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.

https://flic.kr/p/DmuaaR

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.

https://flic.kr/p/CE1Cpm

https://flic.kr/p/CE1CAd

https://flic.kr/p/DzcMNo

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.

https://flic.kr/p/CE8tjc

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.

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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.

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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.

https://flic.kr/p/DNPTjd

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.

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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.

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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.

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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 …

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… 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 …

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… let’s dance !

 

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.

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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

https://flic.kr/p/DNPTjd

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

The Constant Falling

Tizzy Canucci has produced a stunning video, which was taken at Furillen and goes a long way towards capturing its atmosphere.

Furillen is a strange sim. It isn’t particularly original. Each prim wasn’t built by my own hands. It isn’t full of cutting-edge Second Life technology – if that isn’t a contradiction in terms.

Some people land at the sim and leave soon afterwards, shrugging their shoulders and wondering what the fuss is about.

Others remain, linger, and return again. They project themselves – their stories, emotions, imaginings – into the space the sim provides.

Some of these people never speak, but I see them every day. Others make wonderful pictures.

Tizzy made this, and I think it captures – better than anything – what I’ve been trying to say in the 134 words that make up this post.