Thursday, December 31, 2009

10 - White noise by Mosmax Hax

10 - "White Noise"
by Mosman Hax
This was perhaps the most difficult choice for my top ten picks.  And that is mainly because it references whole movements and concepts from art history in the "real world", and I personally like things made for the virtual world that are looking to create new concepts unique to this medium.  So lets look back at how White Noise connects to the art concepts from the past and how it might fit into Second Life.

Art history stretches across time and periodically we have people who change the way we see art and even how we define it.  Technical skills in colour theory, composition, anatomy etc all progressed to towering peaks of achievement.  Some artists rose to the top who were one of a kind talents with skills that could not be matched.  There was a definable measuring stick to understanding and appreciating art.  In 1917 Marcel Duchamp submitted "Fountain" (which is the the urinal above) to a New York show.  He took an everyday object and designated it as a work of art, simply because he as an "artist" submitted it.  He wanted to have the viewer look past its purpose as a urinal and see it for its design elements.  It was scorned yet influenced many artists since that time.  Some even say that much of the art of today lacks concept, beauty, technique and overall finish as a result of Duchamp.  For example, an elephant at my local zoo smeared paint on a canvas using its trunk to hold the brush.  The paintings are called art and were sold. Everything is now art and as a result the term "art" has lost all its meaning.

People such as Andy Warhol played with the idea of taking both a very recognizable image (Marilyn Monroe) and through repetition desensitized the viewer to its loaded image.  Or conversely he took everyday items (Campbell soup cans) and turned them into something special beyond how we normally perceive them.  The act of using the cans in the piece made them "art".  Mosmax Hax's work "White noise" plays on these concepts.  He takes ready made / found objects from Second Life and places them in an environment where they lose their identity and purpose.  However, to me, it speaks a bit differently when done in Second Life.  You see, the objects he uses in the build are things which merely look like objects from real life.  The skate board is shaped to look like something we recognize from RL.  In second life it does nothing.  It contains no script and is no more rideable than prim hair.  This creates a new level to question function.  What is also interesting to me is that we are in a time when people ask as to whether what we do here in Second life is actually art.  Sadly we can call the work of an elephant art, yet people still fear to embrace this medium.  That's fine.  With the Daguerrotype came photography and it was dismissed as not being art.  Film arrived and it too was dismissed.  None today would question whether they are art.
     So, what I kind of like, is that White Noise came into Second Life existence and just by being here is already questioned as to whether its art.  But it also models itself under the found art / ready made art movement which itself was dismissed as not being art.  So I guess I will sum it up this way.   If white noise is meant to be a stand alone build based off the ready made movement from first life then I like it, but it would not have made my top ten.  If it is, on the other hand, meant to play on the new concepts of what second life art is as a medium, then I like it even more and its my ten for 2009.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Elevensies part two

So when looking at all the builds coming up remember that they all originated with the basic prims below.

Linden Labs gives us the ground we walk on and these basic shapes.  From here we create.  That is, in a way, what I love most about building here.  The challenge in using these simple shapes to create whatever we can dream up.

     Tricia Farella:  Tricia's build gave me the impression of being inside a snow globe.  There were a few things which I found to be very successful in her build.  One was the sculpted water whose varying elevations gave the impression of roiling seas.  The other was her splitting up of the vessel into two parts where each side moved with something like a rocking chair script.  Doing it this way made it really feel like the seas were twisting the boat about. Playing with different sky settings changed the feel of the build as well.  I filmed it in a foggy setting which also worked nicely. 

     Testors Luik:  Testors kitten is insufferably cute but also a fantastic build.  When you first take it out you name it and it then it imprints on you.  With an elaborate hud you can let her run wild or stay by you or do a variety of other things.  If she runs wild she will occasionally come back to check you are still there and perhaps encourage you to come play.  You can feed her, bathe her throw balls for her to play with etc (if there are a few around they will all chase the ball or eat the food).  She can sit on your shoulder and will come with you if you teleport to another region, and if the perms are right you can let her down again at the new location.  So great scripting.  Next is the animations.  There are quite a few and each is very well made.  It does not use the same animation over and over and in some cases i have found her asleep off to the side after i have left her running about.  I am sure there are quite a few things she does that I have not even discovered yet. Now I just need one that is grey and checkered for Immersiva.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Elevensies part one


     I would like to thank all of you who went to the Art 21 blog  to comment on the article for second life art.
We managed to bring the server down and set a record for most comments on an article.  The purpose was to let them know there is a great deal of interest in Second Life art and I think we did that because they have now asked Nettrice Gaskins to do monthly features on Second Life art.  See, we can make a difference if we put our mind to it.

