Welcome to the February 2021 issue of Kultivate Magazine! It is hard to believe we are at the end of February almost and approaching March! This issue features 3D artist Betty Tureaud, The Florence at Low Tide Sim, The House That Love Built Sim, The 3D Exhibition Khaos in Motion, and the Futur Art Exhibition. This issue also features the following photo essays: Places to Ride Horses in SL by Tempest Rosca Huntsman, Vargsangen by Inara Pey, and Fun photography by Layka. This issue also features the new last names in Second Life and the departure of long time employee Oz Linden from Linden Labs. Lastly this issue features the No Eden to the West sim. Here we are approaching almost a year since coronavirus has become a norm in all our lives. I hope that everyone is staying safe and being optimistic that by the summer we can all meet again and enjoy in person company as we once di. Something we almost all took for granted until last year. Lets continue to hope and pray for our lives to return to some normalcy this year.
Tempest & I would like to thank our advertisers, artists, staff,, friends, and business partners! Without all of you, we could not kultivate at Kultivate! Enjoy the issue
Sincerely, John, Owner & Publisher of Kultivate Magazine
KULTIVATE MAGAZINE—FEBRUARY2021 CREDITS
Johannes Huntsman, Owner & Founder
Tempest Rosca Huntsman, Photographer Liaison Veruca Tammas, Gallery & Sim Manager Jessii Warrhol, Marketing Manager CONTRIBUTORS: Inara Pey, Lead Contributor Johannes Huntsman Tempest Rosca Huntsman Ricca Saenz Layka
COVER PHOTOGRAPHY: Betty Tureaud
FEATURED ARTICLE: BETTY TUREAUD PAGE 44
TRAVELS WITH TEMPEST PHOTO ESSAY: HORSING AROUND PAGE 70
PLACES: FLORENCE AT LOW TIDE PAGE 88
LINDEN LAB NEWS: OZ LINDEN DEPARTS PAGE 106
SIM SPOTLIGHT: T HE HOUSE THAT LOVE BUILT IN SL PAGE 116
VARGSANGEN PHOTO ESSAY PAGE 136
FEBRUARY 2021 - TABLE OF CONTENTS
3D EXHIBITION SPOTLIGHT: KHAOS IN MOTION PAGE 156
ART EXHIBITION SPOTLIGHT: NO FUTUR PAGE 174
SECOND LIFE NEWS:
LAB INVITES USERS TO SUGGEST NEW NAMES PAGE 190
NO EDEN TO THE WEST PAGE 200
FUN PAGE 234
: BETTY TUREAUD
etty Tureaud currently has an
exhibition on the Kultivate Sim, titled “Lost in Space.” I first met Betty almost 5 years ago at one of her excellent art installations. For this article you will see images of Betty’s work and learn about her. I hope you enjoy! Betty is an artist in both real life and Second Life. Describes herself as a hypermaniac that does all kinds of stuff in Second Life! 100% of Betty’s Second Life art is created in Second Life and she never brings her real life artwork in Second Life. Betty first went into Second Life in 2007 and has been here since! Her first exhibit was on the mainland at Cooper Nest Gallery. Betty’s personal statement is: “I love to put some scripting to my art and bright colors are my favorite Mexican make me think about the colorfulness I love artwork who is coming from Mexicans Indians. The colors is so bright and sometimes chocking for your eyes. It make me also think about Frida Carlo who make some wonderful paintings where she express her own pain. My art is a more happy style, but I also get my inspiration from real world.”
