Friday, December 30, 2016

Farewell 2016 you horrible horrible year!


This spoof trailer kind of sums it up but 2016 was not such a great year.  And a few more people were lost since it was made like Carrie Fisher and Richard Adams just a few days ago who, perhaps, is not as well known but was a very influential writer for me.  He wrote Watership Down a childhood favorite book of mine.  He gave me a love for rabbits.   As you can see in the image from Singularity of Kumiko below I put in his book as one the things strewn about at the accident scene.  If you have not read it then I would suggest picking it up.  Also here in Canada we lost Leonard Cohen whose music, lyrics and poetry I admired greatly.  And then at the start of the year my Father died of ALS which Trumps them all (no pun intended) 
      But then I prefer a glass half full.   There have been some great things happening in 2016. While it was too late for my father thanks to the ice bucket challenge the gene responsible for ALS has been found, meaning we are closer to an effective treatment.  Hmm well there was a significant increase in tiger numbers for the first time in a century.  Scientists figured out how to link robotic limbs with the part of the brain that deals with intent to move so people don’t have to think about how they will move the limb, it can just happen.

Child mortality is down across the planet, the ozone layer is repairing itself, A 4-year old befriends a lonely man and helpedhim heal after losing his wife
new Star Wars movies are being made that don't suck, two Olympic runners collided and fell as one struggled to rise from the track the other stopped to encourage her opponent knowingly forfeiting her chance for a medal with the delay.  And tons of other things no doubt.  Happy new year everyone.

Friday, December 9, 2016

"Hand" opens December 10th.



Sleeper
  
     I would like to thank everyone who voted for me at the AVI awards.  I won both the Favorite Machinima Artist and Favorite Artist categories.  

     Hand will open tomorrow December 10th. Phemie's mixer exploded so she can't play for the opening but will instead play live at 2pm  SLT on the 18th of December (Sunday).  Again I would like to thank Phemie for composing a song for the machinima trailer based on conversations we had about the story for Hand.  I think she did a fantastic job absorbing the mood and it was a pleasure to create the trailer around her song.  The musician named Haze was also very helpful by layering in ambient sound to Phemies track.  Great job you two.  I also would like to thank Bellimora, a wonderfully talented scripter, who made the hud for the work and essentially helped with any scripting that was beyond me.  Scripting and me don't get along
Flutter and Hand
very well.  If scripting were a person and both of us were at the breakfast table at the same, then you would just hear the clink of cutlery.  If we passed in a hallway, then we would pretend to have a message on our phone we had to look at immediately.  If we both went to the theater to watch the new Star Wars movie, well we probably wouldn't sit together.

If you are able to then please put in the windlight settings, shadows and use Firestorm viewer.  The directions are at the landing point.   The hud will attach to you automatically and the pages for the story will appear this time when you walk close to a scene with Flutter (the main character) in it.  Not all scenes with Flutter have a page but many do.  The hud also has a text to local chat button if english is not your first language.  Just click this to send the chat to local and then copy/paste it into an online translator.  There are seven pages to the story and I hope you will enjoy it.

Friday, December 2, 2016

New artwork "Hand" opens December 10th


     After three months or so of writing and building, my new artwork "Hand" is ready to open.  It will open December 10th (which is a terrible time to open something other than Christmas related work as Linden Lab will be promoting all those very soon).  There will be a special concert by Phemie Alcott at 12 noon SLT.  Phemie, along with some additional sounds by Haze, wrote a wonderful song specifically for the artwork which you can hear in the machinima trailer above which I created for it.  She is one of the phenominal talents who reside in our virtual world, and I was fortunate to have her take the time to create something for me.  When you arrive there will again be an experience to accept (If you accepted one of mine before you won't need to) and on the wall some settings to put on the shadows with projectors.  Firestorm is the best viewer to use as I have used a feature which lets me change the windlight sky by altitude.  So some floors of the building have different windlights and they will trigger if you use Firestorm.  There will be a narrative in a hud and this time the pages will appear when you walk within the proximity of the main character named Flutter.  You will meet her in a subway sitting on a bench to start.  There are lots of little hidden things as usual and I am going to limit the amount of avatars to try to keep lag down.
     Sadly I am not sure how long this work will stay up this time.  As my work takes longer and longer to create as it gets more complex it means that people don't come to the region as much as I am building it.  An unfortunate side effect of that is I don't receive tips towards paying tier during the build process which was three months and translates to $900 USD.  For the first time in 8 years I don't have tier rent for next month.  So if you can afford to tip then please do so that Immersiva can stay open.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Machinima - Scissors


     A girl drops her scissors onto the grass when startled during a lightning storm. The scissors land in the soil, one blade piercing it, creating an almost religious symbol or icon which draws forth an Emperor Moth to perch upon it. From there other insects are slowly drawn to the mysterious artifact and begin to worship the symbol and its moth. Soon they begin to fight amongst themselves. The girl looks down upon the tiny world at her feet and is dismayed to see what her scissors have caused. A seemingly innocent tool taken and then distorted into something quite different. After seeing how they have changed, she ponders for a while, then eradicates them. A girl transformed into a Goddess for a little world of insects.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Machinima - Anna's Many Murders


Anna was a quiet girl
who through eyelashes
watched the world

And though she appeared
to be quite meek
inside she harboured
a darker streak 


That is the opening words to Anna's Many Murders which exhibited on Originalia sim. 

