art in situ

Furillen’s first art show – a series of portraits by Moon Edenbaum called ‘shoot the shooters’ – continues, but with less than 24 hours to go before it’s gone forever, do drop by if you can.

show 01_011

Has it been a success? I think so, and in three key areas.

First, numbers. All records for visitor numbers to the sim – and for listeners to the music stream – were broken during the course of the evening (European time), and it seems to have been an extremely busy night.

I spent several hours at the sim and it was full or very close to full for most of that time.


For anyone who was trying to get in for a quiet moment or two … sorry about that, but normal service will be resumed in due course.


Second, the experience. Moon and I had worked hard to make this an immersive show. Besides the music and lighting, the idea behind ‘projecting’ the images onto the building walls was to create a collective experience of art: a bit like the cinema, but while looking at pictures instead.

show 01_018

Not only the pictures in the slide show, but the four animated gifs on the hotel rooms behind. Like this one:

Watching pictures together, waiting the (carefully selected) 45 second period for the introductory slide for each image to clear … waiting and anticipating, together … has a strangely hypnotic effect.

People of Furrilen

There were some moments that really felt quite special.

Don't Say "Cheers" Say "Chairs"

I recommend reading this excellent piece by Kate Bergdorf, for a description of how this felt from her perspective.

Third, the concept. I wanted to show art not only at Furillen but of Furillen. Art that belongs at the sim because it was made at the sim.

show 01_002

I wanted to offer an alternative to a gallery, using other aspects of what I felt Second Life could offer.


I wanted to show pictures in a way that emphasized what art stands for at Furillen, its sense of community and co-operation.

show 01_005

Moon’s wonderful pictures were the perfect vehicle for this, and I am very grateful to him for agreeing to what must have seemed – at first – to be a bit of a strange idea.


Fortunately, Moon knows enough about Walter Benjamin – who, unashamedly, was my inspiration for this project – to have agreed to come along for the ride.


Without Moon’s excellent portraits – all of them made at Furillen in the same room using the same set – this show could never have worked.

So, to repeat …

Just see it.

art at Furillen

This weekend sees Furillen’s first ‘art show’ – an exhibit of portraits that were made by Moon Edenbaum.

People of Furillen. Moon edenbaum

They were taken at the sim itself, in the same room using the same set.

read more here please:

As you will see, this gives them a thematic unity that is rather powerful … and, when displayed as we will be displaying them, absorbing and meditative.

strength 2

For obvious reasons, these pictures have a connection with Furillen, and as I said before, displaying them at the sim reminds me of what Walter Benjamin said about the authenticity of an artwork and its connection with the location – the space and context – in which it was produced.


Moon’s portraits have another – and, I think, deeper – connection with Furillen. They echo its minimalist style in their simplicity and repetition.


We wanted this to be immersive. So please, if you can, listen to the music stream when you look these portraits. Moon chose this music. I think it fits very well, enhancing what you see in these pictures, and how you look at them.


Neither of us is claiming to be doing anything astonishingly original here. We just wanted to do something simple, and well.

A straightforward, no bullshit, art show.


For this very reason, I really like Moon’s pictures.

can she be late for her cinema show? 3

He usually posts them on his flickr stream in groups of three. They are always portraits that have an impact, a rawness and an honesty, that I appreciate.

teatime divertimento 2

It isn’t easy to ‘catch’ an avatar in a way that distills personality, life and spirit.

sitting 2

Moon is one of a few people in Second Life who can do this.

evening 2

I also love his treatment of colour.


So, please, come along if you can – we’ll be showing ‘shoot the shooters’ to a few small groups at various times during the weekend. At these times the sim may have to close, so that those we invited can get in.

The first time is today (Saturday 30 January) at 8pm CET – which translates as 11am in Second Life Time (SLT).

The second time is also today, at 11pm CET – or 2pm in SLT.

The third time is tomorrow (Sunday 31 January) at 3pm CET – or 6am SLT.

Outside those times, starting as soon as the first show has ended, the sim is open as usual – and the show will roll on, so everyone who wants to can see it.

Moon will be posting the series on Flickr as soon as the show is over. I will take it down very early on Monday morning, European time.

Thankyou for your attention. I hope to see you there.


music at Furillen

One of the most neglected aspects of sims that I visit in Second Life is the soundscape. Occasionally, I have visited a sim and been captivated by what I hear – music, or other sounds (birds, creaking doors, the wind – whatever fits).


More often, alas, I visit a beautiful sim, switch on music, and hear traffic news, or an advert for something really shit that ‘you always knew you needed’ …


There was a sim called October Country – does anyone else remember it? – that streamed audio books and plays. Visitors – me! – would sit for hours in a spooky graveyard listening to classic broadcasts, usually of science fiction. It made for a wonderful atmosphere.

