The dangerously thin Glyph Graves is one of my favorite artists in second life. On the surface he would appear to be an alpha texture rotation artist. And were he to work solely in this manner then he would still be one of my favorites. However, Glyph does some really amazing things under the surface. He adds sound for example, which is activated by the wind in second life. As the wind changes it triggers notes. He also makes some very interesting amoeba/jellyfish/space monsters. They have refined movement and character which is missing from many second life attempts at creating something that mimics an organism. There is a great depth to Glyphs work so really you should go see it. "Ohhh but I have ate too much turkey.. and I've got a funny feeling in my toe..." Stop the excuses and go see it. He is one of our prolific artists at Caerleon Island and also a really nice guy. He will open this show at NMC ars simulacra on sunday december 28th at 3:30pm.
I was away the last few days for family christmas stuff and I have returned feeling surly. You see.. I am both charming and loving with family for 1.5 days. Sadly I was there for 2 days. This is the preface to my impending snarkiness. I came home and logged into second life to see what was up. Before I left I had a show at Uqbar Arena. Its an Italian sim showcasing SL art. Well I was told that a Gaziva Babeli had come to see my work and was filled into to the mystery surrounding this person or persons. I was given a landmark by my friend Luce Laval to see Gazivas work. It was a great build of a tap spewing a multitude of objects ranging from cows to star wars cars. I saw an island beside it and flew over to see if it was related. I landed and saw immediately that it was one of those lame sims that put out campfires with beach towels and other real world stuff.
Yes thats the picture there... even a diving board. I walked around the corner and was shocked and saddened to see a big floating sign with my Art Schools name on it. Now this was terrible for two reasons. First is that my art school has a sim and they put a campfire with beach towels down. Second is that about a year ago I sent a proposal to them offering to set up second life and to teach a course within second life for the students. I was told that the schools direction was determined internally rather than by external sources. Meaning courses are not decided by "outsiders" I think I have had a small amount of sucess and having me be a part of their presence in second life should only improve their program. I most certainly would not build a campfire with beach towels. Ok I will stop venting. Sometimes people come into second life and they dont really see its potential for a while. They try to recreate the real world. They build a replica of their art school. This appeals to nobody. Ok perhaps their students come and say "Hey this looks a bit like our school" the first time they see it. But that happens once. So don't build a replica.
Look at the picture below. Prepare yourself. Its a meeting room with a twist. Look closely. "Holy christ!" you may shout "Why that meeting room has no roof! what if it rains!" This was the most NPIRL thing they could come up with. Hey look in the sky OCAD! why thats me in the picture.. I am flying.. because in second life i can freaking fly. And you know what else? I can teleport too. (Bryn calms down)
Perhaps I am being unjust crucifying my old art school this way. Maybe they just need to figure things out and will shortly become a strong influence within the second life art world. And I was with the family for 2 days rather than the recommended 1.5 days. There are factors to explain me being surly. I think I just need to relax on a virtual beach towel somewhere. Give myself some time to forget my father telling me not to put my hand in the blender while its on. WTF!? do you really think you need to tell me not to put my hand in the blender? I mean seriously Dad why would I put my hand in the blender while its on?
Oh I almost forgot. They put a flag on the sim. I really don't like that for some reason. You know, now that I think of it I probably shouldnt write blog posts while I am feeling snarky.
Just wondering if anyone out there has a good site to place machinima to link to from SL? I tried to link to youtube a while back but they seem to change the file extentions regularly, which prevents a permanent connection. Above are a few pictures from my secret store.
I had one person at the top of my list whom I wanted to join Caerleon Island, and it was the great Four Yip. Four has been creating fantastic things in second life for ages now and I have been admiring them all from afar. An important thing for me was to get someone who has work which is markedly different from the other artists already here. Not merely a variation of someone we already have. So here are some articles about Four
This is our current list of artists working within the three islands of Caerleon. They are in no particular order.
