Monday, January 24, 2011

Elevensies 2010

I will be posting my top ten favorite builds from 2010 over the next little bit, and each year I put up my Elevensies which are builds that were pushed out of the top ten over the course of the year.  Last year I had two Elevensies movies 1 and 2  and the year before that one.  I would like to mention that I am not proclaiming my top ten to be the best works in SL over the past year, they are merely artworks I liked.  They are not ranked by difficulty in creation and in many cases large full sim builds made by teams of people have less effect on me than a small build by a single person who made something I found compelling.  I appreciate great scripting but it must be accompanied by a firm understanding of aesthetics.  While on the other side a nice sculpty statue of say Michelangelo's David does not impress me unless it does something unique to this medium.  I personally like things which are not reproductions of previous rl works but rather compositions appearing out of the unique mind of SL residents.  But then that is not a rule either.  In the end they are just works that stood out for me.  I often go to well publicised openings or competitions only to find that they did not affect nor inspire me, that winning pieces were pretty good but some losing ones were brilliant.  And I should also mention that I don't see everything built in Second Life.  I am sure that plenty of builds come and go without me ever being aware of them.  The NPIRL blog was a great resource when it was around but sadly I have not found a really good replacement, so as a result of this void it has become quite a bit harder to find things.  I also try to pick things that were created within the last year.

Soror Nishi is not someone I know particularly well on a personal level, but I have seen her botanical work around Second Life for ages.  I think the first time was for an event called the Garden of NPIRL delights a few years ago.  It is a bit of a surprise to me to find Sorors work in my Elevensies because our aesthetics are almost completely opposite to one another.  What I find pleasing to the eye are muted dark builds who create harmony within the piece by using few colours based off of a small area of the colour palette.  I also seem to be drawn to darker subjects.  Soror uses high contrast colour placement using much of the colour wheel and her subjects are often based around forests and flowers.  What I mean by this can be seen in the colour wheel here.  One way to create harmony is to combine colours from the wheel by using shapes.  There are Dyads, Triads, Tetrads, Hexads and so on.  The triangle shown on this wheel is a Triad.  If you work using a variation of those three colours at the points then you will get a harmonious work.  You can rotate the triangle around to combine any set of colours.  If you draw a straight line across from one colour to a colour on the opposite side of the colour wheel you then are picking the complementary contrast to that colour.  If you mix the pigments of those two colours you will get an almost grey black. They are opposites and push each other to the maximum vividness.
If you look at the image beside us the red and green whatever it is stands out starkly against the harmonious background.  Red and green contrast so when beside each other like this they really draw the eye to them.  There are many ways to create contrast in a work and this is just one.   For example, there is contrast of extension which is about the actual areas of colour and how they affect the viewer.  Contrast of shape would be something like having soft curving lines with one area of sharp line.  So fill a paper with 0s and 8s and then place a few pointy ^ there and they create contrast.  Tons of ways to create contrast and all dynamic works tend to use them somewhere, often in places of import because you want to draw the eye of the viewer there.  High contrast works are very tricky in that when they fail they look absolutely terrible, but when they succeed they are incredibly dynamic.  This work from Soror walked a successful balance.  What enhanced it more was the scale of the work.  I really liked the combination.