     Here is the first of two machinima capturing some of my favorite builds from 2009 that didn't make the top ten, but which I still wanted to show.  It was really hard for me to pick the top ones this year and some of these elevensies were bouncing back and forth inside the top ten.  Again I should mention that this list is just my personal favorites from the last year and I am quite aware that there are tons of fantastic builds out there that I don't even know exist.  I am a bit of a hermit in second life and every once in a while I venture out and discover something wonderful that may only be wonderful to myself.  So what I am saying is don't send me a message saying "hey! how could you place this over that!?!?" or "Why isn't this on the list? are you insane!".  If you do then I am going to hire some kind of scripter assassin to hurt your avatar.  I will write a short little blurb on why I liked each of these first three Elevesies and save the longer write ups for the top 10.

Marcus Inkpen:  Marcus in RL is a B movie actor in those really bloody hack and slash movies.  He is often the first person killed and generally goes in a disgusting manner.  He is also a exceptional illustrator and has done work for Heavy Metal magazine.  I don't know Marcus well other than he is a great guy and seeing his work at Burning Life was pretty much my first contact with his work.  What I really liked was his fine texturing.  He doesn't just throw on a texture but really creates something that fits the surface.  Also his work gave me the impression that something was happening, something to discover.

Igor Ballyhoo:  Igor is another new artist to me.  I saw this work at a show being set up by Aurakyoo Insoo and was mesmerized.  Igor tells me that this work was set to Contrapunctus a reworking of a lost Bach song.  For me this one somehow summed up the way I subconsciously see virtual worlds.  Like seeing all the code inside the petal of a flower.

Elizabeth Tinsley:  I don't know Elizabeth at all and I stumbled across her build at NMC.  I was in a fairly miserable mood that day as there was a hater stalking and annoying me while I was there.  I managed to escape the hater and hid in this build.  I was really surprised and enchanted by all the laughing that was triggered as you walked through it.  It instantly put me in a good mood and it made me realize that its pure simplicity was its strength.  Its just a grove of flowers full of laughter, and I loved it.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Future of mass media in Amsterdam

 Below is an event which Chantal Harvey has put together.   It looks great! 

This weekend the NIMk organises a real life event about the future of mass media, in Amsterdam .
For this, I was asked to produce a one hour television compilation of mayor art machinima. Not an easy task, as there are so many. The tape will be broadcasted on TV, and it was suggested that I will be organising this as a monthly event. Exciting as this is my main goal: to bring machinima to the world so it can be recognised for what it is: the future of mass media.
Some of the artists names:
Cisko Vandeverre, ColeMarie Soleil, Tom Jantol, Lainy Voom, Osprey Therian, Fau Ferdinand, Arthole, Second Front, Philip Rice, Richard Grove, Bryn Oh, and the MMIF compilation as showed in SLCC 2009, and some of my own work.
The best of ART Machinima, compiled by Peter Krapp (us) and Chantal Harvey (NL)
Lets talk machinima! The word MACHINIMA is a combination of 2 words: cinema and machine.
Basically, it is making movies in virtual platforms like Second Life, World of Warcraft, Moviestorm, Sims, Halflife, Google Earth. 3 D-filmmaking techniques are applied within computer generated games. Machinima works have already been recognized at Cannes and other big international festivals.

This is the link to the full announcement (updated):

The Netherlands Media Art Institute

Other links:


Media Playgrounds Friday:
De Hoeksteen Live!
Masters of Media , Universiteit van Amsterdam

(we are the third event on the bar (white logo) after DISH.

Livestream of the event on Saturday:
Best regards,
Chantal Harvey

Monday, December 7, 2009

Bryn's favorite builds #2-1 2008

And here are my favorite two builds from last year top 10 thingy.  If you would like to know why I chose them then click the links below.  And please ignore that one link says Madcow Cosmos, I can't seem to get rid of that.

And next week I will begin showing the first of two Elevensies videos of five things that just slipped out of my top 10.  Some of them I still wonder if they should have knocked out a few of the top 10's.  I am only going to write a paragraph about each choice and leave the more elaborate write ups to the top 10's who will start early in January.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Bryn's top 10 favorite second life builds. Last years .....

    Starting in January I will begin counting down my top 10 favorite second life builds from last year.  But before I do, I am going to post my favorites from 2008.  I have condensed them into two machinima this one.. which is #5-3 and I will post #2-1 a bit later.  Then after that I will post my Elevensies which are those that I really liked but fell just outside the top 10.  Now remember that these are just my personal favorites and I am not suggesting they are the greatest works made over the last year, nor the greatest artists.  In fact some of my favorite artists are not even in the top 10 because their body of work is fantastic but they didn't have one single work that pushed its way into the top ones.  Its like Radiohead, they might be my favorite band but I am not sure that if I made a top 10 favorite songs list that they would even have one in it.  If you wish to see the reasons why I picked these three above then click the link to last years post below.