Ub Yifu Sowa Mai Bryn Oh Pete Jiminy marnie Reinard Feathers Boa four Yip Fran Benoir Glyph Graves Sabrinaa Nightfire luce Leval Thoth Jantzen Evo Szuyuan Alizarin Goldflake Nonnatus Korhonen Pixels Sideways Trinity Halberstadt Georg Janick Kueperpunk Korhonen Simon Sugita Sunseeker Miklos Katya Anantine Cae Sands
There are a few moments in my second life which have been turning points for me. One was Bettina Tizzy and TayziaAbbatoir finding me at a sandbox and telling me what NPIRL was and asking if I could show them some of my steampunk insects. Another will be Dusan Writer giving me that sim. But in between was meeting someone who suddenly began buying everything I had ever made in second life. This person turned out to be a University Professor from Boston going by the SL name of Georg Janick. This particularly interesting person asked if I would be a member of an artist island he was about to buy called Caerleon. I would get my own plot and 1500 prims and I would brush shoulders with the best artists he could find in genres ranging from poetry to activism. And best of all I wouldn't have to fight griefers in the sandbox. Admittedly I had just bought the most expensive fighting thing that SL offered at the time and was thoroughly enjoying my new found ability to kick ass rather than be ass kicked. But we all make sacrifices for art I suppose. So Caerleon Island was formed and a small group of international artists began making things. Artists such as NonnatusKarhonnen began making self replicating organisms while on the other side of the island Kueperpunk is writing his RLcybercrime books. OKthat's probably not his genre of writing but sounds neat. After a while Georg bought another island and we named it New Caerleon in a fit of creativity. It houses educational buildings as well as a robot facility that I built for georg seeing as he is a robot nerd. And now... well now Georg has told us he is buying another island. This one will be for collaborative builds and special events. I suggested we call it Newest Caerleon but I really don't think anyone liked that name. As I mentioned in a previous post, I now have my own island to work on. And while I will miss being on Caerleon, I have decided to give up my space to a new artist. And guess what! I get to pick that artist. So I will be looking around for someone to take my spot which I believe now has a max of 2000 prims to use. I have a few in mind and will be contacting them shortly, but if you think you could be the next artist then give me a shout in world and show me your stuff.
Now here is my problem. I have made a custom sky in environment editor as seen in this picture. And I want everyone who comes to my sim to have the ability to use this sky. Has anyone out there ever been able to achieve this? I have found my sky setting on my computer as an .xml file but I can't upload it as its not music or a jpeg. This should have been something Linden Labs had done ages ago it seems. I mean the vast majority of sims are very similar and letting people set the environment would create a multitude great sims.
On a side note.. I have sent an IM to Torley Linden about this and I am really curious as to whether he would even get my IM. That poor guy must get an obnoxious amount of IM's. I will keep posted the one person out there who is also interested in finding out if my IM gets lost.
At AM Radio's recent opening at the University of Kentucky a strange thing happened. The clouds parted and on a shining beam of sunlight a man slowly floated to the ground in front of me. This man was Dusan Writer. And though nobody else saw this and I only remembered it this way in hindsight, it was true nevertheless.
Well because he gave me a full sim. 15, 000 prims to play with. So two sculptures worth... (OK I stole that joke from Therese Carfagno)
He likes my work and wants to see me continue. I personally think he has mistaken me for someone else but I'll never tell. So first of all I had to find a name for the sim and decided on Immersiva. Immersiva is the art concept I am interested in and work towards. Next I made a group and he deeded the sim to me. And finally I had a freak out. And now I plan on finding some kind of food that is bad for me and I plan on eating the whole thing. I am leaning towards Mint chocolate chip ice cream. But this is fantastic news to me because I was working on an expanded version of my burning life build "Condo's In Heaven" at IBM6 for the university of kentucky and I was lagging out and hogging all the prims. I imagine everyone wanted to give me a good kick in the pants but wait a moment... no need! I am prim pig no longer! (at IBM6 anyway). I might be able to put everything I have ever made down at once. Or I think I might put up my Edward Gorey build just because I miss it. I am also thinking of putting thousands of grasshoppers hopping about. Bettina Tizzy told me to just have fun and I think I will. But first I will eat some Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. Anyway come visit me because the only down side is I will likely be a bit lonely there by myself, and I had already considered myself a sandbox hermit so lets not make me feral too.
