Saturday, August 29, 2009

Rabbicorn closing september first on IBM

The Rabbicorn story closes at IBM 3 on September 1st and I have decided to move it to Immersiva. It was 10 000 prims and I am hoping to pare it down to around 8 000, but it will still force me to delete much of what is on Immersiva right now. If you wish to see the Rabbicorn before I remove it go now because I have a very itchy delete finger atm. Marlen Slazar made a wonderful machinima of Immersiva which captured some of the things which are about to go. Thank you Marlen its really quite beautiful. Its all very sad to me to delete these things and it makes me wonder why open sim allows for 45 000 prims on a sim where second life gives me only 15 000. It seems like open sim might be a better fit for my terrible primmy nature.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tezcatlipoca Bisani


Tez is a really great guy and when I saw his wonderful write up on NPIRL I just felt the need to repost this machinima I made of him as the lead Handsome boy model. The best part of this machinima is that none of them knew what I planned to do with the footage. Such a trusting bunch and so good natured. I am less so.

I promise this is the last time I post this machinima Tez. Ah who am I kidding... I will probably post it again sometime.

The other handsome boy models are Colin Fizgig, Cube Republic and Glyph Graves


Monday, August 24, 2009

Some musings on being irritated

Some musings
A NPIRL in world notice informed me that Keystone Bouchard has been working on some new ideas. I popped over to see what he was up to and he is doing some interesting things. I saw one piece he was working on which is untitled. Its a large metallic textured sculpture reminiscent of the first world site works or site specific movements. As I was looking and moving around it I began to daydream and think of how it relates to real world structures similar to it.

Below to the left is Keystones work and down to the right is a real world site work done by Richard Serra sometime in the 1980's. Richards work is entitled "Tilted arc" and was installed at Foley square in New York. It spans 120 feet (36.5 metres) was 12 feet high (3.6 metres) and weighed 72 tons.

Richard Serras work arguably failed.

What made it fail? It was designed specifically for the square and played off of the original design. This was not a problem. It conceptually dealt with the "Iron curtain" of the time ... not a problem. The problem was that it spanned a well travelled park effectively blocking morning commuters from getting to work. Everyone who had taken this short cut to work suddenly found a massive metal barrier forcing them to find a detour. After a public outcry the piece was removed. The artist had said he purposely wanted to make people have this type of reaction, and yet... his work is gone. I personally would say it failed due to its design and its placement in "reality".

When I looked at Keystones design I was able to fly over and around it. There was no irritation factor and I was easily able to navigate away to view other works. But it made me think about the second life equivalents to this. What are the things which can potentially cause irritation in the viewer with the side effect of them not properly experiencing what you had intended. What is acceptable and what is too much?

I recall going to an art exhibit last year where the original artist had set up his show and had allowed another "performance" artist to do their brand of art. It involved a screen full of chat spam .. some rotating prims with images of dog shit on them and some loud screaming. It was meant to be avant guarde but to me it was just annoying and I left within a minute. As a result I don't remember much about it .. the name of either artist or even what it was meant to be. Some artists like to defend their work by shouting loudly that its really the viewers who are too stupid and lazy to appreciate the deep message they are imparting. People are just not ready for it. Then it becomes one of those things where if you say you don't like it you feel guilty and somewhat a neanderthal.

So what I would like is for you the readers to leave a comment about things which you find annoying in builds. I think it could be very useful to other builders to know about them.

Here are some of the ones that bug me.

-giant towers that are difficult to climb in no fly areas.
-artists who hide things inside their builds so that nobody can find them.

oh wait... that's me.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Carousel of Dreams and Sorrows - The fallen Jethopper

