As I never tire of reminding people, Furillen was always about collaborating within a dynamic, constantly-changing virtual space, not putting on a finished sim that sits proudly – but passively – while the vast Flickrite army visits, takes its fill of similar-looking pictures, and moves on to the next place.
We had our fair share that on the sim – with highs of 400-500 visitors daily, all snapping away. But I am more comfortable with how the sim is evolving, with a steady stream of around 150 visitors daily, many of whom are part of what can only be described as a Furillen ‘community’.
A sense of belonging and connection is important to many people who regularly ‘play’ Second Life, and I try to support it at Furillen with events, the competition, this blog, and periodic invitations to get involved. We had our flash mobs too, in the past, and no doubt we’ll have some more.
Quite some time ago now, I invited those who read and enjoy this blog – and visit Furillen – to make your own contributions. Just a few words, I said, you don’t need to be Hemingway …
I had a few takers: Blimp put together a wonderful set of words and pictures called Furillen Crime Scene – she is currently planning another – and Jinx Shipman made a very cool cartoon strip. I’m still waiting for others, so if you have something you want to say, now is a good time …
Meanwhile, others made fantastic contributions to the sim itself – such as Laura and her gorgeous Yellow Room (and I am sure that Laura will soon be jumping at the chance to do a new room).
As for the competition, this is now in its fourth round with some wonderful entries that – as with Round 3 – I will be publishing on this blog; and Furillenites have put together some great videos, which celebrate both the sim itself (you can see most of them here), and specific events, such as those made for the Radiohead event (which can be seen here and here and here), and the videos of the events that were made during our Abba event and the disco night.
In future, Furillen will be hosting more exhibitions in its own inimitable style – eschewing the gallery approach that characterizes most art presentation in Second Life, in favour of the slide show style we enjoyed with Moon Edenbaum’s show earlier this year. There are a few such exhibitions in the pipeline, as you will soon see.
So there is plenty happening at the sim; indeed we are busier than ever. This weekend we’ll be announcing the winner of Round 4 of the Furillen Photography Competition – entries close tomorrow. I am noticing that while there are fewer entries for this competition – inevitable, given that there is no cash prize and the brief is getting more stringent every time – the standard is going up very high indeed.
Cue tasteless ‘awesome’ GIF …
What satisfies me most is that almost everything – no, absolutely everything – I have referred to in this post has been made by others: regular (and irregular) visitors to Furillen, many of whom I did not know before the sim opened in October.
And so it is with our newest venture – Bar Cafe Fabriken. This opens on Saturday, with an evening of Blues music provided by Second Life’s greatest blues exponent, DJ Wolf. The bar as been built and decorated, and is sitting somewhere on the grid, waiting to be moved across – en masse – during the day on Saturday.
Once again, I am most excited to say that this is not my venture, but ours. Its roots lie in a conversation that took place one evening at Furillen …
… leading to our first music event – that fabulous Bowie weekend – and evolving into a series of events, through Abba, disco funk, Radiohead to Grease.
Step forward Micky Siamendes, Furillen’s very own mushroom man …
… whose thoughts about a blues night with a made-for-the-purpose bar evolved into the idea – already mooted by others during the Bowie weekend – that the sim should have its own permanent bar / cafe. Despite being such an obviously dubious character, Micky is also a do-er, and it’s to his great credit that he realised his own vision by building the place himself.
Micky ‘gets’ Furillen – what it means and what it stands for – and it is in keeping that he thought the project through in terms of the history of the real Furillen, and imagined where the bar might fit in. He writes about this here. Later on today, I’ll be publishing another post by Micky, in which he reflects on art and its role in his life.
Furillen has always been a collaborative sim, but this venture – it will be run by Micky, Dooozy and me – takes this onto a new level. I hope you’ll not only join us on Saturday to celebrate, but think about making your own contributions – with suggestions for themes and performances, pieces of art, and any other ideas.
As some of you will already know, I don’t always have the time or head space for a detailed conversation the moment you get in touch with me, but if you write a few lines on notecard and give me a moment to reflect …
… well, everything I have written here is testimony to the fact that if an idea has legs, we’ll get it to walk.