Furillen Photography Competition Round 5: Bar Cafe Fabriken

Up until now, each round of the photography competition held at Furillen has been based on an abstract theme (‘solitude’, ‘cold’, etc.).

Round 5 will be different.

round 5 bb

Now you are being asked for pictures taken of a specific location on the sim: Bar Cafe Fabriken. To be more precise, we want pictures taken from inside the bar.

The best three pictures will be displayed in the bar itself. They will become part of the decor for a while …

So think about that when entering – what kind of pictures would you want to see hanging on the walls in such a bar?


  1. One entry per person.
  2. Deadline: Friday 22 April 2016, Midday SLT.
  3. Entries to be posted in the Round 5 flickr group, which will be created as the deadline approaches.
  4. Winners to be selected by a panel.
  5. Pictures must be taken from inside Bar Cafe Fabriken, and have the bar as their main subject.

We are looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

Good luck!

blues @ bar cafe fabriken

So, after a long wait while we set up …

Benchwarming - Furillen

… Furillen’s new bar finally opened …

Bar Cafe Fabriken

… and we heard a fantastic Blues set from DJ Wolf Austrone set that went well into the early hours …

madame a le  Blues  @furillen bar fabriken

… and kept the sim full to the brim …



As with every such event at Furillen, this was first about music, and in Wolf Austrone we were fortunate to have a DJ whose knowledge of Blues music is quite astonishing.

DJ Wolf DID the Blues... night @ Furillen

He started with a run of Swedish blues numbers, and took us through a catalogue that I am told exceeds 500,000 songs.

feel it in your bones

Here is one of my favourites from the set, which came at one of those perfect moments when the world seems to stand stock still while all we can do is listen …

We will be inviting Wolf back very soon, and I hope he’ll become a regular fixture at the bar – I can’t praise him highly enough.

applause joker gif

As for the bar … Well, we worked hard on it for the past three weeks – fine-tuning textures and deco, working on the setting within the sim, and trying to build an atmosphere into the place even before it opened. And I think we succeeded, certainly beyond my own expectations. The bar already feels ‘lived in’ to me …

At the Bar and Playin' the Blues

Kurt got the Blues... night @ Furillen

… and of course, it affords some great picture opportunities …

TC still has the Blues... night @ Furillen

One glass wine

Swedish blues

I must – again – thank Micky and Dooozy for putting such energy into this. The bar really does look ‘bluesy’, and feels as if it’s been here for years. And yet it has a distinct Furillen touch with those murals taken from pictures of the real Furillen. Credit for this must go to Micky, who not only came up with a bright idea but got on and realised it. As I said in a recent post, this is genuine collaboration, and it is a great pleasure to experience it.

We’ll be announcing the next event in due course. Meanwhile, courtesy of Wolf once again, try putting some of this into your Sundays …

Blues night @ Furillen

blues night poster 3

Furillen’s new bar opens tonight at 2100 CEST, with a Blues Night – DJ Wolf will be providing the tunes. In order to get the bar ready, the sim will be closed from around 1800 CEST. Hope to see you there!

Jeff Buckley – Lover, You Should’ve Come Over

Continuing our emphasis on music ahead of the opening of Bar Cafe Fabriken tomorrow

fabriken poster A

… while Micky Siamendes takes care of our Blues needs in the comment thread to this post,  I thought I’d run a Jeff Buckley series.

Jeff Buckley in Atlanta, in August 1994

He was – really – a miraculously gifted singer, whose life was woefully short – he was killed in a swimming accident in 1997, aged 33. For anyone who doesn’t know about him see here. There is a wonderful 30 minute Radio programme about him available here.

