Thursday, September 29, 2022

The Wow Factor

 Our second destination this week was to one of the most unusual and spectacular mesh builds you'll find in Opensim. Inspired by the great city of Dalaran in World of Warcraft, it's an immense labour of love by Gridmistress Wendie Blackthorn on her delightful grid, Kinky Haven. Lots of mesh, lots of passion, but not lots of Blender, as one might assume -pro tip alert!
Wendie Blackthorn:  I do not use blender to edit mesh, that program gives me a headache to look at it
Star Ravenhurst: What do you use?
The splendid floating city of Dalaran
Wendie Blackthorn: Wings3D   it's a much friendlier interface and has lots of tutorials that are easy to follow
Arielle Popstar: oh really, little more intuitive then Blender
Fetter Gyve: Good to know. Thanks Wendie. I will check it out

The Art Factor(y)

Way too many pictures, interesting things to look at, lag, fun, and fascinating people to put both of this week's destinations in a single post, so this is the first half of our trip. The second part, on sim Dalaran, Kinky Haven, is in a separate post. The Art Factory is not just a repository of art, it's a thriving community based in OSGrid but with its arms open to artists and art lovers all over the hyperverse. Here's what happened. URL as always at the end of the post.

Ernest Moncrieff: Hi All and welcome to the Art Factory, before I start I'd just like to say that due to timezones Co-founder Ellen Tiratzo cannot join up this evening (3am in Japan!) But she has helped to put together tonight's Safari and I will be using the words that she prepared.

Ernest Moncrieff: (Speaking for Ellen) - Welcome Thank you all so much for coming out today to support the Art Factory and to learn about and enjoy some of what our artists have helped us create here. Thirza asked us to give you a brief history behind The Art Factory. I met Ernest in LBSA Plaza, when he was trying to fix his broken mouth in preparation for a musical performance! Long before we began TAF, I would get up at 4 am here in Japan to attend and support Ernest’s shows, before beginning my work day. We would often talk about art, and he would tell me about different art installations he had built in other worlds and regions. I could tell he longed to create again, so on his birthday, I bought a small plot of land, teleported him there, and said…”Let’s make art!”. And so began The Art Factory!

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Performing in VWs by Laszlo Ordogh

 The following is a guest post by Velazquez Bonetto, in rl László Ördögh. Vela's long career in virtual worlds is best known for the many performances and presentations of the Cybernetic Art Research Project 'CARP'  which was founded in Second Life in 2007. Now based mostly on Craft Grid and a close collaborator with Rosanna Galvani and her Museo del Metaverso, Vela reflects here on aspects of performance in Virtual Worlds. 

The miracle that we are experiencing today: the Cyberspace, the dematerialized virtual time-space, the worldwide webbed society, where we surf at lightspeed. Any artist NOT using this virtual universe as a challenge and a goal does not deserve the name Avantgarde.
Velazquez and colleague Rosanna Galvani, on Craft Grid, 2022
Why work in Virtual worlds?
1: Everything built in virtual worlds has no material consequences. Everything is Illusion but is useful as a model situation.
2: There is a unbelievable potential in variability and flexibility.
3: Nowhere else you can express and experiment new ideas and thoughts in such a fast spontaneous way. For creative people this world is a  playground to model new situations and experiment with them.

Thursday, September 22, 2022

New and Nu on Safari

This week a trip two regions with something 'nu' about them - first, New Hope, on Asgard, also known by its hg address grid.our-dawn, and to NUNA the spectacular sim on 3rd Rock grid. Complete addresses, as usual, at the end of the post.

the spectacular NUNA art museum on 3rd Rock Grid

First up Asgard, aka Grid Our Dawn, in some places called 'Starfleet', but Asgard is a shorter name so I'm going to stick with it. The story of the Asgard grid is a story full of Ragnaroks - although, not really, because that Viking term means the final destruction of the world, and this grid/group has survived not one massive upheaval but many, and with surprising resilience. We met on a community sim with two members of the grid, Thundergod Thor and Star Ravenhurst.

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Go Continental on Neverworld

Dawn is breaking over a new continent on Neverworld, and it might just be the answer to your dreams. 
The new continent is called Bountiful. 
If you don't know Neverland, it's a 7 year old grid with a solid tech, drama-free, HG Friendly reputation. The grid's motto 'Live, Love, Create' fits it perfectly. It's a mixed-use grid, with art installations, a fun Hunt region with worthwhile prizes, a lot of quality freebie shops, and plenty of residential areas too. 

