Monday, December 30, 2013

I was robbed!

suspect line up
      I woke up today to a rather ominous message sent to me by Linden Lab.  In it they informed me that my account had been put on hold due to "suspicious behaviour".   The suspicious behaviour was somebody stealing all my money!  Joke was on them though as I had already been robbed numerous times by stores before Christmas.  A word of advice to burglers... rob before Christmas as it is likely much more lucrative.  Seriously though my first thoughts were "how long is this going to take to get resolved?" my second thought was completely unrelated so I wont bother repeating it here.  So I went in to the Linden police station to see if I could identify the culprit by picking them out from a suspect line up behind a one way mirror.  Sadly I lagged bad at that moment and walked through the one way glass and they all saw me.   I didn't recognize any of the shapes but I didn't like the look of the cube.. seemed a bit two faced to me.  I have to say though that Linden Lab fixed it in a matter of hours.  I was pretty impressed and felt a wee bit guilty for my snarky post about them the other day.  Now I have to figure out what this means.  A friend of mine says I have to reformat my entire computer in case they have a keylogger on my computer now.  That would be pretty horrible and tons of work.  Someone else said my nortons program should be sufficient to tell me if I need to be worried.  I am changing all my passwords now but I guess if they have a keylogger that wont do much.  If anyone has any suggestions please let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas wishes

I would like to wish everyone happy holidays!  It is Christmas eve and no doubt Santa has been forced to rent a second sleigh in order to bring me all my gifts.

     I have a few Christmas wishes for the new year.  The first wish is that Linden Lab will stop pretending their lawyers are looking at new wording for the TOS which many of the creative residents found so appalling.   A few months back they said their Lawyers were looking into adjusting the wording in response to actions from numerous community groups like the United Content Creators of Second Life group.  So with all this time passing, and our IP lawyers suggesting they need only change a few words to satisfy the community, it would appear the situation is either they wish to let so much time pass that the burning anger that the community was running on slowly dissipated to quiet grumbling.  They can live with quiet grumbling.. I mean their whole history is about quiet grumbling.  If that is not their strategy then my wish would be that they fire their Lawyers who are supposed to be working on it.  They are clearly being taken advantage of if the Layers are suggesting they need more time than two months to change a few words.

     Another wish would be for the current Second Life viewer to be scrapped with the Firestorm team being hired to create their default viewers.  Either that or start adding windlights or functionality similar to phototools etc.  They can have all the windlights I have made for free they merely have to ask.  Actually they don't have to ask, they already own them, so please just include them.. it will take two seconds.  Their viewer is improved graphically, but they really need to unify the experience.  For example, my new build relies specifically on a Firestorm windlight/sky which the Second Life viewer doesn't possess.  You can set the sim to force a windlight which would be great .. if it worked regularly.  Essentially what this means is that when my new build opens only Firestorm viewers will see it properly, unless the forced windlight works which it may not.  I have never relied on a windlight before like I will for this new build, so if it doesn't work for half the visitors then the experience will be vastly reduced and very discouraging.

     Another wish would be for tier to go down some.  It is getting harder and harder to justify spending $300 a month on a virtual space.  As I said I am working on a new story for Immersiva and by the time it comes out next month it will have cost me $900 to build due to tier.  They need to make it easier for people who devellop content that directly improves their product and peoples enjoyment of it, to be able to continue to work there.  What about having tier drop yearly the longer you have owned a sim?  So dropping $50 a year provided you have maintained payment.  For example, if you have owned a sim for three years you would be instead be paying $150 a month.  It would encourage retention of regions and make people happy!

     It is not all bad though, Linden Lab have made some wonderful improvements to Second Life this year ranging from improved rez time to overall stability.  When I first came to Second Life it would often be down for half the day on Wednesdays as they tried to implement new things.  They have really improved the product over time and their programmers certainly deserve credit for that.   It is true that I am annoyed with you right now Linden Lab, I find there are too many apologists defending your actions, the most disturbing being those few artists with no sense of self worth. It was nice to see many in the community, both bloggers and residents, stand up and challenge Linden Lab on their TOS, hopefully that will continue and Linden Lab realizes they can not just avoid the topic.

     Really though my main wish is that by this time next year my growing disenchantment with Linden Lab will have dissipated with me realizing that it was all a misunderstanding.  Hopefully they have a grand plan which will make everyone happy, but have been forced to keep it secret, which is quite plausible.  That would be great don't you think?

Anyway, Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Avi choice awards - results

      So here is the voting results for the Avi choice awards that happened the other day.  The name in red is the winner with the most votes while the person just above them in the list had the second most votes and so on.  For example,  Blake Hamilton won the Favorite DJ with Sadist Sinister getting the second most votes etc.  These are the top five but each category may have had 20 or more people nominated.  The event was held over four sims and several hundred also watched it on a virtual world TV station.  We are a funny bunch aren't we?  I have realized from reading the list that I have to get out more.  And for some categories I was kind of perplexed on how some people were missing.. but that is the inevitable controversy a list of anything creates.  This is a handy resource though as I now know where to go shopping or who to see live. That is of course if I didn't always look the same or spend all my time building things.


Favorite DJ
Bard Wasp
Cowgrl Crystal
AlexanderTG Gottesman
Sadist Sinister

Blake Hambleton – Avi Choice
Favorite Rock Club
Ohana Rock Club – Eric Tempest
Junkyard Blues – Kiff Clutterbuck
Wet Willies Classic Rock, Blues & Country Club – Gator Okelly
Muddy’s Music Cafe – Bridgett Hamill

Big Daddy’s – Jade Kennedy or Bianca Marchant - Avi Choice
Favorite Formal Venue
Phat Cat’s Premier – Stephano Zepp
Bogart’s Jazz Club – Nanceee Sinatra
RMS Titanic – Mara Menges
Sweethearts Jazz Club – Blake and Shannon Bramlington

Frank’s Elite Jazz Club – Nanceee Sinatra - Avi Choice
Favorite Country Venue
Bama Country – Moe33 Darkfold
Quasar Country Saloon – Coloradocowboy Manen
Wildcat Country – Jarrod Ramer
Smoking Aces – Shannon Dubratt

Black Horse Country – Mackenzie Ariel - Avi Choice
Favorite Live Music Venue
Live Nation – Sadist Sinister
Key West Resort & Marina – Liz Harley / Coreopsis Bluebird
Bogart’s – Nanceee Sinatra
Sweethearts Select Club – Blake Hambleton and Shannon Bramlington

Frank’s Elite Jazz Club – Nanceee Sinatra - Avi Choice
Favorite Blues Club
Voodoo Bayou – Blaxmagix Resident
Hotlanta Blues – DonPaul Cale
FogBound Blues Club – Yanik Lytton
Crossroads Blues – Jaco Fitzpatrick

Junkyard Blues Club – Kiff Clutterbuck - Avi Choice
Favorite Jazz Club
Hotlanta – DonPaul Cale
Phat Cat’s Jazz Club – stephano Zepp
Bogarts Jazz Club – Nanceee Sinatra
Franks Elite Jazz – Nanceee Sinatra

Sweethearts Jazz & Social Dance Club – Blake and Shannon Bramlington - Avi Choice
Favorite Host or Hostess
Zeus Michalski
Songbird Lyric
Coreopsis Bluebird
Sadist Sinister

Elita Wardell - Avi Choice
Favorite Tribute Show
Elvis Tribute by Antonio Galloway
Kid Rock Tribute by American Badd Ass
REBEL YELL Concerts – Lestat Zalivstok
Patsy Cline Tribute – Savannah Coronet