Anna visits the Therapist
This was the story of Anna, but she also made an appearance in the story called Imogen and the pigeons.  In a hidden scene the
Therapist/The rapist is seen with a note stating he was getting a new patient named Anna who he had added to the list of names on his monarch board behind him in this photo.  (The patients were given monarchs to take care of).  The note states that Anna might be "Anti social".   Anna doesn't really like authority figures as the therapist discovered.

The therapists calm
was visibly curtailed
when it dawned upon him
that he'd soon be impaled.


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Machinima - Obedience

     This was a promo machinima for a hybrid art exhibition which exhibited at both the J├╝disches Museum in Berlin and in the virtual environment of Second Life (LEA). The virtual space was created by Bryn Oh and Jo Ellsmere and showed on monitors within the Museum allowing the guests to navigate the 3D space. The Museum installation was the creation of Saskia Boddeke and Peter Greenaway.

I created a retelling of the Biblical story of Abraham and his son Isaac.  Essentially, God wishes to test Abrahams faith by asking him to take his only son Isaac up upon a mountain to sacrifice him to God.  Abraham takes Isaac up the mountain and is prevented from sacrificing Isaac at the last moment by an Angel.

I was not brought up in a religious home so for much of my life I have been an outside observer of those who practice religion.  I am not against any religion, and generally would say I am curious to watch the ceremonies and stories told.  When I was asked to create something for this museum project I decided to retell this story in a modern fashion.  To essentially look at the story as if it happened today and was seen by someone like me, and then perhaps explained to the police.

So for example, in my story, Abraham is told by God to sacrifice/murder his son by a voice through the TV set late at night.  He tells Isaac that they are going on an adventure so, excitedly, Isaac packs a backpack with things they need as well as two snickers chocolate bars, one for him and the other for his Dad.  They eventually climb an apartment building stairwell to the roof rather than a mountain and upon the top he forces a gun barrel into his sons mouth.  He pulls the trigger but an Angel places her finger between the hammer of the gun and the bullet.  This mirrors the early pictures of Abraham using his finger, like a pacifier, in the mouth of Isaac as a baby.  One of the strongest and earliest bonds between a father and son.

In my version I wondered if Isaac could see the angel or if she were invisible.  I wondered what the moments would be like after God was satisfied with Abrahams obedience towards him and  the gun was prevented to fire.  Would Abraham collapse in relief?  How would Isaac see his Dad knowing that he would have pulled the trigger and killed him?  I wanted to show in the scenes an ugly frantic struggle for survival rather than the gentle scenes usually depicted in religious work.

I also created an "after" scene which showed Isaac cowering away from his father in terror peeking through his fingers.  The Angel stands behind Abraham so it becomes unclear whether Isaac is afraid of his Father or the Angel behind him.

In my research for the story I came across some interesting things describing God in his chambers and the various angels around him completely covered in eyes and watching all... which I then converted to camera lenses.  It was an interesting parallel to the cameras watching us all the time in our everyday lives.  There were the kings who, for all eternity, chant about how wonderful God is.  To an outside observer, well, God seems a bit insecure :)  What I also found interesting was that there are a few variations of translations, and they are pretty huge differences.  In some God says "Abraham, take your son, your only son Isaac and sacrifice...." in other translations it is a question "Abraham would you take your son....."  To me this is a huge and interesting difference.  It is either a command or a question.. and if it is a question then perhaps God doesn't want Abraham to blindly be obedient but rather to think.

I was really happy with the conversation and discourse this work created with most visitors.
People generally talked and debated in a very civil way.  It was encouraging.  I did, however, get a fair amount of angry mail too haha.  But that was to be expected.



Sunday, November 20, 2016

Machinima - Rusted Gears

As a result of being nominated for two AVI choice award for Favorite artist and Favorite machinima artist https://avichoiceawards.com/vote-here-the-arts/ I will be posting a machinima every few days.




Rusted Gears

I watched you leave me
a year ago this dawn
but I have rusted gears
so I can't move on.

I wanted to tell you
how I felt that day
I searched my software
for something to say

but you left me for
emotions true
now I will forever search
for someone like you.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Machinima - Standby

As a result of being nominated for two AVI choice award for Favorite artist and Favorite machinima artist https://avichoiceawards.com/vote-here-the-arts/ I will be posting a machinima every few days.

