LEA closing, voice to the Community: suggestions, ideas and new projects

The announcement of the LEA project closure has alienated those who, for various reasons, work in the SL artistic field.
I tried to understand the reasons for this bitterness, what went wrong in the LEA project, and what the artists expect from a new one.
To do this, I asked the question in my group dedicated to art and artists on Facebook, named “Art and Culture in Virtual Worlds Community.”
Exciting answers emerged that made me think about different aspects.
In this article, I want to talk about the LEA project, what it was, its criticisms, and the expectations that the community has for the future.

The LEA project

The original project involved a collaboration between some SL members and LL. The praiseworthy initiative started from some passionate art people and LL itself. The result of this collaboration was the management of 29 regions. Nine called CORE and destined to rapid projects, with short residence time, and 20 areas intended for the Artists In Residence (AIR), that hosted longer duration projects (up to at six months).
The statute highlighted the artists’ ideas of hospitality and collaboration with the gallery owners. Significant projects that have worked very well for a long time.

What went wrong

Then later, something has changed. The presence in the LEA Committee of bothering people added some Committee members had abandoned the project. Plus the tendency not to be accountable to the community for the decisions taken by the Committee has given the impression of a closed group, whose decisions seemed inscrutable.
Even the official LEA project website seemed to have been poorly managed from a communicative point of view. It did not allow people to be aware of ongoing initiatives and installations.
The weaknesses of the LEA project have emerged very well from my conversation with Roxy Gellar, a very active user in the relevant LEA conversations on Facebook.
Here is our conversation:
Oema: What do you think about LEA closing? Honestly, please.
Roxy Gellar: Closing LEA isn’t necessary, going that far goes to show just how distant from the community the volunteers managing LEA became, through ego and control issues. They were removed from the community and accountability.
That said, Eliana (Oema’s real name), it doesn’t have to stay that way. I’ve suggested quarterly “town hall” meetings open to all during which ideas could be discussed, perhaps a vote was taken on a policy if say, 2/3rds of the inworld group are present. If really pro-active? Survey Monkey votes could be an option. Transparency and accountability should be a part of the foundation for a possible revival of LEA.
Besides, shorter periods for volunteers on the board as well as for artists in residency. Again I suggest four months turnovers. Board member/volunteers and artists both could go on the bottom of a volunteer list that is kept open and growing. Fresh blood and shorter terms would help prevent things from going stale and also prevent egos from becoming unresponsive to the greater community.
Oema: true. What do you think about the LEA 2.0 project? Can be a solution? Or you think more can be done?
Roxy Gellar: I think if they revamp the idea towards less authoritative management and more community involvement, it might be a good thing. On the other hand? It could be that SL has had its day, hopefully not the case. If an active community involved in actually maintaining art in virtual reality isn’t possible? At least we still can enjoy the Mavericks who largely work independently in SL.
Oema: excuse ignorance, who are the Mavericks?
Roxy Gellar: Cherry Manga for one. And although they may have participated in LEA, Byrn Oh continues far beyond, Nina Camplin (no longer in virtual reality) could perhaps be courted, Kimeu Korg who I’ve largely seen outside of SL, Silas Merlin. I’d also try to incorporate TheEye Gallery, Diotima, among others.
Come to think of it, if six to eight regions were supplied to galleries to manage it could provide additional support and lessen the burden on a LEA volunteer board. On a rotation basis as well.

I believe Roxy has highlighted two important points:

  • The LEA project failure may be due to the lack of involvement of the art community and to “keeping to oneself” the project and its choices;
  • LEA could close an era that has run its course. If there is a new project, it is important that the committee is at the service of the art community and not aimed at its ego.

What the art community expects from a new project

I believe the art community expects to be heard and involved in decisions.

This aspect is possible above all through a rotation of the committee members.

Jonesy Bewohner explains it well:

 I think those who are on the LEA staff should have at most a 1 year stint. That’s it. Every January 1st an entire new staff is elected. Those who were on staff before can remain as volunteers, but if you were elected before you cannot be re-elected again.

