no sex please, we’re Swedish

Please excuse the cheesy title of this post, named after a British farce from the early 1970s that was truly awful.

NSP 1

But having mentioned Charles Baudelaire and Walter Benjamin in recent posts, I thought I may as well put ‘sex’ in a post heading as an experiment: I’ll wager it gets more hits than ‘flâneur’ …

SAM_6447

Furillen is a ‘moderate’ rated sim. The official definition of ‘moderate’ in Second Life is way too boring to repeat here, but it basically means that sexual activity is not allowed and cannot be promoted.

german_program_most_prohibited_sex_HP04065_L

In other words, it is my responsibility as the owner to make sure that ‘sex’ at Furillen doesn’t happen.

oh-no-jeju-love-land-sex-museum-jeju-island-south-korea

I laughed out loud as I typed that sentence …

Anyway, on this matter, a number of observations.

First: it was always a no-brainer for me to rate Furillen as moderate. This isn’t prudishness. I know and admire plenty of sims that are adult rated – as a glance at yesterday’s blog post will confirm.

It simply means that I felt I knew who would come to Furillen, and that one of the things they would appreciate about it would be the lack of sexual activity – and therefore the reduced likelihood of being harassed.

two-women-participate-slutwalk-rally-against-sexual-abuse-central-berlin

Quite a few people have mentioned this to me – enough to confirm that I wasn’t wrong. Not everyone is happy, but there are plenty of other places in Second Life for them to go to.

6a00d8341bf74053ef01b8d0ef6db6970c-500wi

Some people ask me for more couples-oriented furniture, PG rated. My answer is: I put things out if they look good, and for no other reason.

https://flic.kr/p/DqhdYu

I won’t put out adult rated things for obvious reasons, but even with PG rated things, I’m watching for texture and design, not for whether they are good for smooching.

Thom & Mila are lost in their Thoughts @Furillen

Second: people ask about nudity. On this question, the guidelines are not altogether clear. Is a sim full of naked people a case of ‘promoting’ sexual activity?

high voltage

My answer is: I don’t know and don’t really care. If you are naked taking a good picture, great. Use your common sense.

new years day 2

‘Don’t be a dick’, is a pretty good rule. And probably best not to wave it around, either, if you see the janitor close by.

https://flic.kr/p/CVcPDQ

Third: so does this mean that nobody ever has sex at Furillen? I really have no idea. But I’d be a bit surprised if all visitors ever talk about is art.

Sex without pose balls. Now that would be a threat to the Second Life economy …

 

remembering the sims

I’m often thanked for Furillen. It’s really nice to hear, and I especially appreciate comments left in the guest book.

In this post I wanted to mention a few other sims – places well worth visiting now, or that have inspired me in the past. And I wanted to ask about your own all-time favourite sims.

Here are some of mine.

Let’s start with sims that are still live. Most of you will know them all. Sims such as …

Elysion

Elysion Midwinter Light

Hollowtree

Hollowtree - a different perspective

White Dunes

White Dunes

Saint Pete City

The Light at Saint Pete City

Flux sur Mer

F L U X  S U R   M  E R

Chouchou

Chouchou 3

Black Kite

Black Kite 1

Innsmouth

Innsmouth 6

… the list goes on.

All of these sims have brilliant landscaping, are skilfully decorated and very well managed. They range from minimalist (Chouchou) to highly detailed (Saint Pete City).

Some are commercially driven and self-sustaining. Others – like Furillen – rely on donations and the largesse of their owners. Most are a combination of both.

If I had to pick one for sheer originality and downright weirdness – qualities that surely enrich Second Life – it would have to be Innsmouth.

Then there is the succession of extraordinary sims created by Cica Ghost …

https://flic.kr/p/qJLd2g

Strings by Cica Ghost

Prison 2

Roots - Sim by Cica Ghost - 7/366

… and Bryn Oh …

Bryn Oh at her installation "Imogen and the pigeons" - Somewhere in sl 435 (Immersiva by Bryn Oh, Immersiva (9, 124, 21)) opens January 13th)

Lobby Cam by Bryn Oh 02

IMOGEN AND THE PIGEONS of BRYN OH (Sneak peek)

Bryn Oh at The Gathering

These exceptional places were built entirely by those creators, and are – for me – in a class by themselves. Without them, the Second Life grid would be much poorer.

I used to feel the same way about AM Radio, who ‘left the grid’ in 2011 – although he still revisits from time to time. There is a fascinating interview with him, which is well worth your time.

Most of my all-time favourite sims were built by AM Radio, such as …

… Surface …

AM Radio's Surface 04

… The Ferry …

AM Radio's The Ferry 05

… A Little Further Than Before …

AM Radio's A Little Further Than Before

… and Superdyne …

AM Radio's Superdyne 05

And we should all be grateful to Ziki Questi for curating his very first project …

The Far Away

The Far Away 04

… in order to keep it on the grid.

