Friday, September 13, 2019

Daughter of Gears and Rabbicorn in Bronze

So this is kind of embarrassing but I forgot to post about making bronze sculptures of the Rabbicorn and Daughter of Gears.  I came to the blog to see what I wrote about it and discovered that the answer
was .. nothing.

     Every so often I create limited editions in bronze of my artwork.  In the past I did one of a ballet dancer from "Hand" and a Long Legged Maskitt as a commission for awards to artists for the Santorini biennial.  Then just after christmas last year, which is a really dumb time to release anything i think, I put out the bronzes for two of my personal favorite characters, the Rabbicorn and Daughter of Gears.  At the same time I released the three part story, rebuilt in mesh,  in Second Life which told the story of these same characters.

     The whole story was originally conceived one day years ago as I was walking through the forest. 

Daughter version 1
Daughter version 2
As I was walking I saw a peculiarly shaped branch with a bend in it.  I stood looking at it a while and began to imagine it as a leg for a girl.  From there I started to think why this leg would be so bent and it grew into a story called the Daughter of Gears.  Now I had not built this story yet, just sketched out ideas, but shortly after I was approached by a company called Rezzable who built sims such as Greenies and black swan in Second Life, and they asked if I might build something to go on the black swan sim for a month or two.  The black swan sim was created by artist Starax also known as Light Waves.  It was a bit daunting because at the time Light Waves was quite a legendary artist in Second Life and I really didn't want to mar his work.   So I decided to build the tower for the Daughter of gears story, which I worried was a terrible idea as I had just come up with the concept of creating immersive artworks as a style or movement, but I hadn't really built any substantial ones yet. What was interesting to me was to try and create a story within second life as I had not
Daughter version 3
Daughter version 4
come across any at that time.  In my art practice before second life
i was an oil painter and each work essentially was a snapshot in time.  My work would indicate a story, but there was no duration.  When I discovered Second Life and the virtual space I realized that I could create art where the visitor was an active participant to the piece not a passive observer as most other mediums treat the viewer.  For example in cinema we sit on the couch and are told a story, or in a gallery looking at paintings we are separate and stand looking upon a scene which might captivate us to imagine something happening, but we are separate.  Cinema and painting both try to immerse the viewer, and succeed, yet to me I saw the virtual space as a far more powerful medium for immersion.  I wanted
Daughter version 5
people not  to just get caught up in my artwork, similar to how you
Daughter version 6
get caught up in a good movie, but to also be an active participant to the artwork.  To be alive and exploring in an open ended manner within my artwork.  The tower for the daughter of gears was my first attempt to do so.  It was quite popular with tens of thousands coming to see it which then had IBM approach me to build something for their region.  For IBM I built the second part of the story a year later which introduced the Rabbicorn.  Oh and did I mention that for some inexplicable reason I decided to write it all in poetry.  I am not a poet but I determined to be one for all three parts of the story.  The story was well received and I agreed to do the final part of the story a year from then for IBM.  The final part of the story was called Standby which referred to an empty white space where the Daughter of gears would stay
Daughter of gears oil painting
within her mind alone with her memories.  Like the standby our computer goes to when its been idle too long.  The final part finished the story and was written, as most of my work is, to let the ending be debated by those who explored it.  Was it a happy ending or sad one? Was the Standby, a place the daughter and rabbicorn hid from the world, a good thing or bad thing?  I like to take the fears of society and its universal dislikes, such as the fear of virtual spaces, and show them in another light. 

For example I recently had a studio tour and showed VR to visitors to my studio and some would say VR is fantastic, but that people would become obsessed with it and live in virtual spaces rather than
unused poem
real life.  A very common comment and to be honest some will.  Just as some get addicted to gambling or alcohol or social media.  Stand
staring at your phone when in groups of people checking meaningless things? yep social constipation.
     One of  my favorite stories after the final piece was release, and I heard years later, was of two people who went on a sl "date".  They had met and were getting to know one another and decided to explore the final part to the Rabbicorn story together as each had already seen the previous two parts.  She told me that before they went to the exhibit she was not sure if she really liked this guy and was not convinced they would talk again.  They went through the story together and at the end, faintly over his microphone, she could hear him silently crying for the Rabbicorn.  And she told me that at this moment she fell in love with him.  Later on they got married and now many years later they are still together and still enjoy exploring art in second life.