Also, Maria Duna Gant is clear:

I read the comments and I agree with many of them. The “committee” led by the LEA should not be perpetuated for years. LEA should be a participatory entity. All of us who work for years with virtual art are likely to be able to comment or participate in the project. Artists (all kinds of artists, 3D, photographers, musicians etc) gallery owners, bloggers, virtual art collectors. We have ALL helped virtual art remain in SL. Therefore, I think it would be very important to listen to all who had an opinion and choose among them the representatives of the LEA, and above all, for a limited time.

About her proposal:

My proposal, more concrete, for a future LEA is:
Invite ALL who have collaborated with virtual art during these years (I repeat, artists of all kinds of arts, bloggers, gallery owners, collectors)
When the group has a sufficiently large number of participants to be representative of the SL art world, ask all of them to voluntarily introduce themselves to those who would like to be part of the LEA work team.
If there is a larger number of candidates than the positions to be filled, take a vote (one vote per avatar) only open to the participants of the group, to choose which people would be in the working group.

My ideas and proposals

By now, I have been dedicating myself for several years to articles and videos about artistic events in SL. I believe that one of the essential aspects of a new project similar to LEA is communication.

In addition to inviting artists, being available, helping them in what is needed, it is essential to write and document, perhaps through videos, the artistic installations hosted. This activity will have the double positive effect of paying tribute to the artists and documenting the work carried out over time (which justifies the collaboration between LL and the artistic community).

I believe in particular that:

  • One month is enough to prepare the installation; you can always agree on more extended periods, if necessary, with each artist;
  • A month is more than enough for the show. A more prolonged period is useless because the visits begin to diminish;
  • It is essential to ask the artist to be original and not to propose copy-installations of others already made;
  • The creation of a professional site, rich in videos and content, is essential. The artists themselves could be given a voice, through interviews, surveys, etc .;
  • Listen to the art community that expresses itself mainly on Facebook and the official SL page;
  • Flexibility, or ability to quickly change one’s ideas to the needs of the artists;
  • Advertising and promotion: the committee should take responsibility for promoting the installations, as well as the artists it hosts. Once again, communication is an important aspect.

The LEA 2.0 initiative

It was born from the idea of Tansee Trillium who wants to collect ideas and suggestions for a new project to be presented to the LL.

To send your suggestions to Tansee, go to LEA 2, where a box for ideas is.

Ask LL to join the new committee

If you want to present your ideas directly to LL asking to be part of the new committee, write to editor@lindenlab.com, to the attention of Derrick and Patch Linden.

Conclusions

I believe a project similar to LEA should be having a Linden employee as a supervisor, to prevent the committee from being used to satisfy its ego.

Periodic rotation of members is also essential.

I gave my availability to the LL for the realization of a new project. I hope that many do the same.  

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Second Life destroyed by Italian press: the murder of Paolo Vaj

Second Life described superficially like “role play” or even as “platform where people give free rein to their fantasies” by Italian Press.

Once again, the Italian press does not miss the opportunity to cast a shadow over the gaming platform of Linden Lab. The pretext of so much denigration is the murder of Paolo Vaj, shot dead by Angelica Comaci, Patrizia Armellin‘s virtual daughter.

Patrizia and Angelica played the roles of mother and daughter in Second Life. Those who live in SL know that many situations of family relationships exist. These roles are distinct. People who pretend family relationships in SL are aware that it is a fiction. Patrizia and Angelica had probably crossed the game’s limits, confusing a role played with real Life.

However, the Italian press does not make differences or clarifications, and hastily defines the virtual relationship between mother and daughter as “sick,” a “mental disorder.”The one between Patrizia and Angelica was probably sick (I am not sure since I don’t know them). I read in the press that the magistrate will ask for a psychiatric examination to ascertain the mental illness.

The Italian press speaks about Second Life as a “role play” and subsequently, not satisfied, defines it as a “platform where people give free rein to their fantasies.” In those” fantasies,” it suggests a world of frustrations, of unexpressed libido, violence, and masochism.

In fact, in Italian, there is a noticeable difference between saying “gives free rein to the imagination” and say “gives free rein to his fantasies.”
Italians are aware of the negative propaganda that the press gives to SL. We know that the reporters describe SL players as “mentally disturbed.” Reporters don’t think Imvu or High Fidelity players are “mentally ill,” they instead believe SL players are problematic people.