So, let’s run down some of his greatest songs, starting with “Lover. You Should’ve Come Over” …

Looking out the door i see the rain fall upon the funeral mourners
Parading in a wake of sad relations as their shoes fill up with water
And maybe i’m too young to keep good love from going wrong
But tonight you’re on my mind so you never know

When i’m broken down and hungry for your love with no way to feed it
Where are you tonight, child you know how much i need it
Too young to hold on and too old to just break free and run

Sometimes a man gets carried away, when he feels like he should be having his fun
And much too blind to see the damage he’s done
Sometimes a man must awake to find that really, he has no-one

So i’ll wait for you… and i’ll burn
Will I ever see your sweet return
Oh will I ever learn

Oh lover, you should’ve come over
‘Cause it’s not too late

Lonely is the room, the bed is made, the open window lets the rain in
Burning in the corner is the only one who dreams he had you with him
My body turns and yearns for a sleep that will never come

It’s never over, my kingdom for a kiss upon her shoulder
It’s never over, all my riches for her smiles when i slept so soft against her
It’s never over, all my blood for the sweetness of her laughter
It’s never over, she’s the tear that hangs inside my soul forever

Well maybe i’m just too young
To keep good love from going wrong

Oh… lover, you should’ve come over
‘Cause it’s not too late

Well I feel too young to hold on
And i’m much too old to break free and run
Too deaf, dumb, and blind to see the damage i’ve done
Sweet lover, you should’ve come over
Oh, love well i’m waiting for you

Lover, you should’ve come over
‘Cause it’s not too late

Getting involved …

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.

paparazzi gif

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’.

Happy Hour 2@furillen

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 …

hemingway gif

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 …

do it gif.gif

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.

change gif

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.

who are you gif

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 …

conversation gif

… 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 …

mushroom gif

… 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.

god help us gif

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 …

idea gif

… well, everything I have written here is testimony to the fact that if an idea has legs, we’ll get it to walk.



Furillen gets the blues

I’ll be taking down the set we made for the Grease event later this evening. So if you were planning to take a few pictures, there is still time. Although bear in mind what the man from Muse once sang …

matt bellamy time gif

Talking of Muse, I’ll be seeing them a few times in London next week. The set list looks pretty good. There is no doubt that their older material is stronger, and they will be playing some decent stuff like Citizen Erased, Plug In Baby, Stockholm Syndrome and Map of the Problematique.

That’s not quite as retro as Audrey, but as close as you’ll get when Matt Bellamy is involved – and affords us a much nicer GIF …

audrey gif

I saw Muse at the Download Festival last summer …

muse download

In keeping with that festival, they were deliberately ‘heavy’, and it was possibly the loudest set I heard all year, barring Leftfield at London’s Roundhouse in October. For a festival gig, that is saying something – although to be fair, I was standing (being crushed) right in front of the massive bank of speakers to the right of the stage.

Here is a video of the full set, although the quality isn’t great.

Muse are headlining Glastonbury this year, although if the rumours are correct that LCD Soundsystem will be playing on the Other Stage at the same time on the Friday evening, it will be a close call for me …

undecided gif

Back to Furillen … the north western corner of the sim will soon be occupied by Furillen’s new venue, Bar Cafe Fabriken. This is a collaborative venture with Micky Siamendes and Dooozy. As I said in a previous post, the idea is to hold many of our music events here, while introducing a few new elements, such as DJs – rather then just me and my playlists – and live musicians.

live music gif

We can’t promise Matt Bellamy or Thom Yorke, but there are certainly a few Second Life musicians who will relish the opportunity to perform for the Furillenites.

And on Saturday, Furillen will be host to the awesome DJ Wolf, who will be playing the blues …

bb king gif

To get in the mood, just listen to this …

Or if you have more time, this …

The bar has one or two features we think you’ll enjoy. One is that it will change in subtle – and, quite possibly, not so subtle – ways according to the event in question. Cue chameleon GIF …

chameleon gif

Another is that there is a small gallery area, where we’ll be featuring music-related pictures (tour posters, etc.) relevant to the event in question – alongside music-inspired art pieces submitted by visitors to Furillen. Stuff like this …

fine art a

As ever on the sim, it is largely up to you how the space develops and what it becomes. They key is to become as actively involved as you can, and as weird as you want …

tea gif

And finally … you have a few more days left to submit entries to Round 4 of the Furillen photography competition.

round 4 a

Go here for a reminder of the theme and instructions for entering. I think it’s a simple, powerful brief – an album based on the love of life theme. I’ve been following it myself with the series of E E Cummings poems that have featured on this blog during the past month.