Glyph Graves is what I call an art scripter, though I suspect he would disagree with this description.  Much of what I personally like about Glyphs work is the ways he uses scripts to achieve things.  For example, you can make an alpha texture using a few colours and place it on a tortured prim.  Then you stick in a rotation script and perhaps a touch of glow and you have a pretty sculpture.  Glyph doesn't stop there though, he will often then compose a script which brings that work to life, a script to let if fly or move on the ground.  It may also have some interesting characteristics such as changing colour depending on the direction of the SL wind or be connected to data from an outside source such as movement of amoeba in a petri dish.  That info on the amoeba will then be transferred to SL and force the movement of his creations.  In the machinima is shown a build he did for the World Expo set up by Aino Baar.  On mountain tops were some humanoid sculptures Glyph made.  They were nice and around the sim were evenly placed secondary works for the viewer to enjoy.  What made this build special was when the viewer interacted with a tree (made by Kazuhiro Aridian) in the centre of the sim.  When touched the static figures on the mountain tops transformed into glowing orbs which then converged in the middle of the sim.  There they then did a sort of performance or dance intermingling their colours and after a while flew back to their mountain tops and transformed back into the humanoid sculptures.  This added feature then introduced a sense of wonder and magic to the build.  It was an intelligent use of scripting that pushed the build forward into something unique to SL.  Scripting can be very ungainly but in the hands of Glyph it brings forth a beautiful sense of life.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I was directed to a list the other day called the FIC.  I had a look at the names and thought I don't really know many of them but what a great bunch the ones I do know.  And I am on that list! someone must think highly of me for some reason.  So what does the FIC mean you ask?.  I had been hoping it meant Friendly Inner Child or something.  Actually it stands for Fetid Inner Core.  I thought to myself that Fetid is not a word you strive to be associated with.  [fet-id, fee-tid]  Show IPA
having an offensive odor; stinking.
Ouch.  I am part of a stinky inner core of something.  Oh well not everyone is going to like you.  The thing is that I am not really offended as I respect many of the people on this list.  Granted I don't know  most of them.  Also it's kind of refreshing for someone to not tip toe around being nice.  The person who made the list is named Prokovsky Neva and I would love to see a feud start up between him/her and Saveme Oh.  A kind of pay-per-view thing. " SAVEME OH vs PROK! - the reconing"  Something like that.  Not sure who I would place my money on there.   For fun I have decided to put a little point form summary of what I do know of some people on this list.  If you would like to go read the original article it is here.  If i put "don't know" beside someones name it doesn't mean they don't do great or terrible stuff  it just shows how much of a hermit I am.  If you have more info on what these people do then feel free to post in the comments.
FIC 2.13 -- mal-FIC

Nany Kayo - don't know
Darrius Gothly - don't know
Dartagan Shepherd - don't know
Pamela Galli - don't know
Torley Linden - how can anyone not like Torley?  I saw a video of him making music once and he just seemed so happy and enthusiastic about it.

Hamlet Au- Hamlet was originally an employee of Linden Labs and now has the popular site New World Notes.  He seems like a nice guy to me, definately a very hard worker.  Posts everyday for years now, and has done some big interviews with people such as Cory Doctorow and others.  Also wrote a book on SL which have seen in a Chapters/Indigo bookstore by me. (Indigo=giant big box bookstore)
Latif Khalifa don't know UPDATE - "Very useful megaprim search engine" - Valentine Easterwood
Phil Deakins don't know
Imnotgoing Sideways don't know
Deltango Vale don't know
Dirk Talamasca - I know Dirk!.  He is a nice person but I have no idea what he does.  Now I am curious.  Oh I think he works with Relay for Life.
Crap Mariner - Crap is a really nice guy too.  He has a blog and does tons for the music scene in Second Life.  Really funny too.
Jumpman Lane - I met Jumpman once and in the process of checking his profile I discovered he was some kind of SL porn king. 
Soft Linden- don't know
Alexa Linden- Alexa does the Mesh group I believe.  Works to implement mesh imports so we can get new designers who would be able to use high end computer graphics programs such as Maya and 3D Studiomax, Zbrush and good old open source Blender.
Chance Unknown don't know
Maggie Darwin - don't know
Baeric Constantine- don't know
Wayfinder Wishbringer- don't know
Strife Onizuka- don't know
Dale Innis - I think I know Dale. UPDATE - scripter extraordinaire
Pixeleen Mistral - don't know UPDATE - "Controversial Alphaville Herald writer" Aree Lulibub
Jessica Holyoke- don't know
Tenshi Vielle- don't know
RightasRain Rimbaud - RAR is the head of Rezzable creations who I have done a few projects for.  One one side it was great to have a company that actually paid artists to create.  They paid good rates too.  On the other side they had a bad reputation for not paying artists and my old friend Spiral Walcher was very bitter towards them I recall.  They did pay me for my projects but one time it took ages to get paid.  I also have a 10 thousand prim build where I placed each part individually on their private sim.  It's called Crosshatch.  Part of the contract was I would get this builder buddy they developed so that I could copy entire sims I have created.  So for example I could copy my entire Standby sim at IBM with the click of a button.  They gave me a broken version and this Foolish Frost person made no attempt to help me with it.  Also I tried to get there to make a copy of the build using Imprudence viewer and lost my ability to log on to the sim.  I asked for help and again nothing.  So essentially I have no copy of my build.  That's my story about RAR.

