Tuesday, July 4, 2017


You have by now heard that the UWA sims in Second Life have given a reprieve yet again. In short, we have gotten an extension for another two years for two of our remaining four sims. There are great blog posts about the recent developments by:

Our Programs:

The large 3D Art & Machinima Challenges are basically over. We may have occasional changing exhibits in the UWA gallery, but the current show ("Transformations") will probably stay up for the rest of this year at least. This is in part because we have been offered funding from an outside source for a machinima challenge that will focus on the art on the UWA sims.

Our Sims: What's Staying

The "main" sim (called "University of WA") contains the iconic campus builds including Winthrop Hall with the clock tower, the Somerville outdoor cinema, the Moreton Bay fig trees, and the Sunken Gardens. It will be one of the sims to remain.

Also staying is the adjacent "UWA" sim that includes our art gallery in the sky (home of the changing exhibitions for the last 8 years), and several ground level installations, including the large Anatomy, Physiology, and Human Anatomy building that is used for teaching by Prof. Stuart Bunt.

Because of the recent increases in sim capacity to 20K prims and some judicious editing of certain objects, we are actually in pretty good shape to move a good number of our archival "permanent" collection of art from the Winthrop sim to UWA sim. Some items cannot be moved due to ownership constraints or other practical reasons, but most of the better known pieces should be preserved (at least for the next 2 years).  JayJay and I will be working to move what we can this month.

What's Going Away:

A lot of the familiar installations on the Winthrop and WASP sims are going to disappear.

Winthrop sim has a number of things that will likely be lost. Notably the large forest of trees and figures by soror Nishi (we will be saving a couple of smaller pieces soror submitted to our art challenges),

as well and a bunch of Glyph Graves's organic plants and creatures and his huge sky installation called "Strangers Also Dance." (You really owe it to yourself to see this. There is a rather dramatic transporter in the form of an amorphous shape over the water at ground level.)

And the modern gallery building by Patch Thibaud that houses a lot of the smaller pieces.

And, speaking of Patch, the amazing BOSL Amphitheatre in the sky will necessarily be going away because it sits over the intersection of all four sims. This has been the beloved location of most of our major art/machinima challenge award ceremonies.

WASP sim is also going away. This sim was originally intended for use by the advance visualization collaboration at UWA.  (WASP stands for Western Australian Supercomputer Program.) Most of their activity happened the first year of UWA in SL (2009), but included the creation of many of the major campus buildings that were created in the old Google Sketchup 3D modeling program and then imported to SL using a custom conversion tool to recreate them in prims. In addition to Winthrop Hall, they recreated the School of Physics, Art Department, and a few other buildings that will survive the coming changes. The Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery building on WASP (currently housing an old exhibit of doodle drawings by former Linden Lab CEO M Linden) will be going away.

An Aside:

Alexander Graham Bell, best known for the invention of the telephone, was also interested in aerodynamics and created a number kites using various geometrical principles. Among them was this design that is a set of equilateral triangles within triangles in a pyramidal form called a Sierpinski tetrahedron, which would later be recognized as a fractal set in chaos theory.

Among the items in Second Life on the UWA WASP sim is a Sierpinski tetrahedron as part of an exhibit of numerous fractal objects made by Trianguloid Trefoil.

Interestingly, there is also an art object on UWA Winthrop sim created by the brilliant scripter Takni Miklos that generates a Sierpinski tetrahedron on collision (i.e., just walk into the orange ring).

WASP and Winthrop sims are expected to close the end of July. The objects on WASP (including the remarkable 1032 prim model of St Basil's Cathedral in Moscow) are expected to disappear permanently.

You are strongly encouraged to come see these sims while you can!


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