Sunday, March 29, 2009

#1 Tryptofaa Sands Tornado

Bryn Oh's favorites

#11 Madcow Cosmos - unfinished build

Over the past little while I have been posting my favorite builds in Second Life. Someone had said to me recently that their location gets more traffic than some of the ones on my list. That's nice... but you see this is a list of things I like. Its not meant to be a definitive list of any sort beyond a list of Bryn Oh's favorite builds. I should also mention that there are a great many artists in second life who didn't have a specific thing make the list, but have an impressive overall body of work. Had I tweaked the list to "my favorite creators in sl" it would have easily made the list quite different.

I met Tryptofaa Sands quite a while ago at Rezzable sandbox (when Rezzable had one). We chatted for a bit then I built a giant castle wall. We then both built a catapult and began to launch our avatars at it while sitting on a cannonball. This is how people make friends in second life. Another way to make friends is to suck them up in a Tornado. This is exactly what happened the next time I went to Rezzable Sandbox. He chased me down and sucked me up. This was one of those moments where I thought to myself "wow I didn't realize you could do this in sl". I have only spoken to Tryptofaa a dozen times since then but the Tornado never left my mind.

Why did the Tornado get #1 on my list? The main reason is that his tornado incorporates most of what second life offers a builder to use. Let me describe all the elements Tryptofaa put into this build. The Tornado itself is a nice build all grey and twisty as we would expect, but he has added an expanding black storm cloud which spreads out from the top. He has also built a hud for the user. It has options such as particle rain or snow. Some nice lightning effects as well as controls as to whether you wish it to have the ability to suck people up. It also has a setting where it spews forth debris. The debris is quite funny as it has everything from telephone poles to cows shoot out of it. So just as it is you have a tornado with special effects. A nice build just like this. However, he has also added scripts which allow you to build a structure and script it so that it will be affected by the tornado. In the machinima above the structure is one I built. It has scripts in each prim which tell it to do a variety of things in relation to the Tornado.
So all together we have a finely crafted build. A build that interacts with other avatars. A build that allows the owner to create something which will be affected by the tornado. And a build that all allows you to constantly think up new ideas for ways to use it. For other pieces on the list I have connected artistic values to them to describe why I liked them. Everything from colour, form and composition. This build doesn't win for any of these reasons. It wins because it is a build for second life. Sl doesn't necessarily need the same dialogue as the real world to succeed.

Lately there has been some real life interest in jpegs on a prim. Reporters come to second life not really understanding it and are impressed by real life artists who are using second life to market their work. That's fine, I have nothing against people who try to market their real life work in second life. In fact its a great idea. Surviving as an artist is very hard so do whatever it takes. Having said this, I have to say that if second life has the potential to be the next frontier in art, it will not be by jpegs on a prim. There are a handful of embedded journalists in second life who have the means to promote second life fringe art. Yet we have real life journalists make an account, attach their prim hair firmly to their arse and write a surface article. We need people to showcase the revolutionary Art being created here. We can't just rely on NPIRL and Brooklyn is Watching. They work tirelessly at this but we now need the readers and residents to do their part. And remember, the average resident knows far more about second life than a reporter wandering in. A reporter looks for stairs to get to the second level of a building. So if you agree with me then please promote those builders on my list or those you think should be on my list.

Oh and if you would like your own Tornado to make friends with then go to Tryptofaas store