Perhaps because reporters see SL as a “platform to express one’s unexpressed fantasies.” Imvu and High Fidelity offer the same opportunities in Second Life, but those who populate these virtual worlds are not mentally ill. A Second Life player however is. Why? Maybe because SL is not just a game, but a place to vent your frustrations, in their opinion.
I do not want to talk about Patrizia and Angelica. I don’t know them, and I don’t know if there was any confusion between the role played and real Life. I do not know anything about the victim, Paolo Vaj, nor if there was a legitimate defense, a negligent excess in self-defense or intentional murder.

What I know is that the sad crime story has little to do with SL. Some events are unfortunately part of Life, of complex emotional dynamics and disorders, such as Vaj’s alcohol abuse.

Second Life was an opportunity for Patrizia and Angelica to meet. A bar, WhatsApp or other makes no difference.

To say that whoever plays in Second Life is a mental disturbance is like saying that who plays The Sims is a voyeur. Nonsense.
Finally, I suggest LL read with attention to the Italian press and how it describes SL.
I am not sure their way to express opinions are legal.

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“Leonardo 500” by Astral Dreams Project

Second Life Leonardo 500 Astral Dreams Project

Leonardo 500” is the project created and curated by Astral Dreams Project to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo Da Vinci.
It is an artistic installation that hosts photographers and sculptors, I remember their names:

  • Nabrey Aabye
  • Caly Applewhite
  • Sergio Delacruz
  • Desy Magic
  • Lara Tommaso
  • Ciottolina Xue
  • Aqua Aria


Many have visited and shared their images on social networks.
I remember that “Leonardo 500” will be open until the end of August.
In the meantime, I recorded a video for future reference.

"Leonardo 500" by Astral Dreams Project

"𝐋𝐄𝐎𝐍𝐀𝐑𝐃𝐎 𝟓𝟎𝟎" 𝐀 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐣𝐞𝐜𝐭 𝐢𝐧 𝐜𝐨𝐥𝐥𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐉𝐚𝐜𝐤 𝐃𝐚𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐌𝐢𝐧𝐚 𝐀𝐫𝐜𝐚𝐧𝐚 Mᴀᴄʜɪɴɪᴍᴀ ʙʏ Oᴇᴍᴀ Mᴜsɪᴄ sᴇʟᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ ʙʏ Vᴀɴ Lᴏᴏᴘᴇɴ Open until the end of August SLurl: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/LEA8/80/129/3208

Pubblicato da Oema's Blog su Venerdì 12 luglio 2019

Video

Teleport to “Leonardo 500”

Visit inworld here: https://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/LEA8/80/129/3208/

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EEP – Environmental Enhancement Project

EEP Windlight

EEP is a way to say the Environmental Enhancement Project. It is an innovation in the way you manage the light, clouds, and water settings to the SL location’s environment. It was introduced on October 3, 2018, in its beta version (with the possibility of purchasing a limited number of lots in Aditi to test the features and report bugs found).
The main features of this exciting project are:

  • Shareable environmental objects that you can keep in your inventory.
  • Parcel level control of environments.
  • Up to four different sky layers that may be set independently.
  • More options for customization.
  • And much, much more

Great, but basically what is EEP?

EEP is an object in your inventory to which you can attribute custom environment values that you can apply either to a location that is not your property (in this case you only see the settings) or to a place of your property (in this case everyone sees the settings).

Which settings can be customized?

The customizable settings are:

Sky

The customizable settings, in this case, concern the appearance of the sky and some of its parameters, such as the direction of ambient light, the images used to display the sun and moon, and their position in the sky.

Water

The customizable settings concern the linden water and some of its parameters, such as its color, its reflection, the shape and direction of the waves.

Day Cycles

This is the set of sky and water settings that apply throughout the day.

Okay, great. I want to create my own EEP. How do I do that?

The first thing to do is to download the viewer because no viewers are enabled to EEP Settings except this one. To download it, go here: EEP Official Linden Viewer.
Once you have downloaded the viewer, open the inventory, and go to the new “settings” folder. Warning: you can only see the folder if it is not empty.
To add an item to customize as EEP, you have two ways:

  • Go to the bottom right settings icon and click on “new item” → new settings and then on the type of settings you want to create. You will find the new EEP settings in the “settings” folder.
  • Go to the “settings” folder, right-click, and new settings. Proceed as described in the previous point.

