Perspective

From my friend Serendipidy Haven’s blog:

Perspective

by Serendipidy Haven

vangoghA brief trip to the National Gallery recently brought me face-to-face with Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’, or at least, one of his variations of this most well known of his subjects. Sunflowers was my main reason for the visit – since i’ve never seen the work in the flesh before, but it also gave me the opportunity to become re-acquainted with another of his paintings that has pretty much passed me by up until now.

Van Gogh’s chair has never really inspired me or struck me as being particularly special. It lacks the thickly daubed, tormented brush strokes of his later pieces and the finesse displayed in his other works of the period. It’s a peculiar thing, worth getting up close to; where the warped, almost child-like perspective of the composition is offset by the painstaking attention to detail the artist gives to the most mundane of features. You’re struck by the effort that’s gone into painting the door hinges, knots in the wood and the weave of the chair seat… but, on this occasion – for the first time – i stepped back, and suddenly everything changed.

From the middle of the room, the painting that had always struck me as rather flat and distorted resolved into something entirely different. It was almost as if i was seeing through Van Gogh’s eyes, sat at his easel, glancing over the canvas towards the chair on the other side of the room. That bizarre perspective which offends the eye when seen in close up, becomes completely natural and lifelike when viewed from a distance – the painting becomes less a flat canvas and more a three dimensional moment in time, captured in oils. It was an unexpected and somewhat humbling moment.

paint_001How often do we see things from our own viewpoint with  a skewed perspective, failing to understand what is right in front of our eyes, and not seeing the picture as it really is? Probably quite often and, as users of sl, it’s something that we’re very used to experiencing from the ‘outside’ world. Those who’ve never had the opportunity to properly get to grips with becoming part of a virtual world tend to have a distinctly distorted picture in their minds of what sl is about. Like me peering closely at Van Gogh’s canvas, they’ll seize on the little details that make sense to them, whilst remaining utterly puzzled and bemused at the bigger picture. So the common perception of sl, from those who have no experience inworld, is that it’s an environment that’s primarily about pixellated sex, a ‘game’ played by geeks sat in their basements with curtains drawn and snacking on cheese puffs. They seize upon the bits that stand out to them and write off the larger part as irrelevant, uninteresting or incomprehensible.

It’s a matter of perspective. And perspective works both ways.

The perspective from which we see sl differs dramatically according to where we stand – on outside looking in or, equally, on the inside looking out – and we residents can be just as guilty of skewing the overall picture as those who have no experience of the virtual world. From the inside, we are terribly good a painting pictures of sl from a palette based entirely upon our own perceptions and experiences, rather than taking a balanced view, (this is something that ex-residents, in particular, can take to an extraordinary degree). The result is a very narrow-minded and distorted view of sl… the servers are always down, it’s full of griefers and content stealers, it suffers from nightmare lag, gacha events are corrupt, and so on. Even when we’re positive we tend to pick and choose to focus on the bits that matter to us, ignoring the fecundity of the virtual community and excluding whole swathes of SLife that we personally have no particular interest in.

Perhaps it would do no harm to occasionally break these self-imposed rules and try to look at things from a different perspective – who knows… perhaps that aspect of sl that you never understood, never appealed and that you’d managed to convince yourself was of no worth at all, might look very different from a different angle, or when you take a step back and try to appreciate what it’s all really about.

Or, you could just stick with the perspective you’ve got, and maybe miss out on a much bigger picture.

If you’re not swayed then think on this a moment: Vincent Van Gogh was completely unappreciated in his lifetime, purportedly only selling one painting before his death. Now he’s one of the most recognisable artists that has ever lived, and his paintings sell for millions. Just imagine how all those people who turned him down and derided his work might have felt if they’d known how he’d now be appreciated. Sometimes, focussing on the details and the ugliness of what we perceive means that we can be blind to the potential and the beauty of what we are seeing.

vincent_001

s. x

Now I think I know
What you tried to say to me
Don McLean – Starry Starry Night

Excellent stuff well done Seren

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Help

I use the Firestorm viewer for Second Life and it is very good. I have been using it for over a year and just upgraded to the latest release.  Yesterday had what I thought was a disaster. I couldn’t see mesh the 3D modelling of objects. There were just gaps where clothes would be. I thought my graphics card had broken, and it had. I had just updated the drivers. However I didn’t know this and I asked friends what to do. They took me through various settings nothing worked. Then it was suggested I ask the FS Support group in chat. I joined the group and typed my problem into chat. Almost immediately the answer came that I had to roll back my drivers to an earlier release. It was the new AMD drivers that were doing it. So I did a system restore. Everything went back to 4th December. And everything worked.