What you submit will determine where this competition goes next …

The history of Bar Cafe Fabriken

In exactly one week, Furillen’s new Bar Cafe Fabriken will open its doors, with a music event on Saturday evening, European time. I’ll be announcing details of this during the week. Here is some history.

Bar Cafe Fabriken
Backstory – Fact or Fiction?

by Micky Siamendes

A quick Furillen recap to start with: The island gained importance in the beginning of the 20th century, when a German company established a limestone industry there. In the 1970s the industry closed down and the Swedish military took over the island, turning it into an area off limits to the public. Radar stations were placed on the island back then and decommissioned again in the late 1990s. But the Swedish military is still operating smaller installations on Furillen with a reduced number of troops.

Bar Backupstory 01

Being away from family and friends the remaining troops stationed on Furillen had a hard time to fight boredom on the rather dull and deserted island. To prevent them from depression and cabin fever, the Swedish Department of Defense  decided to convert one of the abandonned buildings which had formerly been used by the encryption department (the troops themselves had called it the “Swedish Bletchley Park bunker”) into some sort of event location.

Bar Backupstory 02

That is when Bar Cafe Fabriken was born. The plan was to provide entertainment on one hand, thinking along the lines of Marilyn Monroe visiting the troops in South Korea to cheer them up, artists and entertainers were to be invited  over to Furillen on a regular basis.

Bar Backupstory 03

The second approach of Bar Cafe Fabriken was to simply provide a space for the troops, where they could meet and  socialize, talk, laugh, dance, chill, and even more, where they could be creative, express themselves, have a stage and  think outside the box.

Bar Backupstory 04

Bar Backupstory 05

A very unusual approach for a military authority, but soon it turned out that the Ministry’s plan worked out just great and exceeded any expectations. The Furillenite troops were really enthusiastic about the new addition to their otherwise  pretty boring routine. They started to engage and become active participants of “Bar Café Fabriken”. It seemed as if the  bar was not only affecting their free time but also their working life. All of a sudden there was a feeling of teamwork,  togetherness and a sense of responsibility among them like never before.

Bar Backupstory 06

Meanwhile “Bar Cafe Fabriken” has become a synonym for “Grant space and freedom instead of confining rules”, and  the Furillenite troops are a thriving community. Let’s keep this spirit up at Virtual Furillen!

flash flood

Anyone who has ever ‘owned’ land in Second Life has probably experienced a terraforming accident at some time or another. You know how it is. You want to raise or lower your land, do something clumsy, and find yourself either living on a very tall mountain, or at the bottom of the sea.

This morning it happened to me. The entire sim went under water.


And I have no idea why.

puzzled face gif

I would love to show you some pictures of Furillen-under-the-sea, but I was too busy panicking to worry about taking pictures.

help me gif

With the help of my good friend Dooozy, it took around an hour to get the land looking as it should. However, because I am on a less than fast connection and experiencing lag, I can’t fine tune the land until the weekend. So if you see things floating, or see water where it shouldn’t be, please let me know as gently as you can …


And yes, I do realise that I can ask Linden Labs to do a roll back. But we all know what that would mean.

waiting gif

I got into this mess because I was removing the last remnants of Furillen’s ferry terminal. Yes. The ship has gone, along with the intriguing – and slightly spooky – terminal building.

Furillen - Peaton Island Ferry

There have been some wonderful pictures of this part of the sim. But it was never a permanent fixture. As I explained in a previous blog post, I put the boat there because I won it in a hunt, and liked it.

If the highest aim of a captain were to preserve his ship, he would keep it in port forever. (Part I)

The Ferris Wheel will go too, in due course, as will the hot air balloon.

how i feel gif

As I’ve said many times, I don’t think a sim should be set in stone, frozen in time. Furillen has changed as its visitors change, as the seasons change, and as I change.

On this particular occasion, the boat has gone because it will be replaced by Bar Cafe Fabriken.

fabriken poster A

And so begins another chapter in the life of a sim that has never stopped surprising me. Like much else that has happened at Furillen, this is a collaborative effort, and I have no idea where it will lead … or whether the place will get hit by another flash flood.