Eshi Otawara - I don't really know eshi - UPDATE fashion designer - thanks Loraan
Fiz Baskerville - don't know

FIC 2.7 -- Bestest FIC and Beta Mesh FIC
Candy Cerveau - don't know - UPDATE "one of the developers of Ozimals breedable bunnies." Aree Lulibub
Aeron Constantine- don't know
Gavin Hird- don't know
Chestnut Rau- Chestnut writes a column for New World Notes.  Really nice girl.
Runitai Linden- don't know
Aki Shichiroji- don't know
Amiryu Hosoi- don't know
Draxtor Despres- Draxtor wrote some really nasty things about Dusan Writer who is my patron.  Really over the top rotten things.  Lost a lot of respect for him.
Filthy Fluno - Filthy is an artist who had an article written about him in the New York Times.
AM Radio - One of the best artists SL has ever had.
Desmond Shang- don't know - UPDATE "is the "guvnor" of Caledon, probably the biggest steampunk community." - thanks Loraan
DanielRavenNest Noe- don't know
Ciaran Lavan- don't know
Jarnz Dench- don't know
Dusan Writer - Dusan has a very well thought out site call Dusan Writers Metaverse  He does Metanomics, he is an ardent supporter of SL and also gave me Immersiva paying for everything without ever asking for a single thing.  So I have had Immersiva for years now and he has literally paid for everything just to let me create.  And over that time we have probably spoken 10 times.  He has no agenda, just wanted to support me.  I can't say enough about Dusan, one of the greatest people in SL.
Qie Niangao-don't know
Holocluck Henly- builder?
Daniel Voyager-don't know UPDATE - really active person on the teen grid
Vryl Valkyrie-don't know
Suspiria Finucane -don't know
Nika Talaj-don't know
Tateru Nino - i know the name, I believe Tateru is on the media side of things.
Scylla Rhiadra -don't know
Inara Pey-don't know
Rene Erlanger-don't know
Valiant Westland-don't know
Trinity Nabob-don't know
Callie Cline - Callie Cline is arguably the first and most famous second life fashion model.  Also a designer.
Ingrid Ingersoll-don't know
Melody Regent-don't know
Jacek Antonelli-don't know
McCabe Maxsted-don't know
Hiroaki Rhino -don't know
Jahar Aabye-don't know
Lyndon Heart-don't know UPDATE - "Popular SL musician/singer" Aree Lulibub
Bryn Oh - don't know
Phaylen Fairchild - Phaylen has been in sl ages and creates some of the best machinima out there.  She has a series of hilarious SL meets WOW shows.  They are called DIVAS.

JenzZa Misfit- I know JenzZa but not too well.
Gentle Heron -don't know UPDATE Heron Sanctuary, a support community for people with disabilities Aree Lulibub
Grace McDunnough - Grace is a top musical artist in sl.  Had a great performance show called Mummersion which was on my top ten list last year.  Here was my post if you want to know what it was.. Mummersion
Olando7 Decosta-don't know
MarkTwain White-don't know
Raven Pennyfeather-don't know
Samuel Frost-don't know
Wraith Unsung-don't know
Harper Beresford - I have met harper before, she is on the business side of things if I recall correctly.
Kittrannia Cassini-don't know
Pookie Amsterdam - talk show host
Paisley Beebe - talk show host
Moundsa Mayo-don't know
Botqirl Questi - has a popular blog.


