latest news from Furillen

It was a busy weekend at Furillen.

First, we saw two brilliant impromptu art performances from SaveMe Oh, given on Saturday and Sunday evening. I wrote about the first here, and will have something to say about the second later on.

It was compelling. I love this art, and enjoy the sense of drama – imagined and real – that surrounds it.

Second, we had a competition winner – the talented Carolyn, whose series of Furillen pictures impressed me hugely when I first saw them, enough to make one of them picture of the day.

The winning picture engages with the ‘cold’ theme in a direct but nonetheless subtle way. For me, as for many others I think, it is the light in Carolyn’s picture that really grabs – and holds – one’s attention.

By the time you read this, the winning picture will be on display in the hotel reception.

Tomorrow, I will announce a theme for the next competition, and set down some other new ground rules – just to keep things interesting.

Third, the great Rinnuendo continued working at the movie player. We discovered – and worked around – more SL-specific quirks, and we are starting to believe that we may now have one of the best – no, the best – movie screens on the grid.

Many Thank's Serene ;-) @Furillen

In a previous post, I said that the screen is only a temporary installation at the sim, and I believe this is the right choice. So do enjoy this while it lasts – and please be patient if you are not so keen (derendering is your best option).

If you tweak your preference settings for media at distance, you can hear and see (or glimpse) the screen from all over the sim. To me, it has the feeling of a vast, empty cinema.


If you haven’t checked it out yet, make sure you follow the instructions on the board next to the screen – and avoid pressing buttons repeatedly as you might with your TV at home. Give the movies time to load, particularly those you haven’t yet seen.

movie instructions f

Fourth, the outside cinema was the location of not one but two ‘flashmob’ line-ups. These are great fun – a good test of photography and lag survival skills, and a really pleasant social occasion.

Happy Afternoon @Furillen

There are some really exceptional characters at Furillen, which has now taken on a social and creative life of its own far beyond anything that I have created or can (or would want to) control. I called myself the janitor with good reason.

Fifth, preparations are well underway for the Bowie weekend that will take place at Furillen on 13-14 February 2016. I have the music well covered, but if there is any digital Bowie-related art – including movies – that you think would enhance the weekend, please get in touch.

bowie weekend b

Before then, I will be resuming my nocturnal first life habits as I come out of hibernation and start going to a gig or two in London. This week it is Slipknot and All Time Low. I’m looking forward to the theatricals in both gigs, especially the former.

But the working week, alas, starts now. Whatever you get up to, do make the most of it …

The Furillen Bowie weekend

Someone requested that we hold a Bowie event at Furillen.


This is no doubt partly a response to the wall-to-wall Bowie music, featuring 17 of his albums, that we had streaming through the sim just after he died.

bowie a

I think it’s a great idea. We could simply have a party, but with a homestead limit of 20 avatars I can imagine the carnage that would ensue if I issued an invitation with a start time on it. So instead, I propose a Bowie weekend …

bowie weekend b

… during which you are invited to come to the sim appropriately dressed, in outfits that the great man himself might have enjoyed at some point during his long and distinguished career as a style icon.

Besides a spaced out Janitor, greeting you at Furillen will be …

  • as much of Bowie’s back catalogue as we can pump out through the music stream;
  • a slide show of Bowie pictures on the wall of the main house; and (hopefully!)
  • some Bowie movies on the big screen.

If you like the sound of this, pop over to Furillen next weekend, February 13-14 2016, to celebrate the life and work of this extraordinary – unique – artist.

So …

giphy (2)

… let’s dance !


