenas or Scenes by Ux Hax and Romy Nayar, at which a new scene appears every two weeks over a two month period. (Read here about the concept and the initial scene, El Tiempo, which has now closed.) Once again visitors are presented with a splendid and skillfully wrought installation on a massive scale — the image above depicts the entire sim, with human figures towering high into the air, so that a high draw distance is vital to the experience.

Here, a crow perched on a windowsill observes the interactions: a woman tows a cart laden with scales (justice) while beckoning toward a figure in the distance, a man who hangs upside down from a lettered circle suspended in the sky. Meanwhile, a devilish figure rises from the ocean and either reaches or gestures toward the woman. It was my partner, Kinn, who first realized the immediate connection to tarot cards: the hanged man, the wheel of fortune, justice, the devil, and from the first scene the hermit. Decisiones will remain on display for two weeks, and will be replaced a third scene. Contributions to support MetaLES may be made at the landing point.

12 November 2015

It's a New Dawn

One's experience at It's a New Dawn, created by silvermoon Fairey, begins modesty, with an intimate beach scene and a climb up a slowly sloping hill toward a pastoral equine setting with a small shack and pond. But from there, looking north, a beautiful view unfolds, with a quaint village nestled in a valley, a windhill high atop one of the rocky protuberances silhouetted against the orange sky.

As flying is not allowed, this is a sim designed for exploration on foot, so patience is required. Each of the dwellings can be entered, and evidence of agriculture and animal husbandry are abundant, with horses, sheep, and cows dotting the landscape. Around the edges of the sim, away from the town, are situated some charming beach scenes and lovely vistas.

As is the case with most well-designed sims, ambient sounds here are plentiful, and it's hard to find a spot where one doesn't hear the call of birds, the bleating of farm animals or a distant waterfall. Images here show the scene bathed in the default environmental settings, but no doubt others would work admirably. Contributions may be made near the landing point.

10 November 2015

Radio Days

On Saturday, November 21, from 1 to 3 pm slt, the Second Life community is cordially invited to a celebration, Radio Days, at The Far Away, the seminal build by the artist AM Radio that has stood at Dreamworld North since mid-2007. Attire is 1930s optional, and my partner Kinn and I will host the event, with Gabrielle Riel (of Radio Riel) providing period music. (AM hopes to join the party, but may be traveling.)

Since taking on care of The Far Away in 2013, I've been gratified by the many people who have contributed toward its support (especially Gardakan Mortlock and Boojum (libtc65)). Donations are very welcome at Radio Days on the 21st but not required. We hope you'll visit, enjoy the space, open your ears to the music, and see new and old friends. To receive news and notices about future Radio Days events — because we hope this month's celebration will be the first of more to come — please join the land group, The Far Away by AM Radio, which also gives you the option to set the wheat fields as your Second Life home.

06 November 2015


Grab an umbrella before heading to Sorrow, created by Voshie Paine and friends, a region so deluged by rain that it's often hard to see where one's headed, and where entry into a dwelling can provide measured relief from the drenching experience. It's a region with a story — no doubt brought forward in anticipation of Halloween in early October when the sim opened, although the Sorrow doesn't seem dependent on Halloween to be enjoyed — about the Annesley family and their tragic fate.

We learn that after generations of prosperity and elite social status, the Annesley family — George, Lillian, and little daughter Rose — individually met sad ends, bringing their aristocracy to a moribund conclusion. (More details emerge in the notecard available at the landing point.) The family's manor home, situated on the southeastern edge of the sim, has now fallen into ruin and disrepair (middle images), the rope from which George hung himself in the attic still dangling from the ceiling. The family's presence seems to haunt the house, with ghostly apparitions, framed photographs that rearrange themselves, and a piano that repeatedly plays a disturbing melody.

The estate is now in the hands of the caretakers who once served the Annesleys, and they reside on the more tranquil island upon which one enters the sim, complete with a warm and cozy home guarded by greyhounds (below), a barn, a windmill, an apiary, and dense woods. A tiny third island rests to the immediate south, the site of a rather soggy camping venture. Contributions to support Sorrow can be made near the landing point.