However, I personally feel that Linden Labs missed a trick by failing to keep and maintain the others …

… especially The Quiet …

AM Radio's The Quiet: Further Away and Further Apart

… which still brings me out in goose bumps, just thinking about it.

The Space Between these Trees

If anything inspired my intentions towards Furillen, especially its atmosphere …

With AM Radio at The Quiet

… then it was this most memorable of all Second Life worlds.

at The Quiet :Further Away and Further Apart...

But I’m sure that we all have favourite sims from the past.

Rez (Euphoria Realm) was one of mine, from 2008 …

Euphoria Realm

… but I could also mention …

… Roche …

Roche 10

… Small Town Green …

Small Town Green

… Lost City …

Lost City - Canal

… and many others.

There are also – still thriving, I’m happy to say – some wonderful networks of sims, which are both residential and resident-built, such as …

Wastelands

North Yard 2

New England

{Noble} New England

… and New Babbage

The Fog of Industry

These last three places came to my mind because I have lived on them all at some stage during my time on the grid.

I put Furillen together, and put a lot of energy into it, for the very simple reason that I have adored all of these places in the past, and appreciated what a difference they have made to the quality of my own time in and enjoyment of Second Life.

If you agree with me, please leave a comment recommending any sims not mentioned here …

… and let’s all go visit them!

Second Life would be nothing, after all, without these awesome places, and the commitment and imagination of the people who put them together.

But do, please, keep coming back to Furillen …

Fuyuko 16-01-01 017 You have to pick the places you don't walk away from (furillen, love of life)

la procession des captifs

lines, this way and that

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… because the one thing I have learned since opening the sim in October is that all the landscaping and decor would come to nothing if it wasn’t for the people who regularly visit there, take photographs there, stand around, talk and contribute to the atmosphere.

Lεt's Dancε @ Furillen

They are what makes Furillen special.

 

 

 

 

 

cold calling

Our current competition round is on the theme of ‘cold’, and while we already have some great pictures in the pool, some of you have said that you are struggling to come up with anything that doesn’t simply involve snow and shivering.

Shivering-Man-Snow-Storm

So I thought I’d make some suggestions, to see if I can help over any lingering cases of ‘photographer’s block’ with this theme …

timthumb

How do you normally take pictures? Some of you plan, some of you just react to what you see. If you normally just react, my advice is …

… don’t let a competition theme stop you from doing this.

Don’t even think about it.

Just …

tumblr_mh3o6vquYn1s3dec2o1_1280

… do it.

Keep taking pictures. Look back at what you did as the competition deadline approaches – it’s 5 February – and see what might fit the theme.

At a sim like Furillen, I’d be amazed if you don’t find something in your files that fits ‘cold’.

It’s not as if we called it ‘wheat fields’ …

Balancing Act

Now that would be tough at Furillen …

As for the planners amongst you, don’t be too literal with this theme – and don’t over think it.

‘Cold’ is really just a trigger.

It can mean many things, such as …

… a mood …

Cold wind blows

… an emotion …

~ εmo ~ *229 @Furillen

… a colour …

Iced blue lagoon

… a glance …

Are you there?

… a touch …

https://flic.kr/p/DoV6Rk

… an absence …

Seashore

… a sky …

Another lost Soul

and much, much more.

Another way to do this might be to use a thesaurus …

43e79cd59ec3adfda8de1bdf4346f924

If ‘cold’ doesn’t get you started, perhaps some of these other words will?

Once you have your picture, you just need a title.

If the fit between theme and picture isn’t obvious, use the title to make the relevance of image to theme clear. This could be a quotation, or just a word or phrase that relates the picture to ‘cold’.

Some of the pictures in the first round – about ‘solitude’ – didn’t really do this.

So for example …

A picture with some exposed flesh …

iolanda 01_009

… could be called “goose bumps”.

An image of someone who seems bereft …

how to disappear completely

… could be called “numb”.

While a picture of a telephone, left off the hook …

cold sky_035

might carry the title, “cold calling”.

I’m not saying these are great ideas. But they are ideas that don’t involve snow and shivering – and they came to me in the few minutes it took me to write this.

Whatever you do, please try to do something. It’s a great way to hone your skills – and to celebrate the community of photographers that has been developing at Furillen.

 

 

queen of denial

I have talked a lot about correspondences between Furillen in its real and virtual forms. But the Furillen ferry is one thing I took some liberties over.

Although there definitely is a ferry that will take you from Stockholm to Furillen – or from Nynashamn to Visby, to be precise – it looks like this …

37731239

… rather than this …

https://flic.kr/p/C2595Q

… and it stops here ….

nynashamn (1)

rather than here …

Furillen

But this is surely one of those instances in which the virtual version of Furillen is a clear improvement on the real thing.

At the dock

I hadn’t planned to install a ferry at Furillen. This (south-east) corner of the sim was originally home to a dockside building that I found in my inventory. It looked rather good, I thought …

Furillen

Furillen

… but nobody seemed to go inside, and I didn’t really know what to do with it.

