Saturday, June 26, 2010

Linden Endowment for the Arts at SL7B


 This wonderful machinima by Chantal Harvey shows the LEA location at the SL7B event.  It has occurred to me I have not posted here that I was asked to be in a committee called The Linden Endowment for the Arts or LEA.  Essentially Linden Labs have been criticized for years for not helping the arts in Second Life, in addition many have called for them to make an effort to catalogue and preserve great artworks.   So they asked each of us in the list below to be on a committee to help with the arts in SL.  We are not being paid nor do we receive any special treatment.  In fact its somewhat detrimental to be on the committee as I will not even attempt to have my own works preserved through the LEA as it may appear corrupt to do so.    Why am I worried about corruption?  Well I did a search to see if people were encouraged by this new committee and discovered that I am quite naive.  Some bloggers are suggesting we have 70+ sims and are going to hand them out to our friends.  Some believe we are puppets or are currently working under the radar to do nefarious things,  whatever they may be.
   I am not speaking for the LEA, this is merely my blog which I am chatting on.  My personal perspective is that perhaps we can strengthen the arts community in SL.  My love is creating art in this medium, its as simple as that.  I don't get paid and if I detect Linden Labs trying to use me as a puppet or if they are pushing agendas I disagree with strongly, then I will resign my spot to someone else.  I am not going to set up my relationship with LL as me against the evil empire.  In fact they seem honest and I am going to try to see each topic from both sides.   Can we make each art sim moderate rather than PG? Was SL7B set to PG as its a forum from which LL showcases SL to businesses?  Do these businesses come expecting the stereotypical sex and violence?  Do educators only wish to bring students to PG events?   If their marketing department need only concern them self with American or European culture then nudity would not be a big deal.  However, we are a multicultural virtual world where investment can also potentially come from conservative countries whose perceptions of nudity are quite different from our own.  I want to know the real concerns behind issues beyond those I can see for myself.
   We can all hold hands and shout screw business and lawyers, but after seeing LL lay off 30% of their employees it made me realize that SL can cease to exist.  That they do have to make money.  That perhaps I take it for granted and would indeed be sad should I wake up tomorrow and not have the option to log in and build an art piece or a gun that shoots flying sharks who nibble your bum as you run away.

I am going to do the best I can to help the arts in SL because I really do believe we are in the frontier of a new art movement which will go down in history books.  My art movement or style is Immersiva.  Dancoyote and others are Hyperformalism.  Look at this art medium and decide what it can do that is unique.  What separates it from painting, sculpture and other first life arts?. What can it do artistically that no others can?  Think about these things, plan and compose.

I have said in the past that I am a painter.  I create a 2D surface which the viewer can interact with in a very limited way.  Here I create paintings you can enter and explore.  I have access to sound and movement in a 3D environment.  We can create strong emotion in this medium and magic through scripting.  There are very few limits and I hope to make first life exhibits which combine wind fans and scent to an experience using goggles.  I want an open ended immersive environment unlike the scripted path of a movie where we passively are told a story.  These are possibilities to SL the art medium yet there are so many other ways, so lets get working.

AM Radio
AM Radio is a well loved artist whose sims include the Far Away, Under the tree that died, the refuge and the prospect and others.  He is IDIA's inaugural artists-in-residence hosted by the Institute for DIgital Intermedia Arts at Ball State University.

