Thursday, December 31, 2009

10 - White noise by Mosmax Hax

10 - "White Noise"
by Mosman Hax
This was perhaps the most difficult choice for my top ten picks.  And that is mainly because it references whole movements and concepts from art history in the "real world", and I personally like things made for the virtual world that are looking to create new concepts unique to this medium.  So lets look back at how White Noise connects to the art concepts from the past and how it might fit into Second Life.

Art history stretches across time and periodically we have people who change the way we see art and even how we define it.  Technical skills in colour theory, composition, anatomy etc all progressed to towering peaks of achievement.  Some artists rose to the top who were one of a kind talents with skills that could not be matched.  There was a definable measuring stick to understanding and appreciating art.  In 1917 Marcel Duchamp submitted "Fountain" (which is the the urinal above) to a New York show.  He took an everyday object and designated it as a work of art, simply because he as an "artist" submitted it.  He wanted to have the viewer look past its purpose as a urinal and see it for its design elements.  It was scorned yet influenced many artists since that time.  Some even say that much of the art of today lacks concept, beauty, technique and overall finish as a result of Duchamp.  For example, an elephant at my local zoo smeared paint on a canvas using its trunk to hold the brush.  The paintings are called art and were sold. Everything is now art and as a result the term "art" has lost all its meaning.

People such as Andy Warhol played with the idea of taking both a very recognizable image (Marilyn Monroe) and through repetition desensitized the viewer to its loaded image.  Or conversely he took everyday items (Campbell soup cans) and turned them into something special beyond how we normally perceive them.  The act of using the cans in the piece made them "art".  Mosmax Hax's work "White noise" plays on these concepts.  He takes ready made / found objects from Second Life and places them in an environment where they lose their identity and purpose.  However, to me, it speaks a bit differently when done in Second Life.  You see, the objects he uses in the build are things which merely look like objects from real life.  The skate board is shaped to look like something we recognize from RL.  In second life it does nothing.  It contains no script and is no more rideable than prim hair.  This creates a new level to question function.  What is also interesting to me is that we are in a time when people ask as to whether what we do here in Second life is actually art.  Sadly we can call the work of an elephant art, yet people still fear to embrace this medium.  That's fine.  With the Daguerrotype came photography and it was dismissed as not being art.  Film arrived and it too was dismissed.  None today would question whether they are art.
     So, what I kind of like, is that White Noise came into Second Life existence and just by being here is already questioned as to whether its art.  But it also models itself under the found art / ready made art movement which itself was dismissed as not being art.  So I guess I will sum it up this way.   If white noise is meant to be a stand alone build based off the ready made movement from first life then I like it, but it would not have made my top ten.  If it is, on the other hand, meant to play on the new concepts of what second life art is as a medium, then I like it even more and its my ten for 2009.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Elevensies part two

So when looking at all the builds coming up remember that they all originated with the basic prims below.

Linden Labs gives us the ground we walk on and these basic shapes.  From here we create.  That is, in a way, what I love most about building here.  The challenge in using these simple shapes to create whatever we can dream up.

     Tricia Farella:  Tricia's build gave me the impression of being inside a snow globe.  There were a few things which I found to be very successful in her build.  One was the sculpted water whose varying elevations gave the impression of roiling seas.  The other was her splitting up of the vessel into two parts where each side moved with something like a rocking chair script.  Doing it this way made it really feel like the seas were twisting the boat about. Playing with different sky settings changed the feel of the build as well.  I filmed it in a foggy setting which also worked nicely. 

     Testors Luik:  Testors kitten is insufferably cute but also a fantastic build.  When you first take it out you name it and it then it imprints on you.  With an elaborate hud you can let her run wild or stay by you or do a variety of other things.  If she runs wild she will occasionally come back to check you are still there and perhaps encourage you to come play.  You can feed her, bathe her throw balls for her to play with etc (if there are a few around they will all chase the ball or eat the food).  She can sit on your shoulder and will come with you if you teleport to another region, and if the perms are right you can let her down again at the new location.  So great scripting.  Next is the animations.  There are quite a few and each is very well made.  It does not use the same animation over and over and in some cases i have found her asleep off to the side after i have left her running about.  I am sure there are quite a few things she does that I have not even discovered yet. Now I just need one that is grey and checkered for Immersiva.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Elevensies part one


     I would like to thank all of you who went to the Art 21 blog  to comment on the article for second life art.
We managed to bring the server down and set a record for most comments on an article.  The purpose was to let them know there is a great deal of interest in Second Life art and I think we did that because they have now asked Nettrice Gaskins to do monthly features on Second Life art.  See, we can make a difference if we put our mind to it.