At AM Radio's new build at the University of Kentucky there was a rather odd yet spontaneousoccurrence. We all slowly began to sit on an umbrella. Why is this news? It's not. I merely can't think of a blog post.
I will be the next one to show at the University though. Thats kind of news. Won't be until mid january. Less news.
There were 15 people on the umbrella by the end of it. Non news again. Sigh.
Right now you can see Wizard Glynoid Spiral Walcher, Tezcatliopisanicanca Bisani. AM Radio and I believe Astra Thorne. Later we also had Hamlet Au, Dusan Writer, Al Supercharge, Cube Republic... hmmm.. Pascale Illyar.. Patricia Ann Devereux..
God my memory is terrible. And I think I am also spelling half the names wrong.
Ah there was also a Hittomi someone..
You know I really should have talked about what I planned on putting there. Oh well next time.
I had an art show at LALALightfoot's gallery yesterday where I went through some of my sculptures and showed everyone all the little secret areas in them. When the talk ended we all kind of stood around looking at each other and someone suggested dancing. I for one hate dancing in SL so I voiced an idea. An evil little idea. "Why don't we all go over to Caerleon Island and climb my Tower?" So we went over to the island and while I did apologise beforehand I still sent them up it. I watched all the poor little things go in the front door and then positioned my camera inside the tower looking down. They climbed and fell and climbed and fell and I laughed and laughed and occasionally shouted encouragements. I heard some fantastically creative swears that day. In my glee I didn't notice Whispering Hush quit the tower in disgust and come up to me. I suggested she join me in watching everyone try and climb it with her cam. She did and immediately said "ooh your evil".
Soooothat's the question then isn't it? Am I evil? Evil is such a strong word. I mean like Satan is an evil little pantload poking everyone in the arse with his pitchfork for eternity. I am hardly that bad.
Madcow Cosmos looks fairly evil in this photo by JurinJuran. And while you should never judge a book by its cover you should always judge a person by their avatar. Is Madcow evil? he has always been very nice to me when I have spoken to him but then again the Devil would be wouldn't he? Just look at that freaking giant hammer! and those beady little eyes always looking here and there.
So in conclusion I would have to agree with you, the reader, that Madcow Cosmos is indeed evil.
To fly or not to fly. I built the Tower with the intention of it being shown in an environment without fly turned on. The visitor would enter at the bottom and see the mob. They would move forward and find the poem in the pram and discover there was a story in this build. As they climb the tower they find more poems to further flush out the story until eventually they reach the top and see how the story ends for this installment. Well except for the stand by which tells another portion of her memories. I came to Black Swan to see how it was going and discovered fly was back on and people were flying directly to the top of the tower. Goodbye story.. goodbye challenge goodbye Immersiva. How can one become immersed if they are able to hover around apart from the build? an observer. I can understand RAR perhaps being concerned that people would find it frustrating. But then again.. how can simssucceed? What is the strategy to bring people back? I mean that is the basic business problem in SL. Have a initial draw of people and then watch the tumbleweeds bounce by. It seems to me that something that challenges for an extended period of time is what you want. Be that with hidden aspects.. stories or just the donkey kong factor. Making something easy for people only satisfies the extremely busy and the lazy. While it is unfortunate for the busy people (who could use the ctrl alt....thingy) I really don't care about the lazy ones. If you want to create something memorable then don't try and make it appeal to everyone as that will just water it down to spam. I am going to go yell at RAR again.
