Monday, April 27, 2009

7 backspaces

This is a recent build on Immersiva called 7 backspaces. I recently wrote the poem and decided to build a set for it as well. I will likely hide this machinima on Immersiva for click happy people to find. I have really become interested in combining a variety of elements into each build now. Each one generally has a story, music, sound, environment,sky preset and now machinima. All the while combining composition, colour theory, elements of mystery and a freedom for the viewer to interpret on thier own. To me its important not to tell someone a story but to let them know there is one and give the opportunity to interpret with their own creativity. I think being told a story is a bit passive in regards to interaction. A movie can tell us a story while we sit back and passivly listen, but I think SL can offer more. But seeing as I tend to hide everything it is important for the build itself to be able to stand on its own should nobody find its secrets. When the poem starts in the final part of the machinima I have spliced together some sounds to accompany the poem. Please don't mistake this for part of Godspeed you Black Emperor's music and hopefully It doesnt butcher the machinima too much.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


This machinima is found by clicking the poem in front of the steamclock. The idea was to create something out in the water to draw ones attention. Those who know that I tend to hide things will probably click on the poem and see this movie. The machinima shows the hidden jellyfish room waiting below with a hint on how to open the door to get inside. A big part of Immersiva for me is to make things that only a very few will find. The overall build stands on its own should people not find any of the hidden stories nor put in the sky setting but like an onion, when peeled to see the inside layers some of us are brought to tears. Most of the poems I write here are very personal to me but I hope that people are able to enjoy them. I kind of think of them as a form of cyberpoetry related to our shared experience in the digital disposable world. Anyway, hope you enjoy. Oh and I got a spacenavigator for my birthday yesterday yay! should help my machinimas.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Milkweed Tree

This is a build at Immersiva called Milkweed Tree. I had found a milkweed over the winter in a park not too far from me. It was brittle and dead but still had most of its seeds.

Here it is! ---------------------------------------------->

For those of you who don't know this plant, the milkweed is the main food of the Monarch butterfly. It has a nasty white milk inside which tastes terrible but makes the Monarch also taste terrible to its predators. Don't ask how I know the milk tastes terrible.

Anyway, what I really wanted to talk about is the song used in the machinima. I was incredibly flattered when ColeMarie Soleil took a poem I wrote and turned it into this song. She really is an amazing talent. But beyond her musical abilities she also pretty much makes a machinima a day. Here are her machinima Rockerfaerie and below is the poem.

Should you wish to find the machinima in world then click on the firefly shown at the beginning.

I watched you leave me

A year ago this dawn
But I have rusted gears
So I can't move on

I wanted to tell you
How I felt that day
I searched my software
For something to say

You left me for
Emotions true
Now I will forever search
For someone like you

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Spiral vs ColeMarie

I went to see Spiral Walcher's Eternity in a day build and made this machinima. The build was great. ColeMarie Soleil was there and being the particle princess that she is, was able to fit in and more than hold her own in the huge build. It was mesmerizing. Go check it out its a bit like being in an itunes screen saver.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Condo's in Heaven (part two)

Click on the high quality setting third button from right
This is a shorter version of the Condo's machinima

The second part of the build takes
place in one of the residences built for
Heaven. In the machinima I make my way over to it but stop in the middle to look at a overturned shopping cart with a swarm of Beetlebots hovering over it. The Beetlebots have a somewhat elaborate story in my mind. Here it is.

In this future the society has placed the man made concept of consumerism over nature. The belief that an ever-expanding consumption of goods is essential to its economy drives policy rather than sustainable development or natures natural ability to heal itself. A result is the extinction of animals within the food chain as their habitat is harvested.
This would unbalance the food chain and result in chaos. For example, in Canada we have cycles where Foxes will get mange and die. The Rabbit population will explode due to a lack of predators. The following season the remaining Foxes will have a Rabbit buffet and grow in numbers until the Rabbits become scarce. Etc Etc. So should the Rabbit or Fox become extinct it would have a huge effect all along the food chain. In this future they might build mechanized foxes to keep the numbers of Rabbits down should the living Fox become extinct.
That is what the Beetlebots are to me. A replacement within the food chain. But its also an introduced species to Heaven. I think of them as arriving accidentally to Heaven within a crate of designer dog clothes or something. Its their Australia. They just slowly multiply and become an irritation. Beetlebots are the pests of Heaven I suppose. The overturned shopping cart is self explanatory.

From here we move on to the residence in Heaven. The architectual designers had the job of making a residence that was a nice shape which would allow a bunch of houses to be wedged into a small area for maximum profit. They also had to design something which would still allow people to imagine themselves in a paradise. Actually I would love to see how real life architects such as DB Bailey or Scope Cleaver would make a house in Heaven under these restrictions. Anyway, with this in mind I made the first portion of the house a mandatory area for advertising. You are not allowed to remove the advertising and essentially are a captive audience to the various companies with stakes in Heaven. But they only get your front hall. Like I mean fuck we do have our limits don't we? However, advertising under your pillow with a whispering machine would be handy too. From here I walk forward and am surprised by a glowing electro ball falling beside me. This came from the eye candy above. Modern art worthy of a home in Heaven. A sort of water fountain of the future. On the desk are a few things to create depth in the build. The first is a newspaper with a variety of recent stories about the conflict between Earth and Heaven. I will just post one page as an example at the bottom. If you click on the tape recorder you will hear, after a moment of loading, the voice of an old man. These recordings are taken from micro cassettes bought at a garage sale. The old man would tape messages to his son and mail them off to him. I found them poignant. Somehow sad. I imagined the old man who had a son that he always thought of and whos life still revolved around him. But the son quite likely is caught up in his own busy life, maybe not even listening to the tapes. In the drawer is a letter from their grand daughter. It is addressed only to Grandma. The man in the recording has passed away. Yet is already in Heaven. The build Condo's in Heaven is an ongoing idea for me. I may over time add more buildings which help to further tell the story of when the human race conquered Heaven, or it may live in my inventory. Go see it because I really don't know if it will come out again. If you ask to see it after its gone I am just going to orbit you.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Condos in Heaven