I wondered about doing this sometimes at Furillen. If I did, it would surely have to be War of the Worlds to start everything off …


Although there is a separate page on this site referring to music at Furillen, I wanted to mention it here partly to draw attention to the fact that the sim has its very own music stream.


I won’t bore you with how it works, but there is around 60 hours of music on a random loop. I have 12gb of server space, so there is room for plenty more. But I reserve that for special occasions …

… there were some Christmas tunes for a very short time …

shutterstock_CHRISTMAS-MUSIC-940X540 (1)

… the new song released by Radiohead on Christmas day was uploaded and played once per hour (just wait until their new album is dropped – any time now!) …


… when David Bowie died I uploaded 15 hours of his music and played it for two days, and I still use this playlist from time to time …

bowie a

… and this weekend, I will be playing music chosen by Moon Edenbaum to accompany his series of portraits that will be on show.

moon exhibit

I don’t know many other sims that have their own music stream permanently running. Elysion – a favourite place on the grid for many of us – is one. There is always great music on there, and I enjoy talking to the owner – Syn Beresford – about music choices.

The music I uploaded to the stream is mainly what I’d play when working – or running, strangely enough. It’s mostly ambient, very atmospheric, usually without words.


Biosphere, Eno, BVDUB, Hammock, John Foxx, Nils Frahm, Oophoi, Stars of the Lid, This Will Destroy You … all feature heavily, alongside a smattering of other stuff, including some classical (Avro Pärt, for example) …

I think it not only fits the sim’s special atmosphere, but enhances it.


One feature of the stream you might find odd is my voice, intermittently telling you that you are listening to Furillen radio, etc. This is done in order to prevent – or discourage – a larger commercial sim from latching onto the stream. It would sound a bit strange …

I do this because there are 50 listening slots on my stream. More than enough for a homestead like Furillen, but easily swallowed up …


The stream provides listening stats, which are interesting reading. On average, I would say that between 50-70% of those on the sim at any one time listen to the stream. Those who tune in listen – on average – for around half an hour.

One in ten listen for well over an hour, some for more than 4 hours …


But here is my favourite statistic. Since the stream began, listeners have tuned in from a total of 102 countries.

Want a list? Alright then, if you insist. Here they are, in order of listening minutes …

United States US

United Kingdom GB

Germany DE

France FR

Italy IT

Netherlands NL

Romania RO

Brazil BR

Argentina AR

Mexico MX

Japan JP

Australia AU

Canada CA

Spain ES

Russian Federation RU

Belgium BE

Switzerland  CH

Portugal PT

Thailand TH

Estonia EE

Korea, Republic Of KR

Sweden SE

Slovenia SI

Ecuador EC

Chile CL

India IN

Croatia HR

Greece GR

Serbia RS

South Africa ZA

Singapore SG

Colombia CO

Venezuela VE

Norway NO

New Zealand NZ

Denmark DK

Hungary HU

Turkey TR

Peru PE

Ukraine UA

Latvia LV

Finland FI

Belarus BY

United Arab Emirates AE

Malaysia MY

Hong Kong HK

Indonesia ID

Poland PL

Philippines PH

Qatar QA

Lithuania LT

Israel IL

Moldova, Republic Of MD

Puerto Rico PR

Ireland IE

Bulgaria BG

Bahamas BS

Macao MO

Saudi Arabia SA

Armenia AM

Austria AT

Jamaica JM

Algeria DZ

Uruguay UY

Isle Of Man

Saint Lucia LC

Bosnia And Herzegovina BA

Mauritania MR

Kuwait KW

Kazakhstan KZ

Czech Republic CZ

Pakistan PK

China CN

Sri Lanka LK

Luxembourg LU

Albania AL

Dominican Republic DO

Cyprus CY

Honduras HN

Trinidad And Tobago TT

El Salvador SV

Lebanon LB

Bangladesh BD

Zimbabwe ZW

Georgia GE

Slovakia SK

Oman OM

Viet Nam VN

Bolivia BO

Iceland IS

Panama PA

Tunisia TN

Montenegro ME

Egypt EG

Reunion RE

Malta MT

Palestinian Territory, Occupied PS

Nigeria NG

Iraq IQ

Morocco MA

Costa Rica CR

If nothing else, this demonstrates just how cosmopolitan the grid can be.

But I hope it also encourages those of you who haven’t listened yet, to tune in …


… and enjoy how Furillen sounds, not just how it looks.


latest Furillen news

One of the reasons for keeping this blog is to build a kind of memory board, or diary, because so much happens in such a short time in Second Life that developments often get lost to the memory simply because they are so fast.

So here we go.

First. I changed the sky and ground textures again.

new ground 01_001

Neither will be a long-term change, but I am exploring different settings ahead of a possible Furillen ‘spring’.