Bad Ampitude – Vampira Voom / Fredric Forcella - Avi Choice
Favorite Country Singer
Harry Frychester
Johnny Paramour
Trav McCullough
TerryLynn Melody

Savannah Coronet - Avi Choice
Favorite Pop Singer
Antonio Galloway
Savannah Coronet
Ceci Dover
Rhiannon Yuhara

Maximillion Kleene - Avi Choice
Favorite Rock Singer
JimmyT49 Dukes
Savannah Coronet
Wayne Davis Rocks
Rhiannon Yuhara

Maximillion Kleene - Avi Choice
Favorite Jazz Artist/Musician
ScarlettLa Roux
Chillee Hernandoz
Gina Gracemount
Antonio Galloway

Voodoo Shilton - Avi Choice
Favorite Blues Artist
Tukso Okey
Gina Gracemount
Wolfie Moonshadow
JimmyT49 Dukes

Noma Falta - Avi Choice
Favorite Original Music Artist
JordanReyne Deezul
Amforte Clarity
Russell Eponym
Voodoo Shilton

WayneDavis Rocks - Avi Choice
Favorite Singing Duo
KatRose Serendipity and DennyMac
Frogg Marlow and Jaycatt Nico
Erin68 Frog & Satin Galli

Lisa Brune and Maximillion Kleene - Avi Choice
Favorite Female Musician
Lisa Brune
Samm Qendra
Noma Falta
Ceci Dover

Savannah Coronet - Avi Choice
Favorite Male Musician
Wolfie Moonshadow
Russell Eponym
JimmyT49 Dukes
Antonio Galloway

Maximillion Kleen - Avi Choice
Favorite poet/spoken word performer/actor – Male
Thundergas Menges
William Ewing
RoseDrop Rust
Sadist Sinister

Russell Eponym - Avi Choice
Favorite poet/spoken word performer/actor – Female
Karima Hoisan
Jamee Sandalwood
Freda Frostbite
Jullianna Juliesse

Bryn Oh - Avi Choice
Favorite Model
Seashell Dench
Mimmi Boa
Anna Sapphire
Wicca Merlin

Strawberry Singh - Avi Choice
Favorite SL Comedian
Shane Foresight/Kaijah Chrome
Dan Silentghost
Lauren Weyland

Sadist Sinister - Avi Choice
Favorite Sporting Event
Wrestling Worlds Federation – Gerudo Waco
Coalition Football League – Annalise Cyberstar
Second Life Surfing Association – Flynn Sheridan
Second Life Roller Derby – Allure Ingmann

Giant Snail Races – RacerX Gullwing - Avi Choice
Favorite Cultural Spot (library, opera house, theater, etc)
Seanchai Library
Music Island Concert series on VIRTLANTIS
Winds of the Sahara
Theater On The Hill

The Rose Theatre - Avi Choice
Favorite Art Gallery
Panorama – Ono Shelman
Alanis Gallery – Sylvia Fitzpatrick & Michiel Seetan
Paris Metro Art Galery – Paris Zsun
Immersiva – Bryn Oh

Rose Theater Art Gallery – Kylie Sabra – Kaya Angel - Avi Choice
Favorite Artist
Zandy Oh
Whisky Monday
Toysoldier Thor
Skip Staheli

Bryn Oh - Avi Choice
Favorite Linden
Zed Linden

Torley - Avi Choice


Favorite Jewelry Store
Gossamer Jewelry – Maxi Gossamer
JCNY – JD Hansen
MANDALA Jewelry – kikunosuke Eel
Chop Zuey – Belle Roussel

Earthstones – Abraxxa Anatine - Avi Choice
Favorite Skin Designer
Al Vulo – Hlin Bluebird
WoW skins – Sawsan Secretspy
Glam Affair – Aida Ewing
Belleza – Tricky Boucher

LAQ – Mallory Cowen - Avi Choice
Favorite Hair Designer
Magika – Sabina Gully
Exile – Kavar Cleanslate
Wasabi Pills – MissAllSunday Lemon
Emotions – Mirja Mills

Truth – Truth Hawks - Avi Choice
Favorite Avatar Accessories
Utopia – Saby Clary
Lolas – Sandi Moonites
Ikon eyes – Ikon Innovia
X-cite – Nyteshade Vesperia

Slink – Siddean Munro - Avi Choice
Favorite Shoe Designer
Maitreya – Onyx LeShelle
DRAKKE DESIGNS – Mandrakke Dagger
Slink – Siddean Munro
[GOS] – Gospel Voom

N-Core – Claire Messenger - Avi Choice
Favorite Women’s Apparel
Maitreya – Onyx LeShelle
Sn@tch – Ivey Deschanel
ColdLogic – Zyrra Falcone, Damien Fate and Janie Marlowe
Sascha’s Designs – Sascha Frangilli

Purple Moon – Poulet Koenkamp - Avi Choice
Favorite Lingerie Designer
Zaara – Zaara Kohime
Sn@tch – Ivey Deschanel
Utopia – Saby Clary
Carrie’s Lingerie – Carrie Bridger

Black Lace – Mariska Simons - Avi Choice
Favorite Men’s Apparel
Gabriel – Takuya Jinn
Razor – Kehl Razor
Hoorenbeek – Ansor Hoorenbeek
Redgrave – Emilia Redgrave

Lapointe and Bastchild – BastChild Lotus & Paul Lapointe - Avi Choice
Favorite Kids Apparel
~Jack & Jill~ – Sidni Sahara
Loki Mesh Clothing -Loki Eliot
Baby Pie – Gabrielle Gregory
Cute Bytes – Bit McMillan

Zooby – Carrie Tatsu - Avi Choice
Favorite Kids Designer
Loki Mesh clothes -Loki Eliot
Babydolls Boutique – Babydoll Stardust
Baby Pie – Gabrielle Gregory
Cute Bytes – Bit McMillan

Zooby – Carrie Tatsu - Avi Choice
Favorite Petite/Tiny AV Creator
Hlin Bluebird – Al Vulo
Wynx Whiplash – Wynxworks
Boudior – Precious Restless
Caverna Obscura – Elvina Ewing

Yabusaka Loon – Yabusata - Avi Choice
Favorite Furry AV Creator
Uchi Desmoulins – Curious Inc
Ash Soyinka – Blue Galaxy
Hydrogen Excelsior- Niramyth Production
Darkspot Designs – Oken Hax

Lovecat Thei – LoveCats Designs - Avi Choice
Favorite Animal AV Creator
Jakkal Dingo – The WereHouse Avatars
Toady Nakamura- Grendel’s Children
Wynx Whiplash – Wynxworks
Yabusaka Loon – Yabusata

Carrie Tatsu – Zooby - Avi Choice
Favorite Merfolk Creator
Lowlypop – The Muses
Alia Baroque – Fallen Gods
Jade Wolfenhaut – Pacific Sunrise
Opal Lei – Mer Betta

Evangeline Miles – Evie’s Closet - Avi Choice
Favorite Petite Female Apparel
Caverna Obscura – Elvina Ewing
Fallen Gods – Alia Baroque
Snowpaws – Carrie Snowpaw
Bare Rose – June Dion

Evie’s Closet – Evangeline Miles - Avi Choice
Favorite Petite Male Apparel
Immortals – Nl Sperber
RFYRE – Raven Pennyfeather
Bare Rose – June Dion

Fallen Gods – Alia Baroque - Avi Choice


Favorite Holiday Store
MB CreationZ – Minke Bailey
Boudoir – Precious Restless
Holiday Village – Mairead Fitzgerald & Karra Babii
Stonewood Interiors – Haillie Calisto