 Standby is the culmination of three large works into one story.  Back in 2009 or so I was commissioned to create something for a region called Black Swan created by Starax/Light waves for
Black Swan
Rezzable.  It was an open request to make something, so I would spend some time there to try to absorb what the sim "felt" like and what might fit within it rather than clash.   The region had two giant figures embracing in the centre with a ring on the outside with various sculptures.  It felt to me as though it almost had a story to it, though in fact it didn't.  What I decided to do was to create a tower in the center that told a story as you climbed it.  It was full of traps and quite difficult but that was part of an idea I had which was that if you made something challenging to the viewer it would be more rewarding in the end than to just give the work to the viewer to stand back and observe from a distance.   I wanted them to be active participant to the artwork rather than a passive observer.  Black Swan was a beloved sim to many at that time in SL and I got a few nasty messages and even some demands to remove it from upset people.  I recall someone writing in a review at the time that they didn't want to "do work" to see art.  I remember reading that and deciding I would create for the virtual space, for the explorer types and not the snowflakes who brought the elitist art baggage from the real world into the virtual space, hoping the artist would bring them the art on a silver platter for them to observe at their leisure.  There are those who role play art and feel that real art must look like what we leave behind in real life.  The paintings or static sculpture that look like what you can find in real life.  Then there are those who understand the unique traits of the virtual space and realize the art created here can defy all the aesthetic and conceptual rules that exist in the "real" world.  In fact this spurred a successful group called NPIRL or Not Possible in Real Life
     At this time I had the idea to create a narrative which would be told in installments over many years.  In fact the new work "Hand" which should open in a few weeks is a continuation of this original story as has been every work with the exception of Virginia Alone.  Each story resides in the same world and act as layers to an overall narrative.  The work for Black Swan was called the Daughter of Gears and after the exhibition IBM requested to have it shown on their regions.  The following two installments, the Rabbicorn story and then Standy were at IBM.  I used this work to apply for a Government Grant at the Ontario Arts Council and it was the first of three successful art grants to be awarded to me thus far.  Standby is the title of the three stories combined into one machinima and it was my first extended machinima running at around 30 minutes long.


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Machinima - Mayfly

As a result of being nominated for two AVI choice award for Favorite artist and Favorite machinima artist https://avichoiceawards.com/vote-here-the-arts/ I will be posting a machinima every few days.


You might recognize this windlight from Firestorm,  I created it for this machinima.  Well I think most of you know by now that I find bugs fascinating,  they are like little robots to me all jerky and fast.  Many are stunningly beautiful and frail yet remarkably resilient.  After reading about the life cycle of the Mayfly I couldn't help but see it in a poetic way.  She spends her life in the darkness under the water yet for one day she is transformed.  She sprouts wings and flies up and away from the darkness to the sun and many other Mayflies.  Often she will be reborn from the larvae with no mouth because it is unnecessary, since she will only live hours.  This machinima, unfortunately, was created before I could do HD so it might be fairly low rez.


Mayfly

The mayfly lives under rock and stone
or dying plants left in decay
born an orphan she lives alone
and from the mud she rarely strays

She lives this life for several years
in water dark 'till fully grown
one day her body disappears
reborn, her mouth's both closed and sewn

On her back she sprouts some wings
In ecstacy flies to the sky
for just one day she spends with Kings
for night demands that she must die.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Machinima - Format

As a result of being nominated for two AVI choice award for Favorite artist and Favorite machinima artist https://avichoiceawards.com/vote-here-the-arts/ I will be posting a machinima every few days.

   This machinima is called Format and again has a poem to go along with it.   The question asked within the poem is whether I might format or erase my mind if I could start anew.  So that would be forgetting all family, friends and loved ones but also forgetting all hurt and loss.  It is the idea that if a technology existed that could format our minds then what would that line be which kept us on one side or the other.  How much sorrow would one absorb and live with?  Might we move through life carrying sorrows with us, but also those few yet beautiful moments of joy which we could not bear to lose.

I built this entire set for the machinima and filmed it in one single uncut segment which begins and ends at the same spot.  It was tricky haha.   Anyway here it is.



Format

Would I format my mind
if I could come back new
with no hurt nor loss
but no memories of you.

Do I have enough love
to rust away,
could I delete it all
for a new first day?

I wish I could change
some of the things I've done,
take some steps
where I had taken none

but you are gone now
and I sit alone,
where an acorn fell
that is now fully grown

and I write you poems
in Garamond font,
because I am content to fade
as I have no wants.


Thursday, November 10, 2016

Leonard Cohen

Really sad to see a favorite artist of mine has passed.  Leonard Cohen the great poet musican.



And I thought yesterday was a bad day, this trumps it.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

AVI choice award nomination and 26 tines poem machinima

I was nominated for an AVI choice award the other day, actually two, one for Favorite Artist and the https://avichoiceawards.com/vote-here-the-arts/
Hand
other for Favorite Machinima artist.  It is in the art section of voting if you are interested

So this gives me a reason to post various machinima I have done over the years!  I will try to post one every few days until the voting ends sometime late November.  In other news my new build Hand should open late November as well which kind of sucks because Linden Lab will probably start promoting Christmas things right when it opens.. but meh what can you do?
Some of the machinima such as this one below are older and won't be in HD.  Will be a mix and I will probably post mostly my poem machinimas.

This first one is called 26 Tines.  It is a poem about two experimental creations that come together after the laboratory closes for the night.  One resides in a brine filled jar while the other puts one of its cables inside so they may plug and connect through a power cord.  The 26 tines refers to the parts at the end of the cable which insert into the outlet on its back thus connecting them.  I have often felt that I would like to almost climb inside anothers mind to communicate directly how I feel rather than use speech or text which sometimes feels blunt and ungainly to me.  I imagined a cord which could connect two people and make them one.  These in the laboratory are the dismissed or discarded yet at night they show the need for another to be close.