04 November 2015

St. Pete City

"I wanted to create something very realistic," Neva Crystall told me of St. Pete City as we strolled around before its opening back in mid-September. And that she has, with contributions from a few friends — it's a beautifully detailed town, with streets, shops, alleyways and decor laid out with exquisite precision. The island sim is anchored on the south by a lighthouse that overlooks the rocky shore.

Visitors who stroll about will encounter a coffee shop, a bookstore, a hotel, and a bicycle shop (which appears to be doing great business, given the number of bikes around town). Further afield one discovers a warehouse, a playground, apartments, and an art gallery featuring some of Loverdag's exceptional works. Along the edges of town, abutting the ocean, are a few rustic spots that feature more sand and seagulls than bricks and signs.

Inspired in part by Neva's home town of St. Petersburg, "it is also inspired by Amsterdam, where I spent my summer holidays," she added. "I also was inspired by Harry Potter movies — those houses with hedges are from Harry Potter. Bikes from Amsterdam. And a warm feeling from my own city." In addition to the sim's default environmental settings (not shown here), others work admirably well, and photographers will no doubt enjoy this picturesque location. (Thanks to my partner Kinn for helping with this post (and many others as well).)

03 November 2015

Rosewood Isle

Opening tomorrow, Wednesday, November 4, and open to the public only until Saturday, November 7, is Rosewood Isle, owned and managed by Britain Leigh Kennedy, and landscaped by Nic Bour (nicbor) with decorating by Britain. After Saturday, the sim will close to become a private and rentable venue for weddings.

Consistent with its wedding theme, the sim is silvery, with a muted but ethereal palette of whites, grays and browns, and the result is enchanting and almost gem-like. It's a low-lying region, with slowly undulating water wrapping around its small islands, trees and rocks.

Visitors arrive on the western edge of the sim, travel east across a wooden bridge to a welcoming area, and from there can continue either right to the wedding island or to the left, a mirror island designed for receptions, the two intimate spaces being connected by footbridges held aloft by six giant balloons. Additional information about the sim's professional services is available at the landing point.

02 November 2015

Moments (NSFW)

Now open at the DathĂșil Gallery of Art, curated by Lucy (Lucy Diam0nd), is Moments, an exhibition of photography by Shurely Shan. Fifteen color images are on display on the gallery's ground level, and an additional eight black-and-white photos are situated on the upper level, all with erotic themes, and several overtly sexual, including one photo curiously half-obscured behind a curtain. Each is available for purchase for a very inexpensive L$1. The exhibition continues through the month of November.

Escenas — El Tiempo

Now open at MetaLES is Escenas or Scenes, a work by Ux Hax and Romy Nayar that will unfold in its entirety over next two months, with a new scene presented every two weeks. Presently, Scene 1 is El Tiempo, or The Time, although it's possible, as Ux and Romy note, that the scenes may not be presented in sequential order — perhaps this is the second, penultimate, or last scene, and it's up to the viewer to make that determination. These installation is accompanied by the quote, "No me veo, No te encuentro, que poco nos hubiera importado hace tiempo..." which could be roughly translated as "I can't see myself, I can't find you, too little it would have mattered to us for a while..." (Thanks to Ricco Saenz for the translation assistance, who adds that the phrase is poetic and not easily converted into English.)

Central to this scene are two enormous characters — the image below shows the entire sim, and if you look closely you'll see my avatar, a tiny dot front and center. The first personage, the hermit, emerges from a doorway, lantern and staff in hand; the other is a woman who looks up in horror at the moving hands of a cuckoo clock, its apparently dead bird suspended and hanging face down. The setting appears to be domestic: nearby her is an upended dressing table, with its brush, cracked hand mirror (showing her reflection) and broken necklace strewn on the ground; beside him is a similarly tilted cabinet with a teapot and teacups sliding off, about to crash into the water below. As to its full meaning, we may need to wait until the other three scenes emerge over time.