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I bumped into Spiral Walcher the other day and he showed me some of his new work. Here is a little video of them. I found them mesmerizing and beautiful. Spiral has been making these things and pretty much just putting them away afterwords. So I gave him a good prodding andAlign Center he has placed them in a few venues for people to see.
One place we put them is in an old building at Ryder Asylum. Yes this is the same place I used to have my secret store. For some reason I have a fondness for this place. I think its because it reminds me of an abandoned mental asylum I once explored in rl with my friends. I used to be in this Urban Infiltration group where you go explore abandoned or forgotten areas. I am getting sidetracked but here is the place I explored. Whitby Psychiatric Hospital Actually, I will talk about this for a moment as it was really fun. So in Urban Infiltration you generally research the place you plan on exploring. For example, in Toronto there is an abandoned subway stop called Lower Bay. The subways don't even go past it but you can get there if you do some fairly stupid things like run down the subway tracks. Doing the research tells you how much risk you want to take to see these things. I was not keen on running on the subway tracks but for the Asylum it was more about getting past security. Security was an old man and his dog. He occasionally would wander the perimeter to make sure people didnt go in. By listening to other peoples experiences you would learn that he was willing to chase you a bit but if you got into a building and ran into the tunnels he lost interest. One of those shake fist and yell "damn kids!" types. The key to enjoying this is to get yourself a headlamp and more importantly bring your friends who get creeped out by places like this. We went down some tunnels and found a morgue. We huddled around in the dark smoking cigarettes and were constantly hearing spooky sounds while being pleasantly excited and scared. The place was huge. I remember finding a bowling alley underground. It was from around 1920 or so and was made of beautiful wood. I think there were around 6 lanes too!. Its just so fun to turn a corner and come across something like a bowling alley in the dark. Its both surreal and spooky. Sadly, they have since tore it down and put in a subdivision.
Anyway, back to Spiral. Here are some slurls to his cool Glowy McGlowglows. When he comes back online i will add a few more.

Rockcliffe gardens

Spiral's Galaxy (Ryder asylum)

Mod Hotter

Tunnel of Light

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

#2 Bogon Flux


#11 Madcow Cosmos - unfinished build
#10 Spiral Walcher - "Tunnel of Light"
#9 Ub Yifu's Avatar
#8 Jojorunoo Runo - "Pervy Room"
#7 Madpea - "Swamp Hotel"
#6 Nonnatus Korhonnen - Needlebirds
#5 Light Waves - "Night Dreaming"
#4 AM Radio - "The Far Away"
#3 Rezzable - Greenies

#2 - Blotto Epsilon and Cutea Benelli - "Bogon Flux"

Warning, warning, bogon flux is rising”. If you have heard this then it means you have triggered someones Bogometer. A Bogometer detects bogus statements. Bogon Flux is the measure in the speakers field of bogosity. I think I got that right.
So when I was making this machinima blotto was wandering around the United States in a bit of a grumpy mood and Cutea Benelli was considering making a stuffed prim version of Blotto so that she could continue throwing out ideas and concepts to him while he was away. They sound like a wonderful team. They fit right in there among great collaborators such as Doulglas Story/Desdemona Enfield and Dizzy Banjo/Poid Mahovlich. Speaking of Poid, she pushed Blotto to build this for Second Life's version of Burning Man, Burning Life. Blotto then approached Cutea and we were given Bogon Flux.
Bogon Flux, to me, is the greatest collaboration ever created in second life. It has almost everything. Here is how it works. Or how I think it works anyway. Bogon Flux begins with a main building on the ground. Its like the trunk and roots to the build. From this trunk different sections are rezzed into being, but rezzed randomly. Each time the Bogon Flux builds itself it does so fresh. So over time it slowly builds up ... roots.. trunk .. branch.. twig.. leaf and sometimes it decides it doesn't like a branch so it is ejected in favour of something else. After building itself for a while it will then release all its parts to float off in order to begin again.
The scripting art within this build is absolutely wonderful. Not just for the workings of the tree itself but the attention to detail. When something is added to the tree there is often smoke.. sometimes flames. Not the same same thing each time. And that is a very important part to this build. Its variation. The viewer doesn't watch the build for 10 min and see all it is going to offer. I was constantly finding new branches that i had not seen before being created. Each quite interesting in its own way and very well crafted. Fantastic textures and builds. I often went inside the build to find little details lovingly crafted to a high level of detail.
I am not a particularly good writer nor machinimator and in reading over what I have written I really dont think I am doing this build justice. So here is the location.
Bogon Flux

and here is a much better machinima by Mescaline Tammas


Tuesday, March 10, 2009


I was asked to make a build to demonstrate
Immersiveness for Georg Jannick. This build will
be featured in a real life art show at the University of Massachusetts in Boston in april of 2010. And should they receive a grant from the Warhol foundation this art show will travel for a year and will also feature a book. The book will have different chapters dealing with concepts related to second life. Each upcoming build will be headed by an artist and focusing on a single concept. My build is on Immersion.