26 Tines

The Laboratory is silent
the scientists gone
we have seven hours
before the dawn

Come to me through the half light
to my jar by the rack
surrender your cord
to the adapter on my back

26 tines
at the end of your cable
connect you to me
so that we are able

to feel emotions drawn
through the cables caress
and forget 'till the dawn
our lonliness.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving



     As a Canadian I have been watching the odd and disturbing presidential race going on with our neighbours in the USA.  Strangely though I am not completely surprised at Trumps popularity.  Here in Toronto we had a Mayor named Rob Ford who you likely have never heard of.. or perhaps you have due to him being on US talk shows and news media outlets because, well, even they heard of his odd behaviour.  Essentially he was a football coach who became a politician.  He was caught on, what felt like, a weekly basis saying or doing something way out of line for an elected official.  He was filmed drunk wandering the streets, smoking crack at a party, saying racist things, talking about women in a demeaning fashion and many other things.  It was bizarre and completely new... it was entertainment to many as people would often wonder what he would do each week.  It was a conversation piece.  His popularity, I feel, was due to a large portion of the population imagining him as just another average  "guy" who was a breath of fresh air from the recognizable politician who we saw as a wolf in sheep's clothing.  Someone who lies during the campaign knowing that the population will forget those lies in four years.  Rob was also recognizable and similar to a TV character or personality.  The others were non descript and bland.
     After watching Trump and Clinton it seems almost as if a decade of reality shows has confused people into thinking they are voting for entertainment rather than who you want to hold the immense power of a nuclear country.  It disturbs me to imagine what kind of knee jerk reactions Trump would have to the behaviour of North Korea's Kim Jong-un or President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines.  There would be no tact nor measured response.  It seems almost as though Americans have the choice between two candidates which nobody wants.  I get the feeling that Clinton could never win against any other opponent .. except Trump, and just barely despite all the gaffes that Trump has done.  It is all very mystifying and surreal.
     Anyway, it is Canadian thanksgiving and I thought I would write a little thanksgiving warning which also will apply to Christmas and any event that has a bunch of people coming to your house for dinner.  I have a small table which has a "leaf" that can be inserted into the middle of the table to extend it.  So you get under the table and release a hook that keeps the two sides together and then pull them apart.  Mine has a track that the two parts slide along opening a space for you to put in the leaf which is just a middle part of the table.  You then close it and get under the table to hook the parts together again so there is no crack.  I have a rather old table and which needs a bit of encouragement to close after the leaf has been put in.  My encouragement begins with pushing the table together then realizing i can't close the hooks underneath.  So then I grab the middle part and pull it towards me while my tummy is used to push them together.  When that doesn't quite do it I begin to use my hip and give it some good hard jolts.  So my warning is.... don't leave your phone in your front pocket when you do this.  My screen is shattered and the actual phone is even bent a little... sigh.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Keynote speaker for International Art Education Association

 On Saturday September 24th I will be doing a talk on creating virtual art for the International Art
Presqu'ile park
Education Association.  And then once the talk is complete I am going camping!  Yes camping in late September in Canada.  At this time of year you never really know what kind of weather you will get, was hot last week but could be chilly at night.  Anyway cool weather is good for a camp fire and smores.  The campsite itself is right off of a stony beach and oh so beautiful.  I am excited!  But yes I am also doing a keynote talk for InAEA which is connected to the University of British Columbia.  The talk will focus on the unique traits of the virtual medium in art creation. 

InAEA 2ND BIANNUAL VIRTUAL CONFERENCE: Conference Program

 Date/ Time: September 24, 2016 (Saturday)/8:00 am PDT to 3:30 pm PDT

There are some talks all through the day and they sound really interesting have a look at the site to read up on them, also the slurl is there.   http://www.inaea.org/post/2016/09/07/InAEA-2ND-BIANNUAL-VIRTUAL-CONFERENCE-Conference-Program.aspx

     I would like to stay and listen to them all but did I mention I was going camping?!  I wish I could take them all with me and hear their talks while eating a hot dog on a stick around a campfire.  You know I can only eat hot dogs when I go camping.  It's a sad story.  I used to like them until one day I made a hot dog and sat down in front of the tv to watch something while I was eating.  It had mustard, ketchup and sliced pickles on it I seem to recall.  As luck would have it when I turned on the tv a show was already running which was on how processed food was made, and the segment I happened to pop into was specifically on hot dogs.  I won't go into details in case you, fine reader, are a fan of hot dogs.. I wouldn't want to take that away from you, but it broke me and my love of the occasional fast and easy hot dog.  It was never high cuisine to me but rather a quick food when I was really lazy.  You need a food like that and I lost mine.  Well one of mine (high five peanut butter and jam sandwich!) Strangely though, when camping I can eat hot dogs.  What kind of science is this!?  Stephen Hawkins stop worrying about aliens and tell me!  I digress.  Anyway so yes I am doing a talk tomorrow (then I am going camping!) and you are welcome to come if it sounds interesting to you.  Not camping but to the talk.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

High Fidelity creators program


     I spoke with Lemondrop Serendipity here in Second life about a month ago and she invited me to create something for Philip Rosedale's (ex ceo of Linden Lab) High Fidelity virtual world.  And they pay you! whaaat? all the artists reading this blog say at once.  An artist being paid for their time and effort?!  preposterous!  Yes it's true you didn't read that wrong.  I spoke to them about Cica Ghost and she is going to make something there now too.  I also have heard Glyph Graves is coming.
   I think the world is probably a bit buggy right now but from watching the video above it looks like it might be interesting to create something there using its strengths.  I am not quite sure what its strengths and weaknesses are right now but they have a support staff who are eager to help.
     In other news I am busy building a new work on Immersiva which I am calling "Hand" right now but its coming along pretty good and hope to have it done in a month or two.  I will keep you informed for both projects as they progress,  I know the High Fidelity one needs to be completed by November so its not much time but will be fun.

