Friday, August 14, 2020

Currents new media festival


     I was invited to take part in the Currents new media festival in Santa Fe.

For this event they will showcase two machinima and a virtual space.   The machinima or movie is "Hand" which is currently being exhibited virtually on Immersiva

and in Sansar as a vr piece. Which was made possible through a grant from the Ontario Arts council.     Hand is also now part of a course from York University with an emphasis on the artwork of Bryn Oh.  The students will use a VR lab (currently being built) to explore Hand first using Second Life and then will again explore in Sansar.  

     The second machinima work is called "Imogen and the Pigeons" which was a virtual narrative about the story of Imogen and her desire to bring back her lost child.   A year later the prequel was made as a virtual reality experience called "The Singularity of Kumiko" which told the story of Imogens daughter Kumiko and what caused Imogen to go on her quest to find her.

     The final piece is called "Canis" and is being converted into unity by Reilly from Oculus so it can be seen using virtual reality during the event.   Canis is a  little narrative I created which shows a dog at a table writing notes of loyalty, love and adoration to his owner.   He looks over his shoulder and rages at the cat sneaking in for pets.  I gave the dog and cat the rather futuristic ability to be housed in humanoid forms to be better pets.  It is about love and jealousy about fear and the need to feel wanted.  The good and bad within.



Thursday, July 16, 2020

Mythical Creatures by Bryn Oh

On July 19th at 3pm slt or 6pm Eastern time,
I will open my new exhibit called Mythical creatures on Immersiva.
Playing live will be the legendary Skye Galaxy.  Playing before skye at 2:30slt is a new talented performer to Second Life named Semina. 

I should preface this with some exciting news which I will elaborate on more later.  But yay there will be a course on the art of Bryn Oh offered at York University and taught by Dr Carolyn Steele.  It will focus on a variety of things but a portion will look at my virtual artwork called "Hand" in the second life form, and then students will use VR to experience Hand in Sansar.  This course is slated to run for five years.  This is a bit surreal for me as I recall being in art school at the Ontario College of Art and Design learning about artists and their styles, concepts and movements.   I imagined being at the edge of a new art movement like Picasso and the Cubists, the Impressionists, Surrealists, Modernists and so on.  So in September students will be learning about a strange artist named Bryn Oh who is an Immersivist.

     Anyway there will be more about this in another post sometime.  But thank all of you whose support kept me creating.  What this news means though is that "Hand" will remain on Immersiva for the students to study for a while.  Its possible other works such as the Singularity of Kumiko, Imogen and the pigeons, Annas Many Murders, Lobby Cam, Standby, Virginia Alone and others may appear for different semesters.   What likely will happen is I will create projects like Mythical creatures that can fit into larger narrative works.

   So back to mythical creatures.   This was a fun project where I researched 20 legendary, mythical or creatures of folklore from around the world and reimagined them.  Some are well known such as the Dragon or Phoenix, but then there are more obscure ones like the Nariphon or the horrifying Manananngal.   For each I have written a description of them but also in a twist, they can be mixed with each other to create new creatures.  This part really hurt my brain but I figured out how to write a description of the creature that can split along with the model into two halves.   The back half can be mixed with any front half and vice versa.  The text should then also successfully describe the new creature.  My images below hopefully explain better than I am.

 So the red one represents the lower half of La Sayona, the green two is the front portion.  The same goes for the next two models of Baba Yaga and the Capricorn.

So by playing a gacha game you may get a front or back piece.  They are scripted to pull together and when they do you have a new creature.   In the case above we have mixed La Sayona back part with Baba Yaga front foot and the back of La Sayona with the Capricorn. There are actually 441 possible combinations. 

Here is a description of the Medusa.

The medusa was a beautiful woman who was followed and raped by Poseidon in a temple to Athena.  Athena was offended and cursed the medusa so her hair became snakes, her lower body a serpent and her gaze would turn all to stone.  I depicted her as a sad and lonely victim rather than a monster.   Perseus beheaded her with Athena putting the head on her shield.  Beautifully though, the Pegasus was born from her severed neck which I like to think was her spirit.