What Next – Winter Thorn - Avi Choice
Favorite Furniture Creator
2wat Michigan – MiChIGaN’s ShAcK
Pamela Galli – La Galleria
Cory Edo – Trompe Loeil
Akaesha Revnik – ReAct

Winter Thorn – What Next - Avi Choice
Favorite Home Builder
La Galleria – Pamela Galli
Barnesworth Anubis – Barnesworth Anubis
Stonewood Homes – Rider Raleigh
Trompe Loeil – Cory Edo

Inverse – Novocaine Islay - Avi Choice
Favorite ‘Anything’ Builder (not homes/furniture)
Sculpty Republic – Anthonys Republic
Curio Obscura – Pandora Wrigglesworth
MiChIGaN’s ShAcK -2Wat Michigan
Apple Fall – Warehousefifteendesigns Resident

Meli Imako – Meli Imako - Avi Choice
Favorite Garden and Landscape Store
Luna Bliss Gardens – Luna Bliss
Two Moons Gardens – Bunnie Badger
The Heart Garden Centre- Lilith Heart
Botanical – Kriss Lehman

Studio Skye – Alex Bader - Avi Choice
Favorite Sim Build (to explore through)
Ceridwen’s Cauldron – Elicio Ember
Garden of Dreams – Kayle Matzerath
Madpea Carnival – Madpea Resident
Japan Tempura Island – Kikunosuke Eel

Calas Galadhon Park – Tymus Tenk & Truck Meredith - Avi Choice
Favorite Land Company
Willowdale Estates – Imagin Illyar
Dream Seeker Estates – Zeebster Colasanti
Zoha Islands – Zoha Boa
Anshe Chung – Anshe Chung

Azure Island – Candy Azure - Avi Choice
Favorite ‘On the Go’ Creator (car, motorcycle, boat, plane, etc)
Cigar Yachts -Robin Lobo
Pro Street Cars – Scholes Devin
Bull God Choppers – Blazeabsurdity
Haru Motors – Haru Kappler

MLCC Headquarters-Bikes – Motor Loon - Avi Choice
Favorite Breedable
Fennux – Daemon Blackflag
Wild Kajaera – Jaed Cartier, Kay Rembrandt and Random Nirvana
Amaretto Breedables – Josaphine Cooperstone
Meeroos – Moxie Polano & Levio Serenity

KittyCats – Callie Cline, Equinox Pinion, kittycats resident - Avi Choice
Favorite Breedable Market
a LiTTLe BiT of EVERYTHING- Neckcadaver Resident
ScratchN Post – LickN Wonder
Mystic Bay Breedables – Mallorie Floresby
Meeroos Temple – Justin Arabello & Nicolas80 Toki

Too Adorable – Kendrah Vantelli - Avi Choice
Favorite Breedable Breeder
Roxy Bergiere
Sebastian007 Viper
Angelique Wickentower

Mallorie Floresby - Avi Choice
Favorite Role Play Sim
Berlin 1920s – Jo Yardley
Mischief Managed – Anya Ohmai
Tombstone Arizona – Madminxmag Vandeperck
Sanctuary CCS Sim – Stevie Basevi

World of Hogwarts – Trystan Trevellion - Avi Choice


Favorite Magazine, Newspaper or Periodical
Busted – Maggie Bluxome
The SL Enquirer – Lanai Jarrico
Prim Perfect – Saffia Widdershins
Avenue – Rusch Raymaker

Best Of SL – Frolic Mills - Avi Choice
Favorite SL Radio Station
Gorean Whip Radio – Brett Bertolucci
T1 Radio – Trader Whiplash & Nuala Maracas
Best of SL – Frolic Mills
SecondLife Radio – Nilson Bravin

SL Live Radio – Thorn Andel and Esme Capelo - Avi Choice
Favorite SL TV Show
Snail Races on Treet TV -Wiz Nordberg & RacerX Gullwing
Metaverse Live – Robustus Hax
Happy Hunting – Cinders Vale

Designing Worlds – Saffia Widdershins and Elrik Merlin - Avi Choice
Favorite SL Media/News Source
New World Notes – Hamlet Au
Daniel Voyager Blog – Daniel Voyager
Associated SL Press – Frolic Mills
Metaverse TV – Robustus Hax

The SL Enquirer: Lanai Jarrico - Avi Choice
Favorite Machinima Production
Oculus in New Babbage – Loki Elliot
MaMachinima – Chantal Harvey
Modavia – William Weaver
Miss Virtual World – Frolic Mills

The Drax Files – Draxtor Despres - Avi Choice
Favorite Videographer
William Weaver
Foxie Dinzeo (OKelly)
Draxtor Despres
Robert69 Little

Bryn Oh - Avi Choice
Favorite Dance Troupe
Spirit Light Dance Company -Caryl Meredith
Ballet Pixelle – Inarra Saarinen
Guerilla Burlesque – Chryblnd Scribe
Dazzlers – Pyper Dollinger

SL Cheerleading Squad – Christi Charron - Avi Choice
Favorite SL Blog/Blogger
Eddi Haskell
Harper Beresford
Xia Nishi -Hunt SL

Cherlindrea Lamont – Fabulously Free in SL - Avi Choice
Favorite Event
Mad Pea Hunts – Kiana Writer
The Hair Fair – Sasy Scarborough
Relay For Life Weekend – RFL Volunteers

The arcade – The Arcade Gacha - Avi Choice
Favorite Photographer/Photography Studio
Whiskey Monday
Skip Staheli
Neva Crystal
Image Essentials Free to Use Photo Studios – Kay Weston

Strawberry Singh - Avi Choice
Favorite Texture Store
Twisted Thorn Textures – Nighty Goodspeed
Timeless Textures – Xzavia Yifu
KaTink – AnneMarit Jarvinen
Textures ‘R’ Us – Lillybeth Filth

Studio Skye – Alex Bader - Avi Choice
Favorite Second Life Group
Firestorm Support English Ed Merryman
Madpeas – Kiana Writer
KittyCatS Addicts – Callie Cline
Builder’s Brewery – Sensuous Maximus

Sweethearts Jazz Social Club Group – Blake Hambleton and Shannon Bramlington - Avi Choice
Favorite Shopping Region
The Cookie Jar – 2WAT Michigan
Alter Ego – Toxxic Rhianny
Utopia – Saby Clary & Ricky Zhichao
Sweethearts Plaza – Shannon Bramlington

Collabor88 – Collabor88 Resident - Avi Choice
Favorite Static Pose Creator
Kabuki Animations – Naku Nishi
Del May Poses – Del May
KaTink Poses – AnneMarit Jarvinen
Purple Poses – Audrey Guter

Vista Animations – Vista Barnes - Avi Choice
Favorite Dance Animations
SineWave – Easy Babcock
A&M Mocap – Shadow Farstrider
Bits and Bobs – Craig Altman
MyANIMATION – Ramona Criss & Kpusha Kanto

Humanoid – Marcus Adkins - Avi Choice
Favorite Male AO Creator
MyANIMATION – Ramona Criss
Tuty’s – Haimrich Fredriksson
Oracul – daiz Papp
Akeyo – Artoo Magneto

Vista – Vista Barnes - Avi Choice
Favorite Female AO Creator
MyANIMATION – Ramona Criss
Tuty’s – Haimrich Fredriksson
Akeyo – Artoo Magneto
Oracul – Daiz Papp

Vista -Vista Barnes - Avi Choice

Thursday, December 12, 2013

2013 Avi Choice Awards and The Oldbie project

    If you are wondering why foam hands and motion capture twerking animations are selling briskly on marketplace then wonder no more!  It is because the Avi Choice Awards are coming up.  The voting period ends on Dec. 13th and the awards show will take place at the Xmas Expo 2013 regions on Dec. 15th @ 3pm SLT.