Betty has won the following awards and accolades in Second Life: WINNER OF THE MARCH 2010 ROUND OF THE UWA 3D ART & DESIGN CHALLENGE ARTIST BOOK PRIZE - Honorable Mention WINNER OF THE NOVEMBER 2010 ROUND OF THE UWA 3D ART & DESIGN CHALLENGE ARTIST 3 PRIZE - and Show & Tell @ Avaria Prize. First price winner UWA January 2011 Peoples price and 3 winner in scripted artworks Winner of the UWA CARP prise January 2011 Winnert of the UWA NODAN prise May 2011 WINNER OF THE August 2011 ROUND OF THE UWA 3D ART & DESIGN CHALLENGE Honorable Mention Linden Lab land grand LEA 1/4 sim
You can visit Betty’s work at Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/betty-tureaud/ And in Second Life: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Danish% 20Visions/195/251/26 KM
TRAVELS WITH TEMPEST PHOT
TO ESSAY: HORSING AROUND
ARTICLE & PHOTOG
NCE AT LOW TIDE
GRAPHY: INARA PEY
t’s been a year since Caitlyn and I last visited
Gnaaah Xeltentat’s Florence at Low Tide. As that time, the region offered an early spring setting with a lean towards the Mediterranean in some of its styling. As we’re heading back towards spring, and needing a break to compose thoughts on another blog post I’m working on, I hopped back for another look and see what early 2021 has brought to the region. Most noticeably, it has brought the eyes of Iska (Sablina) to the work of landscaping the setting. Responsible for the likes of La Virevolte (see here for more), Ponto Cabana (read more here), and before them Field of Dreams / L’intangible (more here), Sablina has a proven track record of eye-catching region designs. Here, her work sits alongside interior designs by Tippah to present a new and attractive take on the region’s core elements as they were revealed a year ago. As with its previous iteration, the current design has a distinct south-north orientation, complete with lowlands to the south and a truncated peak to the north-east. A fenced road still winds through the landscape, sitting above the southern waterfront to encircle the main part of the region, while the land remains split by the line of a narrow stream spanned by two bridges that between them carry the road over it. However, within this, both Sablina and Tippah have added their own unique touches. For the former, this is seen in the gentle moving of the region’s architecture away from Tuscany and more into France – at last in terms of the names of the selected buildings. One of these is an eye-catching water mill by Silex (Silex Zapedzki) that has been converted into an almost ideal home. It sits above the southern estuary of the river, which retains its familiar scattering of rowing boats. Across the river and more central to the island is an attractive cottage design by Hisa (Hisastore) that has become a popular choice among region holders and designers of late. It sits on the mid-level elevation of the land, bracketed on the one side by the river and on the other by the stream tumbling down from the north-east peak. The peak and its uplands sit apart from the rest of the
taking its toll the grass and rock is becoming visible under the greying blanket. An old windmill sits among the trees here, another new touch to the setting, I believe, although it has clearly seen better days. As noted, the houses are all comfortably furnished, and as with the landscape as a whole offer numerous opportunities for photography. In terms of the latter, a Romany camp presents a further point of interest and sits as a new feature – at least since my last visit. For those who want to get away from things, the cottage tucked into the north-west corner of the region could be just the place. While it appears to have once been the home of the local lighthouse keeper, the typewriter outside suggests it might now be a writer’s retreat. Or perhaps the lighthouse keeper has taken to writer their memoirs! As noted, the houses are all comfortably furnished, and as with the landscape as a whole offer numerous opportunities for photography. In terms of the latter, a Romany camp presents a further point of interest and sits as a new feature – at least since my last visit. For those who want to get away from things, the cottage tucked into the north-west corner of the region could be just the place. While it appears to have once been the home of the local lighthouse keeper, the typewriter outside suggests it might now be a writer’s retreat. Or perhaps the lighthouse keeper has taken to writer their memoirs! KM You can visit this amazing sim at the following slurl: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/
LINDEN LABS NEWS: O
ARTICLE & PHOTOG
OZ LINDEN DEPARTS LL
GRAPHY: INARA PEY
On Tuesday, February 16th, 2021, and in a surprise to Second Life users, Linden Lab’s Vice President of Engineering, Oz Linden (aka Scott Lawrence in the physical world) announced his forthcoming departure from the Lab.
