Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Imogen - To fall and become aware


     
       She climbed up the pole
        that rose like a spire
        and attempted to join
        her pigeons on wire
       
        but startled they flew
        so Imogen leapt
        spreading her wings
        and silently wept
       
        missing her dreams
        by seconds and feet
        she soared for a moment
        then fell to the street


      Static emerged
        like cracks in a road
        and her minds construct collapsed
        which housed her binary code
        that was preserved for the day
        when it could be rewired
        into our human cells
        once we were expired
       
        but her memories were a virus
        that corrupted the core
        of her archived life
        preserved at the Rebirth Store
     

     Imogen rushes to the pole outside her bedroom window and climbs up while in her carefully constructed disguise.  The pigeons are not in the least bit fooled and immediately fly off.  In desperation Imogen tries to follow them and falls to the ground.

     If you cam into the window of the room you will see her still in bed there, but with the sound of a flatline.  Her true death in the asylum coincides with her death upon the street.  Her head rests against the pillow with her eyes pointed towards the book of whales upon the ground by her bed.  It is the last things she sees and is woven into her new reality. 
      Imogens life has been stored in the computer for a century, and she has evolved into a form of consciousness over that time.   Since her life is now made up of a computer language, descriptions in text, her desire to change the way her life was lived and its outcome acts as a virus within that memory.  

     She began to alter the seemingly hard coded events of her life by originally creating an escape which would have been that fairytale life with the pigeons outside her window.  A mere empty fantasy.  

    Without much control or direction she moved through a dream like state to try and find what she needed.  The pigeons were a distraction and it is at this point that Imogen begins to take control of her recorded life and memories.  The white room is her transition into an awareness that she dictates her life despite others writing it.  She descends through this obstacle and comes out the other side.

Her love is a virus and she wants her child back.   She will let nothing stop her now.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Imogen -Beauty salon and fridge drawings

Ruth Etting

When the viewer jumps down the walls and walks past the rope of the previous stage they come to another singing robot, this time its Ruth Etting.  She stands outside a beauty salon singing a song called "All of me".  Inside is this poem.

    Imogen mused
        that she was more pigeon than swan
        as she climbed down the walls
        to the Beauty Salon
       
        She entered a room
        surrounded by chairs
        lowered the curlers
        and singed feather to hair
       
        Her disguise now complete
        she walked to the ceiling
        and saw a vision emerge
        in her dream revealing
       
        a future suppressed
        like fading notes to a song
        that we desperately grasp
        yet can not prolong.


Imogen and her hair curlers
     Here you will discover Imogen using the antiquated curlers to singe pigeon feathers into her hair, her disguise is now finally complete.  On the floor is another feather for wall walking and in the ceiling a hole which leads one to the next scene in the story. 
must use the feather to get to the hole in the ceiling

       A darkened kitchen
        strewn with blank paper
        once a child's drawings
        now dispersed like vapor
       
        This future denied
        left her mind frayed
        so her reality for dreams
        was what she'd trade
       
        She fled this scene
        unable to bear
        and rushed to her pigeons
        to find comfort there.


 
     At this point in the salon Imogen has a vision of a future that was denied her.  Her focus is pulled away from her quest to find the pigeons, bringing her back to the painful memories of her lost child.   The vision is of a darkened kitchen with just a glowing fridge.  The floor strewn with blank pages that a child has never drawn upon.  A fridge with no artworks suspended by magnetsShe forces these thoughts aside and rushes now to find her salvation.  Opening the door to the refrigerator and entering allows us to continue along her warped and changing reality.





Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Imogen - Wings and adverts

The next scene is a somewhat dramatic change from the dark enclosed space of the mannequin room.  You walk up a ramp and out past a window onto a ledge overlooking the street far below.  If you don't immediately fall off the edge as some invariably do, then you will see pigeons and feathers strewn along the ledge.  Towards the end sits Imogen sewing the next part of her disguise together.  A set of wings.  

     She stepped through a window
        and onto the ledge
        the wind in her hair
        and pigeons on edge.
       
