360 GRADI MAGAZINE // MAY-JUNE 2021

360.gradi.magazine

360 GRADI Magazine is the trendy, elegant, refined, and sophisticated publishing about Second Life (the virtual world by Linden Lab).
Out every two months.

360 GRADI

Magazine

ANJA’S

SURREALISM

Art

An emerging sensation in the

art world of SL speaks about her

remarkable journey, creating her own

brand of surrealism and her latest

exhibition at the Nitroglobus Gallery.

What is it like

to be a cyborg?

WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE A

CYBORG?

Variations on the theme of “being able

to be”.

Psychology

MOGUL

Urban, bold and classy .

MOGUL’s creative director Dmitréi

reveals.

Fashion S tores

VE JOYY

Let’s continue our journey between

Music

particular live singers whit a unique

repertoire and style.

360 GRADI

MAY/JUNE 2021 - N. 5

1


CONTENT

Welcome to issue #5 of 360 GRADI MAGAZINE.

62 154 194

22

In

WHAT IS LIKE TO

BE A CYBORG?

this article we explore

the notion of the cyborg

and the link between the

human and the machine.

62

The

FROGMORE

first destination

we propose is

Frogmore. It

is perfect for

photographers and

bloggers and in

this article we get

to know it through

Pino’s eyes.

88

Oema

KEKELAND

introduces

KekeLand, visiting it

at length to give the

reader an idea of the

walking route and

what to expect.

110

Serena

NOWEETA

is excited

about the return

of Noweeta in its

summer version.

She tells us her

impressions in this

article.

130

Frank

ANJA’S

SURREALISM

visited the

Nitroglobus Roof Art

Gallery and explored

Anja’s surrealist

exhibition. Let’s visit

it with him.

154

Van

VE JOYY

continues his

journey to get to

know live singers

who have a particular

style and repertoire.

In this article we

get to know a lovely

Filipino singer.

FROGMORE

VE

JOYY

MOGUL

168

Ashley

A DAY IN PARIS

has a

wonderful day in

Paris which he would

like to share with all

of us. She talks about

women’s fashion and

gives us some tips.

178

Can

LOVERDAG

an unedited

photograph be

beautiful? Jarla tells

us. She interviewed

Loverdag, a wellknown

photographer

who creates lovely

images without postproduction.

194

MOGUL

Honey interviewed

the designer of

Mogul for us. Get

to know her better

in this exclusive

interview.

360 GRADI MAGAZINE is the magazine that covers Second Life at 360°. Destinations, Art, Music, Fashion, Photography, Furniture and Decoration

all in one bimonthly magazine. You can read the magazine on the web, visiting our YUMPU page.

The first destination we

propose is Frogmore. It is

perfect for photographers

and bloggers and in this

article we get to know it

through Pino’s eyes.

WELCOME

Van continues his journey

to get to know live singers

who have a particular

style and repertoire. In

this article we get to know

a lovely Filipino singer.

It is with great pleasure that in this

new issue of 360 GRADI Magazine, I

introduce new and exciting sections,

carefully edited by the respective

writers.

In the fashion section, 360 GRADI has

a wonderful duo: Ashley and Honey.

Ashley gives readers ideas for their

own style combined with locations to

explore.

Honey explores the complex and varied

world of fashion stores, allowing us to

learn more about the creators.

In this issue, we give plenty of space to

Honey interviewed the

designer of Mogul for us.

Get to know her better in

this exclusive interview.

destinations to explore, with three of

them.

As always, the psychology and

music columns satisfy our need for

introspection and musical harmony.

Finally, I would like to thank our readers

for the incredible result of the previous

issue (the English version): more than

13k views!

Many thanks from the entire editorial

staff of 360 GRADI Magazine and me.

See you at the next issue.

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TEAM

OEMA

VAN

FRANK

PINO

JARLA

VIOLET

DEGOYA

SPARTAN

ASHLEY

EDITOR

MUSIC

ART

DESTINATIONS

PHOTOGRAPHY

MARKETING

PSYCHOLOGY

MALE

FASHION

FEMALE

FASHION

360 GRADI Magazine Founder.

Writer/Vlogger.

Dj , Designer and Architect

Planning.

Art and destination blogger at

Art Korner Blog.

Art critic, journalist

and editor.

Photographer.

Social Media Marketing

Expert.

Psychiatrist.

Photographer, former blogger

and expert in the fashion

industry.

Fashion Blogger.

HONEY

SERENA

FASHION STORES

DESTINATIONS

Fashion Blogger and Model.

Occasionally Writer.

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EDITORS’ NOTES

It is with great pleasure that in this new issue of 360

GRADI Magazine, I introduce new and exciting sections,

carefully edited by the respective writers.

In this issue we give

lots of space to fashion

and destinations.

More articles,

more news, more

collaborators.

In the fashion section, 360 GRADI has a wonderful duo:

Ashley and Honey. Ashley gives readers ideas for their

own style combined with locations to explore.

Honey explores the complex and varied world of fashion

stores, allowing us to learn more about the creators.

In this issue, we give plenty of space to destinations to

explore, with three of them.

As always, the psychology and music columns satisfy our

need for introspection and musical harmony.

Finally, I would like to thank our readers for the

incredible result of the previous issue (the English

version): more than 13k views!

Many thanks from the entire editorial staff of 360 GRADI

Magazine and me.

See you at the next issue.

WELCOME

360GRADI is an interactive magazine

available on YUMPU. Pick up your

copy of the kiosk at the newsroom.

More than 13k views with the last

issue: THANK YOU!

- Oema

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ART PROMOTION ON FACEBOOK

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VIOLET BOA

My responsibilities include planning, implementing, and managing PR

strategies and organizing and managing various PR activities.

I use different channels to optimize the outreach and success of a

campaign, with a customer-oriented focus and assured delivery that I

represent unequivocally. I carry out the interests, wishes, needs, and

expectations of my clients.

Violet Boa,

MARKETING

Head Column

A natural part of my work involves arranging interviews and

coordination, researching and collecting opportunities for

partnerships, establishing and maintaining relationships with

journalists, influencers, and bloggers, and supporting the team

members of my client in communicating and running a campaign.

Through years of experience with social media management, which

always requires excellent communication, presentation, leadership

skills, and excellent organizational and time management skills, I

have become self-critical and am still interested in new impulses.

Learning, be it self-directed or through knowledge of apt sources, is

part of the daily process.

Observations and reflections (self-reflection) of the external and

internal situations give me the chance to recognize problems and

change them positively.

I am a positive but also critical thinker and analytical problem solver

who - with a lot of empathy - accepts conflicting interests, personal

(in) tolerance, and others’ opinions. I am very adaptable and willing

to compromise to get positive alternatives that make everyone happy

and lead to the desired success.

My top ten topics of interest are fine art, photography, design, digital

art, music, performing arts, literature, science, mindfulness, and a

positive attitude.

I feel very honored and proud of the trust that Oema has placed in

me and invited me in my role as PR to act for magazines from the first

publication of their classy, stylish and elegant 360 GRADI Magazine.

We have an exciting and excellent task ahead of us, and I am looking

forward to it!

Violet

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LUNDY ART GALLERY

LUNDY ART GALLERY IS A CREATION OF LEE1 OLSEN AND PERIODICALLY

FEATURES NEW ARTISTS.

THE GALLERY BOASTS A VERY LARGE EXHIBITION SPACE, ALLOWING THE

VISITOR TO APPRECIATE NUMEROUS WORKS OF ART.

EXHIBITING ARTISTS

Moya Patrick, Etamae,

Ilyra Chardin, Adwehe,

ZackHermann, Sandi

Benelli, Jessamine2108,

Steele Wilder, Adelina

Lawrence, Magda

Schmidtzau , Jos

(mojosb5c) , JudiLynn

India, Antonio Camba, Mrs.

Kamille Kamala, and

Puce Hax (titput).

TELEPORT TO LUNDY ART GALLERY

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Brussel/12/130/2003

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ASIA CONNEL Artist

“Many worlds, only one soul’. This one is the motto Asia Connell has always applied in her

philosophy of life.

Journalist, reporter, geopolitical analyst, international operator, and qualified advisor for the

application of International Humanitarian Law, Asia Connell came to the Second Life platform

in July 2006 and since then has been involved in combining the experiences of the so-called

real world with the virtual one through the use of massive metaverse in full immersion

projects, also using platforms other than Second Life where, however, for some years she has

decided to transfer all her virtual activities.

In her RL, Asia Connell has been involved in voluntary work

both in the Catholic world in Salesian organizations, and the civil

world within the Tribunal for Patients’ Rights and the Federal

Democratic Movement, and within the anti-Mafia coordination

that led to the birth of antiracket associations in Sicily after the

assassination of judges Falcone and Borsellino (1992).

Social Media:

Connell Gallery SLurl>

https://maps.secondlife.com/

secondlife/Bellflower%20

Island/208/203/1032/

Asia Connell Flickr>

https://www.flickr.com/photos/

asiaconnell/

Asia Connell Fb Profile>

https://www.facebook.com/

asiaconnell

Asia Connell Fb Page>

https://www.facebook.com/

connellworlds

A political activist, he has devoted over a decade to paint. The

world of colors had taken hold of my senses, and the act of

diluting them on canvases and cardboard was liberating,” he says

in a statement. “So, years ago, importing some of my artwork

into Second Life immediately seemed to me to be the most intuitive of actions, devoid of any

recognition other than the personal pleasure of those colors smearing the canvases.

He has documented, as a reporter, some activities of the Italian Armed Forces, such as the Mare

Nostrum mission (2014) and post-war Kosovo (2017).

Today, AC collaborates with some RL magazines and, with the help of a support team, manages

Camp Italia, an educational region in Italian on the Second Life platform.

She founded “Connell Project Foundation” in Second Life as a meeting point between the real

and the virtual for experimental projects and civil, humanitarian, and cultural commitment,

adhering to and supporting projects such as the “Nassiriya Memorial” and organizing

conferences and art exhibitions of various authors inworld even before the birth of LEA.

In love with the Fantasy Faire since its first edition in 2009, she passionately believes that

together we can win the battle against cancer.

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Teleport to Glamazon: http://maps.secondlife.com/

secondlife/Zen%20Soul/113/249/24

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Teleport to AFWR: https://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/

Giglio/199/63/4002

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DEGOYA GALTHIE

Since the beginning of his appearance in the world, man has tried to

represent and tell his experience with different tools such as drawing,

photography, and cinema; at the base of this incessant search is

the desire to describe one’s inner world with ever greater levels of

fidelity. In our post-modern society, the most advanced frontier of

this research is represented by virtual reality. This technology allows

us to “immerse ourselves” in a computer-generated environment, in

which it is possible to move and interact as in reality.

Degoya Galthie,

Head Column

BRAIN, MIND AND

VIRTUAL REALITY

Virtual reality has numerous applications ranging in different fields

and represents an advanced communication interface that allows

people to interact naturally at a distance. It is now a technology

growing in popularity in the entertainment industry, where it finds

applications and the video game sector, cinematography, theme parks,

and museums. Social networks, e-commerce, education, sport are just

some of the many areas that virtual worlds promise to revolutionize.

In the medical field, virtual reality is demonstrating excellent

potential with applications in neuroscience and psychotherapy.

In light of these premises, the goal I set myself in this section of the

magazine is to tell the “virtual revolution” through a perspective

that highlights the transformative impact of this technology on

the brain and human experience. In particular, I will investigate the

effects of virtual experiences on one’s real-world and highlight the

opportunities that virtual technologies can offer, and highlight the

potential risks they imply through a survey of the most advanced

research in psychology and neuroscientific field. Finally, I will try

to explain how simulation technologies are changing how people

communicate and interact, analyzing the opportunities and challenges

implied by the emergence of virtual worlds.

Degoya

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LA COSCIENZA

WHAT IS LIKE TO BE A

COME

CYBORG?

ALLUCINAZIONE CONTROLLATA: UN

SOGNO MODULATO DAI SENSI

VARIATIONS OF THE THEME OF “BEING ABLE

TO BE”

Written by DEGOYA GALTHIE.

Images Scritto by JARLA da DEGOYA CAPALINI. GALTHIE.

Immagini di JARLA CAPALINI.

LEGGI IN ITALIANO

LEGGI IN ITALIANO

We explore the relationship between man

and technology, shedding light on current

technological developments and predictions on the

future scenario.

LEGGI IN ITALIANO

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WHAT IS LIKE TO BE A

CYBORG?

VARIATIONS OF THE THEM OF

What is a

cyborg?

“BEING ABLE TO BE”

We explore the relationship between man and technology,

shedding light on current technological developments and

predictions on the future scenario.

In his famous 1974 article, “What does

it feel like to be a bat?”, Thomas Nagel, in

addressing the problem of the relationship

between mind and body, writes:

“Without consciousness the mind-body

problem would be much less. Interesting;

with the conscience it appears without

hope of solution”. Almost 50 years later,

the question appears even more stimulating

and complex despite our current

habit of taking everything for granted,

even the fact that we exist within a

highly technological world, so the relationship

to be understood today is that

between mind-body-technology. How

many times during the day do we realize

we “are”? And what does it mean exactly?

At least once in our life, we have

all wondered or will ask ourselves: “who

am I?”. The fact of having a conscience,

in the sense of living conscious experiences,

does not mean being able to explain

certain mental phenomena, which

we may intuit but immediately let go.

The capacity for innovation that technology

is bringing into our world is not

something that sees none of the forces in

the field able to give answers that are real

exclamation points, but a change that

raises countless questions that we could

define, more appropriately, like a series

of question marks.

From the perspective

of those who

want to live these

questions, I try

to enter into this

theme: the term cyborg

could make us

think of a sort of topic that inhabits science

fiction novels more than our contemporaneity.

In addressing this topic, I

propose a scan that will proceed in three

moments: a beginning in

which I would like to focus

on the term cyborg

and explain why I use it.

What seems important

to me to reflect on today,

when I speak of the relationship

of man with

technology, enters within

this definition. Then

I would like to take you

to what are the frontiers

of our knowledge and of

being able to do; the question

today is that we are

able to do an enormous

number of actions and

operations, so the question

becomes: can we do

all that we are able to do?

This question does not

only concern technology,

so it must resonate within

our reflections and in the

depths of our experiences,

so that this innovative

technology can be oriented

towards a single horizon,

that of development.

A technology in which

innovation is aimed at the

well-being of man and

this will be the third of my

arguments.

At a certain point the term

man, the term person, the

term individual was no

longer perceived as necessary

and sufficient to describe

what we wanted to

achieve: the term cyborg

does not appear, therefore,

for the first time in

science fiction books, but

was born in a NASA laboratory,

in the 60s. In those

years, the United States

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was forced to face a growing escalation

of technological innovation for the

conquest of deep space, on that journey

that will then take the American astronauts

in July of 68 to land on the moon.