Govega Sachertorte
The rental charges, if you want to get a region of your own, are reasonable, and there are self-hosting opportunities too. If you just want a bit of a sim to live on, then the prices are ... well, non existent!  
I asked Govega what she considers to be the secret of her success.
Govega Sachertorte: I'm nice! Just kidding... I am lucky to have a good team, we give out free land, and we don't micro manage people. We don't force events on them or rules. Or act like a pyramid scheme lol We are the no drama grid. This is the 4th or 5th time I've done a project with a massive themed area, and I am optimistic about the success.  It starts slow and before you know it, you are  turning people away.
To visit the new continent, you should jump over to

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Creanovale in Summer

Truth to tell, Opensim isn't one of those places where you just automatically count on people to be reliable, communicative, and also talented. But if exceptions prove a rule, then look no further than Dabici Straulino and Kelso Uxlay. They bring together all these virtues not only in their kind offer to host our first field trip of the final Safari season of 2022, but also with their beautiful build on their grid, Creanovale.

Arriving on the grid is always an exciting moment. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Maria on Safari

 The third season of the year kicked off in style with two very different destinations... yeah, yeah, I always say that, but this time it's true. First hour, chatting around the campfire with Maria Korolov -  then off into the Canadian paradise, Creanovale, with its amazing countryside and hilarious underwater and overwater activities. The Creanovale trip will be in a separate post, because the gifs alone deserve their honored space. Not to mention Dabici's goldfish. Right now, we have other business. Hypergrid Business.
Maria Korolov

Most opensim residents have heard of Maria. Journalist, novelist, creator of websites and collector of grid statistics, you probably have consulted, maybe even contributed to, her Hypergrid Business website, which she started in... well, let's let her tell us all about it.

Going, Going... Gone

 'Gone' is not a word we want to hear - not if you're talking about a grid being gone, especially if the gone grid is OSGrid. 

The historic 'Test Grid' of OpenSimulator, OSGrid, just celebrated its 15th anniversary. As tradition demands, in a couple of weeks there will be a Fundraiser Auction to help bring in some money to support the grid.

So here are some fundraiser questions, do you agree with these answers?

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Virtual Spain in OSGrid

Some great news for anyone whose first language is Spanish. 
We all know that people new to Opensim -and not so new - struggle with finding resources, resolving bugs, and finding congenial company. But if English is not your first language, it's all way harder. So how to cope? Well generally speaking, people flock to a grid where a good percentage of the residents speak their language, that's why you find 'German' and 'French' grids all over the place - it's not racism, it's just that at the end of a long day when you are being frustrated by the vagaries of Opensim, you want to talk to someone who knows what you're on about, without struggling in another tongue.

Of course, we have opensim legends who are Spanish speakers, like Victoria Logan and Tina BeyPlastichansa Bade and Zonja CapaliniXirana Oximoxi and the lovely singer Nazirah - just to name a few. But there is room for growth in community support for anyone who wants to take the plunge and whose first language is Spanish.  Spanish worlds in Opensim are something of a rarity. Well, not a rarity, but let's say the best known Spanish-friendly grid has a fairly dramatic reputation, which is not to everyone's taste. So what happens when someone who speaks only Spanish comes to Opensim?  

Evan Belmond and friends have decided to try to fill that need with a brand new sim called Virtual Spain, on OSGrid. The idea is to create a central place where Spanish speakers who love Opensim can come and get advice, find freebies, and make friends without having to fight with the Yandex translator every five minutes. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

The Soul of Hypergridding

 Perhaps you remember Spike Sol's hypergrid destination hub, on grid Soloton. For many years, it was a valuable resource for anyone looking for an interesting destination in opensim. Not only as a tool for explorers, the  sim was a link between likeminded builders, a way to measure your work with that of your peers, and a sort of library of places worth visiting that might have slipped your mind. From very early days of hypergridding, the Weltraumbahnhof was a beacon in a confusing ocean of destinations, and when foolish people would say, there's nothing to see in Opensim, you had to merely point them at Spike's masterpiece to put them straight.
Spike's Weltraumbahnhof during a Safari visit in 2017

Soloton grid has been offline for a while now, although don't imagine that Spike isn't active - apart from having a regular Sunday slot on the German-language Radio ArtDestiny, Spike will be compering the upcoming fashion show by Loru Destiny. (Here's a sneak peek of Loru's fashion.)
Arriving on Soul Grid's Weltraumbahnhof, 2022
Earlier this year, the owners of Soul Grid, Rudi and Nasti Backerly, opened a new build.
Rudi Backerly: It is a sequel and homage on Spike Sols Weltraumbahnhof. We created it in memory of his great work, which he continued for years with difficulty. Before we started, we asked Spike if he is okay with it, that we continue his work. He agreed and I remember that he liked it as he visited the new Weltraumbahnhof some weeks before.