The show will be televised on Aview TV and broadcast on T1 Radio. 
For more information about the Avi Choice Awards, visit the website at   I am a wee bit late posting this as the final day is tomorrow to vote.  I am excited to say that I was nominated in four categories.  Favorite Videographer.. umm machinimatographer, Favorite poet/spoken word performer/actor, Favorite Art Gallery for Immersiva and Favorite Artist.  So yay that is kind of fun.  Looking at the list of people and categories made me realize that I need to get out more.  I am, however, feverishly building a foam hand just in case I do win something.

Another thing I wanted to mention was a great series of posts done by DrFran Babcock called The Oldbie project.  I like to read about how sl has evolved over the decade or so since its inception and these interviews are done with the very early residents.  Often they will mention little tidbits of how it used to be.. like for example the latest interview is with Hikaru Yamamoto and she talks about how teleports used to cost money and at one time there was a Linden Alien who used to roam sl abducting people.   Anyway have a read if you enjoy that as well.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Daughter of Gears painting

I wanted to share a new work I just finished the other day.  It is inspired by my Second Life character called The Daughter of Gears whose story you can find here.

It is a painting made up of oil paint, pen and ink as well as encaustic (beeswax).  It is 24 inches by 30 inches and will be for sale in a bit after I have left it on my wall for a week or two.  If you are interested just let me know.

I have also included a fun little video somebody made which incorporates a bunch of historical artworks.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Avert your eyes Santa

    Last night was the first snow storm in Toronto and it was kind of early in the season.  I went out gleefully and took some pictures as I have not yet begun to despise winter yet.  I have a confession though, something to get off my mind.  I feel a touch guilty and partially responsible, so this is just between us.
     As I was taking these photos out in the countryside, I decided, after a while, that it was time to turn around and go home.  I didn't want to do a U turn on one of these snowy country roads.. I mean seriously look at the pictures, I could go in the ditch and my god that would be horrible.  So as I was searching for a way to turn around I came across this lovely house and decided I would turn around in their front driveway.  Much more sensible right?  Well I turned in to the driveway and noticed it was on a bit of a hill going down.  Then I began to question whether I was actually on their driveway or instead in their front yard.  It was hard to tell since it was completely pristine white snow and it all looked the same.  Things were still fine at this point, but then my wheels began to spin in place.  If I had kept my cool things may have still turned out ok, however, I got a bit alarmed at the thought of getting stuck there in someones front yard, rather than driveway, and perhaps I used a little bit too much acceleration.  Well far too much acceleration.  I saw dirt start to fly out over the beautiful white snow and then panicked a bit and began to slide around all over their front yard.
     At this point I guess I had only made a half dozen or so big muddy ruts in their lawn, but then I kind of slowly slid over to this white mound, then flowers began to shoot out behind the car when I accelerated.  So I stopped and looked to the front windows of the house dreading to see if anyone observed the horrible things I was doing to their lawn and flower bed.  I saw no face showing complete horror in the window, so I did what any rational person would do in such a situation, which was to continue trying what had already failed miserably for ten minutes.  I eventually found the driveway and was able to escape to the road
again.  I briefly considered knocking on the door and telling them I had driven over... no.. murdered their front yard and garden and that I was sorry, but I chose rather to sneak away and whisper Merry Christmas instead.
     Anyway, so yes I am a horrible person and I did a terrible thing today.  Someone is going to see that lawn and go WTF!  When I got home I logged into Second Life and there was a message saying Merry Christmas and a gift sent to me from the delightful scripter Desdemona Enfield.  After destroying that persons front yard I was fairly certain that Santa would not be bringing me any gifts this year so I was very pleased to receive this present before my lawn exploits became known to Mr Clause.  I took out the gift and you know,  nothing says Merry Christmas like a present which  demonstrates the movement of Comet ISON through the solar system.  Just teasing Des, but as it may be visible from the northern hemisphere in December, and since it is a pretty impressive feat of math and physics I wanted to share it with everyone.  You can get your very own free one here..

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Dance of Death machinima

 The exceptionally talented Elmer Leupen was kind enough to convert my machinima for the Dance of Death and send it to me last week, here it is above.

Image from the Huffington Post
     Unfortunately I have been unable to find the other artists creations who had worked outside SL, but I do have Rose Borchovski's wonderful machinima from the project.  I liked the idea by Rose to incorporate her Susa Bubble story into the narrative of the Dance of Death.  I often do the same within my own narratives where characters overlap in some cases.  Ideally, characters such as Roses will, over time, become iconic to the degree that they can be smaller elements within a larger project, such as the Dance of Death, but if they contain enough depth themselves they will instead become main characters who are hosting the project rather than vice versa.  Not sure if I explained that well.  So imagine if I were to make more narratives with the Rabbicorn,  The Daughter of Gears, Anna or Imogen perhaps.  If I created chapter upon chapter of depth to some of those characters, then if they were to make an appearance within another project such as the Dance of Death, then perhaps their depth of character or history would overpower the other newer and more surface narratives which share the project, thus creating a situation where they are not "guests" within a larger project but rather they could be dominant instead, with everything else being the "guest".  If they have a past narrative history as well as potentially a future one, then the project they make an appearance in would be simply a marker along their path.  Anyway, I don't think I explained that well but I think it is an interesting idea.  Many of you are likely familiar with the Susa Bubble story, but if not you can find the portion called Inevitability of Fate at Rose's sim called Two fish.
And below you will find her lovely machinima.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Uemeu testing

Light Waves dancer at Black Swan
     I recently received an invite to try beta testing a creation called Uemeu.  It is described as a sandbox application in Unity 3D and conceived by ex-second lifers Edgeware Marker (Language Lab), LittleToe Bartlett and someone described as "a certain SL artist who-shall-not-be-named" which would be Light Waves / Starax who is one of the early Second Life artists (Greenies, Black Swan) and also one of the biggest hermits ever, he makes Elvis (if he is still alive!) seem like Toronto's crack smoking Mayor Rob Ford in a Christmas light string bikini.   Actually if you are interested in learning about early Second Life people and what it was like ten years ago, DrFran Babcock does a fun interview series called the oldbie project for the SLnewser.  I just read it not long ago and it was a fun interview.

     Anyway, they have been working on Uemeu the past year and the project went into alpha on Desura (interesting) in July and has been under the direction of programmer Jeremy Hindle (Mentioum).

     I am going to paste what was sent to me.  It should be remembered that it is quite early yet and right now they are just looking for a few creatives to see what they can achieve with it. I have signed up but not sure when I will be able to really spend lots of time testing it out.

We are currently interested in builders, artists and game creators who would like to try out our game.

What it can do:

    Build environments and objects with an ever-expanding library of shapes, terrains and textures
    Animate objects and create games without scripting
    Build and play in single or multiplayer mode
    and much more to come...

You're on this list because you are a visionary, early adopter, tinkerer or explorer. I'm hoping you'll find Uemeu intriguing enough to help build a community that will shape the future of this game. We will be looking for people to create games and environments with Uemeu that will be shared with the world.

You can  register at our website: and download the free trial version. If you like the way it works, you can become part of the alpha-funding team and purchase the full game on Desura. Purchasing this license will entitle you to all future updates of Uemeu (which happens about every two weeks).