Here is the beta download for High Fidelity which came out August 25th.  https://highfidelity.io/

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Last days of Singularity of Kumiko



Now that I have completed the machinima for The Singularity of Kumiko it is time to take it down and begin work on something new.  For those of you interested in stats and juxtaposing a real life gallery exhibit vs a virtual world one then here are a few things related to this one.  In my first life a gallery exhibit of my paintings would have an opening night reception of approximately 300 people and then would run a month with visitors each day dropping to around 30-40 at the start of the month to probably 20 by the end.  I am going to be generous and say perhaps 1500 people will visit a first life gallery exhibit of my paintings over the course of a month.  I would get one or possible two such exhibits a year and the majority of people who are exposed to my work this way are local to Toronto. 
     In contrast the Singularity of Kumiko has exhibited twice and combined has hosted just under 80,000 visitors.  These visitors are from around the world as opposed to local.  Second Life has often
been described as a "walled garden" with limited exposure for those within... I would disagree.

     I am thinking I will remove the build on Saturday the 6th and begin the process of building something new which should take at least a few months.  I will keep Immersiva open during this time for those who like to watch things evolve and grow.

The new work is tentatively called "Hand" right now though that might change.  To the right is a bit of brainstorming from my sketchbook.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Singularity of Kumiko machinima OAC grant



  
     Earlier this year I received a grant from the Ontario Arts Council to do a variety of things ranging from a gallery exhibit to filming a 30 minute machinima of my artwork called the Singularity of Kumiko.  I have just finished the machinima! yay me.  It has taken me quite a while and during the filming I realized that I had to build new scenes to help transition the story in different ways than the virtual environment.  So there are some little parts not in the virtual environment portion of the story.  I hope you will enjoy it and feel free to share as I am not particularly good at doing that.
   This story is the prequel to Imogen and the pigeons which also won an OAC grant a few years ago. You can watch it below if you want to see how they are tied together.  I also would like to thank the Ontario Arts Council for their continued support over the years with three grants for my work in Second Life.  It is very rewarding and encouraging for me to know that such an establishment sees the virtual space as a powerful and unique tool for creating art.  I also want to thank all of you who faithfully watch or explore my virtual ramblings in art.


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Film screening for the Singularity of Kumiko at Indie Teepee Sunday, 2pm SLT

     A few months back I received a grant from the Ontario Arts Council to do a variety of things
including to make a 30 minute machinima for the Singularity of Kumiko.  If you have not seen the Singularity of Kumiko it will be up for a few more weeks at Immersiva http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Immersiva/16/103/21

 I have now finished the film and will show it for the first time at Indie Teepee this Sunday at 2pm SLT.  Here is the inworld slurl
Bring popcorn. http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Le%20Sixieme%20Sens/122/73/21

The Singularity of Kumiko is a prequel to an earlier work called Imogen and the pigeons.  If you would like to watch that first so that the narrative is more clear then please watch the machinima below.  Hope to see you there!


Sunday, June 26, 2016

PTSD for United States Military - AVESS


Bridge up to the sandbox
Imogen makes an appearance
 Close to two years ago I was approached by Virtual Ability to create a four region build on Open sim for the US military.  The work was to help soldiers with Post Traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) learn how to deal with various issues and to kind of integrate them back into society.
Orientation and presentation area
     So imagine this scenario.  And I should start by saying these are just my musings and don't reflect the views of the US military or Virtual Ability.  So a young man joins the army and spends four years or so in an atmosphere of brotherhood, an atmosphere that anyone outside this life can't really understand.  It is testosterone, but also they are indoctrinated into a way of life that creates the best type of soldier.  A soldier who will never let those around them down, who is reliable and pliable.  They are shaped physically and psychologically into a tool.  It sounds negative but for the Army and their goals it is essential.
      In nature the vast majority of creatures never fight to the death.   They fight to show superiority and dominance with the challenger slinking off after defeat.  Much of it is posturing in the form of threatening actions or roaring and if that fails then there is a physical confrontation that very very rarely results in death.  It is just not part of nature for the overwhelming majority creatures on this planet.  I think human nature is similar, that we instinctively resist killing another human.  We can be trained to overcome this though through various ways that dehumanize the opponent.  A good test is to find the cutest 4 year old child you know and then watch tv or play a video game with them.  We are desensitized to the violence, but when you have a child with you it makes you actually see it again through fresh eyes.  What happens is you become very familiar with the pause button as you anticipate the endless violence that we are so used to but would be shocking for a child to see.  Children are so innocent and beautiful, and it is the progress through society and its current culture that, over time, shapes them as adults.  Personally I kind of prefer to spend my time around children and animals over the average adult.  I remember reading all the negative stuff around Michael Jackson.  How the papers would insinuate or blatantly characterize him as a weirdo for using some of his vast wealth to build a theme park for children.  To have monkeys and things.  I would read those and at the time I wouldn't really know what to make of it, but now I am like... yes I totally get that.  To watch children freaking out with excitement and pure joy rather than deal with the human snakes that probably surrounded him in his business life.  The media and everything.  Anyway I digress.