the new process. It marked the start of a long and informative acquaintance that I’ve continued to appreciate over the years. As well as direct contributions to the viewer, Oz also helped open the door to user-led projects aimed at providing broader capabilities for the Oz joined Linden Lab in 2010, taking on the viewer. While constraints on what could / could role of Director of Open Development. At that not be accepted would always have to be time, the viewer was in something of a state of enforced, this approach nevertheless resulted in flux; the “new” Viewer 2 had not long been the adoption of materials in Second Life, and launched, the development of which had helped to encourage project-based largely excluded the user community and, contributions to the viewer that have included particularly, developers who had long been capabilities such as the hover height slider, and associated with viewer development through graphics and camera presets. This approach also the submission of code contributions. included major lab-led projects such as Project As a result of this and other factors, users and Bento also encompass direct user involvement developers alike were at the time feeling pretty much from their outset. alienated and disenfranchised – facts that Oz While it has always been the Lab’s policy to try immediately recognized and sought to address. to recruit personnel from the ranks of users as and when there is a suitable “fit”, in his time at In the first instance this was done by replacing the Lab, Oz has become perhaps one of the the open-source viewer Snow globe project most enthusiastic proponents of this approach, with a new Snowstorm project, intended to frequently seeking – and often succeeding – to bring as much of the viewer development out recruit qualified users into technical positions into the open as possible – an approach Oz under his management. continued to push for throughout his time at the Lab, thus bringing order and surety out of a As the Lab opted to start work on Project time that might be best described as having Sansar, Oz decided to pro-actively campaign to been “chaotic”. take on the work in continuing to develop The most obvious areas in which this was Second Life, drawing to him those within the demonstrated was his adoption of weekly Open Lab who also wished to stay engaged in working Source Meetings, initially held on Mondays on the platform. It is not unfair to say this before moving to their current Wednesday slot. resulted in one of the most intense periods of These meetings continued alongside other Second Life development we have seen, technical in-world meetings such as the Server interrupted only be the need to focus on the and Scripter meeting (now the weekly Simulator work of transitioning all of Second Life and its User Group), which took place even during the services to run on AWS. drought of other office hours meetings. He also In 2019, Oz – together with Grumpity and Patch implement the fortnightly Third Party Viewer Linden – officially joined the Lab’s management Development meetings, allow Third Party Viewer developers to discuss all matters relating team, taking on the role of Vice President of to the viewer directly with him and members of Engineering and putting an official seal on what Grumpity refers to as the Troika: the three of the Lab’s viewer engineering team. In 2013, Oz oversaw the complete overhaul of them being largely responsible for determining much of the product and feature direction for the Lab’s internal viewer develop process, Second Life. officially called the Viewer Integration and Release Process, which greatly simplified viewer In announcing his departure, which sees his last update and viewer feature development. This day with the Lab being Friday, February 26th, project also brought me into my first direct 2021, Oz states that it has been something he’s contact with Oz when I offered a summary of
As such – and while his actual departure from the Lab is still more than a week away, – I’d like SOME TIME AGO, I REACHED THE POINT to take this opportunity to offer him a personal THAT I COULD AFFORD TO THINK ABOUT and public “thank you” for all the times he’s RETIRING BUT DECIDED TO STAY TO FINISH provided me with insight and / or encouraged MOVING SL TO ITS NEW CLOUD PLATFORM. me to get involved in various projects, all of it I CAN’T IMAGINE A BETTER LAST ACT IN MY has been greatly appreciated. I am, and will be, WORKING LIFE THAN ENSURING THAT genuinely saddened to see him leave the Lab; SECOND LIFE HAS THIS BETTER PLATFORM we are all losing something in his departure, FOR ITS FUTURE GROWTH. NOW THAT and the void left will not be easy for the PROJECT IS DONE (WELL, EXCEPT FOR A FEW management team to fill. KM LOOSE ENDS), AND IT’S TIME FOR ME TO MOVE ON TO THE NEXT PHASE OF MY LIFE. been considering for a while:
He also emphasizes – hopefully to prevent the rumor mill turning its wheels – that his decision to leave the Lab is not in any way connected to the company recently being acquired by new investors: I WANT TO EMPHASISE IN THE STRONGEST POSSIBLE TERMS: MY DECISION HAS NOTHING AT ALL TO DO WITH THE CHANGE IN OWNERSHIP OF THE LAB; THE TIMING REALLY IS A COINCIDENCE. IF ANYTHING, I REGRET THAT I HAVE OVERLAPPED WITH THEM FOR ONLY A FEW WEEKS; IN THAT TIME (AND IN THE TIME LEADING UP TO THE CHANGE) I HAVE COME TO RESPECT AND APPRECIATE THE SKILLS AND ENERGY THEY BRING TO THE COMPANY. For my part, I cannot claim to know Oz as well as I would like to – but I’ve always found find his enthusiasm for Second Life never to be anything less than totally honest and infectious, and his high regard for users utterly genuine and sincere.