So back to the bronzes.  I apologize to those of you who were reading my blog expecting this information and so were unaware for that they had come up for sale, that was my mistake but there is good news!  I do have a few left so if you would like to purchase the bronze of both the Daughter and Rabbicorn (they only come as a pair naturally) then just email me at  The Daughter is six inches tall and the Rabbicorn is 4inches and together they sell for $700 + shipping.

And to finish up the post I will embed the machinima story for Standby.

Monday, July 1, 2019

FILE Electronic Language International Festival

FILE Electronic Language International Festival

 I have four machinima being exhibited at FILE that opened last week.  If you are in the area then you can experience the festival at the Art Gallery of the Fiesp.  I will put my machinima below should you wish to see them.

FILE – Electronic Language International Festival is a non-profit cultural organization that sparks a reflexion on the main aspects of contemporary digital and electronic universe; disseminating the electronic language across Brazil and South America through events and publications since the year 2000.

FILE gathers works of aesthetic expression that capture the main trends and movements of our contemporary culture, which are diversified amongst the main categories of the festival:

Electronic Sonority: Sound Performance, Sound Installations, Sound Art, Genetic Music, Biologic Music, Classical Electronic Music, Pop Electronic Music, Dramatic Radio Broadcasting, Radio Art, Sound Landscape, Sound Robotics, Music Video, Sound Poetry, Sound Robotics, etc.

Interactive Art: installations, performances, internet projects, virtual reality, augmented reality, multitouch tables, digital objects, outdoor projections, phone projects, electronic graffiti, VRML, etc.

Digital Language: digital games, animation, digital theatre, machinima, digital video, digital architecture, digital fashion, digital design, robotics, artificial life, biological art, transgenic art, software art, new interfaces, animes, hypertexts, non-linear scripts, artificial intelligence, programming language, digital poetry, digital dance, etc.

Founded in the year 2000 by Ricardo Barreto and Paula Perissinotto, FILE aims to magnify technological discussions in the cultural scope. Besides the traditional annual event in São Paulo city, the festival expands itself across national and international borders to cities such as Rio de Janeiro, Vitória, Belo Horizonte, Curitiba, Porto Alegre, São Luis and Brasilia.

FILE’s mission is to promote a wider access from the general public to technologic languages demonstrating how our contemporary world builds itself on the advances of new and digital medias.



Wednesday, June 12, 2019

The Rabbicorn story part five and six

GPS gun

 In part five the Scientists are shocked to see the Rabbicorn and one sends out a tiny spider which clings to the Rabbicorn acting as a tracking bug.  The old boy lifts his cane and distracts them while telling the Rabbicorn to flee.  The Rabbicorn does and again is alone, the boy who she spent a lifetime with now gone, as well as everything she once knew.

Spider bot attaching to Rabbicorn

       "There she is!"
        exclaimed one
        "quick tag her with
        the G.P.S gun"

        With a flash of light
        followed by a pause
        out shot a tracking bug
        which told them where she was
        "She is an antique
        a priceless find
        the fabled Rabbicorn
        with both a heart and mind"

        Then the old boy
        pushed the scientists aside
        "Run my Rabbicorn
        find somewhere to hide
        and never come back
        or they will catch you
        and place you in
        a robot zoo"

The hunter sleeper guards

        When I imagined the world which all my characters live in, it is like ours but technologies and philosophies branched out in different directions.  One thing that I considered, from the perspective of the military, is how to create effective tools and machines that would perform their jobs in the best way.  What I decided on was a military that focused on using base emotions within their tools.  So for example, the Spiderbot tracking bug is not malicious but rather once it attaches to a host it is imprinted on them much like a duckling to its mother.  It follows and stays with the Rabbicorn because it loves her as a child loves its mother, not aware that it may lead them to her.  The Rabbicorn was the first to be programmed to love, but one  hundred years passed while she lived with the boy and now that program exists in many things, though never quite replicating the perfection of the Rabbicorn.  (because the Scientist who made the Rabbicorn hid the plans after). 