The Fallen Jethopper

I am in the process of remaking Immersiva but its taking me longer than seven days. Its an unpopular choice but here is an explanation of sorts. When I paint a picture I would sometimes find myself afraid to accidentally screw it up. But at the same time I would feel that there was something missing, but not be exactly sure what the problem was. Perhaps I had a new idea I wanted to try but to do so might mess everything up. For example, if i had created a scene over a month with figures around a table, and suppose i wanted to move one figure over a tiny bit or change where he was looking etc then its a huge undertaking and you can quite possibly mess up the entire painting. This is mostly because if you erase something and then realize it was a mistake, then try to recreate the original, its rarely as good as the first attempt. Because the first time you are loose and open and when you recreate you are tighter and it shows. It often loses its spontaneity. So what happens is you have an almost perfect painting which you are afraid of ruining yet you are not 100% happy because you still wonder what might have happened if you tried your other idea. What this all does it keep you from trying new things out of fear of buggering up your work. It can keep you from advancing. I took what my gallery found to be a heartbreaking approach. It actually made one of the gallery owners cry when she was told of it. What I began to do was take my favorite paintings and destroy them. Well not destroy all of them. I buried some in the back yard of an old house i lived in, some were left in alleyways, one is buried under a gas station another is sealed in plastic and on the bottom of a lake. Anyway the point is that if I found myself becoming too attached to one (because you can fall in love with your paintings) then I would force myself to do this. Now whenever I do anything, painting or building in SL, I always advance. I can take something i love and not be afraid to try something which might destroy it, because well.. its better than being on the bottom of a lake. I have not had to do this for a while now and I still fall in love with things i make, I just am now able to suddenly try something new to them without fear. There have been many times when that new idea was an improvement and had i been afraid to take the risk then I would not have learned. Changing Immersiva is a bit like this. I don't feel there is anything wrong with it but I want to try new things. Anyway I realize the burying of my paintings sounds insane so lets move on to the Jethopper.

On the Carousel of Dreams and Sorrows is an empty spot between the Octobot and Seahorse. The Large Jethopper used to sit there. The tiny jethoppers would see him up there each day. They saw him almost as a god. Distant and mysterious. For to them he was unattainable. One day the wind came and blew the Jethopper from the carousel down onto the ground. When the tiny jethoppers came then next day they found him partially in the water. They saw he was rusty and a machine like they were. All the robots of Immersiva were left alone when the theme park was abandoned by man. They all adapt in different ways, some look for companionship and some merely exist. The tiny jethoppers had found hope and meaning on top of a carousel.


A Jethopper

on the ground
broke the silence
with a sound

A chirping question
a mournful call
at the sight of
the Icons fall

Once a remote
brought into focus

Two worlds built
and together fell
from the height of
a Carousel

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I saw a bear!

Ok so I am breaking my rule in keeping out rl. But there is a very good reason. You see on my writing retreat I was lost way up in this deserted area and suddenly this face appeared in the bushes. A moment later this young bear came out and began to walk beside the car. So like any city person who comes across a potentially dangerous animal outside the car... you roll down the window and start filming. In my mind he looked quite friendly and I am pretty sure I could have got out of the car and perhaps ridden on his back for a bit. So in case you can't tell by the movie this bear was about the size of a great dane dog and i was told it would have been around 200Lbs. The adults are much much bigger.

This is where I spent most of my time writing. This is a foggy morning.

Above is a place I tried writing at called cup and saucer. The little angular bit on the hill is where i sat and below is what it looks like up close. That triangular rock is completely natural and quite comfortable to sit on. I am afraid of heights so I was not able to look over the side, in fact i had to sit down most of the time I was up there. I have this weird reaction where even if someone else walks to the edge it makes me sit down. Anyway, I tortured myself for a while trying to work up there, mostly because I liked the idea of writing in this spot more than I actually enjoyed it.

I also found an old abandoned farm house on Manitoulin Island and so it had to be explored. I love exploring abandoned things that have been sitting around for years, I am not so sure I would have went inside this barn had I seen the bear first, but as it turns out nothing lived inside it.

I hear the Brooklyn is Watching show went well and if you saw my work and want to vote for me then go here and do so! Seems DanCoyote Antonelli is way in the lead for this but feel free to vote for me if you liked it.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Brooklyn is Watching final 5 show