Full Screen Machinima
for Condos in Heaven

Condo's in Heaven is a build I thought up last year for Burning Life. It is currently being shown at the University of Kentucky sim curated by the wonderful Tezcatlipoca Bisani. It is up for another week or so and I thought I would make a machinima of it before it floats off into cyberspace.

Condos in Heaven is about what might happen should the human race find a physical way to reach Heaven. In my story we decide to take Heaven and harvest its resources. In this future we own technology which make the miracles in the Bible seem rather tame. We dont see Heaven as sacred and the only obstacle in going to war is in convincing the population of Earth to forget what Heaven once represented. Propaganda desensitizes us to the defeat of Heaven and soon after the war we are rebuilding it for our own use.
The first building we see in Heaven is a store selling Angel wings and Halos. There is a father and son shopping for wings. The son is shyly pointing to a pair he likes while the shopkeeper looks on. Behind the cash register are a bunch of adverts and flyers. Each was made in a lighthearted fashion but with a deeper darker message under the surface. They are meant to give depth to the story by describing the society which exists at this time.

Many people come to the build without ever finding a secret door
off to the side of the room. I love this
aspect as some leave the build under
the impression it s a lovely fairy tale
with a view similar to the father and
boy shopping for the wings.
However, those who find the secret door
discover a back room where surgery
removes the wings from angels as
product for the store. The father and
son are not evil they merely do not think too deeply on where these wings come from.

As you can imagine real estate in
Heaven would be quite expensive. But even more pricey would be an
original set of angel wings. There is
after all only one Gabriel or Puriel. The wings have become status symbols for the wealthy. They wear them like you would a tie. Only these are surgically implanted. Above the shop is a captured angel as advertising for the store. She is chained and in her hand and heart she holds a tiny bee. The bee symbolized to me the relationship between Heaven and Earth. Many a beekeeper has been stung while looking on their colony with pride.

This society is one which hides the need to carry around a personal gas mask by making them into a trendy accessory. Its a society where they Retelevise their children in order to addict them to television so they can have more free time to themselves.
It a place where we have channels like
Positive News Plus+ which numerically rate the discomfort a news story might have, and allows us to set the level we are willing to acknowledge.

I loved the way Tez described it so I will repost it here.

Bryn Oh's works are artifacts from an alternate future, an apocalyptic universe where desperate mothers upload their dying children into cyborg bodies only to be beset by righteous mobs, children's rhymes warn against impending robot attack and tiny gear-driven insects engage in the ancient and universal struggle to survive. Superficially the story ought to be familiar to anyone who has so much as glanced at a work of speculative fiction, a cautionary tale in a dystopian setting. But Bryn and her work are never what they seem. The surface is worth seeing, but a closer look rewards the curious and the patient.

Formally these works are elegant and flowing; Bryn's faceless metal bodies often hold more energy than the avatars of her audience. But while the surface is lovely to see and the subject matter might skirt the edges of the obvious (An immersive virtual world provides a space to explore the post human dichotomy? Who would have thought?) there is more than meets the eye. These works are almost all presented as cyphers, vessels with secret compartments containing clues with evocations which open more secret doors.

Bryn's works are infinitely more intriguing for this layering. Spend a moment exploring and you will find hidden buttons that play sounds, poems that include clues which lead you on a hunt for more clues, works hidden within works. Given this, it is perhaps not surprising that Bryn herself is a cypher - an avatar for a storyteller, but also an individual who exists online not as an artist, but as a refugee from a universe where mothers really do sacrifice their children to technology, and angels are dismembered for their parts. In this universe, we embrace the synthetic in the most beautiful sadness, not for play or pleasure, but as a last act of survival in a brutal world of gears and rust. In this hertzian space our saviors come in digital form (if they come at all) and mourning is the same as standby mode. Cold comfort is the best we can expect, and for all this we encounter moments of tender humanity that are oddly comforting. In this sense Bryn is not a storyteller so much as a tour guide, a documentarian of her own raw autobiography, from a place where the robots are real.

Tezcatlipoca Bisiani - Cambridge MA, January 2009.

I will talk about the second building in Heaven on my next post. But should you wish to view this build then please put in these special sky presets which Tez has made pdf directions to do.

Sky settings

And I would like to thank the University of Kentucky and
Tezcatlipoca Bisani for wanting to exhibit this build
in the first place.

here is the SLURL to the build.
Condos in Heaven at University of Kentucky

Sorry for the weird layout
Blogger lets me set it all up
then proceeds to put it
up the way it likes.

Clicking on the pics
will enlarge them
I just discovered