Soirees Franco

 As the new season of Safari begins, it's worth remembering ours is not the only hypergridding group out there. If you understand French, or want to immerse yourself in the language and culture, there's an excellent monthly opportunity for you.

At 9pm Paris time, on the first Thursday evening of each month, the Frenchies will be gathering on Eden Cat's grid to have a chat, exchange news and views, and tour some interesting regions. You may remember that for about 3 years, Vladimir of Virtual Dream Grid organized trips - when his grid went offline this spring, it left a big gap in the francophone community. But now things are getting going again!

Trips are a bit different from the Safari tour. The Frenchies make full use of Voice, so if your French is not great, be ready for a bit of  linguistic tsunami. Events are usually filmed by Prodyck and published on his Twitch channel. They focus on visiting francophone destinations, based quite often in Belgium, Canada, and France, and go to just one place per trip. There are loads of lovely grids based in these countries, so plenty to see - try it out! The next trip will be on October 6.


Soirees Franco

WHERE Meeting at http://chez-eden.venez.fr:8002/

WHEN The first Thursday of each month

CONTACT Join the SV3D Discord channel to keep in touch with the group
https://discord.gg/K5WgSJrcbt

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Noise Ploys with Lorin Tone

How many dimensions, would you say, are there in virtual worlds? If your answer is three, then maybe think again. For a virtual environment to really be immersive, there is another dimension that will lift, color, enhance and amplify your build, whether it be a sci fi paradise or a woodland tableau. That is sound.
Sound is one of the hardest things to get right in virtual worlds. Too many noises, or noises repeated too often, can spoil a sim, while if your audio is too sparing, visitors may not notice it at all. But how can you create the perfect aural environment?  Consult the Sorcerer of Sound, of course.
Lorin Tone: Sometimes sound effects can be used as a major component in build or environments. For most environmental soundscapes, the sound should not be featured, but more "felt" than noticeably heard. At other times, you can bash people over the head with sounds that enhance the most important elements of a build. 
Lorin Tone
Lorin presents a fascinating course on using Sounds in virtual worlds. The class lasts about an hour, and is held twice a month on Sundays, at 10am Pacific Time, on his region Soundscapes, within the Koryphon

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

'Tis (almost) the Season!

 Two weeks until Safari returns!
The third and final season of Safari trips for 2022 begins on September 14 and ends on November 16.

Safari trips are on Wednesdays  at 12 noon Pacific time, that's 3 pm for those on Eastern Time, and 9pm for most Europeans. That's our departure time, the time at which we are expected at the first stop on the trip, so if you can, do show up at the clubhouse a bit before. This way, you can get the latest news of what's going on, and you can friend other safari goers. This is more than a polite gesture - if you friend us, we may be able to tp you if you get lost (or even better, you can tp us if we get lost!) 

Each expedition involves two destinations, each for about an hour - some of you may remember our three hour Safaris, with anything up to five destinations, back in the day when long crashes and highly unstable grids (and, if we're being honest, quite a few highly unreliable hosts) made it sensible to have plenty of time and plenty of options. 

These days there are a lot fewer last minute cancellations, and that is thanks to the hard work of the Opensim Devs, and some really magnificent grid owners who go the extra mile in making our visits possible and delightful. The quality of builds in opensim continues to amaze us all, and the enthusiasm of our hosts is heartwarming - thank you all so much!

Friday, August 26, 2022

VWs - Distraction, or Inspiration? By Xirana Oximoxi

 This is a guest post by Xirana Oximoxi, aka the Catalan artist Núria Vives. She writes and illustrates children's books, including the delightful Amanda and the Snowman - presented in voice to the HG Safari group, back in 2016. Her books have a truly international feel, available in a variety of languages, making them ideal teaching tools as well as entertainment.  Xirana has shared her adorable art across both OpenSim and SL, as well of course in the real world too. Follow her blog to keep up with her latest creations and exhibitions.