  So hopefully I have explained this well.  If you would like to see the exhibit please put on advanced lighting and go to the right side of the subway platform to find the exhibit.  There are gacha machines if you would like to play and make your own creatures.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Virus musings

       I am not a doctor.  I am an artist who daydreams a lot.  So this post is not about how to live through a pandemic.   I will say that you shouldn't lick door handles. This post is going to be about how our world might change after the coronavirus.  It is just me daydreaming about things that may or may not happen.  Oh also don't lick hands. 
     Speaking of hands.  In my latest immersive narrative called "Hand" which you probably have lots of time to explore if,  like me, you are planning to go nutty staying home for a few weeks.  So yes anyway, in Hand you may have seen this advert to the right on a wall there.    I define the world, that all my stories exist in, through various methods with one being the advertisements  you come across.  I think our society often can be defined by the advertising we are inundated with.  I guess this advert is kind of relevant at the moment.  In this one I imagined a society where people had to wear masks, but they positioned the product so that it defined the person carrying it, almost as an accessory.  You go out with your purse, your hat and your mask.  They are fun and trendy and people read you through the type of mask you wear.  That is how they hide the fear of having to wear one.  The mask no longer says we live in a dangerous environment, but rather it draws people to you socially and fashionably.
     But what might change in our world post coronavirus?  so if "Fake news" was the popular term before the virus then perhaps "social distancing" will be the new thing.  For example, I have just begun a new build for a university.  It is for their disaster management course where students will practice dealing with various emergencies.  For this course I am building a plane crash at an airport.  With the coronavirus and closed schools students are away for a period of time, and they will use second life and my build remotely from home to continue their education.  Lots of places are finding ways to allow for remote workers, and once all the time and effort is put into making "remote" work.. well I imagine it will stay around.  Will the advent of 5g networks and remote work environments be a boon for second life or other vr spaces?  from what I understand 5g networks greatly increase bandwith which would then allow for much larger groups of people to be in one location at a time in sl.. which would be appealing to advertisers and so on. 
     In 1950 30% of the worlds population lived in urban centers.  Currently that number stands at 55% and it is predicted that by 2030 it will jump to 60%.  With remote work being possible, the high cost of living in cities and the lingering fear of crowds that this pandemic might instill in people.. could this trend slow or even reverse?  Will there be a baby boom?  yes I imagine so.  Can only play monopoly so many times.  Will distance technologies pop up?  touch screen at the grocery store?!! hard pass!  Please let me just hold up my card from a distance.. thx.  In fact I will pay a bit more if you deliver or put my groceries at a drive thru window.  Will even entire health systems change such as in the USA where strict testing rules may have allowed coronavirus to spread unchecked.  Will Scientiests and thinkers be elected over tv show hosts?  Will, finally, man made concepts like "economy" and "capitalism" step back in importance over realities such as climate change and viruses that really are not interested in what humans find important?
     In the end perhaps this will make us stronger.  A world that works together and one which got practice through a virus that, while scary and dangerous, has a mortality rate on average of around 3% currently.  Many have mild reactions and the greatest danger is for those 70+.  That is not to say we should relax, because we are protecting those beside us with our precautions, but imagine if the mortality rate were similar to avian bird flu at 60% or untreated rabies at 100%?   Glass half full we are learning.
     Also at my build called "Hand" stands a robot figure at the top of the subway steps.  She is a robot programmed to sing and entertain.  In my imaginary world you could hire robot Elvis, Michael Jackson or even Fever Ray for your birthday parties and work functions.   The old robot singing to an empty city at the top of the steps is that of Vera Lynn, a popular World War two artist whose songs gave people hope that all their hardships will eventually pass.  She sings in her song White cliffs of Dover...