Peter Imari (and other SLCC 2010 board & volunteers)
Wiz Norberg-don't know
Misty Rhodes-don't know
Cybin Monde-don't know
Ham Rambler-don't know
Traven Sachs-don't know
Isablan Neva-don't know
Orhalla Zander - orhalla created a great machinima of his travels a few years ago which was acclaimed.  Also a second life hobo.
Esbee Linden - don't know UPDATE - designed viewer 2.0 thx Valenine Easterwood
Ordinal Malaprop - probably the best scripter in sl.
Carl Metropolitan- don't know
Lilith Heart - don't know UPDATE - "Sis to Dolly Heart of Heart Gardens" Aree Lulibub (still not sure what that means)
Julia Hathor - the singer for ChouChou? or am i mistaken? UPDATE julia hathor is a long time prefab builder and does a lot of charity work... thank you cole
Larry Pixel- Larry is in charge of a vast horde of sims for universities ranging from Princeton to Harvard.  Tayzia Abbatoir who was not mentioned here, is a huge help to Larry especially in promoting SL arts.
Fleep Tuque-don't know
Racer Gullwing - Racer was the creator of the Giant Snail Races which have been quite popular.
Steller Sunshine-don't know
Pituca Fairchang-don't know
Eric Linden-don't know
Ryan Linden-don't know
Suezanne Baskerville-don't know
Slim Warrior-don't know UPDATE - "Active in SL music entertainment community. 1st UK musician to perform in SL. Founder SL Music Community Forum." Aree Luliub
Philip Linden - need i say anything
Circe Broom - Circe is a huge force behind the promotion of SL music.
Jack Linden-don't know
Salazar Jack-don't know UPDATE - the head (or atleast one of the heads of)the Phyneas Jack Memorial Trust, an organization dedicated to preserving a swath of virtual forest (Kahruvel)thx Valentine Eaterwood
Malburns Writer - prolific media person
Tara Yeats-don't know
Barney Boomslang - hosted and supported the popular "show and tell" event where builders would come and show new work and win prizes.  A great light hearted community event for years.
Naughty Mole-don't know
Glamor Mole-don't know
Misty Mole-don't know
Michael Linden-don't know
Guy Linden-don't know
Alliez Mysterio-don't know
Anshe Chung-don't know -UPDATE -"is one of the largest land barons... the Dreamland sims are hers, if I recall correctly." thank you Loraan
Guni Greenstein-don't know
Ziggy Figaro-don't know
Cylindrian Rutabega-don't know
Angela Talamasca-don't know
Boliver Oddfellow-don't know
Quirky McArdle-don't know
Scope Cleaver - reclusive architect who has created some of the best architectural builds in sl.
Frogg Marlowe-don't know UPDATE - "Frogg Marlowe and Jaycatt Nico - very popular music duo "Frogg and Jaycatt."" Aree Lulibub
Jaycatt Nico-don't know
Beth Odets-don't know
Zha Ewry-don't know UPDATE - "IBM employee and active in SL's Architecture Working Group" Aree Lulibub
Osprey Therein-I might have mixed up Osprey with Orhalla Zander.
Jer Straaf-don't know
Ann Otoole -
 So these are just some quick points I jotted down off the top of my head.  They might not be terribly accurate and also might not be the main thing they do in sl, just the thing i know them for.  Feel free to post in comments any additional info you have on anyone.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Standby closing

The third and final chapter to my Rabbicorn story is coming to a close at IBM.  I forget exactly when Standby closes but will be in a few weeks, so if you wish to see it then do so now because it likely wont come out again.
It's made up of       14 973 prims so in order for it to come out again it would have to be on an empty sim that someone offered which is just not very likely to happen.  The show itself was quite successful with thousands of visitors and some good news is that IBM have decided to renew the two exhibition spaces for another year which they had considered letting go.

I have been working on the machinima for this build and as soon as I get it finished I will pop it up on here.  Also I have plans on making it into a book as well so will post that when it's ready.