Bettina Tizzy
Bettina Tizzy founded the working group "Not Possible IRL," on July 4, 2007: 1) To identify, showcase and promote quality content creation (art, architecture, fashion, landscaping) in virtual worlds that would not be possible in Real Life; 2) To seek and disseminate knowledge that empowers content creators; and 3) To advocate for better recognition and protection of the rights of content creators in virtual environments. In October 2007, Bettina founded a second group, "Impossible IRL," in order to share NPIRL's findings with a wider audience, but ImpIRLers have increasingly become both a source for information and inspiration. - Not Possible IRL blog
Bryn Oh
Bryn Oh is the creation of a first life professional oil painter. Bryn is the founder of the art movement Immersiva and has shown inworld ranging from IBM sponsored builds to a wide range of universities. In first life events such as Nuit Blanche and the World Expo in Shanghai. In Second Life she builds large scale narratives based off the concept of Immersiva. Attached is Bryn's CV which contains more info.
Chantal Harvey
After working for TV in the Netherlands for +15 years, Chantal Harvey found a new challenge in virtual worlds, creating machinima since 2007.
Always pushing boundaries and searching for new projects, she focusses on connecting international machinimatographers and bringing machinima to the attention of the world.
She organises the MMIF annual machinima festival, produces the 48 Hour Film Project for machinima, and runs several film groups inworld. As a strong believer ánd promotor of the genre, she wants to provide a platform in which every aspect (and benefit) of machinima is represented.
Dancoyote Antonelli
Is an alum of the San Francisco Art Institute, a graduate student at the CADRE Laboratory for New Media and Managing Editor of SWITCH Journal of New Media. DC's art (SL and RL) has appeared at the ZERO1 Biennial at the San Jose Museum of Art, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, The Dutch Electronic Arts Festival in Rotterdam, Ars Electronica in Linz Austria, Jack the Pelican Presents in Brooklyn NY and many venues inside and outside of the virtual world. Publications include The New York Times, Step Inside Design, Art21 and a variety of blogs and online critical journals.
Dekka Raymaker
Dekka Raymaker joined Second Life in February 2007, principally an SL artist producing large scale installation pieces that generally explore relationships with Second Life and real life, exhibiting at many venues in SL. Dekka manages the Soup sim estate, where he also does care taking for "Brooklyn is Watching", a hybrid SL/RL art project.
Dekka studied graphic design at Newcastle Polytechnic, UK and was a freelance designer after moving to London, UK in 1984. He is presently the studio manager for contemporary artists Tim Noble & Sue Webster. He liaises with galleries and art organisations around the world, providing them with information and specifications of artworks for exhibitions. one of their largest projects being Electric Fountain a 30 foot high light artwork which was shown on the Christmas tree spot outside The Rockefeller Center, NY.
Dizzy Banjo
SL musician and composer.  Currently working with Apple on new music technologies.

  Jayjay Zifanwe
Jayjay Zifanwe is the founder and owner of the University of Western Australia presence in Second Life. This presence is dedicated towards highlighting the research, teaching, art and architecture capabilities of virtual environments for the field of education and the wider community. Founder also of the UWA 3D Art& Design Challenge, which brings together artists and builders from across the globe. In RL, Jayjay is the Manager of the School of Physics at the University of Western Australia.
L1Aura Loire
participates in the SL arts community as a machinamist, artist, educator, writer, member of groups including Brooklyn Is Watching, and otherwise bumbling around the grid. She is also Lori Landay, an interdisciplinary scholar and new media artist exploring the making of visual meaning in 20th and 21st century American culture. She spent the academic year 2008-09 on sabbatical in Second Life researching "virtual subjectivity" through her machinima, art installations, and writing. For links to machinima, journal articles, slurls, and cv:
Sasun Steinbeck
Sasun Steinbeck is an early explorer of dynamic, interactive art in Second Life with the creation of Sasun's Morphing Sculpture in late 1995. Sasun is the creator and long-time maintainer of the Art Galleries of Second Life list at, fulfilling the need to help art lovers everywhere discover, explore, and connect with the many excellent art galleries and creative minds in Second Life. Sasun founded the Art Gallery Owners group in late 2006 to support gallery owners in SL and remains involved in various projects to support the arts in SL.
Werner Kurosawa
Werner Kurosawa aka Werner Van dermeersch is a RL Architect and Artist He is on the board of directors of an ensemble for contemporary music, Artists in residence at the I coach and promote individual art projects and phd's of Masters and Master after Masters at the faculty of Arts in Antwerp.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I say fever

     I came across this brilliant video done by Stefan Nadelman for the band Ramona Falls.  Every so often I come across something like this which inspires me, so I figured perhaps I should put it on my blog.  Just listen to the lyrics and pace of the music with your eyes closed first.  Don't watch how Stefan interpreted it visually.  Then watch it again.  Its so creative how he interpreted the song.  I really wonder what software this was done in too.  Think it might have been done in a few programs.  Could be flash then brought into something else later, or it could even have been done in a high end software package like Maya or Softimage but not used in the way we normally would expect them to look.  If anyone recognizes the software let me know to relieve my curiosity.  The 16:9 format of youtube really buggers the right column of my blog so I apologise for the messy look.  I had to make a column in the right of a bunch of dots just to lower the Rabbicorn book tab thingy so it wont be over the video ... gah!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

World Expo - Island two - Entropy

     Glyph Graves is one of my favorite scripters in Second Life.  He always seems to be developing new and interesting ways to combine existing information such as wind variables into his work.  At other times such as with the IBM build currently up, he partnered with Jules Rickenbacker to translate information taken from a petri dish  into Second Life to move prims in accordance with the movements within the dish.  Its unique scripting done by very few others.  There are a handful of  really talented scripters such as Ordinal Malaprop, Foolish Frost, Selavy Oh, Seifert Surface, Sasun Steinbeck and Desdemona Enfield who I am aware of and likely tons more who are working in obscurity creating fantastic things.  Its really a part of the art in Second Life that doesn't get the credit which it deserves.  Its a category no different from prim builders, texture artists, machinima artists, sound artists, performance and so on.  Anyway, when I was looking for artists to help with the five islands for the World Expo I wanted a top scripter on one island and asked Glyph who created a beautiful installation with some great scripting.

