wiab – World in a browser

World in a browser will have its premiere on Feb. 5th 2018 by visiting the Volcano of Art. This is the first visit aired in public after the Closing party in 2013. In a few days you will find here a posting giving a summary, some links and background information.

That’s the program:


This was the actual running of the show:

Welcome to World in a browser. Today we premiere an inworld journey into opensimulator worlds. You shall have now your webbrowser open. Any internet browser will do it. Google Chrome supports additional functions, but you will not need them today.

Enter screenleap.com/artblue – then you will see my screen. Screenleap supports also group discussions via regular landIines all over the globe. This reduces the lag as we call it when the bandwidth is not sufficient or your computer and graphics card is not very powerful.

Screenleap has assigned for visitors logging in from Germany a different phone number as you may see in the display. It is +49 30 22403074. It would be nice if many would call one of the national dial in numbers so we see if this system will work for other art talks and events. To make it clear you don’t have to be logged in to Second Life now to make the journey. All happens or will happen in the browser.

Juliette Surreal-D. posted in chat:  The number for US Americans is +1 213 992 4635, for France is +33 1 70 06 99 76 and for Italy is +39 02 9475 2988. 

In the Surreal Art Gallery have been pictures placed to visualize the technical details.


In case you are now with us, with me, in the Surreal Art Gallery of Juliette Surreal-D in Second Life at 235 meter above sea level sitting in the Obscur Hall looking to the ocean to the Half Mile gallery, the longest art gallery ever created stone by stone, cube by cube, you may feel the impact of a world change ahead. My viewer, my screen that you see shows the gallery right now and I will make a bit fun out of the people I will zoom on. Does not everyone do so? To see what will Art Blue today wear? Not really I am no surprise in dress code. But others, I know … I will behave, don’t worry.

Thoughts might come up in your mind sitting there seeing your Avatar as the representation of yourself when yourself is now curiously watching the browser screen knowing you are now aired worldwide …

Thoughts like: Will we really leave the safe realm of Second Life fiercely protected by the servers of Linden Lab in San Francisco? Will we head out to Paris to the computing centre of OVH where Art Blue once published that the Perfect 10 hides there in Elysion, the home of the elderly? But now we are running on a dedicated server where Vulcanicus is loaded on an Intel Xeon E3-1225 32 GByte and 3 SSD we wait to welcome Art Blue. Will he share what he sees, what he clicks on to? Will my browser get the pictures transmitted and show me them fast and in good quality?

I hope so. In case you are in Second Life right now then reduce graphic distance and go on basic shades – or if your PC is not strong then best to log off for 20 minutes and come back for the second part of the Art Talk. After the show when World in browser has ended set the graphic preferences back. Right now you need nothing else as the browser. To watch my screen all the time is fine for the session ahead.

Juliette has dialed in to the screenleap conference center so you can ask her questions and also give feedback during the show. Juliette will make notes and prompt your contribution in chat later. There will be time to take your comments and questions after the trip. The duration is as usual for an Art Talk in the Surreal Art Gallery one hour in total. As I said the World in a browser, a travel to Vulcanicus as you might have read in the invitation, will take about 20 minutes. Remember it is an Art Talk you are invited to, to an Art Show, so it is an Art Trip. To fake some effects is part of the artistic ways, it is always and will be, the magic. So we head out to a stargate a Hypergrid network jumper.

We hit the stargate made by Shana Deed and up we go. We are in Futurelab.

Then an artificial voice blends in. Listen to the voice:


During the next minutes you will see some lovely made installations and art works by highly gifted builders here in Futurelab and the neighbour sim South Horizon and at the Welcome area of 1Biennale. The arrangements have been mainly done by Juliette and Art Eames. Many thanks to their ongoing support. Just relax. I will fly and move my camera slowly.

I spoke of the feelings of a world change ahead and we can now relax. We made it stress free. I earlier copied one thought our ancestors had: Will we really leave the safe realm of Second Life fiercely protected by the servers of Linden Lab in San Francisco? I reach out to Torley Linden and bring an artefact.

We will listen now in voice to his report ten years ago.

The report by Torley is titled: Researchers from IBM and Linden Lab® gathered in an experimental area of the 3D virtual world, Second Life. Together they prepared to teleport outside Second Life to another virtual world, called OpenSim. It was a journey no avatar had taken before.

The spoken text was extracted from the video [see below] and aired on the stream:

So far words ten years ago, in fact from July 2008. Will Second Life will ever open the Hypergrid again to gain what is called the Mercatoria network in the novel The Algebraist by Iain M. Banks one of the greatest stories of all times? I would have loved to end the journey by a reading from the Sand Bible where we find words quoted from The Algebraist who hides his existence as a machine intelligence in a Moon of frozen ice water. Some might have seen and remember the Moonrezzer installation, a destination we have on our travel agenda for a later time. Then there might be time for this dream.

Now the time has come to Welcome you to VULCANICUS. Right now you shall see the Volcano. Do you? I wait a bit for a hands up in chat for the persons who joined us in Second Life late and for Juliette to tell what the visitors joined via the conference center say and then I will start to move my camera around the Volcano of Art. I am myself of course also in the conference, but busy to handle the viewer. You may wonder why I don’t fly with my avatar into the region. The reason is to protect the installation from visits by others who might call themselves Art Blue and use the Hypergrid network for a jump in and a hack. Computing is never save, you know it from the news. VISA card servers, banks, even the CIA all have been hacked, so why shall Art be not under threat? Famous art is conserved in Vulcanicus. Usual this server is offline and only open when it goes to MoMa New York. You say what a poser this Art Blue? You are right but it is a quote from the Sand Bible so it must be true.

