Friday, January 23, 2015

January LEA 6 Full Sim Vilvi Rae, "Lives of the Monster Dogs" Review by Victoria Lenoirre

Greetings everyone!

I hope you all enjoyed your holidays. Happiest of New Years to you all!

This month at LEA 6, is Vilvi Rae as he kicks off a new year of full sim installations! His build is called Lives of the Monster Dogs.

His exhibition opened on January 15th.

Lives of the Dogs Landing point

When you arrive and click on the silver ! you get a message in local chat:


'Furries' have been part of Second Life right from the beginning. This colourful fandom of anthropomorphic animal characters reaches beyond virtual worlds, including large and varying creative talent. 'Lives of the Monster Dogs' (name borrowed from Kirsten Bakis' enchanting novel) is an exhibition presenting that creativity, an attempt to give a glimpse of the furry community, showcasing some of the hidden talent it holds in its paws and claws.

'Lives of the Monster Dogs' - January 15th-31st 2015 - Linden Endowment for the Arts - LEA6

(Please enable advanced lightning model for this sim!)

You land on a grey furry mat on the water. Don't forget to enable advanced lighting model from your graphic tab in the preferences menu located at the top left of your viewer.

Look to your right and there is a furry ramp to walk up. Once you reach a flat area you see a green ! in front of you. Click it to see the info. You get a notecard and it says


This exhibition showcases a very small fraction of artistic talent from the vast talent in furry fandom, fandom of anthropomorphic animal characters. Furries have been part of Second Life right from the beginning (although only part of the fandom inhabits Second Life) and furry fandom is many things for many different people. Many artists inside the fandom express themselves through art depicting furry characters.

"Lives of the Monster Dogs" (name borrowed from Kirsten Bakis' enchanting novel) is an exhibition presenting that creativity, an attempt to give a glimpse of the furry community, showcasing some of the hidden talent it holds in its paws and claws.

Music stream consists mostly of music from the hugely talented musician
Fox Amoore -

Exhibition architecture and build is by Vilvi, mimicking the style of the Finnish architect Alvar Aalto. (Please enable the advanced lightning model in your viewer)

Image in the poster is of Saint Christopher, who is sometimes pictured with a head of a dog.

Thanks to:
 Linden Endowment for the Arts
 Jayjay Zifanwe
 Jury: Saarni and Sifferi
 Kaarlo, Randon, Frionil, Lutu
 /t/urrit group
 And all the wonderful artists who gave permission to use their works



On both sides of the walls you see pictures of monster dogs in various moods and positions. The area looks a bit like a car port or tunnel. The white floor and walls make me think of minimalism. But the drawings and the trees prevent the space from being minimalistic. Notice that the floor is textured to look like stairs or a crosswalk.

Outside the tunnel the floor curves like an S and you're out in the open air. The effect is like a soprano's Aria. On both sides are drawings of dogs and cats. Try clicking on each one and in local, you will see some info about the artist and the drawing itself.

The path separates into a fork. The left path leads to a picture of Fox Amoore, the musician whose music plays in the stream. The right hand path leads you to a poster of Vilvi's award-winning machinima No Man's Land. It was a brilliantly filmed production and the music and effects were well done.

As is my style, I asked the artist, Vilvi, some questions about his work at LEA6.

Congrats on getting a LEA sim grant!

Thank you! I felt quite honored when I was asked to do something with the sim, because I don't really consider myself much of a builder, never the less it was an interesting project after we came up with the meaningful idea of an art exhibition.

What is your art background?

I have been doing some basic drawing, animating and modelling, and my real life job has kind of a connection to arts, but the closest thing to a formal art training was a minor in multimedia at the university. Besides that, I am mostly self-educated, with a background in amateur filmmaking and a few commercial productions, as well as several years of amateur theater.

What made you want to get into machinima?

First it was just about making silly videos with friends, something to sew that pack more tightly together. Documenting some of the parties held in Second Life was also a reason. It was relatively easy, fast and fun to do, so I continued with it. Making machinima, the way I usually do it, has some similarities to real life filmmaking - many of the positive aspects are the same, but some things you have to execute in a different way. In the end it's usually also a group effort, feels great to create something together with the meaningful people.

Poster of Vilvi Rae's award-winning UWA machinima No Man's Land 

Was No Man's Land your first machinima in a virtual world?

I've been messing with machinima for several years now. The first one that was not made just to amuse friends was "Past | Beyond" in 2013 that won the UWA Machinima challenge. Before that, I mostly did different kinds of music videos. "No Man's Land" was the first one that had excessive use of (homemade) motion capture. Funny to think that's actually me moving in most of the scenes.

Why did you join Second Life?

It was about five years ago, I just wanted to try it out and to get in contact with the Finnish furry fandom. And oh boy did it work, been hooked ever since. Even nowadays, besides doing stuff like machinima, Second Life is mostly a social thing for me, a way to keep in touch with other members of the fandom. I actually prefer Second Life over many other digital means of communication within the fandom.

What has been the hardest challenge in working in Second Life?

Technology brings its own challenges, but that's what they are, challenges, interesting problems to overcome. My solutions are not always perfect but the challenges are usually fun to dive into. And of course I usually get help from others, I couldn't do all this just by myself. Actually, I think other challenges are just the same as in real life, social ones.

You are from Finland. Do they know about SL there? What are people's reactions when you tell them that you make films or create builds in SL?

Some educational institutes like schools and universities use it, they own and operate several large sims. And at least one non-furry Finnish Second Life club has over thousand members in it's group (although I don't think all the members a Finns!)  And our group of Finnish furries has over two hundred members (you have to consider that Finland is really quite a small country, just 5 and half million inhabitants). So it's known to some people, but kind of a niche.
I keep my second life quite separate from the first one, so most of my non-furry first life friends do not even know that I have a secret life where I'm an "award winning machinimatographer" :)

Having been in SL, it's quite a world to adjust to and get around. What is the best thing about life and your experience in SL so far?

In general, I think it's more about what you are or appear to be and who do you interact with than the surroundings. Meeting people and forming social groups, many of which have even carried over to real life. Second Life helped me to get to know myself better, build up confidence and new kind of freedom to be… me. Making machinima has also become meaningful for me, something of a way to express myself and a counterweight to all that hectic mundane everyday life.

Thanks for your time.

No problem, thank you very much for asking for an interview!


Many thanks to Vilvi Rae for taking time to answer my questions and most of all, for being a fabulous artist/machinima maker in SL!

Come see Lives of Monster Dogs at LEA6 now!

Best regards,

Victoria Lenoirre

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