It came from a time when the largest

conventional army in the world, the

army of the Soviet Union, had been confronted

with new weapons, the atomic

warheads of the United States. Beyond

the history of conflict and the cold war,

what happened was that the new frontier

of confrontation between the two

blocs became deep space; a space that

saw the first living being, the first man

out of the atmosphere, not from the US

but from the Soviet Union. As a reaction,

the United States invested heavily

in this area and, within this research, a

whole series of human physiology studies

were carried out that tried to answer

the following question: how can a living

organism survive in an environment

that does not is it fit for life? The answers

until then seemed to be of only

two types: either we transform what

the environment is or, alternatively, we

modify the living being.

Thus was born the term

cyborg, which is an abbreviation

of the binomial

cybernetic organism

(cybernetic organism),

and was used for the

first time in 1960, within

the scientific article

Cyborgs and Space, written by Nathan

S. Kline, psychiatrist at Rockland State

Hospital, and Manfred Clynes, scientist

working at the Dynamic Simulation Lab.

n the memoirs of these

two scholars we also find

some jokes on the subject,

when one says to

the other: “... you know

cyborg almost looks like

the name of a city in Sweden,

like Gothenburg ...”.

What they meant by the

term cyborg, or rather Cyborg 1, was a

modified organism that adapted to different

living conditions, in a way they

called homeostatic: “... the cyborg deliberately

incorporates exogenous components

to extend the self-regulating function of

the organism in order to adapt it to new

environments… “. Ultimately, the cyborg

would have been, in Kline and Clynes’

original vision, a hybrid organism, partly

natural and partly artificial, better

than the purely organic version of that

being.

We human beings are living organisms

composed of a series of organs, which

adapt their functioning within certain

operational parameters, to allow us to

survive; for example, if the temperature

rises as in summer, the functioning of

our organism adapts and allows us to

continue living. Today we are able to

transplant some organs that are unable

to function, as we understand this homeostatic

function of some components

in our body. In 1970, a 220-gram white

rat was combined with an osmotic pump

with a chemical, which altered the functioning

of his body in a completely automatic

way. This was the first cyborg.

The basic idea was to be able to modify

the physiology of the human body, to facilitate

it in what would have been jour-

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neys into deep space, which would soon

open up as a possibility for man.

But we soon realized that the problem

of the functioning of the human being

was not simply a physiological problem,

because we also function thanks to a

series of emotional states, which characterize

our body. Being able to control

our emotional and cognitive condition

became the second frontier of the interaction

between man and machine

and thus the definition of the second

type of cyborg, the so-called Cyborg 2,

was born. In this way, it was thought

to be able to calm any attacks of anxiety,

panic crisis, act on the sleep-wake

cycle and also regulate the psycho-affective

functions of those subjects who

would have been sent into space. History

then had a different outcome, space

was not colonized because, after the

“Star Shield” project, the competition between

the two superpowers stopped.

In the wake of these

first considerations,

in 1965 Daniel Stephen

Halacy wrote

in the introduction

to “Cyborg: Evolution

of the Superman”

about a new

frontier that did not

concern only the relationship

between

man and space, but rather the relationship

between man and himself, building

a bridge thrown to know the deepest

mysteries of the mind-matter relationship.

And it is precisely on this new path

that Clynes ventured in 1970, in the article

“Sentic space travel”, written this

time by himself, in which he described

a Sentic Cyborg capable of expressing

his emotions in accordance with the nature

that surrounded him. However, the

idea of cyborg went beyond the original

idea by implanting itself within a series

of research on humans. In a study they

reported around 2000, Kline and Clynes

acknowledge that the term cyborg has

evolved further.

Cyborg 3 is a term that appeared around

the end of the 1980s and used until the

1990s; we were told: but if with technology

we can modify ourselves, instead

of using it to colonize deep spaces, why

not use it to live only the most pleasant

experiences on earth? The idea began

to spread that we could modify our human

structure, because everyday life

and our ordinary existence did not seem

pleasant enough or sufficiently pleasant.

Then we began to theorize Cyborg

4, where these changes on humans were

changes of a permanent nature not only

external, but also internal to our body.

More recently, Cyborg 5 has come to

be hypothesized, which is the idea of a

modification that belongs to the whole

race and to the whole species, a transformation

that will be transmitted from

generation to generation as a new characteristic

of the human being.

What do we mean by the term Cyborg

today? One of the reasons that made

us shift our attention from the exploration

of deep space to the things of our

existence is related to the fact that in

the meantime, a new concept of health

has spread. After the Second World

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War, around the years 47-48, the World

Health Organization (WHO) proposed

a very rich and elaborate definition of

the concept of health; for which health

is a state that provides for physical, psychological

and spiritual well-being. This

concept of health is further redefined

when, in the contemporary panorama,

the psychological

and psychiatric

sciences spread.

According to the

analysis model of

the DSM (The Statistical

Diagnostic

Manual of Mental

Disorders) of

the Association of

American Psychiatrists,

health is

not only a concept

of full well-being

of the individual, but also a perception

of oneself and one’s functioning within

a scale of values that can be defined as

normal. Let me give you an example, one

of the characteristics of human functioning

is that condition that psychology

and psychiatry call paranoia; but what

is paranoia if not the idea of suspecting

what is happening around us? Suppose,

on my way to my office to write this article,

I was stopped by someone offering

me a high-end watch for 5 euros; in this

case, suspecting that the watch was fake

or stolen is normal operation. If I thought,

on the other hand, that being invited to

write this article was the invention of

some conspirator who wants to win my

trust to lure me into a death trap and

eliminate me, not only from Second life,

but from the face of the earth, such type

of suspicion would appear to be out of

range of normal operation. This reasoning

is generalizable for every characteristic

of psychiatric functioning. If health

understood as a state of full well-being

becomes a state of normality, well then

normality is enough for no one and

opens up the possibility and the idea of

going beyond normality.

The Cyborg becomes

in fact a

synthetic category,

a mode of

expression of a

society that does

not find an anthropologically

satisfactory characteristic

within

normality. Thus,

we begin to think of intervening with

the prodigies of the technique not only

to repair deficient conditions. We’ve all

heard of machines that are called artificial

hearts, heart pumps, or ventricular

assist devices (VADs). Usually, the cardiac

support system is used in end-stage

heart failure to overcome the waiting

period for a heart transplant. In this

way, the patient can not only survive,

but also recover and be in the best possible

physical condition for the transplant.

We can, therefore, detach his heart and

put an artificial heart in his place.

Reflection arises when some bio-technology

interventions are designed for

people who are well, simply to improve

some aesthetic aspects; we ask ourselves

what kind of connection between man

and machine are we thinking about and

what we are achieving. To understand the

frontier of this union between man and machine,

I must mention a way in which the

sciences today analyze the most complex

phenomena, the most sophisticated ones.

The dream of every

scientist on earth is a

concept called linearity,

what is linearity?

Linearity is nothing

more than an operation

whose result is

equal to the sum of the parts. Linearity is

what happens when I mix a cup of sugar

with a cup of flour, what I get is two cups of

sugar and flour; as you can see, the result

is equal to the sum of the parts. In reality,

the phenomena we want to get our hands

on are not linear phenomena, but are complex

phenomena; how do we define a complex

phenomenon?

Simplifying as much

as possible, we can explain

it as a phenomenon

whose total is

not equal to the sum

of the parts. Suppose

we have a cup of coke and a cup of vinegar,

if I mix the vinegar with the coke, the

acetic acid contained within the vinegar

produces the instantaneous release of all

the carbon dioxide dissolved inside. of the

caramel liquid, which we call coke. The release

of this carbon dioxide produces gasification;

since the surface tension of the

liquid, due to the caramel contained within

it, is greater than that of water, it produces

a chemically very complex phenomenon

called foam. The total will be n cups of this

disgusting mixture. I cannot establish the

number n of cups before mixing, but only

afterwards. Complexity is a characteristic

of biological phenomena, you and

I are a set of small machines called molecules;

however, these molecules are

not simply all that we are. If I took all

the molecules that make up our bodies

and mixed them inside a blender, I

could stay there for seconds, minutes,

days, years or centuries, but I wouldn’t

be able to get us out; we are something

more than the parts that make up our

body.

Nonlinear complex

systems have

a very interesting

feature called

emergence, what

is emergence? If I put a certain number

of ants somewhere, they would start

running around looking for food and

if they were lucky, they would find

something to survive. However, at a

certain point, I see that someone starts

digging a den, another goes in search

of food, someone else takes care of the

larvae, etc. In some types of ants, if the

anthill is disturbed, some of them build

a bridge with their body so that the

others can escape; all without having

a central controller to tell them what

to do. These fairly simple insects, in

their relationship, produce something

that is not within each of them, which

is what we might call the anthill. The

anthill, therefore, is the product that

emerges from the complex relationship

between these constituents (the ants).

The relationship between complexity

and emergence is very interesting:

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even from the set of fairly simple elements

that make up our body such as

white blood cells, a complex reaction can

emerge which is the immune response, a

reaction that occurs without there being

a central controller, and that protects us

from disease. Even neurons which, in

their apparent structural and functional

simplicity, know only a handful of salts

(chlorine, potassium, calcium and sodium)

and two states (on and off), together

produce a function that is consciousness;

from their interaction a complex property

emerges, and more.

How consciousness works I don’t know,

however, if I find sufficiently small devices

capable of interacting with these

other natural machines that are neurons,

I can obtain interesting results: they are

able to alter consciousness by intervening

on the functioning of the neuronal

mechanism. Intel has produced a prototype

chip printed on a silk base, as the

silk is organically absorbed by the body,

which self-implants itself inside the

brain, thus creating a bridge between

what is the electrical function (of modification

of the impulses of the brain) and

what may be the results that I get with

the implant.

A PCB (printed circuit

board, a programmable

logic

card) with an antenna,

an electronic

unit with which

we can communicate, has been implanted

to a live beetle. While the beetle is

still and quiet, if the remote control is

suddenly activated, the insect starts to

fly, according to a programmed path. By

deactivating the remote control, it stops

flying and goes back to life, and then

resumes flying every time the remote

control is activated. There is a mixture

between something that is machinic

and something that is between life and

the machine; we are able to merge that

threshold of separation that exists between

the artificial and the natural. The

remote control of free-flying insects was

achieved by means of a miniature neural

stimulation system, equipped with an

implantable radio. The system mounted

on the pronotum consists of neural stimulators,

muscle stimulators, a microcontroller

equipped with a radio transmitter

and a micro battery. The insect is a live

insect, but also a remote-controlled insect;

who financed this experiment was

the United States government, because

having remote-controlled bugs, which

are natural insects, is a huge tactical advantage.

Officially, the experiment was

funded to try to understand how the

beetle’s brain responds to disturbances

during flight: we make it fly, then we

create perturbations and observe how it

does not fall; in this way we study the

system and implement it on an airplane,

in order to optimize the operation of the

autopilot. The goal of the experimentation

was to obtain a type of living organisms

that are simultaneously artificial,

naturally artificial or artificially natural.

The cyborg is exactly this, a fusion where

you don’t know where the natural ends

and where the artificial begins; so much

so that a new category was needed, the

synthetic category. Natural and artificial

32 360 GRADI 360 GRADI

33


is a division that has worked well so far,

today we find ourselves in a bit of difficulty.

For example,

synthetic diamonds

are

chemically indistinguishable

from real ones,

except that they have two characteristics

different from the real ones: (a) they have

no defects and imperfections and (b) by

law they must have, inside them laser engraved,

a serial number to be recognized.

They are not natural because they have

not been found in a mine, produced by the

enormous pressure of the earth for years

and centuries (it is pure carbon crystallized

at pressures between 25 thousand

and 70 thousand kilos per square centimeter,

at temperatures between 1500 and

2000 degrees and around 200 kilometers

below the earth’s surface; synthetics

are born in the laboratory in a week),

but they are not artificial either because

they are like natural ones, for which they

have been called synthetics. Today we

have made strips of synthetic DNA, also

with nitrogenous bases different from

the four biological components (adenine,

thymine, cytosine and guanine); synthetic

biology questions us about what the

concept of life is, about what it means for

an organism to be life. I would be nothing

other than the cognitive container

of this new condition of man, between

the technological and the natural; where

the borderline, the dividing line between

technological and natural is no longer so

immediately perceptible.

At this point the question no longer

concerns only technique and technology,

it also concerns philosophy

and a wide range of other disciplines,

as what we can install inside a living

beetle, we can also implant inside human

brain. Today we can treat a number

of neurodegenerative diseases

thanks to the stereotaxic implantation

of some electrodes inside the brain.

Some neurodegenerative

diseases such as

those that give severe

tremors, such as Parkinson’s,

with these

stereotaxic implants

in the brain and an

adequate frequency

have fantastic results.

There are extraordinary

videos on YouTube where

some patients with strong tremors, after

the implantation of the electrodes, once

the surgeon finds the right frequency,

stop the tremors and, among these, one

is able to play the violin during the surgery.

The first devices were not blocked,

so some patients started playing with

the frequencies: someone lost weight,

someone became morally unstable and

someone else became sleepless. Some of

them felt like different people: I am no

longer me. For the first time in the history

of humanity, we are dealing with

something that goes beyond technology

and science; we now know how to

implant electrodes in the brain, but we

don’t really know how the central nervous

system works, and we don’t have

an adequate scientific theory. Thus,

questions arise that are not only ethical,

but also scientific. How does it happen

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35


that a person with Deep Brain Stimulation,

this is the technical name of the intervention,

feels or lives as a different person?

Why? What is the relationship between

us and our brain? We are in a season in

which technological advancement raises

questions to which scientific knowledge

and ethical needs are forced to chase each

other trying to offer an answer.

In addition to electronic systems, we have

experience in a series of chemical-pharmacological

interventions; we know a series

of molecules which, interacting with

neuronal receptors, alter the functioning

of individuals, such as, for example, antidepressants.

All of these substances originally

had to do with pathological conditions,

but today we are able to target the

functioning of some human personality

traits and modify them, even when not in

the psychopathological field. One field of

study, for example, is the wake-sleep cycle;

we have always been looking for stimulants,

from simple coffee to drugs that we

find sold on the streets. There are people

who manage to stay awake for 72 hours,

using substances such as cocaine; after

72 hours there is an unpleasant reaction,

called a crash, which lasts from nine hours

to four days. The person implodes and becomes

narcoleptic (heavy sleepiness), this

phase is characterized by sadness, apathy,

difficulty in attention and concentration,

anorexia and insomnia. We know, however,

some neuro-stimulators whose use

allows cycles of maximum attention and

maximum vigilance for 72 hours, then allowing

the individual to resume his functioning

in a normal way. Experiments of

this type were done with amphetamines

during World War II, for example, as pilots

needed high concentration; they

took these substances for long flight

missions, needing full attention for long

periods of time.