SIM SPOTLIGHT: THE HOUSE TH
ARTICLE & PHOTOG
HAT LOVE BUILT IN SECOND LIFE
GRAPHY: INARA PEY
rchetype11 Nova, currently using the name Lex
Machine, recently opened his latest region design on his Full private region of Solveig. Entitled The House That love Built, it is once again a most eyepopping imaginative design that completely captures the visitor’s attention and holds it with a fascinating mix of art nature, the expected and the unexpected that is both marvelous witness and difficult to describe.
With his previous two builds, Archetype11 presented vistas that were incredibly visual, rooted deep in the imagination and with a recognition that in Second Life, expression can more-or-less freeform – but which also carried something of a massage to fit the times in which they were built (see Inside mR J’s HoUsE in Second Life and Isolation’s Passengers in Second Life). That House That love Built also carries something of a theme, but one that comes from an altogether different direction. IT’S NOT USUAL FOR ME TO DO SUCH A BUILD … ANA [HIS SL PARTNER, ANASTASIA NOVA] CHALLENGED ME TO SHOW LOVE WITH A BUILD; THIS IS THE RESULT. IT WAS OUTSIDE MY COMFORT ZONE. – Archetype 11 describing The House That Love Built The result of this is an incredibly diverse build in which can be found so much that, despite being so varied in content with new scenes seeming to open up at every turn, nevertheless clearly carries the themes of love and sharing throughout. Spread across a rolling landscape rich in trees, flowers and grass, these scenes may at first appear to be chaotic, or at least random, in placement and tone. Gigantic figures here, a house on the water there, cars either wrecked or being repaired lie scattered about; an overgrown yard, a barn decorated in expectation of a wedding, an old school house, rivers of bright flowers winding through the the rich green of the grass, and blossom hugs the branches of trees to contrast with the greenery of others.
When first seen, the theme of love may be hard to discern; but it is there, perhaps most clearly in the barn that awaits a wedding, a clear sign of the joining of two lives into a union borne by love and affection. But so too can be it found elsewhere, such as within the house over the water. Lit from without, its lamps glowing in the evening light in greeting and warmth, the space within sits empty – a promise of the times to come when it will be jointly furnished to become a home for those living within,a personal place of love and sanctuary.
fairytale and romance that extends even to the ageing cars sitting amidst the tide of flowers surrounding them and under the shadow of old awning.
This is a place where even fears can be subdued: up on a hill sits a head with blank eyes staring wide and mouth open in a primal scream. Liquid Fear may well be its title, but the glass butterflies rising from it remind us that even our deepest fears can be calmed through the presence of one we love. I became enamored with Archetype11’s build from the moment I first set foot in his original Similarly, the yard outside might speak to the Hotel California build some two years ago now. passage of time and the acceptance of Since then, everything he has produced and individual hobbies – such as a passion for shared with us has allowed me to partake in rebuilding powerful cars; while up on the hill a the most incredible of creative journeys, each short distance away sits a little schoolhouse. building on the last. So much so that I can say Tired and ageing it might be, but might it also entirely without hyperbole, that his region not stand in reflection of childhood loves and designs are some of the most visually the first innocent hints of romance? engaging, imaginative and photogenic to be found in Second Life. They are also, thanks to Then there is the setting itself – the cast of the the subjects he cares to embrace, some of the late evening Sun, the softening colors of the most deeply personal to be found in SL, a fact sky as they blend with the gentle tones of the that again draws the visitor into them to a blossom in the trees and the wash of color in point where they are places the open heart the winding trails of tall flowers. All give an air and mind does not so much visit, but of love’s enchantment across the land, while participate in. the little spots to be found across it – a piano here, a swing there; a panic spread beneath a There is so much more that I could say parasol, a boat sitting quietly out on the water, about The House That love Built – such as the the artist’s retreat on its little island – all small, but evident nods to past builds -, but further speak to ideas of love, courtship, really, given it is a place to be experienced first togetherness and sharing. hand, please do go and see it for yourself and take the time to allow it to reveal its stories to And then, of course, there are the statues; you. KM rising across the western side of the landscape, they are hard to miss. From great horses You can visit this amazing sim at the frozen in time as they thunder across the land following slurl in Second Life: http:// to female figures caught mid-dance or pose to maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/ those wreathed in a fine net or shadow and Solveig/151/123/23 completed by a couple in one another’s arms, these all stand magnificently within the landscape, adding to its ethereal mystery and yet very much a part of it in tone and style. Even when apparently fragmenting or incomplete, these massive statues add a further depth to the setting. They present a magical scene through which to wander, a place where unicorn roam. Beneath and around their great forms lies a richness of