"Irrevocably" is a new sculpture I have just made. As would be expected it has a secret way to begin the poem that tells its story. I have it sitting out at Caerleon Island which you can find in my picks. While you are here try and climb the Tower.. only Lyndzay Mielli has gotten up so far. and there is a nice Sculpture at the top for almost free. Naxos Loon even used his chimp av but he still couldn't get up. HA! take that naxos.
The visual artist esentially has one main purpose. To make the viewer look at or interact with their creation for as long as possible. When the viewer has moved away then you may have lost them so essentially don't let them leave. A good artist will subtly employ different techniques to keep the eye of the viewer traveling within the piece. For example, generally (and all art "rules" are general) the viewers eye will enter a painting starting in the bottom right hand side. The eye tends to travel counter clockwise in a circular manner moving from focal point to focal point. The artist will then try to lead the eye to areas of importance. This can be done through colour theory, composition or a multitude of other methods. The artist wants to capture the viewer and suspend thier disbelief. Make them feel like they are within the painting. I like to work on large paintings to block out the viewers peripheral vision. Don't let them see a light switch or another painting or even another person in thier peripheral because that only anchors them to the knowledge that they are in fact within a gallery setting looking at a 2D image. Those elements prevent the viewer from becoming fully immersed. And this is where Second Life comes in. I believe the next big art movement will be immersive art, and I think second life is the start to this. We still look at a computer screen and can be distracted by our peripheral, by the need to use a keyboard, by our cat or by the phone ringing. But we have taken the step to be immersed in a 3D environment rather than viewing a 2D image. When space is available I create a story to catch the viewers attention. I create mysteries or environments for participation, and I am constantly trying to think of other ways to further immerse the viewer. We are at the beginnings now but I imagine the art of the future to be when someone comes home from work and plugs into an environment. They might be transported to a canoe on a lake with calling loons or their grandmothers kitchen. But perhaps the real test of an artist will be drawing out the shiver one feels when thier virtual lover caresses their cheek. The feeling of love for an entity which does not exist in the real world, but was able to draw forth such an emotion due to the viewers full immersion into a storied environment. Please come soon Immersiva because winter is coming and I am so tired of Mr. Bush.
Song I am listening to at the moment is Courtship Dating by Crystal Castles.
So I am fascinated with the idea of being an Artist that exists only on the Internet. No real life connection just an artist made up of pixels and doodads wandering about. I have limited almost everything I can that will influence people... I have no voice, no real life picture, no age nothing that people will connect to the real world when they see me in world. Some kind of entity that creates art and is an extension of her art as well. I don't just make art and then have some shabby avatar that I have put no effort into.. the whole idea is to create a "character", to design myself and be part of the art I create. Artists like Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali had character. They were almost as recognizable as their artwork and it was a contributing factor to their success. Albert Einstein was quite the scientist but Christ what a fantastic character too! crazy hair and somewhat absent minded look. He became a template for the wacky TV scientist. Second life is meant for this and here is a spontaneous short list of some of my favorite second life "characters"
AM Radio Blotto Epsilon TezcatliopicaBisani (pictured) Sabine Stonebender PavigLok Glyph Graves in an odd sort of way UbYifu (as don quixote) Four Yip Pandora Wrigglesworth Madcow Cosmos (as the wee red demon) Yoa Ogee (as the fish tank) Dammit Dawg
I know I am forgetting some of my favorites and someone really should do a proper list of interesting characters. Hmmm Bettina are you reading this?
I decided to open a store in second life the other day. It was mainly due to building ennui. So I searched for a sim that suited my style and was deserted. Then I began writing clues and riddles for people who wanted to find it. Absolutely terrible business practice hiding your store and making people work to find it. Especially in a culture where everyone gets to fly and teleport wherever they want to go, if our avatars reflected this then we would all be big bloated lazy sacks. Anyway, so in my profile i put the first clue.