Xirana Oximoxi - Núria Vives
The inspiration or stimuli we receive to enhance our creativity comes from the effect that the world and the people around us have on us, either in real life or in the virtual worlds in which we also relate with people who, behind the figure of their avatar, are very real. Music, Literature, Art and everything that happens in virtual worlds continues to be an experience that influences us.

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Cherry Manga 1: The Early Years

There was a poetry to old school SL names. 

Their two-partedness and their permanence spoke of  a level of self expression that leaves the dumbed down display name and single moniker in the dust.  To make a name for oneself - that brush with destiny: the first name chosen from within, the second name chosen from a world-imposed list. Together they formed a double-edged identity card, showing a piece of yourself as an individual and where you place yourself within the wider world. Perhaps that's why so many SL names persist in opensim.
Cherry Manga is a case in point. Manga, and the mind flies to the unreal figures of the comics, to the culture of Japan, to romance and theatrical gestures, to space and cyborgs and superpowers, to lovely elemental battles. And Cherry? Thoughts, perhaps, of sakura, or of chérie, or of red and ready fruit, tasting sometimes sweet, sometimes a little sharp, fated to be popped. It's all in there, one way or another. 
Cherry Manga: Japan always fascinated me, it's so far from my own culture, it's delicate, precise, perfectionist. It's like I am related to Japan even if I never put a foot there. I would say first inspiration would be surrealism though, all mysterious, dark, and mostly everything I make is autobiographical. I build my feelings, my dreams, my pain.
This Midjourney AI artwork, made in 2022, glimpses the future of Cherry's art. But first, let's go back to the beginning.

Cherry Manga 2: FrancoGrid and More

Katia Venegas: Cherry Manga artiste futuriste aux talents multiples lorsqu’il s’agit de se dépasser ou de nous surprendre. La poésie est dans chacune de ses réalisations, la beauté également, aussi, le réalisme d’un monde décadent que ses créations soulignent pour mieux y échapper en s’envolant, gracieuses et dansantes, créatures étincelantes, immatérielles, uniques... Architectures de cristal aux formes inédites, l’art renouveau du futur… Un style marqué reconnaissable entre tous, une évolution constante de ses techniques et de son imaginaire, font d’elle l’artiste visionnaire de notre futur.

You don't have to know much French to see that Katia Vanegas is a fan of Cherry's art. She was the first gallery owner to exhibit Cherry's work in Second Life, and moved to FrancoGrid shortly before her. Katia's region Parc des Arts (now to be found on Craft Grid) soon had a spectacular build that the Safari visited in 2014, on FrancoGrid, a moving and powerful installation on the theme of AIDS.
FrancoGrid was founded in 2009 and had, as the name implies, an almost entirely francophone population. It was already a vibrant, art-centric community when Yann Minh introduced  Cherry and her partner Archael Magic, a nifty builder himself, whose Alpha Base is a fantastic scifi playground, to opensim in general and FrancoGrid in particular.

Cherry Manga 3: OS and SL

Throughout the years, Cherry Manga has accomplished the rare feat of maintaining a notable presence both in SL and Opensim. Her 'extrametaversal' experimentation includes forays into Tilt Brush as you can see in this video. Google has discontinued Tilt Brush but there is an Opensource version if you are interested in trying it yourself. It's a brilliant way to augment inworld art in further layers of surreality.
(By the way, please take a moment to watch all these videos in Youtube, like, subscribe and comment if you can, it's a nice way to show your appreciation for the hard work of the machinima makers.)

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Summer of Love on Pangea

There was another triumph tonight at the Pangea Art and Culture Festival, ongoing throughout this year.
No doubt Lampi will have a video of it on her Youtube channel shortly, so make sure you subscribe!

'The Summer of Love' was a choreographed performance by the dance group The Imaginals, Medora Chevalier,  Zimp Rexi, Alazi Sautereau,  along with  DJ Arianna Nightfire, Lampithaler Artist, Eva Noir, Arcanquest Frank, Roxelo Babenco, Eva Kraai, and Nele Paulson.

Friday, July 29, 2022

All the Rage

 Rage Darkstone has recently arrived in opensim, and has already begun to make his mark. His first big show was 'Death and Transfiguration' for the Pangea Art and Culture Festival, directed by Lampithaler Artis
Rage's 3D art is ephemeral, vibrant, tenuous, full of life and drama, and this performance had it all. Pretty good, too, for his first attempt in what many artists find a foreign country, OpenSim, where even on well conducted grids, scripts can mess with you, and your carefully honed SL inventory is not available, making life a little more... interesting.