HY: INARA PEY
3D ART EXHIBITION SPOTLIGHT: K
ARTICLE & PHOTOG
KHAOS IN MOTION IN SECOND LIFE
GRAPHY: INARA PEY
haos Part 1 is the title of a new 3D installation
currently open at La Maison d’Aneli, operated and curated by Aneli Abeyant. It marks the latest collaboration by Cherry Manage and YadeYu Fhang, two artists noted for their distinctive style and for presenting art installations that tend to be layered and nuanced, and which require time to experience, rather than simply observe. All three of the attributes mentioned above are very much in evidence with this latest work, particularly as there do not seem to be any liner notes supplied by either artist as to their intent with it, this requiring the grey matter to be cranked into action. Reached via the teleport disk at the gallery’s main landing point, it is important that visitors take note of the basic requirements for visiting the installation. In short, these are: • Make sure your viewer’s Advanced Lighting Model (ALM) is enabled (Preferences Graphics make sure the Advanced Lighting Model option is checked). • Enable Used Shared Environment (World menu Environment make sure Use Shared Environment is check). •As you walk into the installation space, make sure you accept the local Experience when asked to join (this happens as you walk towards the installation from the teleport).
To these I would add a moderate Draw Distance of around 150-200 meters is ideal for viewing the installation, and that visitors should be prepared for some fairly visually violent interactions. Finally, if you’re in a position to freecam / flycam, you most definitely should do so, as this is a 3D installation with multiple perspectives and where the local verticals are not necessarily oriented to the plane on which you walk. Situated in a sharply-defined sky – while below, a black, star-studded sky above across which square clouds pass, the installation might be described as an artificial, geometrical landscape made up of translucent blocks. Almost transparent around the teleport point, these
Before this wall are humanoid figures, some of whom appear to be falling from the wall, tucked into tight balls, others appear frozen in a motion of action – some mid-fall, some apparently trying to run away, two caught mid-fight. Many appear to be coalescing out of smaller blocks – or perhaps breakin up into them, depending on your viewpoint. Lines of light spear they way through some, adding to the impression they are breaking up; elsewhere solid lines pass through others, slanted as if to present a visual indicator of their motion. The overall sense of the setting is one of disordered randomness – which is added to by the fact that within this basic setting, nothing is constant. Light shifts and glimmers, other figures both large and small appear and vanish, some performing actions, some caught in whirlwinds of blocks swirling around or a maelstrom of wind. As time passes, a forest of rectangular beams many appear, some seeming to rise and fall as light plays over and through them, or avalanches of white cubes will suddenly rain down the “slope”, or masses of while lines will roll and twist in place, like streamers of snow caught in a storm.
Nor is this all – as you explore the scene on foot, and having accepted the local experience, you will suddenly find yourself part of it, being shaken violently, or pulled roughly into Mouselook as your body hang bent doubled only to be slammed several time into an invisible floor before being released to fall – and then returned to the platform.
Disconcerting, chaotic, ever-changing within the main backdrop, what is to be made of all of this? For my part, I was drawn to the idea that Khaos Part 1 is perhaps a reflection on the idea of chaos theory; ng the concept that while dynamic systems may well have apparently random states of disorder and irregularities, they are in fact governed by underlying patterns and deterministic laws that are highly sensitive to their initial conditions. And in a mirrored reflection of this, perhaps there is also the idea that whilst life can appear to be well-ordered and subject to patterns and laws as defined by society, it is at its core the product of a chaos that is never far from the surface, simply because of the unpredictable nature of basic human emotional response and outlook.