In more recent times, using off-label substances

(in ways not provided for that

drug) substances used to treat pathologies

such as Attention Disorder Syndrome,

we have the possibility to increase

the concentration of normal subjects in

a way unthinkable until now. These

substances, in a very recent report by

the journal Neuron, are the most widespread

substances in American colleges,

the most expensive ones, where you get

to pay from 30,000 to 50,000 dollars

for a year of studies. It is clear that we

want a very high yield compared to the

amounts invested, and these substances

allow students to do this, in addition to

having a normal social life; they go out

late at night and, before the exams, take

these drugs and manage to study whole

nights without ever losing concentration.

They are widely used among creatives

and professional poker players

favor them, as they allow them to stay

focused all night until morning. Many

truck drivers, even in Italy, take Provigil,

which is a drug against narcolepsy, to

be able to drive 12 or 13 hours without

falling asleep. Using neuro-drugs with

the aim of improvement is now a culturally

widespread practice. We are within

a culture that says that the human is

something malleable, on which we can

get our hands, and that the threshold of

the limit is simply linked to the will of

the subject.

Pharmacologically, we are able to control

what the memory process is; two drugs

are being approved by the FDA (the US

government body, which deals with the

regulation of food and pharmaceutical

products), whose initials are MEM-1213

and MEM-10111. These molecules give a

healthy subject the ability to permanently

settle memories; imagine a college student

who, after taking the pill, reads the book

and never forgets it for a lifetime. Obviously,

the risk is that this stay can also relate

to negative experiences, such as the

experience of violence; the person would

be condemned to live that traumatic event

every day with the same freshness and

with the same immediacy as when it happened.

We are sure that forgetting is not

a defect of human nature, but something

that we need to live life as we know it; understand

how necessary it becomes to ask

meaningful questions about the things we

can do.

We also know of the drugs that can be

used with those who went to be a soldier

on the front line and that allow, instead,

the cancellation of sedimented memories.

One general claimed that the United

States spends about $ 3 million to train

and equip a Marine who goes to the front.

Thanks to the training and equipment he

comes home alive from the battlefield, after

two nights he kills his wife, son, dog,

two neighbors and four passersby. This is

because his brain has been under severe

stress and he responds with a traumatic

condition, which is called PTSD. He needs a

substance for his brain that makes him immune

to this danger; for this purpose, cannabinoid-based

drugs are being developed

which, associated with psychotherapy, allow

the removal of selective memories.

What is at the base is the very concept

of malleability and improvement of the

human person.

The problem is represented by this ambiguity

of technology, which is colored

with different meanings, depending on

its use, and the challenge is posed precisely

at this level; the idea is to be able

to arrive at what is called an augmented

reality vision. This means putting layers

of information between us and reality,

in order to enrich the latter. This

system is now in the public domain and

the latest iPhone, in its operating system,

has incorporated elements of augmented

reality. NBIC (Nanotechnology,

Biotechnology, Information technology

and Cognitive science) conveys the idea

that, thanks to nanotechnologies, we

are now able to have machines that

can interface with molecules, because

they work more or less in the same dimension.

If we, at the nanometer level,

make these machines interact with a

biological system, we can have an information

exchange within a living body

controlled by us, which can produce a

cognitive response in the direction we

want. The question that arises at this

point is: can we do all we can do? All the

arguments articulated on this theme

are nothing more than a composition of

a few key arguments, which are played

with each other to obtain a yes or a no.

The main argument concerns the fear

of the uncertain and, in fact, responds

to the idea that every time we put our

hands on man, precisely because of the

complexity, we do not necessarily get

what we wanted to achieve, there is al-

36 360 GRADI 360 GRADI

37


ways a risk factor and, then, the idea that

we must be clear is what we risk.

Elon Musk had anticipated

it in early February via

Clubhouse: in the laboratories

of Neuralink, his brain

chip company for the development

of neural interfaces,

there was a cyborg-monkey

able to “play video games

with his mind”, literally without lifting a

finger. We now also have tangible proof

of this. Thanks to a YouTube video shared

by the company in which we see Pager,

a 9-year-old macaque, dabbling with the

historic Pong, in a 100% telepathic way.

Pong is one of the first commercial video

games, produced by Atari as an arcade in

1972 and as a dedicated console in 1975.

As The Verge reported, the chip was implanted

in the macaque’s skull about six

weeks before filming. Then Pager learned

how to use the video game (renamed

Mind Pong for the occasion), operating a

joystick and receiving a banana smoothie

in return, through a metal straw.

While the macaque

went about its task,

the Neuralink device

monitored and recorded

information

on neurons in action

during the game. In

this way, thanks to artificial intelligence,

the 1,024 sensor electrodes were able to

“map” the neurons activated by the primate

at each individual movement, thus

creating a personalized predictive model.

In this way, the device learned to predict

which regions of the brain were

activated by the movement of the

hand: the same ones that the macaque

would use to send commands to the

PC. When the joystick was disconnected,

Pager continued playing using his

mind to move the sliders of the classic

Pong game. The second and last phase,

therefore, saw the monkey able to move

the bars without the aid of the joystick,

using only the wireless channel, activated

between the computer and its N1

Link type brain chip. The results were

remarkable: as you can see in the images,

in fact, only once was the ball not

successfully rejected.

It should be remembered that the primate

brain is very similar to that of

the human species. Scientists have sequenced

and analyzed the genome of

the macaque, which differentiated from

humans 25 million years ago, discovering

that humans share more than 97.5

percent of the genes with this distant

cousin; we have even closer relatives in

bonobos and chimpanzees, having between

98.6 and 99 percent of the DNA

in common with them. The latter are

genetically closer to humans than gorillas.

Female chimpanzees also share a

similar reproductive cycle to that of sapiens,

reaching sexual maturity during

their adolescence, and have a gestation

period of 8 months. Researchers believe

that we and the Bonobos separated on

the evolutionary path between 4 and 7

million years ago.

Elon Musk, with this project, aims at the

mass market, with the sale of his plants

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for a few tens of thousands of dollars.

Although extremely innovative, the one

that saw the nice Pager as protagonist is

nothing more than an intermediate step

towards the real objectives of the company.

Musk himself, in fact, later reported

on Twitter that “the first Neuralink

product will allow a paralyzed person

to use a smartphone with their mind

faster than someone who uses their

thumbs”. Later versions, on the other

hand, “will allow paraplegics to walk

again, for example.” It sounds like science

fiction in reality they are the new (longterm)

frontiers of technology. Also Elon

Musk founded

SpaceX (Space

Exploration

Technologies

Corporation) in

2002, a US aerospace

company based in Hawthorne,

with the aim of creating technologies

aimed at reducing the costs of access

to space, and allowing colonization of

Mars. On recent May 2, SpaceX’s Crew

Dragon Resilience capsule brought the

four astronauts from the International

Space Station back to Earth after a 167-

day mission, the longest ever organized

by the United States. The previous record

of 84 days was set by the Skylab

station crew in 1974.

Before continuing our journey into possible

technological developments, often

almost utopian and strange, and before

delving into this topic with an imaginable

vision of the future of humanity, I

would like to tell you how I approached

this topic, and why I began to study it.

I have a reductionist neuroscientific

background, but I have always been interested

in philosophy, art and mythology;

all disciplines that try to get to the

root of the sense of alienation of the human

being, in particular to the analysis

of that existential mine of anxiety that

concerns mortality, our mortality. For

example, the biblical story of the fall of

man is an incredibly rich and profound

poetic account of our estrangement from

ourselves and our inability to accept ourselves

as animals, whatever we are. The

psychological center of history is the

concept that we should not be as we are,

but that we should have been dispensed

from suffering, death and human frailty,

conditions that have accompanied us as

a consequence of divine punishment; in

practice what has always fascinated me

is the idea of the nature of human limits

as something that can be transcended.

This inability to reconcile ourselves

to the irreducible facts of our humanity

has always been a very important aspect

that defines the human condition.

The sight of a child and the fact of being

responsible for the continued existence

and well-being of this small and fragile

human being, urges us to reflect on the

theme of mortality and fragility.

A journey into the future: Transhumanism

As Dante saw in Virgil

the appropriate guide

to accompany him on

his journey through

the nine infernal circles

to the mountain of

Purgatory, after reading his interesting

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ook “Being a machine”, I considered the

Irish journalist and writer Mark O ‘ Connell

the best possible guide for a journey

into a probable future development of

technology, to discover a world made

of dreamers, visionaries and madmen,

in the obsessive search for immortality.

The author tells us about people known

as transhumanists who, in a nutshell,

believe that we can and should use technology

to go beyond the boundaries of

the human condition; they argue that

the future of humanity also includes

an improvement of minds and bodies

by using implants. Consequently, they

assert that individual consciences can

be integrated with machines by fusing

them, in particular, with artificial intelligence,

to make us beings with an almost

infinite potential for intelligence. Transhumanism

has become a techno-political-religious

movement that claims the

progressive liberation of mankind from

the constraints imposed by corporeality.

Mark O’Connell’s

book is

a disenchanted

and critical

investigation,

between the journalistic essay and the

novel, on transhumanism and its goal

of eradicating death and replacing it

with digital technological forms. O’Connell

has, in fact, followed and examined

for years the most famous personalities,

the most significant conferences

and the most conspicuous investments

of the movement. The protagonists of

transhumanism are all part of the multifaceted

universe of the digital revolution.

Among their gurus we find in fact

CEOs of some of the most symbolic digital

companies (such as David Wood,

creator of the first operating system for

Symbian smartphones, or Tesla’s Elon

Musk, previously mentioned about the

cyber-macaque), university professors

to the relationship between mind and

robotics (such as Hans Moravec of Carnegie

Mellon University or Stuart Russell

who teaches computer science at Berkeley),

film consultants such as Irving John

Good, whom Stanley Kubrick wanted

alongside him, as an artificial intelligence

consultant in “2001: Odyssey in space ”,

or artists such as the performer Stelarc,

who had an ear implanted on his left

forearm, to enhance the listening skills

of his own body. A variegated pantheon,

therefore, with a common denominator:

a blind and absolute faith in the saving

power of technology and digitization.

In addition to a blind

and absolute faith

in digital technologies,

the concept

of transhumanism

is so powerful as it

brings together various

key concepts of

our contemporaneity,

such as: technological

singularity,

artificial intelligence and robotics. Particular

attention should be paid to the term

“singularity”; the technological singularity

is a vague and multiform concept,

almost prophetic, which has been circulating

since the 1950s and which refers

to “a coming time in which the intelligence

of machines will greatly surpass that of

human creators, and biological life will

come absorbed by technology “. Both artificial

intelligence and robotics are closely

connected to this idea. Transhumanism

disputes the existence of a clear difference

between human and artificial intelligence,

as well as that between man and robot,

and argues that these are destined to fade

and integrate, to the point of being indistinguishable

in the near future. In other

words, transhumanism is an entirely positive

and enthusiastic response to digital

technological evolution. The singularity

according to Kurzweil, another famous oracle

of transhumanism, represents: “… the

combination of the fusion of our existence

more than our technological thought. All

this will generate a world that is still human

but that will transcend our biological roots. “

The transhumanism

movement aims

to offer a way out of

mortality and frailty,

a way to transcend

our limited and transitory human condition

through technology; this aspect is very

fascinating because it seems to emerge

from the same basic existential malaise

of our human being, which underlies the

Judeo-Christian story of the fall of man.

Mark O’Connell’s journey, which lasted a

few years through Europe and the USA,

will allow us to get to know rather strange

places and meet ideas that will sound disconcerting

and alien to us. The writer attended

their meetings and met various

exponents of transhumanism, eccentric

and extravagant people, even confronting

himself with their disturbing ideas and

with studies on technologies that make

them believe that these things are possible.

This movement and these ideas have

taken root especially deeply in Silicon

Valley.

Silicon Valley represents a fundamental

node of Western scientific research;

for example, the founders of Google in

2013 created a biotechnology research

laboratory called Calico (California Life

Company) Labs, where they explicitly

try to find solutions, at the genetic

level, for what are considered to be the

causes of the problems of human aging.

Peter Andreas Thiel is an

American businessman of

German origin. Co-founder

of PayPal, he is considered

one of the richest people in

the world, according to the

Forbes 400 (Forbes 400 is a

list published since 1982 by

Forbes magazine about the 400 richest

American residents, ranked by their net

worth), and one of the few billionaires

to have declared himself openly gay.

An activist for the LGBT movement, he

is one of Facebook’s first external investors.

Recently he has committed large

sums to a project that aims to achieve

immortality through technology. Many

of the people and projects described in

O’Connell’s book come from branches

of Thiel and Elon Musk, who was also

a former PayPal colleague of his. The

latter has publicly expressed his belief

that the rise of Artificial Intelligence

(AI) will allow us, in the short term, to

consider ourselves obsolete as a species;

he argues that Artificial Intelligence

will evolve above us, just as we have

evolved above lower-order primates.

The goal is to discover a way to put evolution

in our hands, develop the power

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of the human-machine interface and

merge our mind with artificial intelligence.

Musk, in a recent interview, talked

about his new company Neuralink

and the goals he wants to achieve, including

the desire to create superhuman

cognition. A demonstration of ongoing

research is the implantation of a chip in

the skull of a macaque, which allows it

to play Pong without using the joystick

(see a more detailed description in the

previous paragraphs). He described the

development of future technologies as

something that will bring about an existential

transformation of the species

as a whole. He did not talk about costs,

but surely the purchase prices of the systems

will be very high and few will be

able to afford them; we can hypothesize,

consequently, that this will only favor

a small group of people. Let us ask ourselves,

in this regard, what kind of world

it would be, a world in which only a few

super rich people will be able to transcend

humanity and let all the rest of us

sink into a state of impoverishment, as

well as economic as well as biological.

While reading O’Connell’s book, there

were moments in which it seemed to

me that, despite the talk of the future,

transhumanism was actually telling

about things that are already happening

and that are already in this world.

The author tells

of one of his first

encounters with

transhumanism,

which took

place on the occasion of a visit to the

Alcor Life Extension Foundation (Alcor)

in the outskirts of Phoenix in Arizona,

a large gray box resting on the ground,

in the middle of the desert with 40 degrees

almost all year round. Alcor is a US

non-profit organization, founded in 1972

with headquarters in Arizona, which

does research related to cryonics, or the

conservation of human beings in liquid

nitrogen at -196 degrees C, after their legal

death. Alcor is one of the largest cryonics’

facilities in the world. The goal is

to bring hibernating people back to life

and in full health, when the technology

of the future can reverse the cryogenic

process and will therefore be sufficiently

developed to do so. Cryonics is a kind

of science or pseudo-science to be more

precise, which aims to preserve recently

deceased human bodies, with the specific

intention of thawing them and, at

some time in the future, perhaps in 50

years or 500 years. years, bring them

back to life.