I will be away for a week or so on a writing retreat in a cottage on a lake. This is due to an evil slave driver named Georg Jannick who is having me write a chapter on Immersion for a book. Hiding on a remote lake is the only way I will get this done. I think he wanted the rough draft last week. Anyway, while I am gone there will be an opening reception for a potentially exciting event. Below is the press release that Jay Newt has created, and within that release is a picture of us looking like a failed comic book superteam. My superpower is standing for long periods of time without going into "away" mode.
Brooklyn is Watching is a gallery which actively tries to promote SL art. They display work on monitors and each week have a podcast critique of work that has been placed there. Its an interesting event because as artists we place our work there to hear what we hope to be constructive intelligent criticism. But in many ways we listen to the panel to see if they are able to critique us. Are they prepared? have they done any homework? are they merely trying to be entertaining or do they seriously have an understanding of virtual art. Its a new dialogue and the critique is not coming from an old traditional method, but rather from a new perspective almost every week.
The above machinima is of my build for BIW. It is called Willow and tells the story of two robots who hide from salvagers. It is an another experiment in Immersiva, and hopefully those of you who go will find yourself captivated and drawn into this narrative environment. As with any competition there will always be differing views as to who should have been chosen. Everyone has their favorites and they get grumpy when they are not chosen. Personally I am very happy with the final five. DanCoyote Antonelli is one of the first successful artists in second life and is the father of Hyperformalism. Glyph Graves can create organisms and sculpture but also produces new and unique scripts. Selavy Oh is another Hyperformalist and one of my favorite artists in second life. She creates beautiful uncluttered creations which hide elaborate scriptwork. Nebulosus Severine's work is fairly new to me but that which I have seen have been of the finest quality. I look forward to following her work in the future.

Not only will BIW have an event in Brooklyn to showcase sl art in rl, but they will also be at the Second Life convention promoting us there as well. There are those who can see that virtual art may be the next big movement in art history. Brooklyn is Watching is one of those and should be commended for the effort they are making to promote the new frontier in art creation.

Press Contact: Jay Van Buren

“Brooklyn is Watching Best of Year 1: The Final Five”
at Jack The Pelican Presents

Exhibition: Brooklyn Is Watching, Best of Year 1: The Final Five
Artists: Dancoyote Antonelli, Bryn Oh, Nebulosis Severine, Selavy Oh and Glyph Graves
Opening: Friday, August 7, 7–9pm Eastern
Panel discussion: August 15, 6pm
Lecture: August 16, 6pm
Dates:August 7¬–23, 2009
Address:487 Driggs Avenue at N. 9th, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
SL Location: East of Odyssey

Virtual art comes to Brooklyn. Inside the gallery are five monitors, each featuring a virtual copy of the real space occupied by a different virtual artwork. These are “The Final Five,” created for this context by the nominated and elected best of the hundreds of virtual artists who have exhibited in year 1 of Brooklyn is Watching.

The Artists are: Dancoyote Antonelli, Glyph Graves, Bryn Oh, Selavy Oh, and Nebulosus Severine —a diverse bunch, representing very different points of view of what it means to make virtual art. Visitors to this exhibition will have a chance to interact with the works and to vote for the best of the best.

Is virtual art for real? What is the nature of the medium? How do you talk about it? What are its conceptual and social-critical opportunities and limits? These are just some of the questions that Brooklyn Is Watching has been actively asking for the last year and a half.

Brooklyn is Watching is a mixed-reality project created by artist Jay Van Buren, and fleshed out by a rotating crew of collaborators. The stage is based in Second Life. Artists place artworks there to be seen by visitors to the Real Life venue Jack the Pelican Presents gallery—and to have their works discussed by international critics, curators and artists (including Tyler Coburn of Rhizome, and Barbara London of MoMA) in a weekly podcast and blog at The project has been widely discussed and written up in such publications as the New York Times Magazine and the Brooklyn Rail.

Nomination and initial voting, open to the public, narrowed the field to the “30 best”. From there selection to the Final Five was done by an expert panel that included SL art heavyweights: AM Radio, Amy Freelunch, AngryBeth Shortbread, Bettina Tizzy and Sage Duncan.


The final five in front of the virtual gallery. High Rez images available upon request.

The artists have employed a variety of strategies for making virtual art that relates to the virtual version of the real life space:

Nebulosus Severine envelopes the virtual gallery in a luminous fortress-of-solitude-like structure — that is a meditation on the nature of the self.

DanCoyote Antonelli (aka DC Spensley) explodes the metaphor of the virtual gallery by using the building blocks of that illusion as raw material for a dynamic, rhythmic, abstract sculpture stretching up into the sky.

Selavy Oh exploits the intrinsically flexible nature of virtual space by creating an interactive maze of nested, shifting Jack the Pelicans in which she has curated a show within a show featuring artists not selected by the judges.