However, I’ll leave further interpretation to you; as noted, there are no liner notes provided with the installation, and I’d prefer not to color reactions with my own interpretations, and will leave things here, other than to speculate that given this is “part 1”, there may will be a follow-on installation at some point. KM You can visit Khaos in Motion at the following slurl: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/ Virtual%20Holland/23/65/22
ART EXHIBITION SPO
ARTICLE & PHOTOG
OTLIGHT: NO FUTUR
GRAPHY: INARA PEY
urrently open at the Into the Future Gallery of
Hermes Kondor’s Kondor Arts Centre, is an exhibition by Caly Applewhyte entitled No Futur. The easiest way to describe this exhibition is to use Caly’s own description: NO FUTUR [IS] A VERY FRENCH EXPRESSION THAT REFERS TO THE UNCERTAIN FUTURE OF OUR WORLD. THIS EXHIBITION IS AN ILLUSTRATION OF THIS IDEA THAT OUR WORLD SEEMS TO BE RUNNING TO ITS RUIN WITH OUR MADNESS OF “PROGRESS”. WE ARE CONSTANTLY TRYING TO DO BETTER OR MORE … MORE TECHNOLOGY, MORE BIOTECHNOLOGY, MORE MONEY OF COURSE … BUT IN THE END, WE MAY WONDER IF WE ARE NOT DOING WORSE. WHAT WE ARE EXPERIENCING TODAY IS ONLY A BAD START IF OUR POWERFUL POLITICAL AND INDUSTRIAL LEADERS DO NOT REALISE THAT ECONOMIC GROWTH AT ALL COSTS IS ONLY A COUNTDOWN … GAME OVER. •
Caly Applewhyte Given this description, it is clear that this is an exhibition that has a somber lean. It might also be thought that given Caly’s words, it focuses on issues of the political-industrial complex that – as Caly notes – is pulling us towards possible destruction. However, this latter view would be in error.
Rather than focusing on political indifference (and / or denial) and industries that continue to find the needs of board room returns of a higher priority than that of committing more fully to ethical, environmentally friendly means of doing business, these are pieces that focus on the individual, either directly or indirectly. This makes them far more personal in nature, with all of them carrying a distinct lean towards matters of ecology and the environment, and the damage we are doing to it through pollution and climate change. Gas masked, often in an environment suit, sometimes an adult at others more child-like, the
With only a single figure in each image, these are all pieces that also emphasize our essential isolation from the world. We’ve allowed ourselves to be cut off from it through the technology Caly notes and the creature comforts of modern life; we’ve created metaphorical barriers between ourselves and nature. All of which appears to be referenced as well, through the use of fences within several of the images. Somber it may be, but No Futur is nevertheless rich in expression, message and artistry. KM You can visit the exhibition at the following slurl in Second Life: http:// maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/ Waka/223/179/3195
SECOND LIFE: LAB INVITES USERS
ARTICLE: & PHOTOG
S TO SUGGEST NEW SL LAST NAMES
GRAPHY: INARA PEY
The Lab does have an extensive list of names already, so submitted and selected names may not immediately appear in any updates to the list of available Last Names.
n Thursday, February 11th, Linden
Lab announced the release of a new selection At this point in time, the Lab is not re-using any of last names for Premium members as a part “legacy” Last Names (those users were able to select prior to 2010) – so be sure to check the of the Name Changes capability. list of legacy names before submitting your As I noted at the time, the 15 new names ideas. added to the list (which also saw the removal of a number of the less popular names from it) ABOUT NAME CHANGES included some suitable for the Valentine’s Name Changes is a Premium-only benefit that period, and comprised a mix of names allows Premium subscribers to change their first suggested by users during the 2019 Last Names name, their last name or both their first and last competition that was held prior to the launch of name on the payment of fee (US $39.99 + VAT / Name Changes, and names selected by Linden sales tax, where applicable at the time of Lab. writing). Through it, users can opt to use any This makes for a quite varied selection of names first name of their own choice, while last names are selected from a pre-defined list. for those wishing to change their avatar’s last name – but the Lab is always looking for new names that might be suitable.