SaveMe Oh at Furillen

[2016/02/06 12:12] Serene Footman: hello
[2016/02/06 12:12] SaveMe Oh: hello
[2016/02/06 12:13] Serene Footman: i haven’t banned you, i’d like to see what you wanted to do
[2016/02/06 12:13] Serene Footman: so you are welcome
[2016/02/06 12:13] SaveMe Oh: thanlk you
[2016/02/06 12:13] SaveMe Oh: What I was actually doing was improvising on the landscape and the stream
[2016/02/06 12:14] SaveMe Oh: I liked it myself
[2016/02/06 12:14] Serene Footman: well forgive me for panicking when i saw the scale of what you were – presumably – wearing
[2016/02/06 12:14] SaveMe Oh: relax, It could have been much bigger
[2016/02/06 12:14] Serene Footman: haha
[2016/02/06 12:15] Serene Footman: anyway. we’re open
[2016/02/06 12:15] Serene Footman: help yourself
[2016/02/06 12:15] SaveMe Oh: I will, you are just in time, I almost deleted the lm
[2016/02/06 12:15] Serene Footman: i am happy to have a philosophical debate about freedom with you
[2016/02/06 12:15] Serene Footman: and ownership
[2016/02/06 12:16] Serene Footman: and the politics of access
[2016/02/06 12:16] SaveMe Oh: we have all our SL for that
[2016/02/06 12:16] Serene Footman: yes, but you seem to want to engage
[2016/02/06 12:16] Serene Footman: i am more than happy to engage with you
[2016/02/06 12:16] SaveMe Oh: works the quickest
[2016/02/06 12:16] Serene Footman: but you need to be open to debate
[2016/02/06 12:16] Serene Footman: and to counter argument
[2016/02/06 12:16] Serene Footman: it works both ways
[2016/02/06 12:16] SaveMe Oh: I am an artist, not a politician
[2016/02/06 12:17] SaveMe Oh: and I love drama
[2016/02/06 12:17] Serene Footman: that is a false distinction and i think you know it
[2016/02/06 12:17] SaveMe Oh: as an artist I have to love drama, as a guy with a wallet you might have other priorities
[2016/02/06 12:18] Serene Footman: not sure the guy with a wallet line works – cheap argument
[2016/02/06 12:18] Serene Footman: unless you want to tell me that you never ever use money
[2016/02/06 12:18] Serene Footman: it’s also bullshit
[2016/02/06 12:18] SaveMe Oh: advantage of being an artist is that I can switch between cheap and expensive arguments
[2016/02/06 12:19] Serene Footman: anyway, i want to see this
[2016/02/06 12:19] Serene Footman: oh you haven’t a clue who i am, i haven’t a clue who you are
[2016/02/06 12:19] Serene Footman: so let’s cut out the personal stuff
[2016/02/06 12:19] SaveMe Oh: let me introduce myself, I am the best virtual artist of SL

[2016/02/06 14:09] Serene Footman: this is awesome – i never saw you before
[2016/02/06 14:10] SaveMe Oh: dont hide under a stone again

Saving Oh

I had not heard of SaveMe Oh before she came to Furillen.

SaveMe Oh at Furillen

By the time she left, after three and a half hours of the most immersive and engaging art I have ever seen in Second Life, I was in awe.


And I felt privileged.

Saveme Oh Live Show @ Furillen *7

It was that good.

Saveme Oh Live Show @ Furillen *5

I tell this story partly against myself; it speaks of my ignorance, and possibly – as SaveMe Oh, might argue – of my arrogance, too.

I’ll take both criticisms.

But the main reason I am telling the story in this way – and my reason for quoting the dialogue above – is because, as a subsequent review of the history of this artist’s work has shown me, the context in which her art is performed matters a great deal to what she does.

save m e_013

It was not a good start. Engrossed in solving the latest issues with video on the sim, I saw what looked like a griefer kicking off. I ejected her twice.

She called me a dictator. With a fat wallet.

Maybe I’ll send her a card next week.


So I asked a friend whether she had heard of an avatar by the name of SaveMe Oh.

6357000215620651631897244636_raw (1)

Two minutes later, I asked the artist to come back and perform. With immense grace and wit – as the dialogue cited above demonstrates – she did so.

What followed was an astonishingly vivid performance, almost visceral at times, which seemed uncannily well suited to Furillen.

The sim’s music stream played a full part in the spectacle, as SaveMe Oh acknowledged. Indeed, she seemed to be responding to the music in the way her performance ebbed and flowed.

Saveme Oh Show Live @Furillen

save 2_007

There were moments of sheer spectacle …

SaveMe Oh at Furillen

save m e_007

… incredible colour …

Saveme Oh Live Show @Furillen *6

save 2_010

… unceasing movement …

save me_004

save 2_015

… great humour …

save m e_025

save m e_003

… and – to my eyes, at least – intense melancholy.

save m e_016

save m e_023

I should have known who SaveMe Oh was.

But I am pleased that I did not.

I don’t see myself as a dictator …

… but this was art in situ – on someone else’s terms.

And that – in Second Life, as in first life – is important.

It was an experience I will never forget.

latest news from Furillen

Just a few updates after a distinctly weird, tiring and busy week.

First, after the bold announcements about our video screen yesterday the reviews are somewhat mixed. For some people it plays right away, for others it feels like pulling teeth.