During the visit, O’Connell said he was

accompanied to see a sterile surgical

environment where recently deceased

people, whom transhumanists refer

to as patients and never as corpses, are

cryopreserved for hibernation. Their

body fluids are replaced with a cocktail

of chemicals, and the cryonics procedure

also involves decapitation. This, as it is

cheaper to preserve only the head and

not the whole body; we speak of cefalo

to give an aura of linguistic respect to

this macabre ritual, even if, after all, it is

always about severed heads. Besides the

fact that cefalos take up less space, most

transhumanist trolls are not interested

in coming back to life attached to their

old, sick and shriveled bodies again. So,

what you want to do is do a mind and

brain scan to upload the data to a platform

or robotic system. Thanks to new

digital micro-technologies, in the near

future, one could upload the brain to

powerful hard drives and then reinstall

it in younger flesh bodies, or indestructible

mechanical bodies, or even assume

any desired shape (according to the doctrine

of the so-called “Morphological

freedom”). Alternatively, with $ 200,000

for the whole body or with only $ 80,000

for the head, specialized companies can

cryopreserve us (a kind of hibernation)

and then, once we have healed the diseases

that gripped us or found the last

elixir of long life, thaw us out and make

us return to new and potentially infinite

life.

In the environment

visited by O’Connell

there were voluminous

containers made

of very thick steel,

with a separation

of the conservation system: on the one

hand, the rest of the body was kept, as if

it were a prosthesis, and, in another wing

of the factory, the heads were preserved

at very low temperatures. The heads

were carefully scanned, several times,

before being loaded into these huge refrigerators.

This is what has happened in

Arizona, in particular in Phoenix since

the beginning of the 90s, so now the

oldest heads are over thirty years old.

The first hu-

man to hibernate

dates back to

January 12, 1967 and

was James Bedford,

a 73-year-old

University

of California psychology professor;

his body is still preserved in the Alcor

structures. This, according to the transhumanists,

could be our destiny, that is

the possibility of being able to reattach

our head to something very powerful;

but it doesn’t have an image yet, there

is still no physical idea of how this machine

will be, this very powerful thing

that our head will be attached to. Many

of us will console ourselves by thinking,

as the poet Philip Larkin wrote, “that

what will remain of us is love”; yet transhumanism

offers us something different,

something less abstract and poetic:

what will survive of us, according to this

vision, are the data. What will remain of

us will be a code, this gives us a vision of

the future where our mind will change

into algorithms of 0 and 1, then into a binary

code. This code will subsequently

transform into the flesh and blood of our

bodies and will be loaded onto a platform

and onto machines. The concept of mind

uploading is a central point within transhumanism,

and it is precisely the keystone

with respect to the post-human

immortal future. Transhumanists tell

us that we can and must use technology

to move beyond old age as the cause of

death for our body and brain, eventually

becoming a machine.

To clarify what

could happen to us

in the near future,

let’s paint a small

scenario: they took

you to the operating

room too late,

there are robots that can understand

the chemical structure of your brain and

that transfer your data to a very pow-

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erful computer. Through very sensitive

sensors they scan you deeper and deeper,

they are able to understand what is

inside you and create a three-dimensional

map of your thoughts. They go to

create codes and figure out what your

brain is doing. While all this happens,

at a certain point, you realize that you

are no longer physically present in your

body, you seem to see curiosity around

you, but also sadness and despair; you

even see this body of yours leaving you

with spasms. You have now become a

machine, you have been transformed

into a machine, you are no longer alive,

but you are an object that can be continually

improved.

Is the Singularity nearby?

All transhumanist

theories are based on

the concept of singularity,

that is to be

able to continue to

relive one day, when

the right technology

will arrive; the goal

is to take life back in

hand, connecting the

head to a remnant yet

to be imagined, as it does not yet have

a shape. Transhumanists believe in all

of this and are confident in a future in

which machine intelligence can truly

surpass that of human neurons. This replacement

will make all of us take a big

leap forward, on an evolutionary level.

Transhumanists hope that these technologies,

still intangible and only imaginable,

will be able to change our universe

and our future.

Let’s now analyze the concept better:

what does singularity mean? To discover

all the characteristics, perhaps even

the secrets, of what is called singularity

we refer to

Raymond

Kurzweil. He

is one of

the most im-

portant

supporters of transhumanist

ideas; he

was a direc-

tor of engineering

at

Google for

a few years,

before

pursuing a sort of individual career. He

has designed amazing things, including

speech recognition machines. With Stevie

Wonder he is co-founder of a company

that builds futuristic speech synthesizers

for musical applications. He has

worked a lot on new devices, which he

calls techno-utopia, and has theorized

several principles, including, for example,

a principle of acceleration thanks

to photons and protons. In 2005 he published

a book entitled “The Singularity is

Near”, in which he attempts to provide

the reader with a glimpse of what lies

ahead in the near future. He speaks of

2045 as the year in which artificial intelligence

will become so advanced and so

powerful that we will be able to load our

minds into supercomputers, merge them

with technology and, thus, find a final

liberation from biology. Kurzweil presents

us with a future in which technology

will continue to become more and

more powerful, to the point where it will

become the primary agent of our own

evolution as a species. So, we will no longer

take computers with us, he argues,

but we will have them inside our bodies,

inside our brains and our blood, thus

changing the nature of the human experience.

I think Kurzweil’s vision of the

future is of particular interest to people

who already see themselves, in a sense,

as machines. People who agree with the

pioneer of artificial intelligence, Marvin

Minsky, when he argues that the human

brain is simply a machine of flesh.

Why shouldn’t we want to improve our

capabilities and achieve what Elon Musk

calls the superhuman condition? If we

see machines as an apparatus built to

perform a particular task, then our task

as machines will surely be to think and

calculate at the highest possible level.

In this instrumentalist view of human

life, our purpose and reason for our existence

becomes to increase our computational

power and to make sure that,

as machines, we can last as long as possible,

as efficiently as possible. Kurzweil

writes in his book “Singularity is Near”:

“… Our biological organisms (version 1.0)

are equally fragile and subject to a myriad

of failure modes, not to mention the complicated

maintenance rituals they need.

Human intelligence is sometimes able to

rise to dizzying heights with its creativity

and expressiveness, but much of human

thought is derivative, small coaster and

circumscribed. The singularity will allow

us to overcome these limitations of our

biological bodies and brains. We will gain

power over our own destiny. Our mortality

will be in our hands. We will be able to

live as long as we want (something a little

different from saying we will live forever).

We will fully understand human thought

and greatly extend and expand its domain.

At the end of this century, the non-biological

part of our intelligence will be billions

of billions several times more powerful

than human intelligence without aids…”.

Kurzweil thought that this idea will not

erase our humanity but that, rather, it

can be the maximum affirmation of that

quality that has always defined us as a

human species, that is, the constant desire

to transcend our physical and mental

limits.

The idea of loading us into cars has been

around for a long time in science fiction,

but the people of Silicon Valley have

truly believed in it and are seriously

trying. In a conference in San Francisco

on transhumanism, at the beginning of

his reporting activity,

O’Connell tells of

having met Randal

Koene, a computational

neuroscientist,

who has always been

involved in studying

how to load the human mind into a machine

and how to make this possible; he

is the person who most believes in this

possibility and who also believes that

it is possible to load the entire human

body: therefore body, head and brain all

inside a machine. He describes him as a

great communicator, a very charismatic

man and one of the most interesting

people ever known, even though he is

engaged in a project that seems crazy. In

the conversations reported and which

took place, even informally, in the beautiful

bars and fantastic restaurants of

San Francisco he argued, with conviction,

that transhumanism represented

a liberation of the mind, thanks to the

liberation from its substratum. Opinions

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maintained despite O’Connell pointing

out that what he called a substrate is the

body, our body. Randal was able to draw

attention to complex technical topics

and explain them in a simple way, although

at times he seemed to be talking

about something totally nonsense and

crazy; if he had achieved what he was

working on, he would have achieved

the greatest transformation of humanity.

In support of his theories of his, he

displayed several integrated maps of human

neurons; maps that could become

so-called nano-geographical maps and

which, moreover, microscopes and electronic

scanners are already using. These

small chips can be placed on the scalp, or

made to penetrate a few millimeters under

the scalp, to make them communicate

directly with our brain. Randal argues

that artificial intelligence will lead

us to live for eternity. His works mostly

refer to neuro-microscopy and, in general,

to long-term projects of artificial intelligence,

and of the relationship between

artificial intelligence and the brain.

O’Connell says that, despite this could

mean the end of humanity as we know

it, Randal, for his part, was very good

at relativizing this kind of thoughts, he

didn’t seem worried about apocalyptic

issues and such aspects were little for

him. important. He wanted to find a scientific

solution to a problem he clearly

defined: the problem was the installation

in a machine of the mind contained in a

human body. Randal described himself

as an architect, explaining that he was

not involved in doing original research,

but that he simply collected and assembled

various pieces of studies in the

fields of neuroscience and technology,

all of which are pertinent to achieving

brain uploading. Simplifying drastically,

the basic principle he enunciated was

the idea that the whole infrastructure

of awareness (i.e., the discharge of individual

neurons, the map of connections

between neurons, the whole dynamic

figure of the living mind) could be represented.

as information. Basically, everything

can be reduced to data and data

can be transformed into computational

code; code as software, in theory, can be

extracted from the hardware it is running

on right now, i.e., the human brain,

and be adapted to run on another form

of hardware such as an artificial intelligence

supercomputer or a shaped robot

Human. There are strong doubts of

course, there is skepticism as to whether

such an operation could really be possible

and, although most neuroscientists

and researchers see it as a very remote

prospect, there is someone who thinks

it might be possible. realize soon. But

beyond the real possibility, this raises a

philosophical reflection that forces us to

ask ourselves: if the mind could really

be loaded onto a machine, in that case

would it really be us or some kind of

identical twin mind? Although these arguments

aroused curiosity in Randal, he

was focused much more on the question

of how the goal could be achieved, rather

than on the philosophical and ethical

implications of its eventual realization.

One of the fundamental ideas relating

to future technologies concerns obsolescence,

that is the progressive decrease of

the possibilities of efficiency and validity

in one’s environment; when transhumanists

speak of the human body, in

terms of the hardware of flesh on which

the software of our minds runs, they

tend to speak of it as an antiquated technology.

We are irremediably antiquated,

aging machines, designed simply to live

the African savannah of 200,000 years

ago, not up-to-date enough to be able to

live contemporary life; the meat in other

words has a dead format. This concept of

the human body as an outdated technology

seems at first rather strange, almost

alien, something disturbing, a disturbing

way of thinking about human life

or, at the very least, this is what we feel

when we start thinking this way. But if

we reflect on it in terms of the anguish

that arises from the awareness of our

human frailty and finiteness, this begins

to make sense.

Another sinister shadow generated by

the worries and uncertainties linked

to our times concerns the impending

wave of automation coming towards us;

it does not seem exaggerated to imagine

that artificial intelligence will trigger

profound social and economic upheavals.

A large number of jobs, entire sectors

of the economy and employment,

could become obsolete and, increasingly,

areas of human expertise and experience

could be replaced by machines. We

increasingly live in a world governed by

systems that we struggle to understand:

at higher levels, stock exchanges fluctuate

in response to the unknown whims

of algorithms, while, at lower levels,

we have Amazon’s warehouses, where

there are pans and pots next to books,

and televisions next to children’s toys. It

is a system that does not make any sense

for the shelf workers, who only have to

follow the instructions given by the portable

devices, but it is a procedure that

makes perfect sense for the algorithm

that determines the arrangement of the

objects on the shelves.

How much is it possible that, in the near

future, a man-machine fusion or that

we end up living in a world where Elon

Musk will provide us with all the tools

to achieve what he calls superhuman

cognition? It seems clear that I am quite

skeptical about transhumanism and its

presuppositions, I am not a futurist and I

do not have the presumption of being an

expert in this area; I have simply studied

and read many articles by people who

are involved in this vision of the future.

For my part, I find it hard to imagine that

singularity, this kind of great fusion between

human intelligence and artificial

intelligence imagined by the transhumanists,

could be close. I don’t think this

article can tell a future with a capital F,

what interests me in relation to the future

as an idea, as a fantasy, as a nightmare

is what it can tell us about the present.

Transhumanism presents a vision

and argues that the imminent change

in the human condition will be radical.

In the case of the singularity this view

is almost apocalyptic in an explicit way;

the ecstasy of nerds, as we learn it, refers

to a vision of the end of humanity as

we know it, followed by the beginning

of something strange or new and, for

those who believe

it, totally fabulous.

Apocalyptic visions

have always told

us more about the

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time in which they were written than

about the future; the Book of Revelation,

to take the most famous example, has

told us much more about the upheaval,

violence and religious persecution at the

time it was written than what it foretold

about the future. I think the singularity,

the idea of a fusion of human intelligence

and machine intelligence, tells us

much more about the world we live in

today than it can tell us about any possible

future. In this regard, O’Connell says

he was struck, in particular, by a question

asked by one of the transhumanist

trolls while they were drinking a beer in

the bar of a Pittsburgh grand hotel and

talking about the future; raising the iPhone

he was holding towards the writer,

he asked him: “... and if we were already

living in the singularity?”. O’Connell reports

that he has thought a lot about

this question, perhaps because singularity

is neither more nor less than a myth

about the present, that is, a complex story

that illuminates how things already

are, and how they always have been.

Talking about the fusion of humans

with technology is like talking about humans

themselves in general, as one cannot

even begin to define what a human

being is without talking

about technology. [We became

human beings when

we began to use tools and,

perhaps, the singularity

began when the first

hominid, in the Lower Paleolithic, beat

a stone against another, thus lighting a

fire. Perhaps our existence as cyborg is

asserted every time the phone vibrates

in our pocket with a notification, and every

time we move through the streets of

our city with the GPS, which signals our

position to a satellite orbiting the land.

Maybe the singularity is simply an allegory

and a metaphor of something that

has already happened, that has always

happened: perhaps, in other words, the

singularity is already here.

In transhumanism, reference is often

made to a new vision of biology, in the

sense that our body is obviously biological,

all nature is biological, but all

this biology can be the subject of an upload,

that is, of the uploading of the data

of that gigantic software, which is the

human connectome. We will be able

to transcend the limits of our physical

body by integrating it with technological

systems and devices; mortality will

be written not in DNA as it is now, but

inside our brains. It will change the way

we think and we will certainly be able to

expand our knowledge even more, and

also the strength of our brains. Transhumanists

say that, in a few decades,

our brains will be much more powerful

than what we have today, and we could

thus escape the negative conditions associated

with human existence. This is

a mechanistic point of view, if we refer

to Minsky, according to whom the

mind is, from the beginning, a machine.

Someone argues that the brain is a kind

of meat machine, a kind of meat grinder

or in any case a machine made of meat;

others have defined it as a box that is able

to perform very high computations, and

have very high performances. Since we

have not yet reached the highest level,

the effort of the transhumanists is to understand

how this internal machine of

ours, therefore our brain, could become

more powerful.

Towards a Cyber-Ethics

In the “Letter on Humanism” Heidegger

says that, shortly after the publication of

Being and Time, a young student asked

him: “When will you write an ethics?”.