        She found on the stones
        a loose feather
        then gathered up more
        and sewed them together
       
        to fashion some wings
        for her disguise
        to join her flock
        within the skies.  


Mounted on the walls of this scene are some ancient advertisements which help to define the society that has now become extinct.  There is the advert for Tar-o-plast
which suggests that you need not ask what is in the product but rather just accept that it works and forget having to ever say no to your child. 

      Another advert is written in a child's handwriting which I guess means that a child, one who knows good milkshakes from bad ones, wrote the text for them meaning we can trust that other kids will like it as well because, you know, this mystery kid is vouching for it.
     It confusingly implies that if you don't like Auntie Ethels Milkshakes then perhaps you don't love your own Aunt.  It also, disturbingly, states the ingredients that often masquerade for strawberry.  Sadly this is not something I made up but rather an actual list of ingredients.

On the walls are spray painted adverts attempting to appear as graffiti.  One is for Retelevise, a service that offers to free up your own personal time by addicting your child to the TV.   Below is the full advert for Zinger the rocket dog.



     In most of my adverts I use the term "Scientypes" which refers to actors in white lab coats.  A type of scientist that we can't quite put our finger on.  Someone who seems to be quite intelligent and trustworthy yet is merely an actor or pseudo professional with hazy qualifications.  When you need a boost in credibility for your product simply insert a handsome actor into a white lab coat.  Works splendidly as a dentist, surgeon/doctor, scientist or Alberta tar sands environmental expert for either side of the argument. 
     Zinger is actually a character I made up years ago and is the pet of one of my other early characters named Mr Lightbulb.  I am sure nobody remembers him but he exists in my very first machinima (which is terrible) but I will put a link anyway.  I keep flirting with the idea of making this story one day as well.   Always something seems to get in the way though.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Imogen - wall walking

 For many the story ends in this room, but for those familiar with my work they will naturally click on things here and there, and in doing so will discover a feather on the ground which allows them to walk up walls and along ceilings.  Just outside jumping distance is a vent, by walking along the right hand side of the vent wall you will be brought out onto a spiral which takes you to the next scene within Imogens story.

This part of the story signifies that Imogen has broken through her static recorded life held within the computer.  She no longer is governed by the rules of her prison but like a waking dream she begins to mix her past reality into a new form.
 The first sign of this is in the very next room where she has incorporated her pen and ink drawing from the book on her bed into a new emerging reality.  From a certain vantage point her drawing lines up to compose the familiar picture but as you draw closer it begins to lose its cohesion and form.  Almost like a dream state where she mixes parts of her everyday life into this dream where it gets subtly warped.

        Imogen's mind
        split from its seams
        and wove in her books
        to merge with her dreams
       
        She sought out her pigeons
        pushing memories aside
        of the life that breathed through her
        its cord coming untied
       
 A cable for the monitor
        and cord for a life
        each severed her mind
        like a surgical knife.

The first hint of what happened to Imogen to bring her to the asylum occurs within this poem above.  She tries to focus on her pigeons in order to forget the child she lost.  The event which unhinged her.

She comes to a room full of old dusty fabric and from there she sews the first part to her pigeon disguise.  And from there she moves on to seek out the parts she will need to join her pigeons.
    


      Imogen arrived
        upon a scene
        of mannequins
        and sewing machine
       
        the lights revealed
        fabric pigeon grey
        dusty and torn
        its edges frayed
       
        and from there she sewed
        her pigeon dress
        that enveloped her body
        in a gentle caress.
      




Thursday, April 18, 2013

Imogen


 Coming into the final room, all the characters along the hallway just facets of her own personality, a prelude and now we meet Imogen. 

        Imogen sat
        quiet on her bed
        the books on her mattress
        one hundred times read.
       
        Eyes to her friends
        huddled out on the wire
        cooing softly
        it was her one desire
       
        to join with them
        out past her bars
        where no one could test her
        with Monarchs in jars.
       