Monday, July 25, 2022

Collaboration, by Karima Hoisan

 The following is a guest article by Karima Hoisan. Well-loved in both SL and on Kitely for her poems and sim-sized installations (called 'worlds' in Kitely), she shares here some thoughts about the most significant collaborations in her career. On her blog Digital Rabbit Hole, you will find many poems including this tribute to Natascha, called 'Lone Rider'

When I hear the word “collaboration”, I think of two people: Natascha Randt and Dale Innis.
In 2012.  Natascha and I knew about each other, but not well, until one day she said, “Let’s try something together.” In our first collaboration, we took 2nd place in the 2012 UWA Machinima Competition “Seek Wisdom”. We just kept going and going from that day on, until last September, when Natascha passed away while waiting for an artificial heart. She was 40 years old. 
In these last 10 years we learned so much, how and why we worked together so well. Our collaborations were not the norm, but they were successful and a delight to be a part of. 

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Home Sweet Gnome


 "Sometimes I feel like I'm actually on the wrong planet, 
and it's great when I'm in my garden. 
But the minute I go out the gate I think:
'What the hell am I doing here?' "

George Harrison
In January 1970, George Harrison bought a house called Friar Park, on the western edge of  the Thames-side town of Henley, about an hour west of central London. The 60-acre estate has its feet, as it were, in the realm of the bus-stop-and-bins of suburbia, but its head rests quietly on the edges of the Chilterns. A rambling neo-gothic mansion built in the 1880's, by the '70s Friar Park had fallen into such a state of disrepair that it was due to be demolished. Instead, it was rescued and repaired. For thirty years it was home to Harrison, and the location of his main recording studio, and his family live there to this day. 
The house must have hundreds of tales to tell, but this post is about the garden, which has been recreated in the virtual world of Littlefield Grid by Pete Clements, aka Mudpuddle Cleanslate, on a region called 'All Things Must Pass'. This picture, as with all the landscape images below, was taken in that place in the  metaverse.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

OSgrid Turns Fifteen

 Fifteen is a great age, and in Opensim it's virtually prehistoric - just four years younger than the old Grande Dame, SL. 
Event Plaza
So congrats off the bat to the entire operation - the geeks past and present who have kept OSGrid up to date, the creators, and the entertainers, the testers and scripters and artists, and even more to all the individual contributors who with sums large and small have paid for it to stay online. Let's see what some have to say for themselves.

Monday, July 18, 2022

On Fluorine

 Fluorine is full of toothsome goodies, way more than can reasonably be mentioned in this post, which is one for the ladies. Don't hesitate to jump on over to grid.opensimfest.com:8022:Flourine to do the full tour, and see these builds for yourself.

The theme of Opensimfest 2022 is Medieval/Fantasy which is a great piece of wordplay, because it leaves things open for fans of the medieval, fans of fantasy, and fans of imagined medieval. So that has us all covered. The first build that impressed and inspired me is this one by Susannah Avonside

It's the real deal in terms of medieval builds, and of course Suzi is flying the flag for her beloved Wales. 

Sunday, July 17, 2022

By Jupiter

 Dewdrops, on a sultry summer day, could not be more welcome. And when Azi Az and Danger Lytton put out the invitation 'Do drop in', the appeal is twice as strong, twice as compelling.

The Dew Drop Islands on OSgrid are delightfully mysterious. Make sure you have Advanced Lighting enabled in your graphics, or you will miss out on the spectacular sky that makes you feel like you've arrived on a moon of Jupiter. A watery, flower-abundant moon, where you begin to wonder... and wander... everything has delicious doubt written into it.
On landing, a question. Is this a dragon, or a sea snake, an illusion, a guardian or a greeter? 

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Art and Soul at the OSF

OpensimFest has as its motto 'The chemistry of community' and that's why the regions take their names from the periodic table. Some are words we're all familiar with like Oxygen and Carbon, while others have names that sound a bit made up, come on, admit it, by scientists who just want to mystify their craft. 
The heart of Chlorine. Greyer than I expected, tbh
Here are two OpensimFest regions you might like to explore,  one with an everyday name, the other sounding more exotic. What do they have in common? Big art, and interesting projects. Both regions are full of good things to look at, I've chosen my favorite three from each, so go and explore, perhaps you'll find something I have overlooked.