The philosopher’s disarming response

was: “The desire for ethics becomes all the

more urgent the more the manifest disorientation

of man, no less than the hidden

one, increases dramatically”. The dynamic

whereby we tend to push away our

limits and expand our humanity more

and more to the point of the paradoxical

result of changing it, transforming it and

making it become something else, questions

us today about what the human

is. To tell the truth, human thought is

always a bit artificial; there is no purely

natural intelligence because it is a

relationship, it enters into things, modifies

them and is ductively modified and

shaped by them. It is a relationship and,

therefore, in some way, it is artificial, artificial

not in the robotic sense but in the

sense of interaction. Thomas Aquinas,

who was not a transhumanist, said that

whatever is received by our soul, by our

mind, is received according to the modality

and form of the one who receives

it; therefore, in receiving the world we

are always a little constructivist, in the

sense that we put our own, we are incessantly

creative. The power of what our

thought has generated is so great that its

product makes the thinker superfluous,

or rather the thinker is reduced simply

to a procedure, to a capacity to compute,

to compute without a personal identity.

It seems to me that neither enthusiasm

nor fear are adequate approaches to the

problem we are talking about, because

basically they do not allow us to grasp the

question. We are all enthusiastic about

the possibility that technology offers us,

also because in some way we are already

the users and at the same time also the

victims, although we often do not realize

it. Given the extraordinary

possibility

of developing our

knowledge and the

computational power

of our mind, then

perhaps we will have to establish rules

and limits. When technology had not

yet reached its current levels, Heidegger

prophetically spoke to us of “calculating

thinking”, a definition that identifies in

Western thought the tendency to calculation

and the reduction of all thought to

calculability; for the great philosopher it

seems that we only know how to count,

visualizing the world from the point of

view of profit. A fortiori, we will have to

meditate on what can be a good ethics

for machines, as machines must necessarily

be subject to limits.

Faced with these themes we can, a little

frightened, raise walls and think that it

is science fiction, things to escape from,

imagine that they are something about

the future, or welcome the possibilities

within these questions and leave

ourselves questioning, trying to understand.

If this is the attitude, then the big

issues that I have only touched on in this

article, I hope can be developed by each

of you in other moments of reflection.

These issues are a help to better under-

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stand who we are, how technology is

changing us, what is the irreducible factor

that remains net of this race, of this

expansion of a knowledge that cannot

explain everything about us. A computational

capacity, a computational power

and feasibility that cannot fully explain

who we are. The issues I am addressing

can be a help to discover more, to better

deal with this irreducible factor which is

our ego, our personality, our humanity.

Various questions of an ethical-moral

nature relating to transhumanism and

the digital “forced” future remain open,

questions just mentioned in this article

without wanting to give definitive answers,

with the intention of raising only

questions. Tim Cannon, leader of Grindhouse

Wetware’s biohacker community,

wrote: “Ask transgenders, they’ll all tell

you they’re trapped in the wrong body. I,

on the other hand, am trapped in a wrong

body because I am trapped in a body. All

bodies are wrong”. The paradoxical core

of transhumanism seems to emerge in

this sentence: idiosyncrasy for human

corporeality and physicality, seen as a

biological decrease and constriction of

the infinite possibilities of thought. But

then we should ask ourselves: “If a human

being is not his own body, is he still a

human being? In other words, where is the

essence of humanity? “. For transhumanists

it is not in the body, but in the ability

to produce, calculate, transfer and process

information; and, after all, what else

in an era in which communication is the

central metaphor of human existence?

O’Connell wonders in his book: “Even

if we could somehow map and emulate

the incalculable complexity of my neural

pathways and processes, and then load

everything onto a platform other than

a kilo and a half of gelatinous tissue enclosed

in my skull, in what sense would

that reproduction or simulation coincide

with me?”. The most disturbing philosophical

question is also the most elementary

and reasonable: “... in that form,

would I continue to be myself?” Further

reflections emerge from this question:

while attributing a consciousness to the

material transferred onto an artificial

support and, also, admitting that it was

indistinguishable from the way my consciousness

manifests itself, could I really

say that that thing is me and I am that

thing? Would it be enough for the conscience

loaded on a support to believe

that it is me? But also, is it enough for me

to believe that I am myself now? And,

indeed, does it really make sense to ask

yourself?

Since the human being is an integrated

brain-body system, a question spontaneously

arises that I would gladly ask

transhumanists: but what will really happen

to our body? O’Connell reports in his

book that he has asked a similar question

a thousand times, in various ways,

to many transhumanists and all have

always answered him differently. There

will not be a single thing, there will not

be a single material, a single medium

and a single substrate; this is configured

in the concept of morphological freedom,

an idea that is in the pocket, so to

speak, of all transhumanists. Some argue

that we can do and become anything we

want; we will be able to do what it will

be possible to do in that moment, in that

century, in that time. But we can also

move, move, become an antelope, a lion,

we can turn you into a tree, even in a

coat of paint, the one that usually covers

our walls. Surely these statements may

seem very strange and very bizarre and

you, at this moment, are making faces

of perplexity and nods of dissent, but,

in part, this material has already been,

how to say, predigested by our universe

and has been identified. Some of these

projects, transhumanist scientists say,

are almost already feasible and are raising

money to finance them.

We are no longer just the product of

a blind evolution, but we are a choice

that creates new functions in our body,

choices that can increase our intellectual

abilities; this is what has always happened

in our history as human beings.

The physical, the emotional and the intellectual

are no longer enough for us,

but we are looking for something else,

many different forms and new biological

characteristics. The more sophisticated

the technology becomes, the more

demands and expectations increase not

only of the transhumanists, but also of

all of us. Perhaps a future similar to that

desired by the transhumanists becomes

ever closer, due to the great acceleration

of technological progress. We will have

to try, as Kurzweil has argued, to obliterate

our human singularity; we are “a

constant project thrown into the world”,

Heidegger defined us, constantly changing

and constantly trying to understand

how we, as a species, distinguish ourselves

from everything else. We are a

unity that is transcendental, even if we

have physical and mental limits, constraints

that we have always tried to

transcend. Transhumanists say that if

we really want to live differently, with

more control over us, with total domination

over our destiny, we must stop

thinking that we are only biological beings,

carried forward along biological

tracks, which we are obliged to respect.

Instead, it is possible to derail, and if we

want to be much more than animals, we

must embrace and embrace all the technological

potential, to transform ourselves

into cyborgs.

What do you imagine

when you think

of a cyborg? How

would you imagine

yourself to be if

I asked you to think

of yourself as already cyborgs? Would

you think you are no longer a human

entity? Would you think you are part

of that new mechanism which, within

you, processes information in a different

way? Do you wear glasses, or have you

already put on a pacemaker, for those

with heart problems? Have you been to

the dentist? Have you had any repair or

cosmetic surgery, and put any devices or

prostheses inside you? Do you have an

unpleasant feeling of discomfort when,

for example, your mobile phone does

not work because it is empty? Or when

you have forgotten your tablet at home?

Do you feel a deep sense of disappointment

if your internet connection drops

continuously, or is it slow? An unstoppable

sense of frustration invades you,

which can quickly turn into anger and

despair if you get banned from Second

Life, or can’t connect at regular times?

Do you feel annoying, unpleasant emo-

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tions, in some cases irritation and anguish

due to lack of technology? Well,

if you have experienced at least one of

these sensations, it means that you are

already a being of this type, a cyborg

also made of technology, also made of integrated

systems that now pulsate within

you, as your heart beats. We make a

great effort to extend ourselves and become

even more technological, as various

sociologists say who keep telling us

that we are becoming cyborgs, even if

no one has already become, completely,

100 by 100. The pendulum of our daily

existence swings continuously between

our online life and our offline life, often

with large areas of ambiguity and little

awareness of where we really are.

In fact, what we live today is a life that

we can define as a fusion, it is a real cohesive

marriage with technology; we must

try to better understand what the human

being is like when we argue about

technology, and when we talk about

technology. Perhaps we have become

human beings recently, when technology

made us such, before we were not;

perhaps the singularity came with the

caves in which we find the paintings

and stylized images, made by our ancestors

of the Upper Paleolithic. Or maybe

we became human when a cell phone

rang in our pocket for the first time a few

years ago. We are, perhaps, all of us cyborgs

because we still have GPS in hand;

even at this moment we depend on satellites,

a satellite is watching us: I here

in my city, you in yours. Maybe they

have already scanned all of our brains,

maybe someone is already ready to use

the data from this scan. What I just told

you is something that has been going

on for a long time, and in other words,

the singularity is now all around us. The

notion of a human being as a whole one

hundred percent made up of technology

might sound strange if not distant from

us; it is something not completely alienated,

but distant in time. We feel an undertone

of anxiety and worry when we

think of these very close relationships

between technology and our brain. The

uncertainty and insecurity typical of

today’s times is certainly also due to the

cyclopean wave of automation. It is still

difficult to understand how great these

technological upheavals are on our lives,

on our jobs, on our experiential sectors,

on the so-called knowledge economy, on

our personality. Some areas of expertise

and, therefore, our control over the environment

is changing; look at the experience

of these very recent months with

the pandemic, with Covid 19.

Heidegger also writes in “The abandonment”

(1959): “What is truly disturbing is

not that the world is transformed into a

complete domain of technology. Far more

disturbing is that man is not at all prepared

for this radical change in the world. Far

more disturbing is that we are not yet able

to reach, through a meditating thought, an

adequate comparison with what is really

emerging in our age”. If in ancient times

techne, as an instrument in the hands of

man, was constituted as a means to an

end, with modernity and the enormous

development of technology things have

changed and it has become, in Heidegger’s

words “our destiny”. There has been

a reversal in the relationship between

man and technique, from the moment in

which man is reduced to a simple object

to be modified. In this way we are witnessing

a reversal between means and

ends: the technique, which was a docile

tool in the hands of man, until it was still

underdeveloped, in the course of history

has become autonomous, developing

its own ends which, eventually, they

become overbearing and exclusive. An

important aspect that cannot be overlooked,

when we propose to investigate

the question of technique, is the bewilderment

that accompanies contemporary

man in a world that appears increasingly

enigmatic, in the face of the power

of the unknown forces that dominate,

even if partly triggered by him. Faced

with the excessive power of technology,

humanity may appear overwhelmed

by a load of responsibility for which it

was not prepared. In a world where man

has lost the dominant role, which ethics

must apply? A “human” ethics or, perhaps,

an ethics that must take into account

the power of machines?

Faced with the upheavals triggered by

modern technology, virtue and morals

seem like antiquities now lost. However,

it is precisely as man’s disorientation

increases that ethics becomes urgent; as

Heidegger also maintained, it seems necessary

to found a new ethics, born from

the demands that our age imposes. The

real problem of humanity, dominated

by technology, is not in fact the answer

to the question “what to do?” but rather

“what not to do”; what is necessary is, first

of all, a commitment to understand what

are the limits at which to stop. Therefore,

in a world driven and ordered by

machines, in which everything that can

be done technically must be done, who

establishes what is allowed or otherwise

prohibited is the technique itself, which

has imposed itself as the subject of the

story, to the point to order, even, human

action in view of one’s own interest, determining

the moral imperatives on the

basis of which we act today. We live in a

world where we have to adapt our feelings

to the understanding of the world

of the machines that surround us, as the

use of traditional methods of interpretation

and great ethical and religious systems

proves useless. Our task is not to

interpret the great traditional texts, but

to understand the technical apparatuses

with which we find ourselves living,

and to strive, in particular, to be able to

grasp the possible developments and the

possible consequences of their use. As I

have argued in other parts of this article

and some writers of utopian novels

have said, it is not a question of inferring

tomorrow from today, but of “seeing

tomorrow in today” and to do this we

must be able to read in the devices and

in the machines that surround us. There

is a need for a new thought, a different

way of relating to the world and things,

and, above all, a deeper understanding

of technique which, in its essence, is still

unthinkable.

We have a technology that pierces the

skin, in the sense that it reaches the

deepest components, which we thought

were untouchable, of our life; this technology,

for the first time, manages to

make us think that our social context and

our common way of life, in fact, can be

disjointed and no longer able to be controlled.

All this requires of us a collective

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management, a management according

to models which can no longer be those

of delegation, but which are those of

governance; it asks us to return to that

typical constitution of our West, we are

the polis, we are the square. It asks us to

create squares, within which the different

competences are understood on the

meaning of what one is experiencing,

trying to orient the experience towards

the horizon of development.

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PINO VITI

Pino Viti,

DESTINATIONS

Writer

Pino Viti, a.k.a. Pinovit Pinion, at the now distant

beginning of his experience in SL, put his passion for

writing to good use, trying his hand at being an art

and literary critic. He actively contributes to blogs and

inworld magazines (such as Virtual Worlds Magazine,

SL Art, Pop Art Display, Tanalois, SL senzalimiti,

etc.), reviewing exhibitions and galleries. ) reviewing

exhibitions and art galleries, and then extends his

sphere of action in a more general cultural sphere,

participating in meetings and conferences on various

topics in both humanities and science, driven by his

intellectual curiosity. He then became a journalist,

becoming co-owner of a press agency (SL Crazypress),

and deputy director of a virtual publishing house.

At the same time, he took part in numerous literary

contests, both as a participant and as a judge, and coauthored

several poetry anthologies until he published

his own book of verse, “Il viaggio,” which was a great

success in SL, just like the homonymous edition

published in real.

After a very active beginning, he took a long break,

dedicated to social relations and exploring the various

aspects of SL, especially the landscape, returning

sporadically to literary production by writing short

stories in collections by various authors.

He recently enthusiastically accepted an invitation to

collaborate with the prestigious magazine “360 GRADI

in the “Destinations” section, taking the opportunity to

return to his old passion for writing.

Pino

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SOUL FROGMORE OF DREAMS

IN SECOND LIFE

La magia di una land da sogno.

Frogmore is a popular location for photographers

and bloggers that inspired the storytelling of Pino

Viti.

Scritto da PINO VITI.

Immagini di JARLA CAPALINI e

Written by DAVI PINO SPERBER. VITI.

Images by JARLA CAPALINI.

LEGGI IN ITALIANO

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FROGMORE

There is also a Flickr

group where you can

A dream journey through space-time. Frogmore is a popular

location for photographers and bloggers that inspired the

storytelling of Pino Viti.

share photos taken

in the land.

Terry Fotherington,

a.k.a. Dandy Warhol,

is an accomplished

designer and decorator

of places and landscapes

in Second Life

(landscaper and scenographer

as he calls

himself) and has developed

splendid sims

with imagination and

professionalism.

The Frogmore’s group allows people to be informed

about all the activities related to the location.

Terry Fotherington, a.k.a. Dandy

Warhol, is an accomplished designer

and decorator of places and landscapes

in Second Life (landscaper and

scenographer as he calls himself) and

has developed splendid sims with

imagination and professionalism.

In Frogmore, he has surpassed himself,

creating an environment full of poetry

and suggestions in the land owned

by Tolla Crisp. It is a large sim (about

30k prims) but not wholly furnished

to avoid the typical lags

of too “full” territories.

