Saturday, February 27, 2010
Saturday begins the second University of Texas event. The first was about four months ago and was part of Yoko Ono coming into Second Life to open her Imagine peace tower. Yes Yoko Ono is in sl. And yes her avatar looks like herself.
Above is the machinima for my University of Texas build. Its a cam build so you will need to use the ctrl alt left mouse button to find your way around, and unlike other builds they asked for a notecard explaination for the piece.. soooo if you are interested to see how my mind works when I build, then read the notecard. Hope you can come see... below is the official press release.
FULL-SIM ART EXHIBIT EXPLORES OUR HUMANITY ON THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS SIM
FEBRUARY 27, 2010
11am - 1pm - SLT
Humanity - Humane
The ArtSpace at the University of Texas San Antonio opens the much aniticipated new full-sim art exhibit that explores, through creative expression, the state of our Humanity.
14 of SL's most exciting artists have have contributed their works to this important exhibit. We cannot say enough about their talents and gifts and they honor the University with their work.
The exhibit will show at UTSA for several weeks but you will not want to miss the opening! You will have an opportunity to meet and speak with the artists, we will have plenty of original guest gifts, live music, and a great crowd of art lovers and enthusiasts!
Sunday, February 21, 2010
If you were walking down the street in real life past a bronze sculpture, and it suddenly began to walk, talk, spin, replicate itself and do other highly unexpected things, you might run in circles and yell "magic!". In second life we would call it scripting. Selavy Oh is one of my favorite creators, much of the reason for this is due to her wonderful ability to use scripts in her builds. She creates things for second life rather than trying to recreate first life. She sees second life as a medium and constantly pushes what it is capable of.
When I view a piece of art in second life I tend to look at it from the vantage point of what did they do with the medium. Think of it this way. Imagine someone giving you an art studio packed with a wide range of tools to use. In one corner are welding tools and woodwork. There is clay for sculpture, paint and canvas, there are monitors and computers and a stage for performance. There are video cameras and robotics, poetry and at the very front door a pencil and paper to sketch out your preliminary ideas. If you walk into this studio, take the pencil and draw a picture, then declare yourself done, you are just using one small part of what the studio offers you. Finding the balance is what's difficult and Selavy does so perfectly.
Here is one example of what Selavy has done to push the capabilities of the medium. At one point in the machinima I walk out into the water. You will notice that the ground rises almost like a bridge for me. What has happened here is that Selavy has figured out a way to script the ground. She has convinced it to rise a certain amount just for the avatar. Linden Labs didn't supply this script, and its possible they didn't even know it could be done. Selavy created new rules to govern our virtual world. The ground is now a player. Another interesting technique used in her build was that when you sat in a chair on the platform your camera/view would be taken over and shown the build from a perspective that Selavy chose. You are wrenched away from your own comfortable view and are made to see things outside your "body". I really liked this as it was jarring and reinvigorated the build. It was almost a violation to take away ones comfort zone like that. It reduced the feeling of autonomy. And this forces the viewer to be a bit on edge knowing that they are not impervious to the build and merely a viewer like one would be in a first life gallery.
I should probably mention that I used my own sky setting called Bluniverse for the machinima. I know that when I build an environment I often do so under a specific sky setting which I have created myself. Custom skies drastically change the colours within a build and the resulting mood you are trying to convey. When viewing my own work under certain skies, i sometimes cringe because they wash away weeks of planning in the colour composition. So what i want to say is that if you hate the Bluniverse sky and the coldness it lends to the build then its not Selavy but rather me to blame for that.
Friday, February 19, 2010
On saturday I will be showing a video for the Rabbicorn Story at MMIF. It will play at the 3pm sl time slot and will be hosted by Evie Fairchild and CodeWarrior Carling. Machinima grows immensely each year and this event is an example of where it is heading with the movies being shown in first life cinemas. The official press release is below.
Teleport links via http://MMIF.org
Monday, February 15, 2010
A few months ago Rezzable commissioned me to build something for them. What I decided to build was a little narrative I created a few years ago in pen and ink. At the time I was asked to put work into a coffee table book and I decided that I loved pen and ink drawings. Unfortunately I had not worked in that style before so decided to learn how to draw in ink with a nib. Dip a metal pen into india ink and draw. Very old fashioned but I love that stuff. So I picked out my favorite pen and ink / etchers and began to study them. One great resource was victorian fashion books. So as it turned out, I also happened to discover Edward Gorey at the same time. The narrative I created was directly influenced by Gorey. He was fantastic and I have already made his Gashlycrumb Tinies series in prims which you can see the advert here
Anyway, so the build I did for Rezzable is a 3D recreation of my 2D pen and ink drawings. I will put the drawing I did which corresponded to the machinima above, here so you can see what i mean. Each 3D build only comes together from certain camera angles, otherwise they are just a bundle of weird prims.