        She rose from her bed
        tube fallen aside
        and determined to join
        her pigeons outside.
       
        But will they fly
        off to the skies
        unless I wear
        a clever disguise?
       
        I must approach
        like a whisper in moonlight
        so they'll not startle
        so they'll not fright.
       
        And we'll make a family
        warm shoulder to wing
        they'll coo softly
        and I'll learn to sing.



Imogen appears to have experienced a great loss in her life, but we don't yet know from what.  The view from her bed in the asylum is her TV from where she watches the pigeons outside her barred window.  They are all she knows and over the years she becomes enraptured by them.  She watches them huddled as a family through winter and summer, a society's nuisance which she has seen past to something deeper that she craves.  Her dream is to join with them in their little family, the feeling of being pressed on both sides by a tight warmth and soft cooing.  Perhaps this would let her forget.
 
      
On her bed lies two books which she reads over and over again.  So many times that they have become ingrained in her reality.  A book on whales and pen and ink drawings.  She sets these aside and begins her quest to craft a disguise, a pigeon dress, that will let her fit in with her friends out on the wire.

On the floor by her bed is a symbolic feather which the viewer touches to begin Imogens story.  They bypass gravity and rules allowing them to walk up walls and proceed within the story.  Up to this point we are in Imogens recorded life in programming code.  If our memories could ever be transcribed into code, would humanity's next goal not be to then edit that code?  Removing the parts that cause pain and rewriting warmer outcomes.  You see immortality is nice, but then perhaps it can be improved.  Imogens life is written on a computer whose wheels still turn centuries after society has collapsed, yet she possesses or developed a new awareness within this construct and sets out to change how her life unfolded.  Her love a virus in the machine.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The safe room

 Along the hall of characters is one door where it is written "Safe room" where the inmates are encouraged to go to spend time alone in whatever manner they choose.  There is a gramophone which plays a melancholy violin piece and a bed for the inmate to lay on.  The bed also contains an intimate pose.  When  you leave this room and walk down the hall you will find a door marked "private".  Going inside you will find a room fashioned behind
a one-way window.  There is a comfortable chair, a cigarette and a camera filming all within the safe room.  As I said in the first poem, the therapist feels that he can see much clearer from the darkened side of a one way mirror.

Often those exploring the story will come to this room only to realize that they were being silently observed by other visitors while they reclined on the bed.  There is a sense of violation.








 Opening the door to a storage room discovers a mirror, sink and waste basket.  Inside the basket is a poem which can be clicked for the machinima below.  There is a button that lets you change the resolution of the video below.. it is that gear icon.  It is set to 360p which is kind of grainy.. if you set it to 720 that will make it HD.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Elliot Amber

Elliot Amber

Elliot was shy
and very soft spoken
he loved moths
because they fly like they're broken

He dreamed of amber
housing ants suspended
in sienna coffins
tarsus extended

He would sit on a step
in the middle of the stairs
where none would stop
a place neither here nor there



Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Ginger Float

Ginger Float (click to enlarge)

I wish I were
a paper boat
for out to sea
I would float

to breathe the wind
and feel the spray
while my body
slowly decayed

absorbing the chaos
body asunder
closing my eyes
to descend down under

into the dark
and swaying peace
my tears diffused
upon release

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Juniper

Juniper (click to enlarge)

Under a blanket
with holes throughout
nobody sees in
but Juniper looks out

she whispers

come under with me
and together we'll hide
hold me in the darkness
there will be no outside

where people are cruel
and winters are cold
where I don't fit in
and every thing's sold

climb inside
we're two hands in a glove
fingers entwined
because you are my love

Split-apart (a poem under the bed)


My body trembles
at the touch of your hands
moving over me
like Willow strands

My body for you
while a tear runs free
because it's not enough
to keep you with me

Tightness in my chest
an ache in my heart
wherever you go
you're still my split-apart


Monday, April 8, 2013

Chalk Fingers

The first room on Imogens floor is that of Chalk Fingers.  You can click the image if you wish to see it larger.