      In the next scene the Rabbicorn is shown running past some guards who attempt to catch her.  Again these guards are not what they seem.  On the outside they appear fearsome, but if the viewer clicks on the wings they will open and by camming inside we discover a boy child in one and a girl in another.  They are called Hunter Sleepers and, similar to the Spiderbot, they are designed to use their innocence as a weapon.  The children are orphans who are procured by the military, they are made comfortable in beds within the thorax of the beetlebot, where they sleep.  In their semi conscious state they are put in a dream world where, in this instance, they wish to hug and hold the Rabbicorn.  The Rabbicorn seems to beckon to them in their dreams and they will do their best to catch her.  Again they have discovered that love is actually more powerful than hate, so they take that love and warp it to their needs, manipulating the emotion rather than learning from it.   If it were another situation of say a riot, the Hunter Sleepers would perhaps be fed a dream where they are playing tag with a group of other laughing children.  They would rush about trying to tag them while smiling in their sleep not knowing they were chasing and impaling rioters with their metal needle legs.

     Humans were never meant to kill other humans in nature.  Much like the animal kingdom, disputes rarely resulted in death, often there was no physical violence rather mere posturing.   There are statistics taken over time which show that our earliest conflicts often had few casualties as most soldiers didn't actually want to kill another human being.   In the 1800's apparently soldier often would shoot over the heads of their enemies and it persisted until WW2 where it is said, that many soldiers didn't even fire their rifles.   Historically many armies liked to bang drums and chant, wear scary clothing or makeup in an attempt to scare off their enemies.. much like posturing in the animal kingdom.  The modern military saw this as quite a problem and took measures, such as changing bulls eye targets to human silhouettes, to training which focused on reactionary behaviour.. as well as psychologically embedding ideas that not firing your weapon at the enemy endangers your comrades etc.  Not to mention you can kill from much further distances which allow the enemy to remain faceless and abstract, not fathers and sons.  I imagine if you look at the rates of gun violence in the USA over the last 50 years you might find the increase to be connected to desensitization from violent movies or perhaps some video games which seem so realistic and reward oriented that they almost act as training tools, and hey I like video games but it seems reasonable.  However, in my stories the military did not spend time and money trying to retrain a stubborn instinct, but rather decided to trick a powerful non violent one into doing what they required.

        So the Rabbicorn ran
        as fast as she could
        past some guards
        and into the woods
        Into a world
        she had never seen
        into a world
        that had grown obscene
        with wars fought
        just for fun
        to try out
        the latest gun
        and Presidents picked
        from TV shows
        who planted hate
        then called it a rose

Hunter sleeper girl

Saturday, May 25, 2019

The Rabbicorn story scene three and four

        "What are you?"
        the boy said to her
        the Rabbicorn thought
        then replied "I'm not sure"
       "Can I ride you
        like my bike?"

        "I think you could
        if that's what you'd like"

        So he grabbed her horn
        and climbed on her back
        pointed at his sister
        and yelled "ATTACK!"
        "Oh I don't fight"
        said the Rabbicorn
        "unless I must
        and to this I am sworn"

       "but we can jump up high
        above the trees
        so grasp my horn
        and clench your knees"

        From that day forth
        they did not part
        and he caused gears to whir
        within her heart

       They played for 90 years
        over hills and grass
        and to the Rabbicorn
        the time went so fast
        But the boy grew old
        as he was sure to do
        while the Rabbicorn
        still looked brand new
        Then one evening
        in the month of May
        the Rabbicorn searched
        for the boy to play
        She found him with
        men in lab coats
        one looking stern
        the other taking notes

Saturday, May 11, 2019

The Rabbicorn story scene two and three

The next scene is of the Rabbicorn in a cart being driven home from the laboratory.  After creating the Rabbicorn and seeing its capacity to love actually succeeding as a program she felt that perhaps she had created a type of life.  Where we feel emotions from thoughts that trigger chemicals that then trigger say a smile for pleasure, or a fast heartbeat for fear, the Rabbicorn has her body triggered by similar emotions.  It is all zeroes and ones but the scientist questions what constitutes life.   So this is a bit strange but, when I created the Rabbicorn I imagined the whimsical things from which she was built and in my mind I imagined her heart to be connected to a music box on her back.  The music box reacting to the various emotions that were now a part of her.  When a strong emotion is triggered in the Rabbicorn then the music box will begin to turn and the spokes were retractable to change the tune.  In the scene two it is activated by separation from the scientist who created her.