Bryn Oh has a shop North of some pews But for you to get there You must first solve some clues
So go to New Caerleon Quick as a cat Down a trapdoor And type the symbol in chat
Look for the girl Legs caught while she plays Open her mind And hear what she says
You are probably looking at this and saying "WTF!" which is only right that you do so. You big bloated sack. Well that is the first part and I am not telling anymore as you have offended me now. Go on! get the hell out of my blog you lazy lazy person.
Recently I exhibited a build at Burning Man's Second Life presence called Burning Life. I was one of 12 juried artists with some of my favorites such as AM Radio and Sabine Stonebender, but also discovered some new greats such as Blotto Epsilon and Dizzy Banjo. I was given my space a few months before it opened and began thinking up ideas. I thought of current things going on in Canada. We have in Alberta some oil sands. Essentially its very destructive to harvest the oil from the sands.. kills wildlife and destroys habitat not to mention being generally bad for the planet. However, we have a lifestyle we are unwilling to give up and as such this is part of what we need to maintain it. While I was contemplating this I began to wonder what our boundaries are. Not Canada but the human race. What might make us stop and think and decide the outcome was not worth the resources we might get? So I thought perhaps if we found a way to Heaven. A physical Heaven. Here is the poem the build is based on.
An Astrobot with fame Sent the probes away Now the newspapers proclaim "we found Heaven today"
Hadraniel stood at the gates to Heaven Raining death for six days Upon all until day seven When we brought out the heat rays
I watched it unfold on the internet Beautiful Sariel with golden hair He was captured and sold as a pet To a wealthy billionaire
The war is done the condos rise What resources are there to consume? Cassiel appears with tears in his eyes At the window to my bedroom
The build took the form of a store in Heaven that sold angel accessories such as wings and halos. The viewer came in and found a man and his boy choosing wings. The boy points shyly to one he likes while the shopkeeper looks on. Above the store is a captured angel shackled and used as decoration. The shop itself is built to represent what we might build to mimic heaven. Nice blue glass and sleek silver tables. Mood lighting and an almost art deco entrance. Its important for the shopper to enjoy their shopping experience and not think too deeply where these wings and halos actually come from. You see they are one of a kinds, the originals. You can buy Gabriels wings or Metatrons Halo. Both status symbols and personal accessories. As with all my builds there are plenty of little hidden things for those who know my work and know to look very closely. And eventually those same people find a secret door. The secret door leads to the surgery room where they are in the process of removing an angels wings for the store. I won't go into detail about everything in the build but the NPIRL link I added helps. This build existed for one week but wait! it might be coming back.. DB Bailey has said there is an idea afloat for a sim showcasing "Classic" builds and so if you missed it at Burning Life then its possible you can see it there when it opens. I will leave a note if and when it opens.
About a year and a half ago I heard about a person who spent their life savings on a condominium in an online world called second life. I don't think this story was true, but what it did do was capture my imagination enough for me to come into Second Life and see what it was all about.
Originally I created an avatar that looked like me in real life but after talking to some artist friends about what second life stood for I decided to go "other". Other being a giant white moth. I immediately began building things in the back yard of someone who left their land settings to allow anyone to build there. One day they came out and yelled at my big white moth. "Go build in a sandbox!" they shouted and thats when I found out what a sandbox was. A sandbox is a place for building. So I went off to sandbox island and was immediately orbitted several times in a row. This is when i discovered what "griefing" was.
I built and built but discovered that nobody really liked me very much as a big white moth. The reason for this? Well I think its because people come into second life and try to project real life values onto our avatars. If your avatar has a lip ring then they use this as a clue to define your real life personality. Its a natural human tendency to search for clues on how to define someone. Watch someones eyes on the subway and you will see them constantly moving over other people figuring them out. So I created Bryn Oh. Bryn Oh has a bit of Emily the Strange in her with a touch of that little kid from the Addams family. She makes Steampunk art and is generally a sandbox hermit. I will talk more about her and my reasons for being in second life in the future and I probably should put up images of my artwork in second life as well.