In her profile, the

owner informs us that

by subscribing to the

group (for free, at least

for now), it is possible to

report about the place

and receive news about

the events she organizes,

such as photo contests

(reserved to members),

concerts and more.

There is also a Flickr

group: https://www.flickr.

com/groups/14677915@

N21/ where you can

share photos taken in the

land.

So far, the cold (but

not too cold) technical

details, but of course,

there is more, much

more to say, to see, to

experience. “Frogmore

is a natural, photogenic,

and immersive experience,

inspired by places like

historic Cornwall and the

old Notting Hill district

of London. “This is how

Tolla herself defines her

Frogmore in her profile

and the greeter at the

entrance, but these

are just reminiscences,

historical ones in fact

because the places

mentioned are revisited

and relived looking

back to times gone

by, transfigured by

the nostalgic memory

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I recommend accepting the region’s light settings

for the best experience.

of the past inherent in our

anthropological and cultural

DNA. Thus, the taste for vintage

becomes a state of mind, and

nostalgia a category of the

spirit, supporting our collective

imagination rooted in the

peasant civilization from which

all of us, children of the old

continent, descend.

I met Tolla Crisp here and

couldn’t resist the temptation to

ask her a few questions.

P. - How did Frogmore come

about?

T. - In 2019 I had the idea of

having my own sim in the image

of my home country, Sweden.

At the end of the same year, the

second version, Frogmore 2.0,

went from the original 5000

prims to 20,000 prims while

maintaining the original footprint.

Pino interviewed Tolla Crisp, the

Frogmore’s owner, to know more about

how the idea was born.

P. - Were there any subsequent

changes? At present, I don’t

think the land is mainly

characterized by Scandinavian

atmospheres.

T. - Certainly. In fact, the third

version was born in the following

year, completely restructured and

inspired mainly through places in

Great Britain, where I currently

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live, and in particular Cornwall, a place

I frequent and love very much. The

current one is Frogmore 4.0, created in

the wake of the previous one and enlarged

to 30,000 prims, although not fully

occupied.

P. - Why did you think of Terry to

furnish Frogmore?

T. - I remember a friend told me about

him. I looked at his work, liked it, and gave

him my ideas. Terry shared his ideas and

enthusiastically put them into practice to

make Frogmore. Since then we have been

working very successfully together.

In reality, in Frogmore, the

environmental references are also

related to other geographical and

chronological contexts, including

periods almost contemporary to our

own and settings foreign to the Anglo-

Saxon world, such as certain rural

landscapes with a typically Italian

appearance. The flashes of modernity

and the geographical contaminations,

however, do not disturb the unitary

enjoyment of the place but contribute

to its singular charm: realized with

skill and balance, they ensure that

the stratification of citations and

suggestions enriches our experience

as travelers, gradually making the

emotions experienced sediment inside

us until they become indelible.

It is incredible how the inventiveness

and “hand” of the set designers can

succeed in giving depth to the virtual

world, which is by definition twodimensional,

bringing its perception to

a 3D vision; not only that but when the

craftsman turns into an artist, as in this

case, even the fourth dimension - time

- comes to life. It is precisely space-time

that envelops the visitor, transporting

him or her on a fantastic introspective

and retrospective, imaginative and

visionary psychological tour.

As I mentioned earlier, the owner

defines Frogmore not as a place to

visit but as an experience to live, and I

fully agreed with her statement when

I entered for the first time. Although

everything appeared to be correctly

placed, nothing was trivial or obvious

and deserved attention, if not mental

and emotional participation. Nothing

could and should be gratuitous, not

even a shabby old piano with broken

keys and rusty strings abandoned

among the plants. I’ve always liked

to think that every self-respecting

land designer places something at the

entrance to his creations that veiled

the key to its interpretation for those

who know how to interpret it. That

piano seemed to have been placed by

the landing point to tell me something.

But what? To find the answer, I tried to

make it talk by sitting down and trying

to play it, but in vain: the instrument

was too severely damaged to produce

pleasing sounds. I just had

to continue my search by entering

Frogmore to live the experience Tolla

spoke of with a virgin soul and childlike

curiosity.

I found myself immersed in a

luxuriant nature that insinuated itself

overbearingly into human artifacts,

which in turn seemed to be struggling

silently not to be overwhelmed by

it and by the inexorable workings

of time. In a scenery that was now

mountainous, now marine, now a lake,

adventurous paths, among sands, rocks,

and ruins, led to unsuspected oases of

melancholic serenity.

The signs and whispers of that fantastic

world showed me the way, and I

followed it through changing paths of

perspectives and suggestions. I looked at

unspeakable things with the eyes of the

soul, revealing their secrets. I admired

shady rural courtyards, full of flowers

and decorations, which reminded me

of times gone by when life flowed

peacefully, leaving space and time for

small things of pure beauty and great

futility. I wandered through isolated

fishing villages, where boats pulled out

of the water and filled with rainwater

that had given birth to green water

lilies. I visited mysterious dwellings

which, like fallen noblewomen, still

displayed a faded elegance. I also saw

abandoned farmhouses, whether

recently or forever unknown, farms

and flower greenhouses eroded by

time, friend and foe, groceries and oldfashioned

shops, tool sheds, and even

a delightfully self-referential antique

shop. Needless to say, everything was

done with refined taste and meticulous

attention to detail.

I finally rested on a cozy couch in

the ruins of a tower, almost wholly

enclosed all around but with a

providential circular opening at the top,

through which I could admire the stars,

imagining I was sharing that moment

with a lost love of mine.

It was time to return. My journey was

over, but there was one more surprise

waiting for me. When I reached

my starting point, I remembered

the question I had asked myself on

arrival before leaving. Almost without

thinking, I sat down again at the

piano and put my hands on the keys

damaged and blackened by time. It

was enough for me to touch them,

and as if by magic, they regained

their former appearance, white and

perfectly aligned, while a piece of sweet

and melancholy music came out of

that old instrument. Music that I had

never heard or played before, which

now filled those places and my mind,

painted everything with the soft colors

of nostalgia and the dreamy shades

of memories. What did it all mean?

Was it a dream? Or reality in a dream,

or vice versa? Does it make sense to

distinguish fantasy from reality in

Second Life? Does anything change

in real life, or is it we who dream

ourselves into living as protagonists

in all possible lives? Perhaps that oldfashioned

piano wanted to tell me that

in none of them is it right to stop in

the face of difficulties or to surrender

to appearances, but that we must seek

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eauty, in all its meanings, around

us and within us, until we can make

the melody of life resonate with the

correct harmonies. This is the message

I thought I was reading, and it is not the

only one, but I won’t tell you anymore.

I don’t want to make “spoil”: come to

Frogmore, which is a natural artistic

creation, and everyone will find the

correct answers, because art does not

only mean admiring passively but

also, and above all, questioning oneself

along a personal path of research and

transforming the question marks

into satisfying exclamations with the

aesthetic and ecstatic amazement that

only beauty can give.

References

Frogmore

Teleport:

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/

Frogmore/198/74/36

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MEDITERRANEO-OC

TELEPORT:

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Mediterraneo%20OC/114/190/21

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LOST KEKELAND LAGOON

Lost Lagoon ci permette un salto indietro nel

tempo, facendoci gustare un tempo e uno stile

di vita che rischiamo di dimenticare.

IN IN SECOND LIFE LIFE

There is enchantment in the pathless woods.

There is ecstasy on the lonely beach.

There is an asylum where no intruder

penetrates

by the waters of the deep sea,

And there is harmony in the crashing of the

waves.

Scritto da SERENA DOMENICI.

Immagini Written by di JARLA OEMA RESIDENT.

CAPALINI.

Images by JARLA CAPALINI.

LEGGI IN ITALIANO

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KekeLand - Bardeco was born from the creative

imagination of Dandy Warhlol.

KEKELAND

IN SECOND LIFE

Summer

DEDICATED TO NATURE LOVERS

Rez is not possible. However, the location is ideal for photography.

Nature is the predominant aspect that

characterizes the landscape.

KekeLand - Bardeco

was born from the

creative imagination of

Dandy Warhlol (Terry.

fotherington) and

is located in Broken

Vessels, a 20k prims

region.

Nature is the

predominant aspect

that characterizes the

landscape. By nature, I

mean both the plants,

flowers, vegetation

in general, and the

harmonious sounds

of nature that blend

coherently with the

type of landscape

and the fauna wisely

chosen to be in tune

with the naturalistic

context.

KekeLand - Bardeco

is owned by Belle

des Champs (bridget.

genna). Unsurprisingly,

Bridget is a keen

photographer of

natural landscapes, as

you can see from her

Flickr gallery.

KekeLand - Bardeco

is indeed a perfect

location for

photographers and

bloggers, although,

sadly, there doesn’t

seem to be a group

you can join to get rez

rights.

If I had to define

KekeLand in a few

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words, I would say

“color and nature.” The

objects Terry has used

to decorate the location

are colorful and refined

simultaneously, as

well as being set in an

environment rich in

vegetation. The author

often uses objects from

DRD (deathrowdesigns),

which he assembles

carefully and

harmoniously.

The chairs, the camping

tables, the inflatable

swimming pool...

everything is used to give

a sense of naturalness,

convey an experience

and a sense of peaceful

everyday life spent

directly in contact with

nature.

I sit down on one of

these simple, colorful

chairs, and next to me is a

friendly dachshund who

seems to have made that

chair his primary home.

I recover my energy after

a long walk, and my mind

flies to the poetry of Lord

Byron:

There is enchantment in

the pathless woods.

There is ecstasy on the

lonely beach.

There is an asylum where

no intruder penetrates

by the waters of the

deep sea,

And there is harmony

in the crashing of the

waves.

I do not love men less,

but nature more.

and in these

conversations of mine

with her, I free myself

from all that I am and all

that I was before,

to merge with the

universe

and feel what I do not

know how to express

and yet I do not know

how to hide completely.

I continue on my way

along the little-trodden

paths that lead to

little-explored places.

Now and then, I see a

few houses, some of

the simple, certainly

inhabited by people

dedicated to cultivation

and breeding, others

more carefully

furnished. All the

houses convey a sense

of peace and harmony

with the surrounding

nature. I close my eyes

and, while listening to

the sounds of nature, I

wonder what it would

be like to live here. It would

be beautiful; it would

simply be lovely.

As I continue my

exploration, I discover that

KekeLand-Bardeco also

houses a venue where live

music events are held in

addition to the houses and

camping sites. The venue

is called Kami Lounge and,

from the posters on display,

I think it is pretty active.

I recommend a lovely

walk along the paths of

KekeLand to all those

who like peace and nature

(like me). As I said, rez is

not possible. However,

the location is ideal for

photography.

References

KekeLand - Bardeco:

http://maps.secondlife.

com/secondlife/Broken%20

Vessels/128/128/26

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SOUL NOWEETA OF DREAMS

IN SECOND LIFE

La magia di una land da sogno.

Noweeta is back with its spring version. Exploring

it with Serena.

Scritto da PINO VITI.

Immagini di JARLA CAPALINI e

Written by SERENA DAVI DOMENICI.

SPERBER.

Images by JARLA CAPALINI.

LEGGI IN ITALIANO

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NOWEETA

IN SECOND LIFE

Noweeta is a beautiful creation made by Kaja Ashland, the owner.

We esplored it in the winter version, and now we are glad to visit

the spring/summer one.

Everything is

represented with

meticulous attention

to detail.

Noweeta is back with

its fields no longer

covered with snow,

but with flowers,

with wheat, in the

full awakening of

nature. Majestic with

its avenue where

everything can begin

or end.

I listen to music while I write, as

I always have done. I choose the

soundtrack I feel most in tune with; I

listen to Lotta Love by Nicolette Larson.

I am listening to Lotta Love, in tune

with my thoughts, which range over

this immense field bordered by a

large avenue where I am at this very

moment. I already visited this winter,

but it was all covered in snow. I had

never seen a place so bare and yet so

invasive of impulses, feelings, memory,

a punch in the stomach, but the kind

that doesn’t hurt.

But after a few days,

that enchantment

disappeared, the whole

scene was dismantled...

I was very sorry, but

after all, it can happen in

Second Life.

Today I found out that

Noweeta is back!

It is back with its fields

no longer covered with

snow, but with flowers,

with wheat, in the full

awakening of nature.

Majestic with its avenue

where everything can

begin or end.

Explore Noweeta in Second Life.

This place resembles a

blank sheet of paper;

you can write anything

because it fits each of us

like a second skin.

In another article, I said

the world is not having

a good time because of

Covid; Covid has dug

trenches of loneliness. We

have all found ourselves

differently, lonely and

afraid.

With their strong and

intense colors, these

immense fields make you

want to run, love, rejoice,

find your freedom, share

it, and, above all, leave

behind all the pain of a

long winter. The small

windmill is worth the

effort of arguing with

your camera. The runway

with the small airplane

is the perfect setting for

these large spaces, as are

the various refreshments

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I recommend accepting the region’s light settings

for the best experience.

Nature is the protagonist in this awesome

Second Life location.

scattered around the field, such

as the small carriage/caravan in

the field of lavender and flowers.

A short break to relax alone or

with someone.

And finally, I lay down in the

similar wheat field, no more

prolonged smoking, but instead

munching on a chocolate bar and

reconciling with life by listening

and humming:

“Don’t know what it is That

makes me love you so I only

know I never

Wanna let you go Cause you

started something

Oh, can’t you see

And ever since we met

You’ve had a hold on me

I happens to be true

I only want to be with you

It doesn’t matter where

You go or what you do I wanna

spend each morning

Night and day with you

Oh, look what has happened

With just one kiss

I never knew that I could

Be in love like this

It’s crazy but it’s true

I only want to be with you”

There is a small house at the end

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of the driveway and a tool shed; they

seem to be suspended in time, they are

there waiting for occasional guests,

each guest appears to leave no trace

because Noweeta has the power to be

unique when you go away you take it

inside, each of us has his Noweeta and

his story to tell. It’s a place I recommend

you visit because it’s like being inside

a painting and who wouldn’t want to

stop time, especially the most beautiful

moments?

Thanks to the Owner and the builders

of a truly enchanting place, where

space has been filled by colors and a

long avenue that seems to sketch the

destiny of those who walk along with

it, intimately, jealously.

References

Teleport:

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/

Noweeta/33/150/25

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FRANK ATISSO

Frank Atisso

ART

Writer

I have been an avid reader of books throughout my

life, and that, in a way, inspires me to write. My dad

has a huge collection of books of all sorts, and I

used to devour a book every week when I was in my

teens. Eventually, as I kept reading more, I felt like I

should test my hand at writing.

I wrote my first set of short stories at the age of 16,

and ever since then, I have continued the habit of

writing almost daily.

I was first introduced to the world of Second Life in

2010, and it was a world that immediately piqued

my interest. Exploring various regions and having

new experiences has always been my favorite thing

to do in SL.

I am honored and proud to be a Contributor at 360

Gradi Magazine.