You can see some of the things being made in Uemeu here:

I am happy to set up personal multiplayer sessions or answer any of your questions via email. Direct feedback about the game can be sent to What I'm really hoping for is a few talented people to come in and prove that this application can make amazing things.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Dance of Death - Vernissage TV clip

     My friend Andrea Numanox linked me to this video created at the opening last week of the Dance of Death with Peter Greenaway.  I am pleased to see my own work shown a few times in the video which is always nice.  Nothing worse than being part of something where there is no actual footage of your work anywhere.  That happened to me for the World Expo in Shanghai when I had several machinima on screens there, all the photographs I could find online that people took of the Madrid pavilion always had somebody elses machinima playing.  It then turns into a "trust me I was in it... no I can't show you my work that was there... but really I was"  and so on.  Ok to be honest my main reason for wanting the proof is to use as a visual aid for my parents who still don't quite understand what a virtual world is.  I mean it has only been six years I know, perhaps I am moving too fast but still.  I will spend an hour explaining it to my Dad and leave thinking he finally understands it, then the next time I visit it is like starting all over again.  "Virtual whatsa?" he says.  In fact it is worse than that.  They take their half formed understanding of what I do to their friends and try to explain it.. thus turning it into something completely new and bizarre, well more bizarre.  Or their friends convince them I am playing The Sims.  "No Mom and Dad it is not the game where you play house and if you leave your newspaper on the counter for 2 minutes it starts to get stink lines"  They are very polite about it though, they always nod encouragingly to me while sipping their tea.  Anyway, the video is from an interesting site called Vernissage TV

      In my last post I talked a bit about when I spoke to Mr Greenaway on skype and how he is very much a classical orator in the way he speaks.  I am glad that this video showed his address to the crowd at the opening so you know what I was talking about.  It really did feel like I was watching a TV show on the History Channel when we talked on skype.  What I found really amazing about the project is the diversity of styles present.  So many really talented people involved and all using quite varied mediums.  Hopefully I can get more footage of the other artists and post it here.  I know Rose Borchovski also has a work in it but not sure which is hers.

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Dance of Death with Peter Greenaway

     Several months ago I received a request to speak with European director Peter Greenaway on Skype.  My first reaction was alarm then mild nausea as I imagined the many, many scenarios of how I could make a fool of myself in front of someone whom I admire.  Mr Greenaway is known for a variety of movies such as The cook, the thief, his wife & her lover starring Helen Mirren, The Pillow Book with Ewan McGregor, Drowning by Numbers and dozens more.  He is also an author and painter.  I am a.. well .. anonymous cartoon character in a virtual world... nice to meet you Mr Greenaway.
      When we spoke on Skype I actually forgot we were talking for a bit as he is an orator of the traditional sense, full of narration and information quite spellbinding. I had to prod myself to at least attempt to make interesting conversation.  I don't recall what I said, which is clearly a defense mechanism instigated by my brain to protect me from embarrassment.  Thank you brain I own you one.  I probably said, during a pause, that I liked orange juice.  I just don't recall.
     Anyway, Mr Greenaway is fond of my machinima and asked me to create five for an installation work to be shown in Basel Switzerland this weekend.  If you happen to be in that area then do go by and take some photos.  The project is called Danse Macabre or the Dance of Death and it is connected to a church mural that was destroyed during WW2.  The age old concept is, that regardless of our station in life, whether that be King, Whore, Priest or Beggar we are all equal in death.  The ancient depictions of this idea often shows a skeleton gently leading various people off to their demise.  Skeletons today are rather loaded images and have become quite sinister, yet I don't particularly see them that way.   For this artwork I was asked to create five machinima depicting characters from this imagery.  They need not have been connected to one another but I chose to create a narrative linking all five characters together.  I have included my quick sketches which I sent to Peter for approval.  I modernized some of the traditional characters and chose the Painter, Doctor (computer repairman), The Herald (reporter), Child and Mother.

The real life installation takes place in a church graveyard.  As guests walk through the artwork sensors detect them and when they enter a certain radius, a projector plays a machinima onto a gravestone.  An additional challenge within the project was that the film had to fit the gravestones themselves.  So that meant filming in 9:16 rather than widescreen 16:9.  That meant physically turning my monitor on its side so that it was long and tall, then changing its orientation from landscape to horizontal.  Unfortunately YouTube won't show movies in that orientation without adding two black bars on either side or I would have uploaded it for you to see.  I may figure out a way but for now here are a few images taken from the scenes.

I am going to receive some images from the installation and opening in a few weeks or so and will do a second post talking about the artists involved and then I can include some photos of the event so that it makes more sense.  I was sent the invite and information in a PDF file which sadly prevents me from copying then pasting the information which I can then Google translate.  That Google translation would naturally be completely incorrect but closer than what I am offering which is a screen capture of the pertinent information.

My blog info tells me that I have readers from Switzerland so if you have the opportunity please go and let me know what you think of the installation.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

UCCSL meeting with IP Lawyers

     Since the TOS changes there has been a slow but steady movement within the community to evaluate what the TOS actually means and just what might the intentions of Linden Lab be.  People like Kylie Sabra have stepped forward along with others to create groups such as The United Content Creators of SL whose membership, in just a few weeks,  is at 370 and growing.   I have been watching the blogger community and it is kind of interesting to see who puts out fluff daily while completely avoiding the topic, to those who give an opinion one way or the other.  So if you are not sure what groups or people will stand up for you as an artist or creator then all I can say is there are a few groups, some behind the scenes, but perhaps for now join the The United Content Creators of SL.
     Below is a long but informative video hosted by the UCCSL  which recorded yesterdays in-world meeting with three IP lawyers discussing what the TOS language means.  I would start at 7 min in, then play it in the background as you do something else like build a pillow fort.  I found it quite informative, especially when discussing other TOS wording by companies such as yahoo, Facebook and so on.  Why they used certain words and what text is most disturbing.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Imogen and the pigeons - closing

     Imogen and the pigeons has been a great success with just under 50k visitors and surprisingly it is still getting quite a few people daily.  However I have a terrible building itch and a new idea that I have been waiting to try out for ages now.  The Bienal de Cerveira is complete and sadly, in order to make new things, the older things must be deleted.   I am midway through filming parts of Imogen so that I may hopefully make a machinima of the story at a later date. I expect to be done in two or three weeks and will, at that time, delete Imogen and her story.  So if you have not seen it or wish to bring a friend then you have a few weeks left to do so.

     I have really enjoyed speaking to a variety of people with very astute perceptions on different ways the virtual medium can be used for creating "art".  What is exciting to me is the amount of people who are looking at the medium with the intention of imagining where it can go to and what makes it unique as an art form, rather than trying to mimic what we recognize as traditional art.

The story for Imogen is intended to be slightly vague as to allow the viewer to interpret the narrative with more freedom.  I feel that it may be more engaging for the viewer if they are not told a definitive story which can make the viewer passive, but rather to live and interact within a story which requires them to activate their imagination.  My stories are always very personal to me as they are created around aspects or observations of my own life, so I do have a particular narrative behind Imogen and her poems.  Many do ask for my side of the story and if you are one who likes to know the ideas and concepts behind a work then I have listed a series of posts I did to explain the work.  If on the other hand you prefer the mystery then their is absolutely no need to click any of these links below.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Farewell LEA

A 20 region build using only the cube
     A few CEO's of Linden Lab ago I was asked to be part of a committee whose goal was to
encourage the arts in Second Life.  I was, and am, a bit of a hermit so had no real desire to be involved.  But one thing I do try to do is promote virtual art when I can, so I accepted.  The original group, for those of you who might be interested,  was AM Radio, Bryn Oh, Bettina Tizzy, Chantal Harvey, Dancoyote Antonelli, Dekka Raymaker, Jayjay Zinfanwe, L1Aura Loire, Sasun Steinbeck and Werner Kurosawa.  Bettina Tizzy resigned almost immediately when Linden Lab said they would not allow megaprims on LEA land... you remember megaprims?  AM Radio, Chantal Harvey, Dekka Raymaker, L1Aura Loire, Sasun Steinbeck and Dancoyote Antonelli all left over time for varying reasons with only JayJay, Werner and myself remaining from the original group.