     Here is the first of two machinima capturing some of my favorite builds from 2009 that didn't make the top ten, but which I still wanted to show.  It was really hard for me to pick the top ones this year and some of these elevensies were bouncing back and forth inside the top ten.  Again I should mention that this list is just my personal favorites from the last year and I am quite aware that there are tons of fantastic builds out there that I don't even know exist.  I am a bit of a hermit in second life and every once in a while I venture out and discover something wonderful that may only be wonderful to myself.  So what I am saying is don't send me a message saying "hey! how could you place this over that!?!?" or "Why isn't this on the list? are you insane!".  If you do then I am going to hire some kind of scripter assassin to hurt your avatar.  I will write a short little blurb on why I liked each of these first three Elevesies and save the longer write ups for the top 10.

Marcus Inkpen:  Marcus in RL is a B movie actor in those really bloody hack and slash movies.  He is often the first person killed and generally goes in a disgusting manner.  He is also a exceptional illustrator and has done work for Heavy Metal magazine.  I don't know Marcus well other than he is a great guy and seeing his work at Burning Life was pretty much my first contact with his work.  What I really liked was his fine texturing.  He doesn't just throw on a texture but really creates something that fits the surface.  Also his work gave me the impression that something was happening, something to discover.

Igor Ballyhoo:  Igor is another new artist to me.  I saw this work at a show being set up by Aurakyoo Insoo and was mesmerized.  Igor tells me that this work was set to Contrapunctus a reworking of a lost Bach song.  For me this one somehow summed up the way I subconsciously see virtual worlds.  Like seeing all the code inside the petal of a flower.

Elizabeth Tinsley:  I don't know Elizabeth at all and I stumbled across her build at NMC.  I was in a fairly miserable mood that day as there was a hater stalking and annoying me while I was there.  I managed to escape the hater and hid in this build.  I was really surprised and enchanted by all the laughing that was triggered as you walked through it.  It instantly put me in a good mood and it made me realize that its pure simplicity was its strength.  Its just a grove of flowers full of laughter, and I loved it.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Future of mass media in Amsterdam

 Below is an event which Chantal Harvey has put together.   It looks great! 

This weekend the NIMk organises a real life event about the future of mass media, in Amsterdam .
For this, I was asked to produce a one hour television compilation of mayor art machinima. Not an easy task, as there are so many. The tape will be broadcasted on TV, and it was suggested that I will be organising this as a monthly event. Exciting as this is my main goal: to bring machinima to the world so it can be recognised for what it is: the future of mass media.
Some of the artists names:
Cisko Vandeverre, ColeMarie Soleil, Tom Jantol, Lainy Voom, Osprey Therian, Fau Ferdinand, Arthole, Second Front, Philip Rice, Richard Grove, Bryn Oh, and the MMIF compilation as showed in SLCC 2009, and some of my own work.
The best of ART Machinima, compiled by Peter Krapp (us) and Chantal Harvey (NL)
Lets talk machinima! The word MACHINIMA is a combination of 2 words: cinema and machine.
Basically, it is making movies in virtual platforms like Second Life, World of Warcraft, Moviestorm, Sims, Halflife, Google Earth. 3 D-filmmaking techniques are applied within computer generated games. Machinima works have already been recognized at Cannes and other big international festivals.

This is the link to the full announcement (updated):

The Netherlands Media Art Institute

Other links:


Media Playgrounds Friday:
De Hoeksteen Live!
Masters of Media , Universiteit van Amsterdam

(we are the third event on the bar (white logo) after DISH.

Livestream of the event on Saturday:
Best regards,
Chantal Harvey

Monday, December 7, 2009

Bryn's favorite builds #2-1 2008

And here are my favorite two builds from last year top 10 thingy.  If you would like to know why I chose them then click the links below.  And please ignore that one link says Madcow Cosmos, I can't seem to get rid of that.

And next week I will begin showing the first of two Elevensies videos of five things that just slipped out of my top 10.  Some of them I still wonder if they should have knocked out a few of the top 10's.  I am only going to write a paragraph about each choice and leave the more elaborate write ups to the top 10's who will start early in January.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Bryn's top 10 favorite second life builds. Last years .....

    Starting in January I will begin counting down my top 10 favorite second life builds from last year.  But before I do, I am going to post my favorites from 2008.  I have condensed them into two machinima this one.. which is #5-3 and I will post #2-1 a bit later.  Then after that I will post my Elevensies which are those that I really liked but fell just outside the top 10.  Now remember that these are just my personal favorites and I am not suggesting they are the greatest works made over the last year, nor the greatest artists.  In fact some of my favorite artists are not even in the top 10 because their body of work is fantastic but they didn't have one single work that pushed its way into the top ones.  Its like Radiohead, they might be my favorite band but I am not sure that if I made a top 10 favorite songs list that they would even have one in it.  If you wish to see the reasons why I picked these three above then click the link to last years post below.

The machinima is a bit dated as I was just learning how to do it at this time last year.  In fact I even left the hud showing which is kind of annoying.  But the best way to really appreciate them is to go see them in person.