"The shepherd will tend his sheep
The valley will bloom again
And Jimmy will go to sleep
In his own little room again"
and then she continues in We'll meet Again with
"We'll meet again
Don't know where
Don't know when
But I know we'll meet again some sunny day
Keep smiling through
Just like you always do
'Till the blue skies drive the dark clouds far away"
Everyone be safe.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Bronze sculpture pre order - Hand Dancer

Hand Dancer

Proposed bronze - side
Hello everyone,

     I am considering creating a new bronze artwork of the dancer seen at my new artwork called
Hand.   It is the giant ballet dancer standing on a building.  The cost is prohibitive so I am going to put out the option for people to pre -order one of the 30 to be cast.  As with the first bronze dancer there will be different price points based on when the cast was created.  The first cast being #1 with the last being #30.  If you would like to reserve a six inch bronze sculpture then contact me by email and I will be your name down for the number you are interested in.  If enough are pre sold then I will go forward with the casting.  The cost does not include shipping and the turn around to make 30 will be between 2-3 months.  These two images are guides as to how they will look but look at the finished bronze of the dancer below to see the proper colouring.

proposed bronze - front
Photo courtesy of Bine Rodenberger
So as you can see the bronze will be quite different
from the model I created above but you get the
idea.     If you are interested tell me the price
and number from the list below.  All prices are in USD.

#1 - $600 usd
#2 - $550
#3 - $500
#4 - $500
#5 - $500

#6 - $450
#7 - $450
#8 - $450
#9 - $450
#10 - $450

#11 - $400
#12 - $400
#13 - $400
#14 - $400
#15 - $400
Picture courtesy of Venus Adored

#16 - $350
#17 - $350
#18 - $350
#19 - $350
#20 - $350

#21 - $300
#22 - $300
#23 - $300
#24 - $300
#25 - $300

#26 - $250
#27 - $250
#28 - $250 
#29 - $250

#30 - not for sale 

Thursday, February 20, 2020

"Hand" opening in Second Life

     I have completed porting over my artwork called "Hand" from Sansar and it will open Saturday February 22nd.  The design is different from Sansar and each have their own strengths.   Sansar has
virtual reality, so if you have an oculus try that, and Sansar also lets me have really nice lighting.  Second life lets me use scripts easier and allows for flying drones taking pics and various other things.  When you arrive be sure to accept the experience invite and if possible put your graphics to ultra.  For firestorm users the windlight should change automatically as well as with altitude.

     I would like to thank Kurk Mumfuzz for helping me with some annoying scripting issues as well as Avantguarde Frequency for taking a Vera Lynn song I use and editing in some nice effects.  Most of all I would like to thank the Ontario arts Council for their generous support in supplying me with a grant to support creation of this work.


     Universities and Colleges please contact me by email for tours and students should have a month of experience in Second Life before setting up a talk.  Sansar tours should be done using virtual reality.

Friday, January 10, 2020

2020 the year ahead

People have been asking what I am doing in the future, am I moving to Sansar to work or staying in SL.. what new projects etc.   So here is where things stand now and the plan for the future.