Chalk Fingers sat
for hours engrossed
his fingertips tracing
things he longed for most

He would stay with each
but for a day
then at night
wash them away

so they'd not fasten
to his heart
because so many things
do depart

and all his lies
were really dreams
come apart
at the seams

Friday, April 5, 2013

Imogen and the pigeons - the rapist


 The second stage to Imogen and the pigeons begins with the guest arriving into Imogens recorded memories.  The original idea was to have a password type protection for her memory software and this took the form of a digital secretary.  A sign said
"The secretary looked up
her eyes rezzed so blue
"Do you have an appointment?"
To which you replied "yes _ __"
And the guest would have to reply in local chat "I do".  Unfortunately when I did a few rounds of testing only around 10% would actually type "I do" in local chat.  So that part was a wee bit too hard, and considering it was the very first room...not good .  It was not actually hard but more unintuitive I suppose.  Once you pass the secretary you come to the first poem.



"An unfortunate space 
that the printers missed,
changed the psychologists plague
to read the rapist"




"Inside the room
lay a mind's haute couture
with a butterfly board
and pins to cure

He was the type of man
who felt he saw much clearer
from the darkened side
of a one-way mirror

His patients were pieces
within a game
which when molded correctly
would bring him acclaim."

     The first room introduces the therapist.  He looks after a variety of quirky patients, and to each one he entrusts a monarch butterfly to care for.  Part of his curing process is to let the patients raise a butterfly from caterpillar, puppa to butterfly.  He keeps a cork board on the wall with a butterfly pinned above his many successes.  Each has a nameplate and the empty ones are for those not yet "cured".  At the top is a note that states that on the Monday a new patient named Anna will arrive.. and he puts in a notation that she may be antisocial.  I am sure he can handle any patient though.  The closet and chest are full of pose balls on hangers, no surprise as we all are aware that any good psychologist needs a variety of them for their patients.  On the shelves are various interactive pieces which contain poems or machinima.   One is the machinima for Cerulean.    

Monday, April 1, 2013

Imogen and the pigeons part one


 You arrive to Imogen and the pigeons amongst sandy dunes and rubble.  After passing the skeleton of a structure you come across the remains of what appears to be a store.  The sign above it gives a clue, it says "Rebirth Life encryption - Jesus saved... and so do we"


     In this society they had discovered how to record ones life experiences and memories onto computers in a digital format.  People would pay to have their life preserved for a future when technology would allow these stored memories to be installed into a new biological vessel.  The human races quest for immortality almost achieved.  But looking around one can see that this society has met with a catastrophe.  It is unnamed, perhaps plague or war, but whatever the cause it happened a long time ago.  Just inside the shop are rows upon rows of stored lives on computers that have all ceased to function.  Sand, rust and time have conspired to corrode the machines causing them to fail.  There is, however, one working machine whose wheels still have continued to turn.  Looking behind its dusty glass will reveal the name of the person whose life is recorded digitally onto this still functioning computer.  That name is Imogen.

      This story takes place inside the digital recording of a woman's life.  Beside this centuries old relic stands an antique entertainment bot from this society.  It is a replica of Vera Lynn, the WWII singer, and this machines role was to walk the streets and sing for the commuters and tourists.          After the societies collapse she continues to seek out an audience, as that was her function, yet everyone is gone so she sings to the last remaining fragment of humanity which takes the form two spinning spools that have translated love, happiness and loss into zeroes and ones.


     Not far from here lies a partially submerged chair that, with a little prodding, can be coaxed  back to life and allow you to fly around the desolate landscape seeking the entrance to Imogen's memories, which begin at the red cube in the sky.  There are other ways to reach the start such as a self building walkway as well as a spiral staircase rising above the nuclear silos.  It is a difficult path and symbolizes an anthropologists quest to uncover and piece together a long dead civilization.  An architectural dig not into soil and stone but rather hacking into code found inside some still functioning technological salvage.  This is the prelude to Imogen's story and the next post will be the first steps into her recorded memories.