I apologize to those of you trying to contact me over the last three weeks or so as I have not been online as much.  Sadly the person whose wireless I was swiping had the temerity to put a password on their account.  So I have been forced to steal wireless from places with poor signals.. sigh.  Stealing is such a harsh word... lets call it "sharing".  We shared the wireless that they paid for.  Actually my friend Nova says that rather than being a parasite as I described it, I am more a butterfly who samples different wireless connections.  I much prefer her description.   
If you need to catch up on the story so far here are my previous two posts along with the machinima.

SLURL to Standby

Part one The Daughter of Gears

Part two the Rabbicorn

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Artpulse Magazine article.

Last week Cristina García-Lasuén also known as Aino Baar in Second Life wrote an article for the prestigious American art magazine Artpulse.  In it she describes the new forms of video art culminating with machinima.  Aino is a Spanish curator who was responsible for having machinima included at the Spain Pavilion at the World Expo.  She is a very determined person and once she sets her mind on something its really quite hard to refuse her.  I think if she had got her way she would have had the event called the "Machinima pavilion with special guest Spain". 

     The article is important the same way as the Art21 article written by Nettrice Gaskins was last year.  They are both written in an art forum where very few are aware of the art we are creating here in Second Life or rather in virtual worlds.  It steps over the "walled garden" we worry about so frequently.

  With the Art21 article I had asked if people would mind leaving a comment to show them that there is indeed interest for virtual artists.  Nettrice told me that we brought down their website for a day.  But again I would ask you to go read the article and leave a comment if you have a moment.  Spread it too if you can. Here is the article below.

Its interesting though.  There is a distinct shift at the moment from traditional news sources to that of the everyday person.  I kept track of the "art" articles from one of the newspapers here in Toronto for a few years.  What I found was that they didn't write about "normal" art.  If an article popped up it was somehow sensational.  For example, one article was of an Elephant at our zoo who smeared paint on a canvas and they were selling them.  Another was of an artist who chewed up gum and put it on a canvas making celebrity portraits.  Another was someone who lost their arms and painted with their feet... and I remember an article about Andy Warhols brother who painted with a chicken foot rather than a paint brush.  I am not saying that these don't deserve to be written about (except the elephant) but what it meant to me was that newspaper reporters generally have no idea about art.  They can't distinguish good from bad so they write about the process rather than the final quality of the work.  People love to talk about Van Gogh cutting off his ear and sending it to I think it was Gauguin, its sensational.  But Van Gogh succeeded despite his mental illness not because of it.  All the artists I went to art school with who ran around in capes with berets on pretending they were crazy are not artists anymore.  They have day jobs.  Those who quietly worked hard at understanding their medium are still working as artists today.  I think all artists are a bit bent in some way, but then there are those who watch the media and Hollywood figuring they need to be crazy to be noticed.
    Up until recently we have been slaves to these traditional media sources and have been forced to place importance on the opinion of a single human being whose writing somehow gets elevated above everything else due to it being published in a newspaper.  We also have had to rely on these traditional media sources to validate our own work, yet we have to compete against elephants from the zoo.  News media had a monopoly and they squandered it, now the people are the power.
     Google have been partly responsible for the slow death of traditional media sources.  With Google we can find exactly what we want immediately and can be kept up to date with world events as they happen.  A newspaper prints and then has to live with their article until they print the next day.  Classified ads were a money maker for newspapers but have pretty much disappeared to the internet.  Google have gleefully been enjoying their success yet recently have come to a realization.  If media sources do die out then who are they going to link to?  The traditional media for all their flaws have one thing going for them... they are generally reliable (minus political slants).  The average blog or user created website can't really be said to be reliable.  And there lies the difference.  User created news to me is more relevant as it's generally created by an "expert" on a subject they are passionate about.  A marine biologist might have a website about the effects of pollution on harp seals or the dangerous practice of keeping agressive genetically altered Salmon in holding pens along the ocean where if they escape they will cause incredible damage to their ecosystem.  Would you want joe everything reporter to write about that?  They know they have to sell papers so they may skew it into some kind of world ending scenario, rather than an important subject to discuss.  But then again nobody polices the Marine biologist either.
    Anyway, I kind of got off topic.  Here is a great video.