The build I have made is a performance on a science facility. Its a bit like a play. Nonnatus Korhonnen and Glyph Graves contributed two fine creatures for the build and so far everyone has enjoyed it immensely.

Unfortunately, the build has only 6 shows of 10 avatars over three weeks. This is mainly because the build must perform lag free and having too many avs would ruin it due to the lag created. Also Nonn and Glyph are Australians which makes them on the opposite side of the world to me. This makes it extremely hard to get online together for shows. Soooooooo...

I am making the final weekend of shows open to those who find a ticket on immersiva. There are two shows with 20 spots available. What you are looking for is the wonka bar above which Tezcatlipoca Bisani gave me. Inside is the invite and a password to give me. Whoever finds them and gives me the password before i change it will be in. Send me your name and the password in a notecard.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

An Avatar as an extention to our Art

I was reading the catalogue for Rinascimento Virtuale 2008 the other day and came across something Dan Coyote Antonelli wrote about how he sees himself in Second Life.

"Dan Coyote's costume is intended to be simple and low bandwidth, placing the emphasis on work outside the avatar"

I understand what Dan is saying and I think it makes a great deal of sense. He does not want to get caught up with distracting elements outside of what he is focusing on, which is his art. I respect Dan's opinion, however, I find that I see creating art in second life in a completely different manner. My Avatar is an extension of my artwork, not separate.

You see, in Second Life we have been given the unique ability to create what people see when they look at us. In real life we don't have the same flexibility. So when I created Bryn Oh I saw her as someone who will be tied to what I make. She is another canvas. But for me she goes much further. For example, when I create in Second Life I build off the colour wheel. For my particular taste I am fond of colour harmony. I like it when the vast majority of colours in my builds are variations of a set of colours. In creating this way I am able to create a more soothing atmosphere where there are few contrasting areas. But should I wish to make something a focal point for the viewer I need only make it of a colour outside the section of the colour wheel i have chosen to use. If everything has a bit of green in it and I place an object that is red.. the red will become a focal point because it is different and stands out to the viewer. The eye is naturally drawn to it. So when looking at the colour wheel we can create harmonic combinations using dyads, triads,tetrads and hexads off of the wheel. So what I mean by this is that when looking at the wheel two diametrically opposed colours are complementary. Creating shapes such as triangles and squares within the circle will create harmonious combinations. Anyway, this is probably quite boring to read so let me show how Bryn Oh lives within her creations.

In each case you can see that I fit into the environment. Should you look up to the colour wheel you will see the vast majority of colours i am using are found within the blue section. I also use alot of grey because its fairly neutral and will absorb surrounding colours into it.
Actually now that I am on this, I should mention a related problem with Brooklyn is Watching sim. It is a open gallery where people place their creations for a panel of varying artists critique them. The overriding colour on the sim is an almost neon green. If you work on a piece using this type of colour theory and place it in BIW then you are suddenly forced to include a very strong green into your composition. Suppose your composition is a sculpture of all subtle greens meant to be in a field of red roses. It was built by you to stand out due to its contrast with the roses. Once its placed outside this environment into BIW it will suddenly lose its strength and disappear into the green of the sim. So when building it is essential to know where your creation will be exhibited. What I always had to do if i put something there was to build a barrier around my creation so that the green didn't affect it. Whats the alternative? well go in a gallery and check out the walls. They are always white. White doesn't affect most colour compositions. Even better is neutral grey. Anyway, I seem to have gone off on a tangent. For me the avatar is an added canvas. It is something that you create specifically and talks about you as a person. It is not an afterthought to what I create but an equal part in some cases. I also don't want to be distracted by outside influences when I create. So I am not an aka. No matter how successful I become in second life I will never reap any gains in my real life. This means I wont create things in a quest for real life fame. Just some thoughts.