[ The Sand Bible references to the book Not Sand, Not Sound. ]

The Volcano of Art is the first conservation of prim based art in virtual walkable 3D environments. Prim based art means prims and sculpties rezzed in an environment where avatars are used by creators and visitors. The Volcano started in 2009 reaching out for 3D art from the very beginning in 2003 and closed when the new mesh technology was introduced in 2013. The closing party was on November 28, 2013. Since this time the Volcano is frozen and the objects are kept in a digital time capsule. I published the mission in the September issue of MUSEUM AKTUELL in 2011, called it The Primcurator – Planning a Retrospective of an Art Form.

As we fly around the Volcano I tell you about the history of this type of world we are in, the world of opensimulator. You see this world now in a browser, a way that might define the future. Also to watch in a browser on your smartphone works.

We will stop at times and have a closer look at some pieces of art. The session is as said 20 minutes long and we already spent quite a bit of this time slice. The talk and sound is pre-recorded and divided into parts. The stream is running inworld in Second Life and at the same time broadcast to the web. In the unlucky event of a Second Life crash you can still follow along with me while relogging. I am here as Art Blue and hopefully I don’t crash. If I do I will relog as quickly as possible.

I give now a brief history of the virtual worlds we are in.

A brief history

The ways to create, to visit, to interact have been defined by Phil Rosedale and his team at Linden Lab in 2003. The product made its way as we all know as a brand called Second Life. It boosted and made it to the title pages of many magazines in 2004 to 2006. What is not known by everyone is that the code Phil Rosedale was using to create Second Life is opensource and comes from Berkeley. Noticing the hype a UK based programmer named Darren Guard launched a free version in 2007, called opensimulator. There is not much to find about the early days of opensimulator. A note by Justin Clark-Casey who was for long a core-developer shows there was a meeting in 2010 in London. Now opensimulator development happens worldwide. The most common distribution is made by Diva Canto, which is the avatar name of Professor Crista Lopes at UC Irvine. The annual opensimulator conference is held by Avacon Inc. and covers a wide area ranging from Education, HealthCare, Logistics, Coding and reaches to the Arts. In 2017 the Hypergrid International Expo got its first run to bring opensimulator to non-English speaking users (French, Spanish, German, Italian).

I will show you now some of the creations arranged around the Volcano of Art in more detail and click on the creator boxes giving you time to read. You also may use the time to prepare some questions I will happily answer after the trip.

Let me focus on some works by Fiona Blaylock, an artist who is no longer alive. A sad story, but our life ends this or that way. In the Sand Bible I work out ways for an endless life. A life coded in bits and bytes. I am not alone with this idea nor am I the first one. This might stay a dream but the conservation of our works might not be.

Listen for a few minutes to the music I have selected when I go along her works, her story ….

I played a short version of Wolfsheim, The Sparrows And The Nightingales, here is the long one:

I should have played the long one as rezzing all the 30.000 prims around the Volcano took its time – and the scripts start to work when all objects are rezzed.

Welcome back audience. I will head now to Lil Robot. I love this robot. Why I do? Even I can’t explain. Do you know that I was once this robot in InworldZ? Long stories, but time is short, so I will tell you about the efforts to keep Lil Robot alive. The creator is Feathers Boa. Some of the long timers may know her. She had a huge fan community in Second Life, but she left. Left on a good reason. She met her future boss in SL and she got a job offer, so she might gain now her living working as a designer. I was lucky and got her two years ago as she shortly sneaked in to SL and asked how Lil Robot is doing. He does fine I could report and you surely see it now.

What you not see is that Lil Robot lost some of the fine made textures on a server upgrade. He went grey! Maybe some of you working in virtual worlds as a builder have experienced the grey phenomena as well. When you don’t embed the texture real on the prim surface, when you set instead a link a UUID as we call it this link can get broken. Big grids like Metropolis where Futurelab is running have separate asset servers, so data, code and content are running on different engines. Vulcanicus and also 1Biennale do not run on a grid server, they run on a single Diva machine right now version 0.0.9. You remember Diva Canto aka Crista Lopez. So the art can be time capsuled by the administrator in a sim backup. In the Sand Bible the admin is called God.

God is God, you shall know this. I hope you laugh or at least you smile.

So the Lil Robot needed a like fake to get color back from getting grey. Luckily Chantal Harvey had a different copy as I got and so I could do a makeover. Feathers Boa laughed as I told her that Lil Robot got a little grey on the age effect. We all know the age effect. She said, “oh yes, my partner made some of the textures, they might have gone lost in space, but luckily you could repair him …”

So many stories to tell, so many lives here around the Volcano.

I will now check if Juliette has some conference call visitor comments or questions and I will zoom my camera accordingly, during which time I will play a song by Illusions of Light, Electronic History. [ This German group sadly no longer exists, but I have rights to play their songs so I did … ]

I hand the floor over to Juliette.


Avacon Inc. http://avacon.org

OSCC17 1 Biennale: https://youtu.be/NnqKbjso8x4

1Biennale: http://1biennale.org

Opensim Diva Canto: http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/2016/03/hypergrid-inventor-wins-10000-prize/Crista Lopes

Opensim Meeting, London 2010: https://justincc.wordpress.com/2010/01/07/very-unofficial-opensim-london-meetup/

Second Life: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/6137424.stmhttps://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/relationships/who-still-hangs-out-on-second-life-more-than-half-a-million-people/article35019213/