Sunday, July 10, 2022

More than Music: OSF's Event sims

OpensimFest opened on Friday July 8 and will stay open for a full 17 days, including three 3-day weekends with twelve hours of musical entertainment, focused on the four Event regions that are all smooshed together, with four separate stages, so each performer can have the backdrop that matches their musical style. There is a shared dance floor spanning all four regions, and you can hear the music, whichever sim you happen to be dancing on. If you missed the first couple of days, no worries, there is plenty more to come.
Some of the performers have really gone to town in creating an ambience for their events, like this set up by Karima Hoisan, a perfect environment for the wonderful poems.

Many have brought the house down just with a bit of nifty dancing, as seen here where Holocluck Henly and Snoots Dragon are giving it welly.

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Spectacular Sound & Adorable Alice

   The final Safari of the season (We start back up again on September 14) and two more absolutely unmissable destinations. If you and everyone you know don't know these places, well... Go. See. Enjoy. HG Addresses are as always at the end of the post.

First up, a visit to The Nuna Gallery on 3rd Rock Grid, more specifically, some sky-high sound based installations by the sorcerer of sound, Lorin Tone and region owner and brilliant builder and region owner Alia Soulstar.  

The Nuna is a walkable Encyclopedia of world art that is as peerless as it is rigorous. For me, it's one of the Seven Wonders of Opensim. Magnificent in its size, layout, detail, complexity, and precision, it must have taken a vast amount of time and talent to put together. This is a useful and beautiful place, an educator's resource of the highest quality, and a place that anyone can enjoy, and find within its walls serenity, knowledge and beauty. 

The Gallery opened in December 2019, and comprises five floors of outstanding world art, with information that sets it in context and basically will give you a degree in Art History by the time you've done the whole building, or, if you just sample a few bits, will in any case expand your mind and help you make sense of the world of art. It's bliss in a box.

Friday, July 1, 2022

Goodbye to Metro

 Nobody would argue (and on this venerable grid, that is really saying something) that the hero of Metropolis Metaversum is Neovo Geesink, seen here dancing along with the other star of the Goodbye to Metro party, LadyJo Martin. Wait, did this gif capture the hand of Kashi Takeshi? Classic Opensim. Metro was slated to close permanently on June 30, 2022, and we decided to party her offline.

LadyJo in green, Neovo in grey, with the partygoers
The party got started, not at noon Pacific as advertised, but well in advance, thanks to the fabulous

Thursday, June 30, 2022

The Gift

– Adieu, dit le renard. Voici mon secret. Il est très simple :
on ne voit bien qu’avec le cœur.

A secret, a heart, a book, a voice, a concept, a collaboration, and a sim. A gift.

It began with Unadecal Masala. He runs a region hosting service, where you can rent a fast, efficient region connected to OSGrid, and I think other grids too, but you should ask him. He has always been a supporter of the Safari and Opensim Arts in general, and he offered a space for a project by and for the Safari. 
The idea of doing an event  this season to mark the 122nd birthday of Antoine de Saint-Exupery was already on my mind. His most famous text is The Little Prince, written in French but translated into over 250 languages and dialects, making it one of the most international and best loved books in the world.

But who to take on the job of imagining the book for opensim? It could only be one person, Wizardoz Chrome, machinimer, conceptual artist, word lover and a brilliant and delightful collaborator, not to mention one of the founding members of the Safari. She soon involved others, including Tina Bey, Art Blue, Venus Adored, and Cherry Manga, who presented each of us with a white animesh rose, freshly invented by her, on our arrival on sim Exupery. A truly international group to celebrate these sublime words that have resonated in hearts all around the planet.

Babylonie

And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; 
and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. 
And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. 
And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language;
 and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, 
which they have imagined to do.  Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, 
that they may not understand one another's speech.
So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: 
and they left off to build the city.
Genesis 11:4-8
Arrival - Photo by Fitheach Eun
Ignis Fatuus grid, our second destination this week. Ustengrav is a new region from Max, Chip and Harthelie, whose prowess in intricate construction and textures is always mindboggling. The theme is Mesopotamian, proto-Mediterranean, with  a little pre-Columbian mystery in there for good measure. An idyll of idols, if you will. Colors and textures, layout and lighting, this is not a build that is meant to be immediately understood.
We were, how can I put this, informationally challenged, in that yes, there was an intro to the build, in

Monday, June 27, 2022

Dreams of Destiny: Paul Stephen Dixon at Pangea

Lampithaler and Marlon Wayne's Art and Culture Festival on Pangea Grid continues, this time with "Dreams and Nightmares", an art show by Paul Stephen Dixon known inworld as Tryad Destiny.  
The "Dreams and Nightmares" exhibition is at pangeagrid.ddns.net:8002:Norge
 The venue is your classic NPIRL place. Dancing in a forest sim. A few meters away looms an unusual hemisphere gallery, alive in the half light, quite unlike the typical bricks-and-mortar framework favored by many artists in 2D.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

All the Fun of the Fair

lifted.pixel: I am already enjoying this corn cob 

You're still in time! Just two weeks before OpensimFest begins, and there are still a few FREE parcels of land available, where you can show off your creativity, get publicity for your region, grid, products, or group. Don't miss out, go to OpensimFest.com and get the ball rolling by registering today!