Fish from fishing game
The statistics from wars in the past ranging from the Civil war in the USA to World War Two show some interesting statistics.  Generally 15-20% of soldiers shot at the enemy when they saw them.  There were war cries and posturing, which, similar to the animal kingdom, seemed instinctive, yet few really would attempt to kill another human being.  In Korea and then Vietnam this rate increased, but it is suggested that the increased shooting was meant to "scare" the enemy.  It took around 52 thousand bullets to kill one enemy soldier.  I imagine a lot of time and money went into research for overcoming our natural barriers to kill one another.          
     Hollywood and movies in general makes killing look easy, the more indifferent a hero is when he kills a bad guy the better.  Some even have witty comments to make after they kill someone.  My favorite was Arnold Swartzenegger holding someone by the ankle over a cliff in some movie.  He comes back to another character who asks "What did you do with him?"  And Arnold replies "I let him go".  The truth is that the directors, screenwriters and so forth who show us how easy it is to kill in a movie is much like a virgin writing a book on how to have great sex.  Holding a 220 pound bad guy over a cliff by the ankle?... seems plausible.  And we would say.. oh it's just entertainment nobody actually believes that stuff.  Sadly, the truth is it still shapes us.  Probably very minimally and gradually but it adds up.  Hey I like games that blow things up and movies that blow things up too.  That doesn't mean I have to blindly defend them rather than recognize the possibility that they shape our society along with many other things.  Shaping and then the task of unshaping which is much more difficult.

     In a fighting environment being killed and killing are both fears, and so there are various ways to look at the trauma of war for a soldier.  I spoke to various soldiers during the creation of this work and some of the things they wanted was pretty interesting.  One, for example, wanted to simply be able to write things down that happened to him and to place them in a stream so they would float away.  Some notes he said he would like others to be able to read.. while others he wished would sink and disappear never to be read by another soul.

     Ok back to my scenario.  So this young soldier, from a small town of 3000 in Idaho, loses his legs to a roadside bomb.  He survives and spends a year in hospital in Boston.  He has a psychologist and eventually goes home to stay with his parents.  His high school friends come to visit but that slowly dwindles because neither are the same anymore.  Nobody around him, including his parents, understand completely what he went through or how he was shaped.  The brotherhood or team is gone and everything is completely different.  His mind is conditioned and breaking out of the conditioning is quite difficult for some.


     The idea behind this work was to help the soldiers learn how to do things we take for granted, but can be difficult for them just from inexperience or effects of PTSD.  Things like planning a camping trip.. to go to a few different stores in the virtual environment to buy a sleeping bag, a tent, a fishing rod, bait, a hat and so on.  A hud tracks the objectives and goals and sends the information to the professionals he is working with.  Another objective might be to follow a shopping list for food.. and instead of plain white rice there is just brown rice on the shelf.  Simple? well no.  Or perhaps the list of food has been collected in a shopping cart, and then upon arriving to the cash register to pay there is suddenly a spill of milk on the floor and an employee blocks the way while mopping it up.  Ways to deal with frustrations.  The psychologist from Boston can now meet up with the soldiers in the virtual space.  There is no distance to overcome.

     The first environment is made up of an orientation sim that teaches the user how to navigate and do various things.  There is a quaint little village with various stores brimming with products to buy.  There is a lake where they can ride boats and we even created a fishing game from scratch with various rare ones to catch etc.  There is also a sandbox region where I have made a bunch of things to assemble like a giant robot spider or go carts.  There are presentation areas with seating and so on and so on.

Bryn avatar on left and Cica on right
Will this all work?  I have no idea.  I really hope so and it was an honour for me to be involved with this project and to use my skills to try to help others.  I brought in Cica Ghost and Caer Balogh to help and both were instrumental in getting the work completed.  Scripting in open sim is .. challenging.  So Caer deserves a lot of credit for overcoming some unexpected glitches.  It was, and is, a massive project that has taken years and both Eme Capalini and Gentle Heron at Virtual Ability deserve a great deal of credit for getting this project started.  And it is a credit to the United States military for their vision and determination to help those affected with PTSD, by imagining new and unique ways to help treat their soldiers.

Friday, June 3, 2016

University of Texas San Antonio SL gallery reopening

     On Sunday June 5th at 12 noon SLT The University of Texas will host their first new art show in, I think, three years.  Constructivist Solo has reinvigorated the space with a gallery setting built by Igor Ballyhoo and will host a show of five artists.  With more shows every three months or so.

Bryn Oh
Eupalinos Ugajin
Igor Ballyhoo
Ini Inaka
Rebeca Bashly

And there will be music by d-oo-b

SLURL http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/TejanoTech/185/128/77

If I recall correctly the very first show they did was in 2009 and was Yoko Ono's Imagine peace tower.  Yoko Ono herself was there and her avatar strangely looked just like her.  I did the next show and it was one called 26 Tines.  Still one of my favorite poems that I wrote.  The machinima is below if you would like to see it.  It's quite dated now but still works I think.


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Sim Street Journal article and Windlight Magazine project


Becoming Bryn: Pivotal Works by Bryn Oh

Becoming Bryn: Pivotal Works by Bryn Oh
Review by Eleanor Medier / Liane Sebastian


The above link is to an insightful article written by Eleanor Medier on a few of my works.

And for anyone who has been submitting images for Era Island.. google seems to be deleting some of them (but strangely not all)... just wanted you to know it was not me removing them.