In New Settings, you can choose between:

  • New Sky
  • New Water
  • New Day Cycle

To change the settings, double click on the object or right-click and “open.” You will see an editing menu that allows you to customize the parameter you chose previously.

Okay, I created my EEP: how do I apply it to the place I’m visiting or to my land?

Simple. Double click on the object or right-click and choose between:

  • Apply only to myself
  • Apply to Parcel
  • Apply to Region

More Info? Sure, here you go

Video Interview to Rider Linden by Blogger and VLogger Network

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Soul Portrait Collection @Itakos Project

The Itakos Project Art Gallery, owned and artistically curated by Akim Alonzo, opened last night (Italian Time) the doors of the exhibition entitled “Soul Portrait” (Summer Black and White Edition).
As the title suggests, it is an exhibition of black and white portraits. The exhibiting artists are chosen by Akim by leafing through the evocative images of skilled photographers who exhibit their work on Flickr.

Exhibiting artists are:

  • Angelina Corral
  • Aver Osk
  • Aimee Cristole
  • Carolyn Diesel
  • Gabi Ka
  • Edie Horngold
  • Katia Lavecchia
  • -K- Lynag
  • Ktsyakumi
  • Isabela Navarathna
  • Saveria Rossini
  • Sunset Theas

Flickr is an excellent source for those looking for good photographers.
The names of many exhibiting artists were already known to me, in particular, I have long admired the creations of Aimee Cristole.
Visiting the current exhibition at the Itakos Art Gallery Project, I particularly appreciated the image called “1” by Edie Horngold: I believe that her pictures can be mistaken for real photographs.
Also -K- Lynagh deserves special attention, in my opinion. The technique of lighting the image of this photographer is interesting because it cleverly highlights the central part of the image that houses the face of the model.

Here are references to visit the exhibition.
At the end of the visit to this gallery, I invite you to look also at the other exhibition spaces that host exceptional artists.

Teleport to → Itakos Art Gallery Project

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“Masquerade” @DiXmiX Art Gallery

I was invited by DiXmiX Source, the owner and artistic curator of the DiXmiX art gallery, to visit “Masquerade,” the last exhibition currently on display and open since June, 20th.
Masquerade is a problematic term to render in Italian, perhaps the expression that comes closest to the real meaning is “mascherata, ballo in maschera”.
The theme, as the name suggests, is the “mask,” understood in a broad sense. Not only the traditional mask but every form of concealment of the face, then makeup, helmets, hoods and various objects typical of games for adults.
The artistic exhibition hosts the following photographers:

  • Algezares (III)
  • Aniki Seetan
  • ByrneDarkly Cazalet
  • Calypso Applewhyte
  • Catherine Nikolaidis
  • Edie horngold
  • Ember Adored
  • Gaus
  • Génesis Rodriguez
  • Guen Gothly
  • Izabela Navarathna
  • JⒶGgŸ ღ
  • Kimmy Littleboots
  • Kimmy Ridley
  • Kriʐze Sparrowhawk
  • Laura Mrs S
  • Lou ShAdoW
  • Maloe Vansant
  • Megan Prumier
  • mila maesar
  • Ornella Batriani
  • Pam
  • Purple Leonis
  • Ryleigh Theas
  • Shocoon
  • Sinon Valle
  • sσηιc
  • Tania Tebaldi
  • Tiya Aura
  • Tralala Loordes
  • Valenska Voljeti
  • Vallys
  • Wicca Merlin
  • and Dixmix Source


It is well known that photography is a flourishing activity in Second Life. I’m not referring only to fashion bloggers (who post mostly only photographs, not adding text, if not credits). I’m referring to people who are passionate about photography and who, for the pure pleasure of exhibition and image processing, realize creative and eclectic works.
Masquerade is a lively and “cheerful” exhibition, if I may say so.
Usually, the idea of a mask is associated with negative thoughts and feelings: lies, deception, falsehood in general.
Visiting the DiXmiX art gallery, you don’t get this impression, on the contrary. The colors are often bright, and even the black and white images transmit fun and pleasure.
I really liked the idea of a themed exhibition, I hope that DixmiX will realize further exhibitions with this thematic style.