Then I acquired a ferry – beautifully named ‘Queen of Denial’ – and terminal as a prize in the Madpea hunt.

I didn’t participate in the hunt in order to get the ferry. I was actually after this operating light, made by Tab Tatham at Junk

the cutting room

But when I unpacked the ferry and terminal, I liked them so much I thought I’d give them a try at the sim.

They were made by Analyse Dean, whose brilliance as a boat maker is well known to anyone who – like me – enjoys sailing in Second Life.

Some beautiful pictures have been made of both the boat and the terminal. It’s a strangely evocative and romantic place.

https://flic.kr/p/CTiAcq

TheWheelchair

It is only in sorrow bad weather masters us; in joy we face the storm and defy it.

Chairs' Parade

While the ferry looks great from the outside, it is just as impressive inside, with full seating …

Early in the morning

ferry seats_001

… an engine room …

ferry engine room_001

… and a detailed bridge …

ferry steering_001

Connected to the ferry by a gangway …

ferry bridge_001

… the terminal is just atmospheric …

ferry steering_002

Selling ‘zombi fied chicken’ to passengers …

ferry steering_003

… this place feels empty and unworldly …

Long will be the night

… like somewhere you might wait forever …

@ Furillen

… and without much optimism about the person you’re waiting for will actually turn up …

... dream of you ...

… or that you’d even want them to …

walking solo

Ferry Terminal Off Season

… although some people do turn up expecting to go on a trip to the sun.

looking for warmth

But as much as I love the ferry, it came with a twist that makes life for Furillen’s janitor somewhat complicated.

Out of the box, the boat is set up in the process of sinking, with its alarm sounding. You have to pump water out manually, then mess around with controls down in the engine room in order to restart the generator that fused due to flooding.

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Having done this, one might expect everything to be well. But this isn’t the case. The ferry is ‘live’ – there are buttons to press, anyone can try driving it away (not that there is anywhere to go), and the owner can’t disable this feature.

Night Run to Peaton - Furillen

And if the ‘wrong’ combination of buttons is pressed, the ferry goes back into sinking mode, the alarm sounds, and the whole process of pumping water has to begin again.

Funny, eh?

When I set the boat up I imagined that this might happen now and again … no big deal.

Well it happens at least once a day. It seems that few visitors can resist pressing those buttons in the ship’s bridge.

It happened, in fact, as I was writing this blog and needed to take some pictures.

ferry blog_001

You wouldn’t notice this because you can’t hear the alarm. I made the ferry into a separate parcel and set it up so noise from there isn’t transmitted to the rest of the sim.

As for the boat itself, I have managed a shortcut, which means that all I need to do is delete the boat and rez up a new one, which I have set up in non-sinking mode.

Still, it’s a few minutes of work every day that I could do without.

So please, when tempted to press one of those inviting buttons …

https://flic.kr/p/CKVQ1X

… spare a thought for your janitor.

Serene Footman

ps. I am well aware that this post is likely to make things worse !

pps. These great pictures of the ferry being driven are by Blip Mumfuzz but they shouldn’t be misunderstood – she didn’t touch a thing. I have really enjoyed her series from Furillen, so check it out.

 

 

 

shoot the shooters

2015_42_walter_benjamin

The German cultural theorist, Walter Benjamin, once wrote:

Even the most perfect reproduction of a work of art is lacking in one element: its presence in time and space, its unique existence at the place where it happens to be.

He believed that an indispensable part of the authenticity and meaning of an artwork was its connection to the location in which it was originally produced.

benjamin_article_crop

Even in a virtual space such as Second Life, we can still develop attachments to place and location. I have learned this at Furillen. It is a sim that has come to mean quite a lot to some of the regular visitors.

Coming back

One of the most striking aspects of Furillen is the art produced there. The images – and videos – that have emerged from the sim have been displayed on its flickr stream, and in this blog. It is a remarkable testimony to the creativity and imagination of visitors.

Furillion

Partly with Benjamin’s thoughts about authenticity in mind, the logical next step is to put some of this art on display at the sim itself. This has already happened with the competition winner, which is on show in the hotel reception.

wilberforce reception pic_002

And now …

… Furillen will host its first exhibition.

Next weekend, 30-31 January 2016, I will be showing series of portraits by a fine Second Life photographer, Moon Edenbaum.

moon exhibit

These striking portraits are of eminent Second Life photographers. They were all taken at Furillen, in the same room, using the same set.

We will be displaying these works in a way that draws them right inside the Furillen setting. I won’t say any more about this; you will just have to come and see for yourself.

This exhibition will be quite special – and not only because it is Furillen’s first. It will be a social event that celebrates Second Life art through portraits of the artists themselves, displayed in the very setting in which they were produced – with as many of those artists present as we can manage.

Moon has been making portraits at Furillen for quite some weeks now, posting them in series of three. For those of you who are not familiar with his flickr stream, here are some examples of his outstanding work.

new years day

humble study

description of a perfect morning 3

We hope you can find the time to witness, and participate in, Furillen’s first art event.