In response to my recent post on this question, many of you said you’d like to see seasons at Furillen. Some said you wouldn’t …


What you can be sure of is that the unusual atmosphere at the sim will be always be retained, if not the snow (although there is more snow than ever, right now).

new ground 01_008

As I’ve said before, this means searching for a combination between realism and something akin to hyperrealism or even surrealism. I usually know when a combination is right when I see it.

It’s never quite a eureka moment, but it is a little bit like this …


Second. One of the hotel rooms has been changed and I’ll be moving more things around in the next week or so, as time permits. As always, the rationale I follow is about making pictures.

Inevitably, perhaps, reflections are involved …

new ground 01_009

Third. The first Furillen art event, featuring portraits by Moon Edenbaum, happens this weekend. There will be minimum disruption, but it will be intriguing to see how the sim looks and feels with something going on there.

new ground 01_004

There may be one or two closures, just look out for group notices.

As always, please let me know what you think.

Fourth. A new Furillen gift has been left out for visitors, located next to most tip jars – just touch the prim and it will give you three items, the rest should be self-explanatory.

new ground 01_006

The gift is a beautiful album of Furillen words and pictures that was made – without my knowledge – by Anna, whose flickr stream is here. I am very grateful to her for allowing me to make this available to everyone who wants it.

Please let her know if you like it.

Fifth. I hope to feature some guest blogs here in coming weeks. If you’d like to write something, let me know. Anything Furillen-related or photography-related.


You don’t need to be a fabulous writer, I can edit what you do – and I’ll do the layout here. (Do you imagine I’d allow anyone else to do that …?)

And don’t listen to all that Hemingway shit …


Sixth. The competition seems to be hotting up. Please join in.


If you say you don’t want to because you ‘don’t like competitions’, think about this. I have made clear that this is a competition with a difference – less about the prize, more about the process; less about competing interests, more about community; less about one person or committee deciding on the ‘best’, more about people deciding together.

Very funny Humor Cartoon Jokes on Democracy

Having heard me say all of that, and if you still don’t want to join in … well, perhaps the problem isn’t really competitions at all …

So come on. Remember that great Ghandi line. It may seem cheesy now, and he was talking about somewhat more important things than a Second Life picture contest.


But I need to end somewhere, so I may as well end here.

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

By all means prioritise alleviating world poverty, dealing with climate change and ensuring that there are no more wars. But by comparison, submitting a picture to the Furillen competition pool isn’t too big an ask.


Is it?

Enjoy your day, wherever you are. And see you inworld … you know where.


humans (also) welcome


In Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge, the Argentine writer, Jorge Louis Borges, makes an absurd list of animals. It’s a great play on how humans classify.


It contains:

  • Those that belong to the emperor
  • Embalmed ones
  • Those that are trained
  • Suckling pigs
  • Mermaids (or Sirens)
  • Fabulous ones
  • Stray dogs
  • Those that are included in this classification
  • Those that tremble as if they were mad
  • Innumerable ones
  • Those drawn with a very fine camel hair brush
  • Et cetera
  • Those that have just broken the flower vase
  • Those that, at a distance, resemble flies

Had this essay not been written in 1942, one could be forgiven for wondering whether Borges hadn’t simply spent a day or two in Second Life.

Because one could make a similar list of creatures seen at Furillen:

  • horses, ridden and disco dancing
  • dragons, both ridden and those breathing fire
  • giant penises, flying and jumping
  • dogs, long and with sunken eyes
  • wolves, that are really huskies
  • pineapples, merrily dancing
  • foxes, walked and worn down
  • dolls, mechanical and battery powered
  • bananas, griefing and joyless
  • fairies, glittering and wingless
  • birds, huge, large and merely talking
  • hybrid bat mythical creature thing
  • cyber men, rusty and contemplative
  • weasels, belonging to a blogger
  • goats, with ragged dog pack
  • tree, animated and floating
  • cats, prowling pointlessly
  • snow creatures, ghastly-looking
  • janitors, bearded and unkempt
  • gods, afk
  • dancing snowmen, tasteless and crated
  • zombies, bloody and venomous
  • martian, lanky with taser

Anyone care to add to this list? Or throw in some pictures of anything you might have seen but haven’t posted?

Here are some I found in Furillen’s flickr stream – which, incidentally, passed 2500 pictures yesterday, while the visit counter for the sim itself went through the 16,000 mark!

saucer 3

With horse

animals 01 beldroth_002

Two Cats On The Prowl


Bloody Venom out for a stroll

performing against gloom

Silent night

Don't Eat That Yellow Snow

Nitka- SL - Relova

people @ Furillen

Serene Footman

Proof of love.

saucer 2

I also wondered about starting a new flickr stream on the “Creatures of Furillen” theme – perhaps to run alongside one containing some of the great images we already have of people of Furillen.

Feedback, as always, is welcome.