   The original members were given nine regions to work with and pretty much Linden Lab just left us alone to set it up.  We began planning out what to do and learned how to create an arts council.  None of us were experts and so had to learn how to create an efficient and fair committee.  People like Rowan Derryth, DanCoyote Antonelli and PatriciaAnne Daviau were key organizational people in those areas.  Others like Sasun Steinbeck and later Solo Mornington were instrumental in creating all the web infrastructure etc.  Later we approached Linden Lab and its shareholders and they agreed to give us 20 more regions which we then gave to artists to create content.

     Over time we brought in different advisors who came and left.  Dizzy Banjo, Zachh Cale, Chantal Harvey and Rowan Derryth.   The current LEA is comprised of JayJay Zinfanwe, Werner Kurosawa, Oberon Onmurra, Chic Aeon, Honour McMillan, PatriciaAnne Daviau, Lapiscean Liberty, Quan Lavender and Solo Mornington.  A nice mix of artists, academics, bloggers/media, planners and tech people.

    After the new TOS came out I had to decide if I still felt comfortable being associated with the LEA, not the members but rather the concept.  One thing I do in both first life and Second Life is try to convince artists that they and their art are worth something.  You see, artists are quite often taken advantage of.  People will pay a plumber to fix a sink or a roofer to fix a roof because it is a skill they do not possess themselves, and they accept and recognize that.  However, most people also can not paint pictures as an example, yet they will suggest that it would be great "exposure" to put things in their Law Office or Hotel.  When I was just out of art school I was convinced to do 25 pen and ink drawings for an expensive coffee table book.. for "exposure".  They thanked me in the back of the book.  And somehow I felt like they did me a favour.  They probably paid everyone else but me.

     Along the way the confidence of some artists can be beaten down to the level where they don't really believe what they do has value.   Many people believe that artists shouldn't take money or they will lose their "purity".  It's silly.  I mean really, a painter may create a family portrait that goes on a persons wall giving them and their family joy.  That painting can be passed down through generation after generation for around 400 years if taken care of properly and the original was done with quality paints and support structure.  So they really can't provide an artist with a bit of money similar to other skilled trades so they can continue doing this?  Grand Theft Auto just came out and made $800 million in a single day.  The vast majority of the employees for that game company are artists, and they didn't do it for exposure.  Hollywood's biggest movie this year has been Iron Man 3 at around $400 million for its entire showing.  That also has quite a few artists involved.  They also didn't do it for exposure.  Without the creatives neither of these would exist.  Linden Lab doesn't build the world the residents enjoy.  The give us the ground we stand upon and then try to make it work properly with varying degrees of success.  Their virtual world is built by its users and without content creators there is no second life.  They have an easily measurable value to the product.  Content creators in general appreciate what Linden Lab have created for us, and they don't demand much.  The population appreciates them.

     I have seen many times over my years in SL a media outlet writing a derogatory and poorly researched article on Second Life.  I have seen residents, who a moment before were complaining bitterly about Linden Lab, suddenly stand up loyally en mass to chastise the media outlet with thousands of comments in defense of their virtual world.   Much of the community, though rarely admitted, feel or felt that SL is a unique little niche in technology that they are a part of, and they feel a kinship of sorts with Linden Lab for creating it.  It is quite remarkable that SL has lasted ten years when most virtual worlds die out quite rapidly.   The reason is not the graphics nor exciting game play but rather the community itself.  Linden Lab have, over time, been determined to distance themselves from the community by removing support for community events and such.   They decided at some point that is it better for us to have a self sufficient community and to just be the provider of a platform.  The new TOS is strictly a business decision made by a company whose employees generally have far less experience with the virtual world than the average citizen of that world.  The proof is in the Firestorm viewer made by residents vs the Official viewer made by Linden Lab.

 The Path
 The Path is an Exquisite Corpse narrative created by virtual world artists. They were by order of scene.. Bryn Oh, Colin Fizgig, Marcus Inkpen, Desdemona Enfield, Douglas Story, Maya Paris, Claudia222 Jewell, Scottius Polke and Rose Borchovski.

The artists were given a random order and upon composing a short narrative would then pass it on to the following artist in the sequence who would then add to it and continue passing it on until reaching the final artist.

     In the LEA there are a few who feel Linden Lab are justified in owning everything.  They argue that we can complain all we want but Linden Lab wont care.  That might be true.  Others say we shouldn't fight Linden Lab because our work only exists due to their platform, if they closed it then we would be hurting ourselves...  so essentially lets not rock the boat.  Some are completely quiet on the topic.  Others like Chic Aeon are quite annoyed over the new TOS and Honour, Patricia and Solo seem critical of LL.  Though I never got along with Dancoyote Antonelli I must admit he would be fighting LL vigorously if he were still part of the LEA.  Anyway, long story short I have decided to resign from the Linden Endowment for the Arts due to the current TOS.  If they rolled it back I would return perhaps, if the door were still open, and would work to promote and encourage the arts in virtual worlds, but I don't expect they will.

     As it stands now I don't feel comfortable luring artists into creating content for Linden Labs who can pretty much do whatever they want with it.  I will take the risk with my own content but I wont encourage others to do so.  For example, if you developed a revolutionary method for treating people with Schizophrenia by using specific techniques combining art, original music and the virtual space then built or demonstrated it in SL, it would no longer be yours exclusively.  Linden Lab could scoop it up and put their money behind it, while you struggled to promote it from your basement.  The TOS is at the bottom for you to view.  It is just another indignity artists and thinkers must suffer and I don't want to be a part of it.  People say "Oh but Facebooks TOS is just as bad" as though that is a reason for us all to just roll over and expose our bellies.   I don't honestly believe Linden Lab would do these terrible, immoral things yet they have not explained anything to the community.  They have not said "Oh hey I can see how it looks alarming but really we just need that wording to help us market the product easier etc ect.. and we needed to add "sell" and "re-sell" to the wording for this reason.."  Do you want to sell our content through Desura your new digital distribution acquisition as some have speculated?  If so then explain and share and you might have a willing partner.  But right now there is a lot of speculation, distrust and no clarification.

     Banks pretend to love us individually when we all know that we are just account numbers.  Linden Lab is currently straddling that awareness with one side of the precipice a big smile not seen in the eyes and the other the chance to show they appreciate the concerns of the community.. that they are the Linden Lab some of us still remember.  If they adjust the TOS then simply put, they still appreciate us and have listened.  If they don't then its business as usual and fuck the community and their wants.  They saw that Facebook users raised a cry of outrage over that TOS yet they desired the service more than they were willing to make a stand by leaving.  Lets watch.  If in a few weeks they still have not addressed the concerns from the community then perhaps its time we preserve our avatar names in other virtual worlds as well.  Cloud Party has sent me some really nice emails lately and they are advancing rapidly with unique features.  I have a Bryn Oh there now.  Inworldz is a user focused version of SL.  I have a Bryn Oh there now too.  Perhaps spend an hour in a different virtual world each week.  Check out Kitely and Opensim in general, make an account so nobody else gets your SL name which everyone knows you by.  Hopefully it is all just a big misunderstanding and we can be reassured that our ideas and content are safely our own even if they need to claim partial ownership for legitimate yet not obvious reasons.
   Here are some of the events that I curated for the LEA over the years I was there.  I wish good luck to the remaining members and may they lead the art community to bigger and better things.