help

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So my Firestorm does not support certain builds of AMD drivers. I went back to release 13, 14 seems to have problems in its various forms. Finding this out took a matter of seconds. What a great resource to have that Chat. Excellent stuff. I watched it yesterday and picked up some tips. It seems no problem is too small to help, from fiddling with a graphics setting to a complete install. Well done Firestorm. They also have a wiki and JIRA and forums. http://firestormviewer.org

 

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Sigh

Blogged in NowChangeYourLife.WordPress.com and eCollege.me:

 
Crashed three times in the middle of recording a video, sigh. Updated my eCollege dot me site . Crashed another couple of times. Sigh. Then I looked at the clock and it was two minutes to six, I had forgotten to pick up my meds ( don’t worry I have a stash). Sigh. A nice cup of coffee will help but shit remembered I had bought the cheap stuff to save money which I don’t like, stupid! Sigh. Then sent my daughter out to get cream for the christmas pudding that was on sale. The cream cracked in her rucksack and went everywhere. Sigh. So to cheer myself up I updated my eCollege site.Do have a look. I’ve included the post here for my subscribers to this blog.

Been having a troublesome day so……..

I thought I would cheer myself up with some Art. I am more ignorant of Art than I care to mention but I know what I like. Perhaps the most famous paintings I have seen were in the Uffizi gallery in Florence my favourite city in Europe. Of note there is Botticelli’s Venus on a Half Shell:

Botticelli's Birth of Venus reworked on the website annautopiagiordano.it Florence is so beautiful, the square with the statue of David ie wonderful. To sit in the square in an outdoor café, a little stoned, sipping Campari Sodas. Yes sipping because the point is to be with the ambiance without breaking the bank. to be smartly dressed is a must otherwise you will be given a table inside. You have to look cool. You should look like one of The Beautiful People, aging perhaps but aging gracefully. The fact we were camping on the side of hill 5 miles outside town need not be mentioned. The thing is wherever you go you have to blend in. Myself with my 25 year old slim, leggy Japanese wife (well she won’t read this but one of the reasons I married her not because her dad was a millionaire, nor that she had an IQ off the scale but because John Lennon had a Japanese wife; the coolest man ever. ) blended.

Oh dear aren’t I awful. Ooops. Back to Art. You do realise that all Art is generally available on the ‘net? So there is no excuse. Of course, if you must and the fact you are technophiles, you can make it a technology. So I love Kandinsky and below is a slider of his work.

 

[hislider id=”1″]

Unfortunately HiSlider only works on a self hosted WordPress site. So here is a promo video of the site. I have just learned to use annotations. What do you think?

 

I love the colours and the integrity. Above should be for reference only – i just love moving pictures.

Nota Bene

I know how to be buy a computer. Probably I got used to people ignoring the box that did all the work but calling the monitor the computer, anyway I bought my first proper computer in 1994. It cost a fortune because i spent half the total price on a 17 inch monitor. You see you spend all your time in front of your monitor, the fastest and biggest computer need not be viewed through a 15 inch monitor. I have a 22 inch wide screen monitor and I run at resolution of 1920 x 1080. Makes sense to me. I live in front of my computer as my environment is not conducive to perambulations. You might find my graphics a tad large but to me they are normal. For example my signature is 36pt.

 

philipBut to me its ok. A signature should be a tad flamboyant. I have said in Essential Free Graphics how important it is to have a good graphics program without spending months or years on Adobe Photoshop. All my stuff comes from Expression Design from Microsoft. The studio was selling a good few hundred euro but I don’t know why they stopped selling it but now its free. It does the job.

I created :

pennypedestalsign

I did it all except for photoshopping the background of Penny the cat. you can get the rest of the story Not Another Kitten dot com. ” Tails from The Kitten Shop” a damn good read.

Thanks

philipsm

See? (I can do small!!!!)

Thats the end of a very trying day!! Thanks for your time!
 

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Virtual Classrooms

I am desperate to teach. One way will be to have a virtual classroom in second life. I found such a classroom in my wanderings. AND found a whole world of teaching at Texas State. Here is the classroom I found Set up by the look of it as a Primary School Classroom. ,> you can watch it better on this page< Or watch it here:

But Then Dear Readers I returned a bit later to the classroom and found a techy working there.  We chatted and they will be using the classroom for teacher training. Another opportunity for Avatar Creations perhaps. However I got a link to a great project they had going in 2011.

Heres An Explanation of it. :>

My next step is to visit.
Unfortunately the cones appear to be inactive. Could be my viewer and / or might need a plugin.

HOWEVER as you can see from the first video Second Life has a great academic role to play. The construction of the virtual classroom using modern techniques and make for a truly realistic environment. What I plan is a feature not seemingly explored that of facilitating DISTANCE LEARNING. Watch this space

 

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