This week the extraordinary Jessica Pixel filmed our adventures, so watch that, if reading is not your thing. Click here to watch it on Youtube


This week's Safari was to Cuteulala Artis' sims on Winxtropia, and then to the OpensimFest grid to catch up with Fest coordinator Shelenn Ayres. HG Addresses, as always at the end of the post, and this time let's mix it up by telling about destination two first.
We met up with Shelenn on Zen, one of the regions of Opensimfest grid that is closest to being finished - only about two weeks are left, so everyone is in the final rush before testing and checking leading up to the Opening, on July 8th.
Thirza Ember: First question, Shelenn - Opensimfest - what made you take it on?

Friday, June 17, 2022

Arthur in Pangea, with Terra Merhyem

On Pangea Grid, there is an Art and Culture Festival going on, and to kick it off, Terra Merhyem has prepared a magnificent region celebrating the Arthurian legends, on a region called Avalon. 

Afterlife at Amerika art

Terra joined in Second Life in 2016 and immediately got started with art shows featuring both 2 and 3D art. 

She twice qualified for a sim at the LEA and in 2021 also had a SLEA region. She's had going on for thirty art shows altogether in Second Life, and has two permanent exhibitions, at The Galleries  and at The Peace Gallery 

Terra came to Opensim thanks to the art initiative Amerika Art, the brainchild of Art Blue with Juliette Surrealdreaming. You can find the installation among a constellation of important SL names like Glyph Graves, Thoth Janssen and Bryn Oh, on the Amerika regions of Craft Grid. 

If you would like to see the exhibition just go to Craft Grid, type into your Map Amerika and when you get there, look for the funky little chairs deep in the bowels of the pyramid. There are various rooms that enable you to travel to the installations, most many thousands of meters above the ground. There are plenty of installs, all following the theme of an afterlife in various ways, to choose from. It only took me about 45 minutes to find Terra's.

But worth it. Terra's build 'The Afterlife' is a spectacular sculpture soaring high up into the night sky, full of fire and energy, a bit like the lady herself, and from that positive experience on Craft Grid, great things have happened. Was it easy to connect with people in Opensim?

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Safari goes Little and Large

This week was all about the great and the small. We started small, on Weelandia, Digiworldz grid - full HG Addresses, as always, at the end of the post. 
Small inconvenience getting to Digi - well, a very big obstacle for quite a few, who could not navigate the rather daunting ID process. So our group was not as big than it might have been, which is a shame, because Digi is a nice grid with lots to see. But that's part of the Variety of Opensim, everyone has their own strategies and concepts about grid security and community. You have to like difference to love the HG.

Because none of that could stop us from visiting with the lovely Nebby Newman, in company with aminata Potez, for an extraordinary visit to a true gem of a sim, Weelandia. 

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Safari goes to Hell and Back

Come quando la nebbia si dissipa,
lo sguardo a poco a poco raffigura
ciò che cela 'l vapor che l'aere stipa...
Dante, Inferno XXXI


Beth Ghostraven: Hi Ubit!
Luna Lunaria: Hiya Ubit :-)
Ubit Umarov: nice regions stress your arrival :)  You bring own chairs..  good idea.  i was about to rez a few boxes.. no need
Lux Tergeste: Thank you Thirza for the handy chairs :)
Beth.Ghostraven: this dress is stain-proof anyway

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Safari goes to the Docks

This week, two Beatles related builds! One recreating Liverpool Docks, and the other recreating all the joy of the Yellow Submarine. Both exploring a time long, long before you or I were born, naturally. Liverpool is a city with a rich, sometimes troubled history. A port city from the beginning of the 1700s, the ships that plied the Transatlantic routes carried all sorts, manufactured European goods, American cotton, tobacco, sugar, and people - immigrants, but also slaves. The famous Penny Lane immortalized by the Beatles is named after James Penny, described by some as a slave merchant, although the jury is still out on that. One thing that is without a doubt is that the Beatles are Liverpool's number one export, the pride and joy of the city. A huge Beatles museum is located a converted warehouse building on Albert Dock.