The Avatar Games 
With thanks to Crap Mariner, Honour McMillan
Galea and Sasun Steinbeck for their help

 The Cube Project (Bryn's portion)

Bryn Oh, Cajska Carlsson, Charlotte Bartlett, Dancoyote Antonelli, Giovanna Cerise,  Haveit Neox, Kicca Igaly, L1Aura Loire, London Junkers,  Maya Paris, Misprint Thursday, Nessuno Myoo, Oberon Onmura, PatriciaAnne Daviau, Pixels Sideways, Pol Jarvinen, Rag Randt, Rowan Derryth, Sea Mizin, Secret Rage, Solkide Auer, Remington Aries, Solo Mornington,  Tony Resident, Werner Kurosawa and Xineohp Guisse.

Further Along the Path (Bryn's portion)

 The Path is an Exquisite Corpse narrative created by virtual world artists. They were by order of scene..
Glyph Graves, paramparamm Papp, Alpha Auer, Bryn Oh, Oberon Onmura, 
Eupalinos Ugajin, Ux Hax, romy Nayar and Ub Yifu.

The artists were given a random order and upon composing a short narrative would then pass it on to the following artist in the sequence who would then add to it and continue passing it on until reaching the final artist.

Except as otherwise described in any Additional Terms (such as a contest’s official rules) which will govern the submission of your User Content, you hereby grant to Linden Lab, and you agree to grant to Linden Lab, the non-exclusive, unrestricted, unconditional, unlimited, worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, and cost-free right and license to use, copy, record, distribute, reproduce, disclose, sell, re-sell, sublicense (through multiple levels), modify, display, publicly perform, transmit, publish, broadcast, translate, make derivative works of, and otherwise exploit in any manner whatsoever, all or any portion of your User Content (and derivative works thereof), for any purpose whatsoever in all formats, on or through any media, software, formula, or medium now known or hereafter developed, and with any technology or devices now known or hereafter developed, and to advertise, market, and promote the same. You agree that the license includes the right to copy, analyze and use any of your Content as Linden Lab may deem necessary or desirable for purposes of debugging, testing, or providing support or development services in connection with the Service and future improvements to the Service. The license granted in this Section 2.3 is referred to as the “Service Content License.

[21:29] Bære (semaj.ivanovic): LL TOS would have been much shorter if it just said MINE! MINE! MINE! ALL MINE!

BTW a new group was recently created called United Content Creators of SL which you are welcome to join if this cause interests you.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

New terms of service aka kiss me you giant bomb

 There has been quite a bit of discussion within the community about the wording of the new terms of
service that we each had to accept in order to use Second Life.  Below is the main culprit which the Devil himself would be jealous of when making a deal for your soul.  I mean wow that is thorough.

"I love you giant bomb.. never betray me"                                                    "Yeah.. well.. about that.."
Except as otherwise described in any Additional Terms (such as a contest’s official rules) which will govern the submission of your User Content, you hereby grant to Linden Lab, and you agree to grant to Linden Lab, the non-exclusive, unrestricted, unconditional, unlimited, worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, and cost-free right and license to use, copy, record, distribute, reproduce, disclose, sell, re-sell, sublicense (through multiple levels), modify, display, publicly perform, transmit, publish, broadcast, translate, make derivative works of, and otherwise exploit in any manner whatsoever, all or any portion of your User Content (and derivative works thereof), for any purpose whatsoever in all formats, on or through any media, software, formula, or medium now known or hereafter developed, and with any technology or devices now known or hereafter developed, and to advertise, market, and promote the same. You agree that the license includes the right to copy, analyze and use any of your Content as Linden Lab may deem necessary or desirable for purposes of debugging, testing, or providing support or development services in connection with the Service and future improvements to the Service. The license granted in this Section 2.3 is referred to as the “Service Content License.

     So there is really no doubt that Linden Lab could screw over content creators should they wish to.   The wording is quite alarming to put it mildly.  And though I honestly believe they have no intention to, I have still signed petitions to roll back the TOS.  You see  at this point it all comes down to our faith in the morality of the large business entity named Linden Labs.   Oh about three years ago or so I knew a variety of Linden lab employees and sometimes bumped into them in world as well.  Some were cool and some were incredibly nerdy but all exuded a genuine passion for our virtual world.  But those days are long over and now, to me, they have become faceless as I don't think I even know a single Linden today.  So once you become faceless you can't ask us to just trust you anymore.  I could upload my greatest and most precious work tonight and by tomorrow morning Linden Lab could be selling it not only in Second Life but also over any online market where people buy 3D content.  I don't believe they would do that as the worldwide content creators community would go a bit nutty and Second Life would likely not get another content creator who respected themself to log in.  Their reputation would be destroyed and Second Life would grow tired and die.  I am sure they already know this.  They must.

  So is it blowing over?  Well in the petition I signed it seems Madpea might leave as a result of these new terms.  One of my patrons has decided to go over to Kitely and offered me land there to move.  A friend of mine says Tuna Oddfellow, the man who has run the Oddball for several years, is leaving on principle.  You know a few years back IBM was deep into Second Life with hundreds of regions.  They didn't much like the TOS of the time and then struck some kind of deal to have a hidden IBM group of regions which was kind of apart from the rest of the grid.  But can you imagine IBM creating new technologies or concepts in the virtual space only to have them appropriated by another company? By willingly signing something allowing this?  They would never do that and that's why they are essentially gone or inactive.

     Personally I think they have no intention of doing the worst case scenarios.  So for example game quality models are extremely efficient and well crafted. I don't mean this in a bad way but the majority of Second Life mesh content is done by amateurs who are not concerned with game quality modelling.  The fear of Linden Labs selling our content outside of SL is unlikely because game makers would never purchase the models we make as they likely would not be efficient enough for game use.  So then who would they potentially sell it to?  It would have to be sold to second life residents which would cause an immediate exodus of content creators, or they could be used for Linden Labs new products (games) outside SL.. namely their own games.. but then same problem.  I mean you wouldn't make a game using a mishmash of models culled from Second Life.. they would just make their own efficient models.  That conspiracy theory was one suggested to me and it just doesn't really make sense.  Far more work to do that then just hire people to make game models that work immediately and designed specifically for the games.  I can't see them alienating their own community this way as they rely on the content creators.

     So why then?  

     There are lawsuits and then there are monster lawsuits.  I expect the lawyers for Linden Labs are trying to create an impenetrable form of protectionism for their products.  Somebody brings in Disney content? content from the new Grand Theft Auto?  There is no trial or delay.. they delete the account and remove the content immediately and there is no messing around with appeals and so on.  With the population of millions in Second Life imagine how many Abuse reports are being written right now as we sit here that they have to read and deal with?  How many want a rollback for their land or claim someone stole their idea?  That is just one scenario that popped in my head but just imagine how many others there can be which could require time and resources to deal with.
     Today I read about an elderly lady who rented her home to a man for a few months while she was on vacation.  He proceeded to declare her home an embassy for something or other.  That obviously wouldn't work now would it? Well he lived there for two years before they finally could evict him.  I mean how is that even possible?  It is stupid.  But then that is the legal system.  A vast meandering bowl of spagetti.  Linden Labs need not be hamstrung by any such irrational silliness such as that, the potential for misuse is still alarming of course, but I am hopeful that the new TOS is more related to legal protectionism than something so short sighted as stealing our content.  I should mention though that I am hopelessly naive on occasion.