Bryn Oh has turned the gallery into a ruin of glowing technological fragments infested with digital flora, inviting the viewer into her own idiosyncratic fantasy narrative.

Glyph Graves uses the gallery to show how art is a reflection of its physical and social environment by creating a work that changes based on the number of people viewing it.

In addition to the exhibit of the final five works, the opening night will feature a mixed reality installation by filmmakers Bianca Ahmadi and Juan Rubio. Jack the Pelican Presents will also host a panel discussion and lecture on the topic of digital and virtual art. The panel discussion will be held on August 15th at 6:00 PM and features Lori Landay, Stacey Fox and Pavig Lok. The lecture by Jerry Paffendorf will be on August 16th at 6:00 PM.

For more information, please contact Jay van Buren at or 785-220-2344 and visit our blog at

Jack the Pelican Presents is a trendsetting Williamsburg gallery specializing in contemporary art.

Second Life® is the most popular online virtual world. Peak concurrent users just topped 88,000 and over 700,000 people regularly log in. Over 120 million real dollars changed hands inside Second Life® in the first quarter of 2009, some of it spent on virtual art.


Popcha! BIW’s premier sponsor provides hosting for the website, the original build of the BIW space, and the scripting for the project’s avatar, Monet Destiny.
Popcha! is a boutique media technology agency focused on making virtual worlds work for its clients. As one of Second Life’s ® first Gold Solution Providers, Popcha! has been been singled out as a highly qualified provider who has demonstrated a high level of client satisfaction and has developed successful projects on behalf of businesses, governments, educational institutions, and other business organizations in Second Life.

The University of Kansas Department of Visual Art is providing the SL sim for the 30 Best Show and the main Brooklyn Is Watching space is now being hosted on the department’s Impermanence research sim.
Located in Lawrence, Kansas, The University of Kansas is a member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design and is a Research 1 University. The Department of Visual Art is comprised of 30 full time professors who teach painting, sculpture, printmaking, new media, ceramics, textiles, metals and art education, and has impressive studio space.

Odyssey is providing the SIM for the Final Five show.
Odyssey is a simulator in the virtual world of Second Life® (SL) dedicated to contemporary art and performance. Providing services for artists and arts organizations, the aim is to experiment and work on art in a virtual 3D context and to explore the specific conditions under which art in a virtual world takes place. Odyssey artists and performers explore and experiment with this medium as a tool for art production and art environment. It is less a matter of importing existing art forms – they are interested in pushing the SL medium in new directions and exploring its full potential in a professional manner and to develop new forms out of the context of art history and in a critical view on the SL medium.

Tekserve provided us with the computer that visitors use at the gallery.
Tekserve is a privately held company with over 200 employees, operating in New York City and serving clients worldwide. Tekserve was founded in 1987 by David Lerner and Dick Demenus to provide service for customers needing Apple computer repairs at reasonable prices. Having met that need, they were encouraged to expand the business to offer Macintosh sales and consulting services as well.

VOOS is providing seating for the gallery.
VOOS was founded on the exciting philosophy of exploring the rich creative pool of New York City Furniture Designers. A hybrid of store, showroom, and a meeting point for local designers and design-lovers, VOOS is an address where locally made unique furniture: always fresh and sizzling with energy, is celebrated with a bi-monthly renewed inventory, an ever-expanding designer list, and fun events to keep the design community connected and happy!

Brooklyn Brewery is our exclusive beer sponsor.
Brooklyn Brewery is the first successful commercial brewery in New York City since Schaefer and Rheingold closed their doors in 1976. Today, The Brooklyn Brewery is among America’s top 40 breweries, and Brooklyn Lager is among the top draft beers in New York City.

Brooklyn is Watching Collaborators Past and Present: Stacey Fox, Beth Harris, Boris Kizelshteyn, Norene Leddy, Jenna Spevack, Amy Wilson, Steven Zucker

Special thanks to Dekka Raymaker for his help creating the virtual Jack the Pelican Presents, and to Penumbra Carter and Sage Duncan for their work on Machinima for the Exhibition. Thanks to Catherine Garnier for installation design and video editing.

Brooklyn is Watching 2009 Interns: Kristen Galvin, Elena Lauren Levis, Nicole Sansone, Walter Scott.