We start with a truly amazing trip to Kitely, and the Old Liverpool Dock. This region is normally closed to the public, so our visit was a little bit of HG heaven, and our host Graham Mills has done a

Saturday, May 28, 2022

The Sponsors' Tale

 Organizing a big festival is always a huge headache, and you really have to take your hat off to anyone with the nerve to do it. They often end up making a significant financial contribution too, because the setting up of a temporary grid costs rl money. 

This year, the total cost of running the festival is $1040, and a little more than half that has been pledged.  One way that you can help out with it all is by becoming a Sponsor. 

For as little as three bucks you can get kudos and publicity, and brownie points with the higher power, so why not consider helping out? OK I may be lying about the higher power, let's call it the HG power.

There are lots of levels at which you can contribute, and each one brings a bigger slice of land, publicity and warm glowy feeling, although the last might just be the wine, so don't quote me on that. 

Any extra money generated by the sponsors will be shared out among the performers - there will be about 90 over the 17 day event. 
Here are some stories from people who chose to go ahead and put their hand in their pocket for OpensimFest. How hard is it to sponsor? why did they want to do it? What do they hope to see at the event?

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Notes on a Safari

 This week two great musical guests, Joao Frazao and Moses Rae. Dang, even their names are musical. As usual HG addresses are at the end of the post.

Starting with destination two in this post, just to mess with your head. 

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Belfast and Japan - Photo Finish

History featured strongly in this week's safari as we visited little slice of Asia and of Europe on two grids, Discovery and OSGrid, and found out about a past that may have passed some of us by. It's also a journey into the passion of builders, scripters, and virtual residents, as the kaleidoscope of creativity continues to enthrall us. HG Addresses as always at the end of the post. 
First up, the new project on the Belfast regions of Stiofain Mactomais. Known best perhaps for his music venue the Maritime, modeled on the real club of the same name where Van Morrison got their start, there's much more here - poetry, real world architecture, an exhibit celebrating the Belfast-built Titanic. 
This visit was to the Falls Road, and a project that can be enjoyed using your phone, Oculus rig, or as we did simply inworld.  Called the Belfast Archive Project, t's all about bringing the social history of this part of the world back to life in a vivid and accessible way. We met outside the inworld version of the historic Conway Mill.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Three Good Reasons...

Opensim Fest is still more than a month away,  but plans are already well in hand for this unusual event. A dedicated Festival grid will be home to a true meeting of minds as people from all over the hyperverse set up their exhibits and stores, and dozens of performers keep the party atmosphere going, each in their own way. 

Particles by Torben Asp

If you haven't registered for your free 'ticket' yet, don't delay. It will make it possible for you to sign up as a Greeter, or Performer, Sponsor, or Exhibitor. But wait - Still feeling a bit 'meh' about joining in? Here are three good reasons to get interested and involved - three performers who will be sharing their original content with us at gigs during the 17 day long event.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Come Fly With Me

This week's Safari was something of a time-travel trip of the mind as we visited two very different imaginings.  First on Kitely, at the International Spaceflight Museum where we saw the optimistic imagined future of colonizing Mars, and secondly, an imaginative past of empires and honor, on the grid CounterEarth. HG Addresses, as always, are at the end of the post.

I love ISM on Kitely, there is a stateliness and grandeur about the region.  A veritable forest of rockets dominate the Museum Ring part of the build, with ships, satellites and rockets from all over the world.


 The creators here include Kelly Bucklaew and Asterion Coen with smaller contributions by Samuel GreenwayAi Austin, and Miguel Rotunno, but the lion's share of the building is all down to the man himself, Mike Lorrey.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Aedifex Rex: the art of Nyx Breen

If you ever spent any time in the temples of art in Second Life, you will have come across the work of Nyx Breen. Based in Massachusetts, he has a long career as a real-world fine art photographer, and in virtual, a list of winning entries as long as your arm, in particular at the  UWA, the virtual campus of the University of Western Australia. 

After more than a decade of nurturing and rewarding digital art and artists, the UWA powered down in Second Life back in 2020. I thought the place was gone forever, but the great JayJay 'Zifanwe' Jegathesan tells me that the original UWA sim persists there, along with Nyx's Moreton Bay Fig. I asked JayJay about his friend and collaborator.