Strangely, there were some writers who suggested that I was leaving Second Life to go to Open Sim. Next time please just ask me, I think that I am fairly approachable. The conversation would have gone very much like this. Writer: "are you leaving Second Life to go to Open Sim?" Bryn Oh: "no".
The main reason I am posting this right now is that the show might be ending soon. I have hand placed over 10, 000 prims but unfortunately I don't have a copy of the build. I attempted to go into their grid with Imprudence viewer to copy it but the result is that I can no longer get in at all. I was also to get a builder bot to copy it, but unfortunately it is broken. I have tried to get help from Rezzables Foolish Frost but he is unresponsive, so long story short the build is likely gone once the island is closed down again.
If you think you would like to go see it then you will have to go to Rezzable website here and make an account and then go visit by clicking on the red "private grid" button to the left. Oh and there is a sky setting of course. Its at the front where you arrive. Anyway, hope you enjoy the build should you make it over there.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Last year I picked Rezzables "Greenies" sim as one of my favorites. I grumbled a bit because it had been changed for the worse since its original design. You can read my minor grumbles here. One thing I wondered was when someone else would play with scale the same way Greenies had so masterfully done. A year later and we have Mr Scottius Polke an exceptional little otter who doesn't think tiny. That is a pun btw as in second life we have tinies which are ... oh nevermind. What makes his build "mushROOM" even more impressive is that Scottius did all the texturing himself. There are only so many hours in the day and second life has so many disciplines to learn.. scripting, texturing, animations, building, particles etc etc. Where Greenies was a team of fantastic builders such as Light Waves, Littletoe Bartlett and Pavig Lok, Scottius worked alone. I must admit that I have an irrational soft spot for builders who create alone. There are just a handful of them, but often they can compete against the builder "teams".
What is successful about Scottius's work is that it combines many elements to create the whole. At the start of the machinima you see me double click tp onto the desk. Inside the drawers are things to find as well there are humourous titles to the books above. Wandering the build will discover lots of fun things which mirror Scottius's sense of humour. There are also interactive elements such as jumping on the bed or throwing those crumpled up pieces of paper at other people. It has a challenging colour palette yet works perfectly. Its a well crafted fun build and I loved it. I often go to visit galleries and builds in SL and rarely does one come into a place that has a unique feel to it. Scottius's work made me sit up and say "hey wait this is different".
I am unfortunately in a viewer I got a few moments ago and have no idea how to make a slurl yet. Sooo go to the profile of Scottius Polke and in his picks at the top is mushROOM.
Here is the slurl. http://slurl.com/secondlife/Lennox%20Hill/38/165/1009
(also Scottius is a Otter not a Badger)
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
There is a volatile little faerie in Second Life named Colemarie Soleil. She has a wide range of talents including, and not limited to, creating SL fashion, sculpture and machinima. She is a wonderful musician as well as a great writer. One day she mentioned to me that she would be putting on a particle show to music on a great sim called Inspire Space Park created by Raphael Cremorne, Earth Primbee, and Grafx Newbold. She said it so offhand that I nearly didn't go thinking it was just a small thing she didn't really want me to see. I am really glad I did though as it was a mesmerizing hour of particles performing to music. I am not sure if the video did justice to the show, but in many ways it was like being in a dream or fireworks show. There was very little repetition of effects and each was choreographed in real time to the music by Cole as it played. She was like a conductor in an electric circus. It was the first time I had seen someone take particles and use them as the main focus in an art piece let alone a performance. At different points she combined sculpture and prims to ensure that the viewer would not become desensitized to the particles. Just a long enough break to view something different that when removed would have the viewer again hypnotized by the particles. The choice of music, the pacing and variety all worked seamlessly to keep my attention for the entire hour. Once the performance was done Cole gave every person there the entire particle show so they could do it all themselves. It was literally months of creating particles, and she gave them away as though it were nothing. I don't think anyone who received the particles that day truly understood the prize that Cole had given them. Many artists and designers in Second Life would never give away their secrets like that, but to Cole it was done without even a second thought. All these things combined to make Coles particle show number six on my favorite things from last year.