And also!  Windlight Magazine https://windlightmagazine.com/ will be doing a retrospective book on my artwork over the years.  It will include images that I provide, but I would also like to open it up for others to send me images you have taken too.  The only stipulation would be that the images show the work as they were intended, meaning using the windlight settings I provided and so on.  The idea for the book is to show my work as I designed them.   Below is a list of all my various exhibits since 2007.. each one will be represented if I can find an image for them.  I have included some machinima to remind what they looked like... the older machinima (at top) are a bit dated as they were my first attempts but you will get the idea.

2007 (Oldest at top current at bottom)

Gashlycrumb Tinies (Arcspace)
Condos in Heaven (Burning Life / University of Kentucky) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDhc3_qPZLg
7 Backspaces (Immersiva) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ia3O--fdMtk
Angler Girl (Immersiva) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7__HaRxWVw
The Daughter of Gears (IBM)(Black Swan)
Vessel's Dream (Burning Life) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDfjYyNtiGE
4Jetpacks4 (Caerleon / University of  Massechussets)
Willow (Brooklyn is Watching)(Immersiva) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-QUMfiAccw
The Rabbicorn Story (IBM)(Immersiva)
26 Tines (University of Texas) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgFG2XJIlfM
The World Expo Madrid Pavilion, Shanghai China (three regions supplied by Linden Lab) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TOqyTEnrBg
“Big Bang” Peter Greenaway project, Warsaw, Poland https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nVhkVVEDpk
Lady Carmagnolle (Immersiva) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgNU0BzkZoo
Format (Immersiva) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OeA9N1Q529k
Mayfly (Split Screen) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnQ5HoUvIT8
Avatar Games (LEA) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmV8HWJ53T8
Rusted Gears (Immersiva) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3t2FQpNY0ck
Box (MetaLEZ) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCVM7aRwHXw
Anna's Many Murders (Originalia)(Immersiva) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9L7ck6fQB4
The Path (LEA) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhIKEak5p3Q
Gretchen and Teddy (Immersiva) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9i0ZAm6-uA
Family Unit (Museo in Comtempori) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnuvnelEJQQ
Further Along the Path (LEA) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FvFwApBjGo&list=UUI7NrJQ5vpg2PmVQKpwXSbw
The Cube Project (LEA) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9cjH-bwACs
Standby (Immersiva) (Ontario Arts Council new media grant 2011) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8RgAuhcBOw
Virginia Alone (Immersiva / 17th Biennial of  Cerveira / Santa Fe new media festival) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyD1ybNmybc
Imogen and the Pigeons (Ontario Arts Council new media grant 2014) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eeDApXfgpoQ
The Dance of Death (Basel, Switzerland) (Peter Greenaway/Saskia Boddeke) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Coo6P-uzQWI
The Singularity of Kumiko (Ontario Arts Council new media grant 2016) (Immersiva / Art & Algorithms digital festival, Florida) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1V1zGl4WL4
The Golden age of the Russian Avant-Garde (LEA / Manege Museum Moscow) (Peter Greenaway/Saskia Boddeke)
Lobby Cam (Immersiva) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZ6o9DgWz18
Inside, (MetaLES exhibition space)
Obedience (LEA / J├╝disches Museum Berlin)
(Peter Greenaway/Saskia Boddeke)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Enl18rX5K94
The Gathering (Immersiva) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_5Wh9_T_bA

2016

If you do find images you have done in the past and would like to send them to me then please create a notecard with either the links to Flickr or wherever you have them.. or include the image for me to see in the notecard itself.  Or send me an email brynohhh@gmail.com Each build might have two or three images to go with it so not everything sent can be included in the magazine.  If something is selected then naturally you will be credited.  Going to finalize it within a few weeks I think.


Thursday, April 7, 2016

Mayor of Era Island

So I just became Mayor of Era Island on Google maps.  I am looking for people interested in living there with me.  Need some fishermen, town criers, food venders and things like that.  It's a remote and cold little island in the Northwest passage by Greenland so I will be honest with you.. it won't be easy.  Not as easy as adding your picture anyway.  So if you want to add your avatar to Google maps as living there with me then take a picture of your avatar and write your profession under it like I did above.  Then go here.. https://www.google.ca/maps/place/Era+Island/@68.123611,-78.2652204,10.13z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x4e0b71705947cf95:0xaac304135e1bde50

Log into your gmail account and on that page in the bottom right you will see some pictures that say "show imagery".  Click on that and add your picture.  It can be our secret little island on google maps where we can live uncomfortably until Google discovers this flaw and removes us.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Rebirth Life Encryption - life mapping