Teleport to Masquerade @DiXmiX Art Gallery

Video

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Tilia: news and complaints (too many)

Tilia Second Life

Monday, July 1 Linden Lab announced everywhere for the official pages the changes that introduce Tilia.

What is Tilia?

Tilia is a wholly owned subsidiary of LL. It efficiently manages the ever-increasing and complex needs of operations within Second Life.
The opportunity to use Tilia stems from the need to comply with U.S. laws and regulations and to be in tune with them regarding financial transactions.

Wha’ts new?

Beginning on August 1, 2019, Tilia will take over certain aspects of the Second Life service. Tilia enables Linden Lab to continue the Second Life service in its current form through enhanced regulatory compliance protocols.  To achieve this, Tilia will assume responsibility for managing your USD denominated account, which will be referred to as your “Tilia Account.”  After August 1, Tilia will handle process credit requests and payments made from your Tilia Account. 

Effective August 1, in order to continue using Second Life you will have to agree to Tilia’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.  A Tilia Account associated with your Second Life Account will automatically be created for you and you will not need a separate username or password to access your Tilia Account.  

To stay in compliance with regulatory requirements, if you wish to process a credit, we will need certain personal information to verify your identity, including your name, address, date of birth, and social security number (or government-issued identification if you are not a U.S. Citizen).  You may be required to provide additional information to complete the transaction. Tilia will securely store this information so that you should only need to offer it once.

Additionally, please note that customers under 18 years of age will not be able to process credit after August 1, 2019, until they reach the age of 18. 

As always, Second Life remains free to access and enjoy!  However, if your Tilia Account is inactive for 12 months, we will charge your Tilia Account a fee to the extent permitted by applicable law.  If you have questions about the inactivity fee, please see Tilia’s Terms of Service.

In other words? I have to pay more?

No, it’s all like usual. The only aspect different is that if you leave your account inactive for 12 months, you have to pay a fee. Let’s try to clarify this point that gets in a panic many people.

About the inactive account (accounts that don’t do a transaction for 12 consecutive months, from the Terms Of Services we can read:

If you have funds in your Stored Value Balance and have not made any transfers to or from or otherwise accessed your Stored Value Balance for a period of twelve (12) months, your Stored Value Balance will be deemed an “Inactive Account.”  Other forms of access besides a transfer include, for example, a balance inquiry or accessing your Account.  Unless prohibited by applicable law, we reserve the right to deduct from any Stored Value Balance that is an Inactive Account a fee in the amount of the lower of (i) the amount set forth in our Fee Schedule or (ii) the balance of funds in the Inactive Account (the “Inactivity Fee”). The Inactivity Fee will be charged each successive month for as long as the Stored Value Balance is an Inactive Account.

We will provide you notice, in the form of an email to the email address you have registered with us at least three (3) days before any Inactivity Fee is deducted from your Inactive Account.

We will deduct an Inactivity Fee from your Stored Value Balance each month until one of the following events occurs:

  1. you make a transfer of funds into or out of, or otherwise access, your Stored Value Balance, such that it is no longer an Inactive Account; or
  2. the balance of your Inactive Account reaches zero; or
  3. you process a credit from your Stored Value Balance to a permitted account as described in Section 3.3.3 above.

For the avoidance of doubt, you may process credit or make payments to the relevant Provider out of your Stored Value Balance at any time, even if your Stored Value Balance is an Inactive Account.

Panic, why?

I am not sure why people got in panic hearing about these news. I suppose for the inactive accounts fee. About this, let’s clarify that:

  • You will be informed at least 3 days before your account will be inactive in a few days.
  • You may process credit or make payments to the relevant Provider out of your Stored Value Balance at any time, even if your Stored Value Balance is an Inactive Account.

I’ve just read a nice post in the Second Life Community about the generally panic on this thread: Too Many Compliants!

How can I process my credits?

You may go to Your Dashboard → Credit Process. At the end of the page, you see a button named Request Process Credit.

More Info? Yes, here you go

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