If you are unfamiliar with the capability, you can read more via the following links:
To this end, the Last Names Suggestions Second Life: the return of last names, and some form has been created, allowing anyone who notes. has a suggestion for a potential Second life Last Tutorial: Second Life Names Changes. KM Name to submit it to the Lab for consideration. When doing so, there are a couple of caveats to note:
SCENIC LOCATIONS: NO
ARTICLE & PHOTOGRA
O EDEN TO THE WEST
APHY: RICCA SAENZ
n the United States’ modern mythology,
Route 66, established in the 1920s, emerged as a symbolic way to hope and freedom, to the promises of a better life or to the dreams of a more authentic existence on earth. This set of images also comes to my mind when I visit Mother Road – Mirage Motel 66 in Second Life, which, together with its neighbor sims, presents a small town built on the desert along a representation of probably the most famous highway that the US has had. Mother Road – Mirage Motel 66 is not the first incarnation of the historic Route 66 in SL. The repeated presence of that highway in the virtual world and the fascination it exerts on visitors and photographers show how its imagery is cultivated among us, SLers. Not surprisingly, the adjacent regions to the current Mother Road in SL, which help building the image of a town in the desert, offer homes for those who are attracted by the idea of living in such an iconic landscape. In other words, they reflect the assumption (probably a well-founded one) that SL residents are commonly touched – to the point of considering inhabiting it – by the myth of the road that, through a scenery of conquered wilderness, leads to some kind of missed paradise in the west of our imagination. Actually, the west is a proper place to house paradise, in the eyes of the sons of Cain, who was banned to the east of Eden after murdering Abel. The west is where the greener fields should be found in the hopes of Okies trying to escape the consequences of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, either in John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath (where Route 66 is famously mentioned as the United States’ Mother Road) or in Sanora Babb’s Whose Names Are Unknown. In a way, the journey to the west, the idea of crossing the United States from the Atlantic to the Pacific, has also appealed to Americans as a path into the wilderness and towards freedom, independence or abandon, be it
under the colonialist mentality of the Manifest Destiny in the 19th century or under the spiritual quest cultivated by the Beat Generation in the 1950s and 1960s. I will risk to say that representations of the Mother Road may exert a special attractiveness on Second Life’s residents because SL itself is still a product of a time in which we searched for online existences as our western paradises. The most successful product by Linden Lab belongs to an era in which the internet used to be thought of as a thriving and expanding bubble of liberty – or as a no-man’s land as well. Yes, SL has always been a walled garden, governed by the Lab, but we have never been driven in its domains by the algorithms that populate today’s social networks. In the history of its existence, the internet has changed from that unexplored land of possibilities into a controlled environment where our presence is limited by all the routines that determine what we will see, whom we will interact with, what kind of content will be presented to us and so on. To put it in another way: we moved from utopia into dystopia. As in Steinbeck’s or Babb’s novels, there was no Eden in our west, no paradise in our California. Still, as the Beat Generation pointed to us, there is the way itself, the wild desert in which we can still navigate. US Route 66 may have been decommissioned in the 1980s, but the idea that it represents is still food for our dreams – and in a way that’s why we keep building such a highway again and again. KM You can visit Mother Road-Route 66 at the following slurl in Second Life: https://maps.secondlife.com/ secondlife/Mishiland/9/190/75/
FUN PHOTOGRAPHY BY: LAYKA
Ristorante Kandela is the free and self serve restaurant on the Kultivate Sim! This v couples intan so you can enjoy a romantic date out with your loved one! The restau Huntsman a notecard in world with the booking date and time and any other specia 20Haven/95/221/28
venue is decorated in an Italian rustic style and features crooner music and a urant is also available for private events, free of charge. Simply drop Johannes al requests. SLURL: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Water%
VOLUME 6, ISSUE 2 FEBRUARY 201 WWW.KULTIVATEMAGAZINE.COM