Frank

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CIOTTOLINA XUE

ANJA’S SURREALISM

Artista Exploring conosciuta Anja’s surrealism e apprezzata through che trasforma the eyes and i suoi

sentimenti sensitivity ed of Frank emozioni Atisso. in arte 3D.

ARTISTA

Written by FRANK ATISSO.

Scritto da LADMILLA MEDIER

Images by JARLA CAPALINI.

Immagini di LADMILLA MEDIER

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A DEEP DIVE INTO

ANJA’S SURREALISM

NITROGLOBUS GALLERY

An emerging sensation in the

art world of SL speaks about

her remarkable journey,

creating her own brand of

surrealism and her latest

exhibition at the Nitroglobus

Gallery.

Every art movement

has an interesting bit of

history attached to it.

Surrealism was a cultural

movement that developed

rapidly in Europe in

the aftermath of World

War I. The war scattered

many of the writers and

artists who called Paris

their home. Many of

them became involved

with the Dada movement

which was influential at

the time. They believed

that it was excessive

rational thought that had

brought war upon us

and protested against it

through performances,

writing and art works.

And it was through their

varied experiments that

surrealism first

emerged as a prominent

style of art.

Much like every other

style of art, each artist

has their own unique

approach to surrealism.

The development of this

extraordinary movement

was complemented by

Sigmund Freud’s work

on free association,

dream analysis and the

subconscious mind. It

provided the means for

surrealists looking to

liberate their imagination.

Using these techniques,

artists are able to combine

within a single frame,

elements and objects

which are usually not

found together to create

illogical and somewhat

startling effects.

The Nitroglobus Gallery,

owned and curated by

Dido Haas, has always

supported emerging

artists in SL who have

already started producing

beautiful art works. Many

well-established artists

today have had one of

their first exhibitions at

this reputed gallery or

ANJA’S SURREALISM

have been inspired by

other exhibitions here.

The June exhibition at

Nitroglobus is by one

such artist who has only

exhibited once before

in Second Life. Anja

(Neobookie) has developed

her own peculiar style

of surrealism using

her own creativity and

imagination. A new,

refreshing approach is

just what we need and

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want in the art world of

SL and Anja provides just

that in her exhibition

“Anja’s Surrealism” at the

Nitroglobus Gallery in

June.

I had the opportunity

to chat with Anja at the

gallery about her life,

her journey and what

surrealism means to her.

Frank : Hello Anja! It is an

absolute pleasure to finally

get this opportunity to

chat with you. I always

like to start from the very

beginning. How did you

end up in SL?

Anja : I am very interested

in fashion, modelling,

styling and such things -

both in SL and RL. While

browsing the web, I came

across an article which

talked about Second Life.

From it, I actually got the

impression that this was

a place where you could

try on different types

of hair, clothes, jewelry

and other accessories.

Being a fashion geek,

that appealed to me very

much. So I signed up

immediately and came

inworld. However, it was

not until much later that

I discovered art and

photography in SL.

Frank : That’s right. In

fact, your first exhibition

happened in the month of

February this very year.

How long have you been

taking pictures inworld

before that?

Anja : I would say about

a year. I think it was

in January of last year

that I was first inspired

to get creative and start

taking pictures. I met

Traci Ultsch at the time

and we started talking

about creative people in

Second Life. She was an

incredible photographer

and I told her that I am

always amazed by the

beautiful profile pictures

some people have. We

really clicked and finally

she offered to teach me

the basics of photography

inworld.

Frank : That is fantastic!

Traci is indeed a most

intriguing artist whose

work I personally

love too. How was the

learning process for you

after that?

Anja : The learning

process is never an easy

one. It takes lots of effort

but it has given me

immense joy. I don’t have

any sort of education in

art or photography in RL.

The only photography

I have really done is

the occasional vacation

shots. So I had to learn

everything from scratch.

Traci helped me a lot to do

this. She taught me how

one is actually supposed

to look at an art work.

Even just watching the

way she works taught me

a lot.

Frank : There is

something that you have

which is more important

in art than education; and

that is imagination and

creativity. Did you have

any experience with postprocessing

in Photoshop?

Anja : Well, yes and

no. I had used it before;

but for all intents and

purposes, I had to relearn

everything and work my

way up from the bottom.

But I think my biggest

helpers were the people I

met along the way. I like

to talk to a lot of people

and ask questions. Just

listening to them and

seeing the way they do

stuff teaches me a lot.

Frank : So when you initially

got into photography, it was

because you were inspired

by profile pictures. But now,

I see that you have branched

off more towards surrealism.

How did that change

happen?

Anja : That would be due

to Evertjan Thielen. One

day, in RL, I was watching

a documentary about

him. Evertjan is a Dutch

painter who is known

for placing his subjects in

an environment that is

contemporary and slightly

surreal. It felt magical. His

work completely drew me

in and I discovered this new

style of art that fascinated

me. I started studying more

about it and pondered over

Dali’s works. Then I also

looked at the works of other

famous Dutch artists like

Van Gogh, Rembrandt and

Mondriaan. Using what

I had learned from these

greats, I proceeded to form

my own style.

Frank : How did you end up

getting your first exhibition?

Anja : I was dancing at one

of the clubs and received

a message from Aneli

Abeyante, the curator of

La Maison d’Aneli. She

was there too and came

across my Flickr page,

which she really liked.

We got talking and she

asked me if I would like

to exhibit in February

at her gallery. When I

heard that, I nearly fell

off my chair! She gave

me my own personal

box to create my own

exhibition at her place

and I did. After that,

Traci introduced me to

Dido, who really liked

my work. She invited me

to exhibit in the month

of June - another fallingoff-my-chair

moment

for me!

Frank : I am sure you

are going to have these

moments quite regularly,

Anja. One of the things

I notice about your

work is that it is really

colorful and unlike

most surrealist pieces

which are shrouded in

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darkness and grey tones

these days.

Anja : I love colors and I

am fascinated by them.

They liven up the world.

My mind is a very busy

place. Being dyslexic in

RL, I often find it easy to

think in pictures rather

than words. Words are

confusing; but pictures

make everything so clear.

This is one of the reasons

I find art so liberating.

It allows me to express

my thoughts through

pictures rather than

words.. Each of my works

tells a story that I have

developed in my head.

When someone else looks

at the work, they may

draw a different story out

of it. But that is really the

beauty of art.

Frank : That is really

amazing! What is your

source of inspiration for

these beautiful images

that you have created

for this exhibition at

Nitroglobus Gallery?

Anja : I think the source is

different for each image.

Sometimes I see or feel

something in RL that I

am inspired by. Then,

the challenge is to find

the things I need in SL

to recreate that thought

or emotion in the way

I want to. At other

times, while wandering

around the grid, I come

across a prop, an object

or a person that really

inspires me and then

immediately a story

starts developing in my

mind around it.

Frank : The story that

you develop in your own

mind around each of the

pictures - does it change

sometimes as you begin

to compose the scene for

the image?

Anja : More often than

you might think! As I

said before, my mind

can be a terribly busy

place at times. The

story takes many twists

and turns along the

way as I compose the

image. It is sometimes a

really nerve-wracking

experience. But finally,

the joy and satisfaction

you get on completing

a piece of art is beyond

words.

Frank : When you

started taking pictures,

did you ever dream of

exhibiting at a reputed

gallery like Nitroglobus?

Anja : Never! When I

started to take pictures, my

only goal was to get good

at them, because I enjoyed

it as it gave me a medium

to express myself. I never

dreamed about any of this.

Sometimes, even now, it

all feels like a fantasy. But

it has given me immense

joy. More than the money

or fame, I am glad that

people are enjoying my

work. Their kind words of

appreciation matter to me

much more than anything

else. My only wish is that

I am always able to evoke

emotions in people through

my art.

Frank : Those are beautiful

thoughts. I think the

honesty with which you

create your pictures reflects

in them. And as long as that

happens, you will continue

to connect with people

through your art. But are

there other styles of art that

you would like to try your

hand at in the future?

Anja : I have already

started experimenting with

landscapes and am trying

to create my own style

there. You can see some of

the latest landscapes that I

have done at my personal

gallery. I have also created

a few nudes. People think

nude art is easy to do but it

takes a lot of effort to depict

nudity and the beauty

of the female form in a

manner that is tasteful and

not vulgar. Eventually I

also wish to return to what

I actually got inspired by

to get creative - portraits.

There are so many different

things I want to try. I’m

even experimenting

in Blender to create

sculptures.

Frank : Wow! That is

really great! How have the

experiences from your RL

reflected in the work you

are exhibiting here?

Anja : The things

happening around you in

real life have a huge impact

on your thoughts and

imagination. So eventually

it does tend to affect the

art that you create. For

example, in the past few

months, we had a lot of

negative political issues

where I live. So that is the

time when I created the

image of a chess board with

stairs and chess pieces as

a reactionary statement to

it. Eventually all the pieces

leave the board and come

back to have the game start

over again. All we are left

with is our thoughts and

the lives that need to go

on.

Frank : It requires a really

active imagination to

look at it the way you

do. But sometimes, just

like writers, artists suffer

from a creativity block

where you are unable to

find inspiration. Have you

had such an experience

so far?

Anja : I have not

experienced a block

exactly. But it has

happened a few times

when I started with

one of the pictures and

then got stuck midway

through the process. I

often find that at such

times, it is best to just

leave it for a while, do

some other things in SL

or RL and then return

to it with a fresh mind.

Sometimes all you need is

a break to sort things out.

Frank : You already told

me Traci inspired you

greatly at the beginning

of your journey. Are there

some other artists in SL

whose works you admire?

Anja : So many of them!

I like how Adwehe uses

lights and projectors to

evoke different emotions

in her exhibits. Janus Fall

and Monique Beebe are

really great at portraits.

I also like the work of

Gustaf. It’s always a joy to

view his work.

Frank : Is there a

quote that has greatly

influenced you and the

decisions you make in

life?

Anja : There is a line

that my mom always

says which I truly

believe - “How far you

go has nothing to do with

the distance.” I am not

sure if it is a quote by

someone else, but it is

very true. If you have a

positive attitude and are

determined enough, even

the longest distance may

not seem much. It is all

about how you approach

what you do.

Anja’s journey and

thought process is truly

an inspirational one. It

is the story of a girl who

started with photography

in SL a year and a half

ago and has already been

invited to exhibit her

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works at some of the most

prestigious art galleries.

Her active imagination

and endless dedication

are what made her

dreams come true. We

hope to see her achieve

much more in the years to

follow.

Please do visit “Anja’s

Surrealism” at Nitroglobus

Gallery and be inspired

by this beautiful

exhibition in which she

depicts the beauty of

surrealism in her own

unique way.

References

Nitroglobus Roof Art

Gallery:

http://maps.secondlife.

com/secondlife/

Sunshine%20

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VAN LOOPEN

Van Loopen,

MUSIC

Head Column

If I were not an architect in life, I would probably be a

musician.

I think in music.

I live my daydreams in music.

I see my life in terms of music.

Since 2009 in Second Life, I try to share this emotion

with others.

As editor and music consultant for 360 GRADI, I would

like to shed light on an often underestimated world, but

which is instead one of the main activities in the “second

life.”

The message in music arrives more efficiently at its

destination, touching the most intimate and personal

chords, without the need for other intermediaries in

communication.

In the variegated musical world of Second Life, I will

deal with emerging artists and those who are now well

established and often do not know each other well

enough.

I take advantage of this space to give some point of

reference in the music scene of Second Life because

“people consume music as if it were a handkerchief for

the nose.”

(Zucchero)

Van

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VE JOYY

LIVE SINGER

Ve Joyy’s voice is

booming, and her final

solos seem never to want

to end.

Written by VAN LOOPEN.

Images by JARLA CAPALINI

LEGGI IN ITALIANO

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VE JOYY

SINGER IN SECOND LIFE

Of Filipino origins, Verna Joy

(Ve Joy to her friends) dedicates

herself exclusively to the modern

and contemporary pop music

genre. She does it with energy

and strength that alone are worth

the time devoted to listening and

dancing.

Dear 360GRADI magazine’s

friends, the last issue I started

a musical journey towards

singers whose peculiarity is to

be characterized exclusively in

a particular musical genre, and I

explained why.

I want to premise and

communicate to you, to the great

satisfaction of all the magazine

editors, that the last issue

reached 13k views. It is a trendy

magazine and a reference in its

specific field.

In the search for these artists, I

wanted to talk about a famous

singer who seemed to me to be

able to fulfill my purpose in this

issue. Contacted and listened

to the singer. However, I was

surprised to give up because

I realized that his work is not

centered on a precise “musical

genre” but instead on his

personal “musical style,” both in

interpreting known songs and

presenting songs of his own

production.

Her repertoire is

always up to date

with the latest

worldwide hits, and

many of them are

also very difficult to

perform.

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As you all already know,

the purpose of these

articles of mine is not to

publicize someone who

needs visibility, but to

make them known to a

broader audience than

SL, and even if they

are already known in

the SL music scene, to

describe their work as

a musical interpreter,

both technically and

humanly because from

the interviews they give

we also know details of

their personal lives.

My research work in

SL has lingered, very

willingly, on a young

artist who convinced me,

the evening I listened to

her and also the others

that followed, because

her repertoire was

characterized by the

interpretation of songs

of the same musical

genre, albeit with some

exceptions, being an

evening of songs on

demand.

Of Filipino origins,

Verna Joy (Ve Joy to her

friends) dedicates herself

exclusively to the modern

and contemporary pop

music genre. She does it

with energy and strength

that alone are worth the

time devoted to listening

and dancing.

The impetus employed

in the interpretation

is engaging while

maintaining the technical

performance, precise

and harmonious singing,

giving the beautiful

emotion of a typical

atmosphere of the live

event in SL.

Her voice is, as

mentioned, booming, and

her final solos seem never to

want to end. Her repertoire

is always up to date with the

latest worldwide hits, and

many of them are also very

difficult to perform.

I am delighted to present this

artist because she represents

what you expect from a

live performance in SL,

cheerfulness, participation,

fun, and reflection, and

sweetness moments during

the performance.

She is a celebrity in the

Philippines: she has

performed on TV shows and

co-hosted the most popular

TV show in 2017.

In the interview, we also

learned other peculiarities

that describe this young

singer as a fine example of a

good SL artist.

These are her references:

Facebook: https://www.

facebook.com/ve.joyy

Facebook: https://tinyurl.

com/VesMusicalMelodies

Youtube: https://www.

youtube.com/vernavlog

Soundcloud: https://

soundcloud.com/vejoyy

Van: Ve Joyy, before

entering the musical

discourse, and as usual,

can you give us a

description of yourself?

Personal background,

where do you live,

hobbies, work, etc.? What

do you think of yourself?

Ve Joyy: Ve joyy is short

for Verna Joy, hiya!

I’m a singer, vlogger,

and comedienne in the

Philippines. I am living

with my youngest

brother and being his

guardian too. We do a

lot of FB lives, I sing, and

he dances to my singing.

I think that I am just a

simple person who has a

BIG DREAM


performances in SL?