     I am currently in a mode where I am attempting to get grants to turn projects into film and VR. 
SL does not support VR but Sansar does.  I wrote a grant to the Canadian government to build a narrative called "Hand" as a virtual space explorable with the Oculus rift headset etc, and to then film the work as a 20 minute movie.  I have just opened Hand and I am really pleased with it.  There were lots of obstacles to jump over in Sansar and I was fortunate to meet Thoys Pan a very talented C+ scripter who helped me navigate through the scripting issues I was having.  The next step was to film the work in Sansar and this has become the sticking point for me returning to Sansar with other projects.  The main problem is that Sansar does not support the Spacenavigator mouse which is essential for me when filming.  They have some clumsy tools but it really limits what can be done with the machinima.  Will the space navigator become compatible?  I put out a request for compatibility a few years ago and nothing has been done yet.  I went to a recent community meeting with Sansar developers and directly asked if they had any plan to work on it.   The answer was there was no plan to look at it.  It's unfortunate because machinima is a great free marketing tool for Linden Lab if they embrace it.  The movies I make sometimes go in film festivals and many are studied in various schools and universities worldwide as part of their curriculum.  The students see the work but they also see the platform they were created in and take note.  Marketing for Sansar was another issue, essentially there was none.  The work took several months to create and I coudn't detect any effort by Linden Lab to showcase it.  Some might
say Oh but its not their job to promote, but really it is.  They should be approaching Oculus to say hey here is a vr work a user created in our platform come look!  They should be reaching out to everyone.  What I saw, and I won't say which linden it was, but a Linden came and stood at the beginning of the artwork and took pictures for a feed (which is not discoverable with tags on the internet).  I told them they needed to enter the artwork to trigger the dialogue.. that they needed to engage to experience the work.  There was no reply and they left 30 minutes later.  So optically this says to me that the developers themselves are not particularly interested in exploring.  Perhaps they have already looked properly and just returned for images, perhaps they also are trying to market Sansar with user created work in unique ways.. I don't know.  But I have to know they are serious if I am going to invest in the platform.  I have applied for a new grant and I wrote in it that I would work within Sansar again, but this first experience suggests to me that I should look elsewhere. 
     So where is elsewhere?  Second life is still a good place to create despite the high costs, but another option is creating in Unity engine.  Unity supports VR and looks great.  It would be a lot of work to learn but within ten minutes I had already brought in a few models and played with lighting.  Unity could be used to show my art on phones or as downloadable experiences.

     So the near future involves possibly creating the Standby trilogy in Sansar then filming it as that is part of the grant proposal,  Standby stays up in SL until i find out  if I get the grant as I may need to film parts in SL.  Afterwords I will rebuild Hand for SL and keep applying for various other grants.  In between I will make smaller playful builds that don't take several months to create.

This is where things stand right now and no I am not leaving SL at this time.  I enjoy creating here and it still is the best option for art in multi user environments.

Friday, December 6, 2019

"Hand" a new virtual reality artwork by Bryn Oh

     Hand is now open to the public.  It was built for virtual reality using headsets such as the oculus rift or vive, but it can also be navigated by your computer.  Just a little side note ... do you remember when you first visited Second Life or another open ended virtual world?  How exciting and almost overwhelming it was?  For me I had never experienced anything like  it before, but over the years that excitement fades as you get used to it and you almost wish it could be fresh like that again.  Just to let you know, if you have not used virtual reality before it is similar.  It is new and strange and inspiring. Anyway just saying.

     So the first thing you need to do is install Sansar if you don't already have it. 
You can do that here...

Then you can find "hand" by searching for Bryn Oh and it should pop up or try this

Next see the ungainly red markings I put down?  They show where to click.

 Click the three dot icon
 Choose settings
 Then make a checkmark under VR for shadowed atmostpherics and ambient occlusion.  These settings are off by default but add some nice aesthetic effects I worked on if you click them. 

     I would also suggest, if you are new to using VR, to not run in this build.  Run makes me a wee bit queasy as its too fast and jarring,  walking is slow but much more comfortable to me.  Also you will need to jump so find that button.

     I am obligated to acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council but I do so quite willingly, furthermore, I would like to explain why their support is so important to an artist in a fringe medium  such as myself.   This artwork has taken me almost a year to build and I will likely not generate any revenue from it unless it goes into a gallery or museum somewhere.  To undertake a project like this with potentially few prospects is, as you can imagine, unwise.  The financial support helps but perhaps what is even more important is the psychological support one feels to take on such a large project.  They believe in me which is so very encouraging.  In my life I have lots of friends and family who are completely indifferent to what I do as an artist.  They know I do some kind of computery art thing but some have never even once asked a question or shown any curiosity.  And that's fine, I don't want to actually talk about what I do to someone who doesn't care anyway.  I don't crave the glazed over eye look.  But imagine working so hard on something and then feeling like you are alone and nobody cares, it can be deflating and you question yourself and what you do.  Was I insane to abandon a successful oil painting career to jump into immersive virtual environment art.  Recognition and support from the OAC, for me, is something that reinvigorates my confidence and says to keep going and striving in this art medium that I truly believe in.  So I would like to thank again the OAC and the great work they do.