     The only other thing I can think of is if they were planning on closing down second life and selling it.  I imagine, theoretically, they could sell it for more if they owned the entire thing from code to content. A new owner would have the freedom to make drastic changes if they had to, but perhaps without that new TOS they could be wary of being handcuffed.  I don't really know though, just trying to imagine reasons for it.  For example perhaps the marketing department says they are having a hard time promoting second life because in any image they take they might have to get permission from hundreds of content creators to use that simple picture.  From the tree maker, the numerous clothing designers, the eyes and hair and so on.  Maybe some of these content creators have left sl and they wait endlessly to get permission.  If they own everything then they can market their product without any delays in getting permissions. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Avenue magazine articles

In Septembers issue of Avenue magazine there are a few interviews with me done by Cajsa Lilliehook.  Cajsa did a really good job preparing for the interview which is so much more enjoyable.  Her insights into Imogen and the pigeons are quite astute and there are some wonderful images of the work by Eira Juliesse and Ziki Questi.  The articles begin on page 248 and run consecutively.  I have posted the magazine separately below as it seems to cover up all the text it shares with a post.

Oh Ziki just gave me direct links to the articles.. here they are.

The singularity of Imogen

Oh, the places you'll go

Avenue magazine link

Avenue magazine articles

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The urban beehive

 I think some people know that I have a thing for insects.  I often make robotic ones and there will likely be a few in my new build.  I always loved to turn over rocks and see what little worlds were under there.  I actually did that yesterday and found 30 or so tiny white millipedes that had just been born.  It has not always been rosy though.. when I was a kid I found a wasp nest inside one of those great big hollow cylindrical concrete construction things.  I was with a few friends and naturally we decided to crawl inside the tube and hit it with a stick.  That didn't work out so well and there was a profound echo of screaming in that tube as we had to back out while being stung.  Not one of the smarter things I have ever done.  Anyway I am fairly obsessed with honey bees at the moment and I thought I would share this idea for a home beehive.

 From their site...

The urban beehive is a concept for keeping bees at home. The beehive is designed to allow us a glimpse into the world of these industrious creatures and to harvest the honey that they produce. It consists of two parts: entry passage and flower pot outside, and glass vessel containing an array of honeycomb frames, inside. The glass shell filters light to let through the orange wavelength which bees use for sight. The frames are provided with a honeycomb texture for bees to build their wax cells on. Smoke can be released into the hive to calm the bees before it is opened, in keeping with established practice.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Bienal catalogue

 In the mail today I received the catalogue for the 17th Bienal de Cerveira which is currently running as a hybrid first life and virtual world exhibition.  I was surprised at how huge it is, 350 pages and full colour.  The Bienal is made up of artists from all over the world and many of the images show high quality traditional works in a variety of media.  So it was nice to see a large segment of the book devoted to virtual artists specifically those working in Second Life.  I have included the text below, there are also numerous pages of full colour images from each artist. 

The origin of this Biennial work is inscribed in the dynamic developed for avatars in the metaverso platform of Second Life. In this context, two types recognizable environments are emphasized: the environment and the work – as a virtual object. In the first case we have the artists’ proposals presented in the avatar Moya and Bryn Oh recreating their virtual autonomous spaces based on a fictional rhetoric. The first, buoyed by a growing complexity, submits the visitor avatar to a kind of second immersion (if we consider the platform of the Second Life immersive in itself) in a prefigured world created to generate a sensory- intensive experience that is acknowledged and activated by the avatar. If we deepen our level of attention, we can recognize in the virtual projects designed by the two artists as a spatial strategy of the creative process, unexpected reencounter with the concept of Merzbau proposed by Kurt Schwitters (/). It is not only a constructive development of forms but the fiction of space in a constant state of becoming. In the case of the universe proposed by the artist Patrick Moya with his Museu Moya, this dynamic creative flux expands to an increased reality in the sense that it hosts the works made in a virtual and automatic world. This dynamic proceeds in the direction of a kind of liquid flux that merges two converging realities. It is not just two parallel realities, but one only one that flows between the atom and the bit.
In the virtual work presented by the artist Bryn Oh (CA) we can find a distinct dynamic narrative in which the artist explores the sensorial sense of the avatar by presenting singular experiences to the viewer according to the path and environments created. Bryn Oh, besides exploring the mimetic representation of reality in terms of the rendering of forms (textures), also develops representationally complex spaces in which each level of access is like a dive into a fictional universe invoking the magical and fantasy universes explored extensively and recurrently in literary production.
Also proposed in the third space of the metaverso dedicated to Bienal Virtual SL (Angel Isles , , ) is a different reading made by exploring the sharing of experiences between artists/avatars. In the exhibition space dedicated to the Bienal Virtual, there is a range from the intensive singular readings developed by several avatars as in the surreal works proposed by the Italian artist Eupalinos Ugajin to the elaborate constructions of the Portuguese group Capcat Ragu & Meilo Minataur & Takio Ra that explore oneiric forms in space regulated by metrics such
“It is not only
 a constructive development of forms but the fiction of space in a constant state of becoming.”
the virtual modulation. Both artists enhance the immersive aspect of the work by a mimetic process of intimate access which is valued and recurrent in the world of illustration. It’s about inhabiting the image.
In the remaining works, we acknowledge the dynamic achieved with different levels of experimentation through tools accessible in the metaverso such as the interaction with the work – avatar, valorization of movements of animated forms and an efficient synchronization between form, color and space. In this exhibition of metaverso, we detach the concepts of impermanence and fluidity as a media and metaphor of the constructed world in zero-graviy. We highlight in Bienal Virtual at the SIM Angel Isles, designed by the French architect Pierre-Divier Fouqué, the contributions of Julio Juste Ocaña, aka Holala Alter (ES), Elif Ayiter, aka Alpha Auer (TR), Osferatus Haven (FR) e Maya Paris (UK) e CEElesteSerra (PT).Also, in this space we have machinimas coordinated by André Lopes (PT) showing works on film made completely in virtual spaces which explore and enhance the potential of the narratives. In this section we can see the artworks of Tutsy NavArAthnA (GR), Bryn Oh (CA), Toxic Menges, Traceshops and Spyvspyaeon (PT).
At the same time, thematic conversations by Paula Justiça about virtual art are also in the program beside the performative interventions by the digital performer Pixel Reanimator (UK), with the project Machinic- Babenco and MArmaduke Arado (PT) and Isabel Vilaverde (PT). All are artist interventions referring to the interactive potential available in the metaverso areas.
We should also refer the recording of performative actions that take place in the virtual spaces of conceptual self-representation. These visual recordings, in addition to their historic value, also work as corridors of access between the disconnect of reality and the virtual world.

Silvestre Pestana & Celeste Cerqueira
curators intermundos@metaverso project
1st Virtual Biennial (PT)_2013  
 Catalogue pages nº  54, 55, 56;

      In other news, which is actually not news at all, yesterday I went to a conservation area outside Toronto called Silver Creek and took a picture of this frog.  I also found an Eastern Newt!  I have only ever seen Newts a few times before this and was delighted to find that they are quite content to sit on your hand.  My picture is pretty crappy so I have included a better one which I found on the internet.  I also came across a Millipede as big as my finger, I have never seen one even close to that size before.  Sadly, for some reason I forgot to take a picture of him.