Ve Joyy: I like when

I make people happy

through my singing, I love

how they appreciate me

not only as a performer

but also as a friend. I

love how they help me,

sincerely. One thing I

dislike is the low internet

or glitch-LOL- I mean,

who doesn’t? lol

Van: Is customizing a

song a natural process for

you, or do you first need a

thorough understanding

of the character who

wrote that song?

Ve Joyy: Mhm... so far,

this is only my opinion; I

think that venues should

have at least an affordable

entrance fee, so that

venue owners don’t lose

in some shows. and also,

I must say that I so love

how organize the SL

music industry is, and of

course, the people who

come and support Live

Entertainment in SL!


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ASHLEY

Ashley,

FEMALE FASHION

Fashion has always fascinated me ever since I was

a child. I like the fabrics, the details, the simplicity

combined with good taste, the clean lines, the creativity,

the elegance of a product created specifically to make

you feel unique and beautiful.

For these reasons, when I entered Second Life, I was

immediately attracted by Essellian fashion, and for

a long time, I devoted myself to a small clothes and

accessories shop.

I then got into photography, thanks to a photographer

friend of mine, and at that point, the next step was

to create my fashion blog. I also have a tattoo shop

in partnership with an outstanding graphic designer,

and I have started my adventure with the 360 GRADI

Magazine.

I want to thank Oema for the great opportunity; I am

thrilled and honored to be part of this editorial family.

In the magazine, I would like to bring my experience as

a blogger, some ideas that I hope will be useful to you,

and my vision in Second Life fashion.

Ashley

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A DAY IN PARIS

FASHION

Written by ASHLEY.

Images by ASHLEY.

LEGGI IN ITALIANO

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A DAY

IN PARIS

Fashion in Second Life follows

the same patterns and trends as

in real life, and what we like and

are attracted to in SL is what we

would like to wear in real life.

Imagine a day in Paris, the

Eiffel Tower in the background,

bustling bistros, and a glimpse of

the Seine with a perfect Parisian

look.

Fashion in Second Life follows

the same patterns and trends as

in real life, and what we like and

are attracted to in SL is what we

would like to wear in real life.

There is much more choice for

women than for men, but you

can create different looks to give

free rein to your imagination

and the flair of the moment.

There is a wide choice of styles

and models, from sporty to

formal to themed outfits,

skilfully created by Second Life

stylists, who use 3D graphics

programs to make their creations

very similar to reality. Clothes

and accessories help you

complete your look, or one for

a theme night, for your favorite

role-playing game, or even for a

special evening, an anniversary,

Let Ashley inspire you to

create your look and take

you on a tour of Paris.

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a birthday celebration,

a wedding, or even a

theatre show or ballet.

And there is also the case

that you need the dress

or accessory to take a

photo in a lovely land and

enhance both the look

and the landscape.

All in all, you can play

with fashion in Second

Life; you can transform

it by choosing from a

multitude of creators and

events that always offer

us new ideas. After all,

as a great Italian fashion

designer says, what you

wear is your way of

presenting yourself to

the world, and this is also

valid in Second Life.

Visit the location:

http://maps.secondlife.

com/secondlife/

Marion/80/140/29

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JARLA CAPALINI

Jarla Capalini,

PHOTOGRAPHY

Head Column

Writing with light, from the Greek φῶς, φωτός, “light” and

γραϕία, “writing”, this is “photography”.

Now I know that talking about photography in Second

Life will surely make purists curl their noses or smile at

the most benevolent professionals and enthusiasts. Still,

once there were film and exposure meter, then came

digital cameras and files today. We also use phones to take

pictures, and thanks (maybe) to them, photography is now

within everyone’s reach.

Here then is that a “viewer,” with all its peculiarities

techniques can become a perfect means to “write” with the

virtual “light” the encounter between the subject and the

eye of the photographer, from which a new possible vision

is born.

The imagination of reality, albeit virtual.

This one we will do in our journey among the

photographers of Second Life: we will talk about

technique, composition, inspiration and

passion, hoping to convince skeptics that our images,

although depicting a world of pixels,

can rightly be considered “photography.”

Jarla

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LOVERDAG

PHOTOGRAPHER

Loverdag started by photographing panoramas and

became an icon of unedited photographs. Today she

is (also) a successful blogger.

Writen by JARLA CAPALINI.

Images by LOVERDAG.

LEGGI IN ITALIANO

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PHOTOGRAPHER

LOVERDAG

Loverdag’s peculiarity is to create

the finished photo, ready for

publication, all within the virtual

world, with the exclusive use of

the viewer and photography huds

available in Second Life.

Let’s get to know her better and try

to discover her stylistic reasons.

In this issue, we meet Loverdag, a

talented photographer who was

an icon for lovers of landscape

photography for a long time,

a reference point for those

who wanted to discover new

destinations in Second Life. Over

time, curiosity and technique

have enriched her artistic career

with unique motivations. For

two years, she has dedicated

herself to fashion, always giving

us images full of color, harmony,

emotion.

Her peculiarity is to create

the finished photo, ready for

publication, all within the virtual

world, with the exclusive use

of the viewer and photography

huds available in Second Life.

Let’s get to know her better

and try to discover her stylistic

reasons.

Jarla: How your passion for

photography in Second Life was

born?

Loverdag: One day, I realized

RL trips and climbing

mountains with my heavy

camera backpack, various

lenses, glass filters and such,

became too challenging for

Unedited portrait by Loverdag.

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me. Virtual traveling

and photography were

a nice comfortable

replacements. My back

pain approved.

Jarla: What fascinates

you about SL

photography?

Loverdag: How great

unedited pictures we can

create within an 18 years

old platform.

Jarla: How does the

whole process develop

from the choice of the

subject to the final photo?

Loverdag: I don’t have

any proper process, plan

what to do, or rules to

follow; I’m very random.

I often don’t know if the

picture will be taken with

summer sunny afternoon

light, grey foggy autumn

weather, or night. I just

try few things and see

what I like. In particular,

creating my own sky and

graphics settings for each

picture gives big freedom

in this regard; I’m not

limited by anything premade.

Like that, I literally

don’t know where it will

take me and what the

result will be like; it is a

random adventure.

Jarla: How long does it

take to get a satisfying

result?

Loverdag: There are

“ I’m thankful for

every follower with

a genuine interest

in my work.”

Loverdag

some satisfying results?

(Laughs). Not for me ...

I’m never happy with

my work. Each picture

is a compromise. How

long it takes depends on

many things, it may be 15

minutes or two hours.

Jarla: You do not edit

the photos with external

programs. Can you

explain to us this choice?

Loverdag: Editing needs

skills as well; at least good

editing does. I was just too

lazy to learn that.

Jarla: Your style is

peculiar and very

identifiable, but over the

years, you have been

imitated; how does this

make you feel?

Loverdag: I think it’s

actually a compliment;

nobody would bother to

copy what they don’t like.

Jarla: For a long time,

you have photographed

landscapes, but recently

your style, even if

always recognizable, has

changed. Why?

Loverdag: As you said, I

took landscapes for a long

time, and I was tired of

it. Blog-sponsored items

are a creative adventure

and challenge; you never

know what you will get

to blog. Some items are

even “out of the box,”

not my usual style. To

deal with such creative

challenges was precisely

the fresh air I needed.

And let me add it was not

that recently; my fashion

blogging started about

two years ago. It still feels

like a good choice, it’s fun.

I didn’t abandon

destination blogging

entirely, though. I still try

to blog 4-5 destinations

per month, as I always

did, just in single pictures,

not in entire sets of

photos anymore.

Jarla: You have over

10000 followers. How

does it make you feel so

followed, and how much

does this affect when you

photograph?

Loverdag: I’m thankful

for every follower with

a genuine interest in my

work. But numbers are

silly ... and make people

do silly things. Like to

spam in hundreds of

Flickr groups, no matter

what their rules or

themes are. Or to play

“follow me, I will follow

you back” games. People

follow each other for

various reasons; these

numbers don’t always

reflect how good our

work is. We should not

give them bigger value

than they deserve.

Jarla: Would you like to

share with us a “secret”

about photography on SL?

You can also say no if you

prefer.

Loverdag: I don’t think I

have a “secret”; it is more

the fact many people

don’t want to hear: if you

started with photography

yesterday, there is no

magical guide or video

tutorial that would make

you master photographer

tomorrow. Skills need

time and effort to happen.

Jarla: Your “best” flaw?

Loverdag: High

expectations from others

and lack of patience. It

really is an unfortunate

combo; I can tell you ...

(Laughs). Thank you for

your interest and this

interview!

References

Flickr: https://www.flickr.

com/photos/89022498@

N04/

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CAMP MOGUL ITALIA

BOUTIQUE IN SECOND LIFE

Camp Italia è un punto di riferimento importante

nel settore culturale della comunità italiana in

Second Exploring Life. MOGUL store through the eyes and

camera of Honey Bender.

Scritto da OEMA.

Immagini di OEMA.

Written by HONEY BENDER.

Images by HONEY BENDER.

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MOGUL BOUTIQUE

IN SECOND LIFE

The swanky fashion boutique MOGUL opened in SL in

2014, and from the very beginning the brand had a distinct

style that set them apart on the grid.

Honey Bender

introduces

MOGUL

“Back in the

beginning our style

was fit for a 2014-

2016 city girl look:

business casual, yet

playful with designs

and prints.”

Dmitréi

MOGUL started on IMVU, another virtual world,

with a successful brand.

MOGUL’s creative director Dmitréi

reveals her inspiration is her mother

– and the beautiful city of Florence.

The swanky fashion boutique MOGUL

opened in SL in 2014, and from the

very beginning the brand had a distinct

style that set them apart on the grid.

As a lover of everything cutting-edge

I bought my first item in 2019 when I

was styling for a runway show. They

had just launched “The Neelah” – a pair

of couture pumps in a myriad of bold

colors, and with feathery trimmings

around the toe and heel. I

was blown away!

Some of their designs

have become my alltime

favorite wardrobe

pieces, like for instance

the “Jia” skirt and “Ecru

Fleur” top aa well as the

“Maeva” cut-out leotard

that comes with matching

pants. Creative director

Dmitréi Oyibo explains

that they always go for a

look that is immaculate,

colorful, and playful.

“Back in the beginning

our style was fit for a

2014-2016 city girl look:

business casual, yet

playful with designs and

prints”, says Dmitréi,

and reveals that before

Second Life, she ran

Mogul on a different

game:

“Actually, baby, I started

my brand on IMVU,

another virtual game”

says Dmitréi who have

become one of the

most successful fashion

creatives in Second Life.

Like some of the most

popular RL fashion

houses she believes in the

power of collaboration

and have done exciting

collabs with brand Vive

Nine under the label Vive

Nine Ryvolter & NU by

MOGUL. In October 2019

they launched their fall/

winter 2020 release at the

LEVEL shopping event:

a meticulously designed

Swarovski crystal-netted

catsuit made casual by

combining it with a pair

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“Florence is the perfect fit for MOGUL: fresh &

Eye-Catching” says Dmitréi.

Camp Italia has organized several basic and

advanced courses to learn how to use the

platform.

of ripped, cutoff denims, slouchy

thigh high boots and a punky

T-shirt. Dmitréi admits they love

pushing the boundaries. And

when it comes to inspiration and

role models she reveals that their

biggest inspiration is someone

close to home:

“The one that has had the biggest

influence on me getting into

fashion is my mother, who is

knows as Pierce on IMVU and

Regellan Monday in Second Life.

In her prime back on IMVU she

kept everybody on their toes

like no other. I try to go for that

effect” says Dmitréi.

The brands DNA is bold and

edgy. Campaigns feature a

diverse lineup of models which

reveal they are on trend also

here. According to Facebook

they stem from Florence,

Italy - one of the world’s most

influential fashion capitals.

“Florence is the perfect fit for

MOGUL: fresh & Eye-Catching”

says Dmitréi.

The pants, suits, skirts and

dresses are tailored and with a

strong sculptural look that give

of a distinct architectural vibe as

well as a nod to athleisure wear.

That Alexander Wang is among

her favorite designers comes as

no surprise.

“I live for a well-structured,

fitted sexy look, fashionable and

trendy. My inspiration comes

from some of my favorite RL

brands such as: Laquan Smith,

Alexander Wang, Dion Lee” says

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Dmitréi.

Honey: Who do you see as the

typical MOGUL-woman?

Dmitréi : “Oh, I love this

question!” she muses.

“It would have to be Bella Hadid.

She is a girl that has it all; exactly

one of the ideas I like to present

with this brand.

Honey: How important are

RL fashion trends to you as a

creator? Are SL styles pretty

much on trend with RL fashion?

Dmitréi : “For the most part, I

try not to chase trends, it sucks

because I know fast fashion is

rapidly evolving so I try to find a

thin line in between trendy, but

not your typical & expected” she

says.

There is a lot of talk about the

link between virtual worlds

and the real world today, and

Dmitréi can see a future where

she could transfer her creations

to RL.

“This has been a thought in my

head, but not quite sure yet how

I would incorporate MOGUL in

real life. Ask me in a year!” she

smiles.

Honey: Can you name a RL

celebrity you would have loved

to dress?

Dmitréi : “American rapper and

songwriter Flo Milli. Her style is

diverse, yet striking!

References

MOGUL store:

http://maps.secondlife.com/

secondlife/Vogue/62/206/3962

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A special thanks to

Special thanks to our loyal readers who

put the magazine kiosk on their land:

Lee Olsen

LUNDY ART GALLERY

Tia Rungray

STRUKTURO

-Ñïéü- (nieuwenhove)

NOIR’WEN CITY

Dixmix source

DixMix Art Gallery

Anelie Abeyante

La Maison d’Aneli

Ilyra Chardin (ilyra.chardin)

Emergent Gallery

LIV (ragingbellls)

Raging Graphix Gallery

Michiel Bechir

Michiel Bechir Gallery at Embrace

Michiel Art Cafe

Hermes Kondor

Viktor Savior de Grataine (viktorsavior)

SHINY (narayanraja)

Bohemio Love

Jaz (Jessamine2108)

Art Promotion

Camp Italia

Mediterraneo-Oc

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SEEN ON FLICKR

SL PHOTOGRAPHERS

ROXAANE MISS

FRANCE

Chosen by

the publisher.

Beautiful

photographs

seen on the

Flickr group

of 360 GRADI

Magazine.

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Mya

Audebarn

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Julia Millar

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Elaine

Lectar


Mya

Audebarn

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Twain Orfan

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Andrew

Drake

Anto

Haiku

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Elaine Lectar

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Stupenda

Flux

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Mya

Audebarn

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Alba

Silverfall

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Julia Millar

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Simply

Jana


MIna

Arcana

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Coqueta

Georgia El ático

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M I R U

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Thank you for

reading.

We hope you enjoyed

this issue.

For advertising in 360

GRADI Magazine write

to:

360gradi.sl@gmail.com.

360 GRADI Magazine

Copyright.

We are not affiliated

with Linden Lab.

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