        When she was done
        she knew the Rabbicorn must go
        and that the government
        must never know
        For they would not
        care about her heart
        they would rather
        take her apart
        So she gave her to
        a man she met that day
        who had mentioned that
        it was his son's birthday
        She made him promise
        to look after her
        and for the first time
        the Rabbicorn's heart did whir
        As she looked back
        she said "Please don't fear"
        and as they drove away
        wiped away a tear

   Scene three shows the Rabbicorn from a wooden box in the living room peeking out and waiting under a grid of computer screens.   This world, much like our own, is obsessed with multiple triggers for ones attention and the screens almost seem to look upon the Rabbicorn with concern as she may interfere with their dominance over the families attention.  The morning brings down a young boy who excitedly opens his birthday present to find the Rabbicorn.  The Rabbicorn's music box heart is triggered again by his arrival and she imprints upon him. 

        She was placed in a box
        wrapped in a bow
        on a wood floor
        under a computers glow
        In the morning
        feet did race
        a lid did open
        a child's face
        Eyes of cerulean
        looked down on her
        and again the Rabbicorn's
        heart did whir

Friday, May 10, 2019

Part two: The Rabbicorn story

     The third and final part of the Standby trilogy is now open on Immersiva.  All three parts are there which is a minor miracle.  Originally when the stories were created in prims they each were close to 20,000 prims for a grand total of around 60k.  Far more than a sim can hold.  But yay for mesh which has allowed me to reduce the footprint down to 19683.. which lets all three be on at once.  So this post might be long and will explain the second part of the story called the Rabbicorn.  You can read about the first part of the story called the Daughter of Gears here

Slurl to Standby on Immersiva

the crystal corridor
      My philosophy when creating virtual spaces is to design the narrative so that the viewer will have environments with changes in scale or lighting etc.  The first part to the Rabbicorn story begins with the viewer opening a door to a corridor of glowing crystal rocks.  Projector lighting casts their reflections over the body of the viewer until they come up to the surface of the grey sky and for some a familiar building.  It is the shed where the science lab is hidden below.  This is a structure from 26 tines     which tells the story of a maintenance robot and a little robot boy in a jar who come together at night when everyone is gone home, to connect and feel comfort through a cable.  The cable has 26 tines or spokes with which to plug into the other.   I have mentioned before that all my stories are in the same world and over the last 13 years or so I will crossover characters to show how they relate to each other.  One of the scientists from the 26 tines story is also the creator of the Rabbicorn.   She created the Rabbicorn  as a side project with the intention of trying to instill "Love" within a machine, a deviation from the war robots she builds for the government.  She succeeds with the Rabbicorn and eventually it appears in other things such as the powerpet Mr Zippers from the Singularity of Kumiko, who got the love upgrade.  Anyway I better not fall down these rabbit holes of explanations.  The science lab is again quiet with the maintenance robot still at her station and upon the work bench sits a peculiar machine.  It is called the Rabbicorn.  A mix of a rabbit and unicorn.  Spinning slowly beside it rests her heart which has not yet been installed.  Looking inside the heart will show things like a wee poem and a bird wrapped up in fishing wire which represents my father who passed away from ALS a few years ago.

On the wall is the first poem
The Rabbicorn

        A Scientist
        in a lab
        built the Rabbicorn
        from things she had
        From Tesla coils
        and a music box
        parts of a gramophone
        and fur from a fox
        She gave her a heart
        and a strong mind
        she was the only one
        of her kind
        For the ones she made
        before her
        were Robobears
        meant for war

 Ok a bit more of the rabbit hole.  This isn't important to know but the scientist from Catching Feathers machinima also works at the same place.  I will include that machinima too.

Ok I can't sum up the entire story in one post or it will be massive so I will do a series.  