     By clicking the center tree you will set off the scripting element which involves disassembling the figures on the mountains who then meet within the center of the sim to cycle in a form of dance.  Check the machinima below to see what i mean.

       Its interesting though that second life art has evolved for me in different ways such as having "favorites" in categories.  Generally in first life people have a favorite painter, they don't generally distinguish between painters who specialize in texture or colourists or ones who work in highly complex composition.  It all comes down to a general favorite painter for most.  In second life I have way more categories within art.  I might have a favorite overall artist, but I also have favorite overall builds which might not be from the same artist.  Some have years of continuously great building installations where others have one magnificent build.  I could talk about favorite sound artists like Adam Nash/Ramona or Dizzy Banjo, favorite texture artists such as AM Radio or Scottius Polke, installation artists like four Yip or AuraKyoo Insoo.  Particle artists like ColeMarie Soleil or Jopsy Pendragon.  And most of those fit into more than one category.  I could branch out to great flickr artists who manipulate second life such as Ash or Alpha Auer, and of course the scripters whom i mentioned above.  I should do that next post.  Show some great flickr artists.  I am sure I don't know all of them so if you have any suggestions let me know either here or in world.

     Actually, I see there is a group in Flickr called Steamprincess which is made up of pictures taken of my builds.  I think I will showcase some of my favorites from that group in the upcoming weeks too, because I think its awsome people take pictures of my work.  So if you have any pictures put them there.  The group was created by Therese Carfagno.  Here is the flickr info for it..

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Lady Carmagnolle

Lady Carmagnolle is one of the characters on Immersiva. In her hand she holds a rock that will play the below video if you click it.

The idea behind Immersiva is that its an abandoned theme park which was centered around the use of robots. The robots were the attraction. It became unsustainable and the human owners abandoned it. As a result there were many left over robots who would wander the park looking for a purpose to their existence. Characters like Willow and Angler Girl live there as well as all the robots on the Carousel and others themes like 26 tines. The only humans who now come there are those who catch and dismantle the robots for salvage parts to sell. Some of the stories, such as with Willow or Irrevocably, are about hiding from these salvagers and the depth of companionship or humanity the robots develop which in some ways surpass that of the humans who created them. Others like Angler Girl must lure then steal the batteries of other robots in order to survive, sometimes despising herself for doing so.

     Lady Carmagnolle was a performing robot at the theatre on the island. She was fitted with strings to make her resemble a marionette, but they were merely ornamentation for her last show. After the theme park was abandoned she remained on the stage with her lighting robot. Slowly the theatre collapsed with age and her strings rotted away. She would climb up and retie the strings in an attempt to keep the only identity she had ever known intact. Lady Carmagnolle was also very lonely. She would gather rocks that were close to the stage and draw faces on them pretending they were birds who had lost their wings. As her memory chips grew old and filled with sand she began to create her own world in her mind. A fantasy where when it grew overcast and the rain washed away the faces she drew on her rocks, she would instead imagine that her friends had grown new wings and found happiness with their own companions in the sky.

The music for this machinima was created by a very talented composer by the name of Justin Lassen. He has produced remixes for artists such as Madonna, Garbage, Blue Man Group, Lenny Kravitz, The Killers, Lady Gaga, NIN, Evanescence, as well as numerous projects for the film and game industries. And he very graciously let me use the track. And some very good news for Second Life is that Justin has come in world as the avatar Darklyinclined Hummingly (thanks to ColeMarie Soleil) and has been inspired to compose work by Immersiva and Straylight sim. Our virtual world art inspiring first life artists?  Professional curators like Aino Baar bringing our work to the World Expo?  Now if only some other curators would use some vision.  My previous post showed the effect that professional sound composition had on 7 days magic bakery, so imagine a sim owner commissioning Justin to create a custom soundtrack. It would be stunning.