Memory encryption - Imogen and the pigeons
     In Imogen and the pigeons, the first part to Singularity of Kumiko, we first come across the derelict remains of a company called Rebirth Life Encryption who touted a slogan that said "Jesus saved... and so do we!"  They had discovered (or rather the technological singularity discovered) how to copy the entire mind of a person to be stored on a computer.  At this time in my story they didn't yet have a way to embody that memory into something biological.  So people were mapping their minds to a computer for that day when they could be reborn again into a new vessel.  Sadly the world was destroyed, humanity removed, all except this one working computer who had survived the centuries.  The last vestage of a human mind which was being watched over and sung to by a Vera Lynnbot which I wont explain now.  Essentially it was her programming to entertain and that was the only surviving piece of humanity.
Axons and Dendrites
   The Rebirth store provided a service which I am going to talk about in this post.  Just because I find it interesting to imagine.  Some of you may recall that by looking at the only remaining computer that still worked was a name plate for the person's memories that were stored within it.  If you were a good cammer you would have seen the name of Imogen inside there.  Anyway, I am not an expert on this but let me tell you what I have learned and hopefully you will find it interesting too.
     In the human brain, not including the spinal cord, skin, eyes, stomach etc there are 80 billion Neurons.  If you are like me then you no longer remember high school biology... nor what you had for breakfast for that matter.  A Neuron is essentially an electrical device which sends signals.  It is made up of the cell body (soma) an Axon and a set of Dendrites.  The tree like things.  Info is gathered by the Dendrites and the output is the Axon.  A synapse is when the Axon (output) and Dendrites  (input) is close to another Neuron and this allows singals to jump from one to the other... which is communication.   Our vascular system transports blood  which acts as the energy source and allows for the creation of electrical signals.  The Neuron adds up these signals until it reaches a total and then then zap! it emits a pulse.  So you could say that all human behaviour is determined by the sensory and motor electrical signals.  The idea of Rebirth Life encryption is that they have found a way to capture these signals or record them.
     Now how might it be possible to record all this info?  Seems pretty far fetched and it is.  But most scientists don't doubt that brain mapping will happen.  One method would be to genetically modify ourselves so that our neurons give off a dye that fluoresces when they emit the burst.  With this the Neurons activity can be recorded, every Neuron, by using light microscopy.  Then, rather gruesomely, the brain must then be sliced into very thin strips (which they can already do) and digitized using electron microscopy.
     Yet another idea is to genetically modify our Neurons so that they essentially will not just send a pulse but also create a new strand of DNA that acts as a physical recording of what happened just then.  So the brain would store the life of a person within itself, then the process would be about extracting those DNA.  There is another one I read about too but the post is getting kind of long.
     So the idea behind the story is that with the emergence of the Technological Singularity, which is the idea of a computer AI advancing exponentially to the extent that it is far past the collective intellect of the human race, this process of memory mapping was invented one day by the AI along with various other daily inventions.  The AI over time, become less and less concerned with helping humans whose lives have pretty much turned into play, and determines that the human race needs to be removed.  That we are somewhat a destructive parasite.  Anyway that is an insight into one elements that inspired me for the story for Imogen and the Pigeons and the Singularity of Kumiko.  I guess next post should be more about the technological singularity and the background of the society that now exists in this world.  Anyway here is the trailer below.  And if you want to see the full machinima for Imogen and the pigeons you can just click the link.


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Singularity of Kumiko


The Singularity of Kumiko returns in a few weeks due to art grant from the Canadian Government as I mentioned in a previous post.  I am building new elements, changing thousands of texture sizes and adding new scripting elements.  Then I will begin making a machinima movie.  Here is the trailer!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Music and art event for ALS

 Tomorrow is the opening of a music and art event to help raise funds and awareness towards a disease called ALS Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis but perhaps better known as Lou Gehrig's disease.  I did not know too much about this disease until my Father got it a few years ago.  I watched my Father slowly deteriorate, but I don't think I ever really believed he would die. 
 It began with the muscles in his foot failing, then it moved up his leg until last year, after falling for the third time, he decided to remain in bed.  My father was a very active man and was always rushing around laughing and causing mischief.   To me he was much like this bird.  Flying, making song and forever on the move until suddenly a string catches its foot.  It gets more and more trapped until eventually all is taken from it.  It is a vile disease that immobilizes the body yet leaves the mind intact.    I would come visit a few times a week and we would laugh and joke and pretend nothing was wrong.  My father now lived in a hospital bed in my parents living room.  My mom sleeping on the couch beside him at night.    There were metal arm bars to each side of his bed and my father would say as I was about to leave after visiting "Oh it's too awkward to hug over these bars lets just shake hands"  I wanted to hug him each time but I didn't because that is what he wanted.  I don't know why I agreed to do this because it was so informal and strange.  I never did hug my father again as, last month, he got pneumonia and died in the night. 

     When my mother called me early in the morning to say my father had died, it was a very  unreal feeling for me.  I could not quite understand that I would never get to speak to my father again, and I replayed the last conversations I had with him, just a day earlier, over in my mind.  I thought about how we had built up a relationship with one another over time, he understood me in ways that many others never have, and I like to think that I knew him in a similar way.  I thought to myself "where does this history or connection that we had go now?"  It is no longer a two way street but instead just memories that I hold alone within myself.  I felt almost as though I needed something physical to remember him by.  This in order to keep what we had alive.  I now think of it in a different way.  I imagine it as though going to a live symphony orchestra, and reveling in the music that we hear.  As the concert passes by and the final note, of the final song, slowly fades away to silence, I am not left with nothing but rather the experience of knowing my father.  And that is what I cherish. 
      The work is simply called "To Dad, love Bryn" and all proceeds from its auction go to  AISLA Onlus.  If you wish to donate, listen to music or bid on this work then here is the slurl.  The event begins tomorrow at 2pm SLT with Lisa Brune performing and will have various musicians and DJs until February 28th when the auction and event closes.  There are three other wonderful artists involved with original artwork you can bid on as well, Mistero Hifeng, Solkide Auer and Kicca Igaly.


 Here is the slurl to the event http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Sand%20Storm/133/141/3906