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Part one: The Daughter of Gears

     The Daughter of Gears is the first part to a three part narrative currently showing on Immersiva sim in Second Life.  The second part called the Rabbicorn Story is just opening, so I will sum up the first part of the narrative for those who were unable to climb the tower, which is admittedly difficult.

     One of my philosophies in creating virtual art is that the art itself should not just be handed to the visitor.  I truly believe, or in my case anyway, that overcoming a challenge of some sort to experience the artwork makes me not only appreciate it more, but also connect to it on a different level.  When people come to see my work I create it with different layers for the experience.  Some enjoy a quick run through which is fine, while the majority who follow my work enjoy or even expect to look below the surface of the story to contemplate various conceptual layers.  They understand that they need to click on things and study the environment to find different elements within the narrative.  That my stories tend to not be black or white morally and often lead to debate with the viewer and their friends as to whether they would do as the characters in my stories did.  What I would like people to feel is that they found something that perhaps many others missed.   This creates a type of ownership of the artwork for the visitor and places them on a level of being an "expert' when it comes to knowing how to experience my work.  I try to create so that everyone is able to enjoy the work on some level, but my real focus is on those who follow my work and enjoy this method of creation.

     The Daughter of Gears story was originally created years ago when I was commissioned by a
company called Rezzable to make something for an existing region called Black Swan, built by Lightwaves also known as Starax.    I have rebuilt the story in mesh mostly because I have made the main characters, the daughter of gears and Rabbicorn, into bronze sculptures.  There were a total of 15 pairs and some still remain should you be interested to purchase a set.  Just message me if you are.  After I made the bronzes it occurred to me that probably few would remember the story and so here we are.  As I said the first was built for Rezzable for Black Swan but  the second and third parts were hosted by IBM when they were actively within Second Life.  Anway, so here is the story for the Daughter of Gears.  It is a series of poems you discover as you climb a tower, it is about a girl who is dying and her mother places her soul within a machine, because she can not bear to lose her and the technology exists.  Her daughter returns to her but those living nearby feel it is an abomination to have such a creature exist.  Some feel so strongly that they decide to come to her tower and take the daughter away from her.  The mother naturally will not allow this to happen and fights them and succeeds, but at the cost of her own life.  At the last moments she realizes that she has condemned her daughter to a life of solitude and lonliness.  An outcast for eternity.  The Daughter, now alone on the tower, puts herself on Standby much like a computer does.  In her standby she resides in a virtual world where she lives with the memories of her mother, while in the real world the vines and weeds slowly grow up her body over the course of a century on her deserted windblown tower.

Part one:

They called her obscene   
they called her a blight
a mob slowly grows
in the dark of the night

My Daughter of Gears
transistors and moss
she resembles to all
the one that I lost.

They come to the tower
to take her from me
our bond is from love
but that they can't see

My knees shake and tremble
awaiting the worst
but to get to my Daughter
they must pass by me first.

Part two:

Eyes of cerulean, mirrored by mine
to my daughter I hide my grieving
behind me the vessel chimes
sensing that she will soon be leaving

Shallow breaths, quiet sighs,
tesla cracks, nascent mother
the vessel slowly opens her eyes,
across the room my reborn daughter

 Part three:

Fluttering heart,
nervous start,
I know not what to do

Her skin like lace,
a child's face,
now only eyes
of cerulean blue

Your whisper of gears
bring out my tears
from the shattering
of a dream

The confused eyes
of my love who died
whom I bound to a machine

Part four:

When the cables came away
and I looked into your eyes
that was my first day
but you did not realize

That you were imprinted on my heart
zeroes and ones in digital blue
and when you finally did part
I would stay and think of you

You fought them like a spark
but on that day you did die
and when you left for the dark
I put myself on standby

So I could dream of how
your love kept them from me
but I am alone now
for eternity.

Part five in her stanby.

Inside here
they won't find
the memories
stored in my mind

Inside here
just me  and  you
a love so pure
and always new

Inside here
a reality I've prepared
for you to hold my hand
when I'm feeling scared.

Part two the Rabbciorn story is now open on Immersiva.