Rin – who is even more Super Rinnuendo in my eyes, as result of this – has been tearing her hair out with finding solutions, and we are still trying to work through the issues. For now, the ability to choose has been taken away, it will play one video at a time, following that well-known principle …


In the end, this may be as far as we can take it. Video will play for most people most of the time, on both Mac & PC. Whether this justifies laying on a machinima event – which was the main reason for all this effort – I am not sure.

And as for Rin …


So anyway … if you struggle, keep on toggling away at your viewer video button, as well as the controls just above the screen – the home and reload buttons, especially.

SL never was an elegant technology …


But the cinema layout did – at least – give us a chance to stage Flashmob 2 …

Happy Night @ Furillen *2

(Almost)Full of Beautiful people's feet in water @Furillen

Second, Round 2 of the competition closed yesterday. We had some great entries, and the usual procedures now apply: there is a new Round 2 group to simplify voting (so everything in the group is eligible), so you need to nominate which picture (if you posted several) you want included in the vote.

If you don’t see your picture in this group – contact me urgently. It’s invitation only, to avoid stray pictures. You will also need to join the group in order to see every picture because …

… only entrants get to vote. And you get TWO votes each. Vote by notecard or flickrmessage. You can try voting through IM, but mine get capped so it’s a risky method.


Third, and relatedly, you nice people need to tell me whether we are going on with this competition thing or not. I enjoy seeing the pictures around a particular theme, and find the outcome intriguing.

But really, if it feels old already, let’s move on. For me it’s work, so I am not jumping up and down for it to run on and on. I don’t have a competition fetish.


If you read this and see me around this weekend, just let me have your thoughts please. I’m seriously in two minds about this.


But don’t suggest a competition that lasts a few months or something – I’ve been in SL long enough to know how time works here. Letting things drag on is how stuff dies in this world.


Fourth, we have some great events coming up, with a new art show being planned with an artist whose work I admire hugely – which will involve some innovative displays – and another under discussion with someone whose pictures I have admired for a very long time.


So let’s end there. I wish you all a very good, creative and/or just downright lazy weekend.

Furillen’s movie screen

Some great videos have been made of Furillen – or simply using the sim as a backdrop. So it seems perfectly natural to me to put them on display at the sim.

It’s an extension of idea of art in situ that I talked about last week.

show 01_018

However, sharing movies and watching them together is much harder in Second Life than seems justified.

giphy (1)

I won’t bore you (and myself) with the details, but the problems with playing movies inword include

  • the video format;
  • not being able to stream from certain websites (Vimeo) while being stuck with ads and autoplay on others (YouTube);
  • the need for everyone to have certain software installed, such as Adobe Flashplayer and Quicktime; and
  • last but not least, some arcane difference between PCs and Macs which usually leaves owners of the latter staring at a blank movie screen inworld.

Having spent way too long trying to find a workaround this week, I was saved from eternal frustration by the ingenuity of someone who came to Furillen whom I hardly know, who goes by the name of Rinnuendo. Her intriguing new blog can be found here.

Rinnuendo built a movie screen for use at Furillen that will enable me to show movies to anyone who visits – regardless of whether they are using PC or Mac. In addition, once we have uploaded them to a server, visitors will have the opportunity to choose from a selection of movies.

Super Rinnuendo, indeed …

Please go and try this inworld as soon as you can, because we really need your feedback on a couple of things – whether it actually works for you, and what you think of the ‘outside cinema’ that I set up for the purpose.

This won’t be a permanent feature of the sim. For now, it’s an experiment. The idea is to use the screen when I have something new to show: when a new video has been made, for example, or to show something for a special occasion, or even to hold movie nights.

minimalist_film_poster_lights_camera_action-rcb6d07bd4a9d42b9a30ad6f98aeaec67_wvc_8byvr_324 (1).jpg

But before you go pressing buttons, please note a couple of points.

First, you definitely need Quicktime to view these movies, whether you are using a PC or a Mac. If you only hear sound, this is the most likely reason. So install Quicktime from here before you even try viewing inworld.

Second, there is a set of easy-to-follow instructions on display next to the screen. Please follow the simple steps in exact order.

movie instructions f

Over the next few days, I’ll be showing some movies that have been made of Furillen, together with a movie (or two) by Tutsy Navarathna, a Furillen regular whose work I really admire.

So … catch this while you can.