The machinima is a bit dated as I was just learning how to do it at this time last year.  In fact I even left the hud showing which is kind of annoying.  But the best way to really appreciate them is to go see them in person.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Art 21 feature on Second Life artists

Nettrice Beattie from Second Life wrote a wonderful piece for the Art 21 blog which is tied into the PBS tv show of the same name. I am very flattered to have been included amongst some very talented artists in the feature. This is an important event for Second Life art as its a high traffic blog outside of our own internal second life media. It talks about what is possible using a virtual world as an art medium, and will open the eyes of many new people to the art we create here. We are all aware of the wonderful work being done on this new frontier, but I would love if those who run Art 21 knew just how passionate the SL community is about what is happening here. So I would ask a favor of those who like what we are doing. Please go to the site and leave a comment if you can. It will show them that the article was a success and that covering second life art is something they should consider in the future as well. I don't like asking you to do this but I really do think its important for the health of second life art.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Rabbicorn story in a book

Click on the book above to go to the site that prints it.

About a year ago I was told that a second life resident made a book about my Edward Gorey build in Second Life. I was led to a website called blurb and sure enough there was a book there and I proceeded to buy it. I was prepared for a crappy book to arrive, perhaps done on a restaurant napkin, but instead was very pleased to find it bookstore quality. I knew at that point I would one day use blurb for one of my stories. I think on some level I just want something physical to hold that contains the things I have made in second life. Things feel so temporary sometimes.

Anyway, as Christmas is coming I decided to try and warp my nieces mind with the "gift" of the Rabbicorn story. She is admittedly only 3 years old and wont really understand it, but I am hoping as years go by she will appreciate it on deeper levels. My greatest hope is for her to one day come up to me and say "I never realized how warped that story was... you are so weird" Then maybe she will start an all girl punk/bluegrass band called the Rabbicorns and play to sold out stadiums eventually creating world peace. But for now I am just going to give her this book and ignore the fact that its fairly inappropriate. I am creating this post because some of you have asked for it in book form and so here it is. I make a few dollars off of each sale but it is by no means a money making venture. The book can be previewed somehow by clicking on it.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Condos in Heaven

Condos in Heaven

     Nur Ophuls offered me a semi permanent location to exhibit one of my works and after a very short time I decided that I missed Condos in Heaven.  Condos originally was created for Burning Life in 2008 and contained one building.  Later the University of Kentucky hosted it and with more prims I was able to add a second building to further the story a bit more.  And now Nur Ophuls has stepped forward with even more prims and I have added a third building.  It is one of my favorite conceptual builds that I have done and if you have not seen it then please come here
     The build has a special sky setting and you are able to plug it in at the landing point in the black room.  If you are an Emerald viewer user then you are in luck.  The creators have placed my sky setting in there already! all you need to do is go to world-environment settings-sky settings-Bryn Oh's Condos in Heaven sky or an even more foggy  Bryn Oh's Condos in Heaven sky#2

The build is based off the poem you see as you arrive.

An Astrobot with fame
sent the probes away
now the newspapers proclaim
"We found Heaven today!"

Hadraniel stood at the gates to Heaven
raining death for six days
upon all until day seven
when they brought out the heat rays

I watched it unfold on the Internet
beautiful Cassiel with golden hair
he was captured and sold as a pet 
to a wealthy billionaire

The war is done
the condo's rise
what resources are here to consume?
Sariel appears with tears in his eyes
at the window to my bedroom.

     I decided to redo this machinima as the older was has some things which bother me a bit.

     Condos in Heaven is about what might happen should the human race find a physical way to reach heaven.  What would we do?  The story takes place in the future where the human race accidentally discovers Heaven with a simple space probe.   With our advanced technology we no longer see Heaven as a sacred mystery.  We can achieve the miracles that once were the sole domain of God.  We see it as potentially lucrative real estate for both living and raw materials.  We mobilize and go to war.  Once the human race realizes that Heaven exists they then begin to look for Hell.  Satan is found and he is suspected of harboring and protecting God.  Two unlikely allies.
    In this build the adverts laying around are meant to slowly build up a background for what the human race is like in this future and of course the build is attached to the other narratives I am working on. Condos in an ongoing build and this is the latest installment.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Virtual Build Archive

"The Virtual Build Archive is the joint project of Gala Charron (Tamara Russell) and Lainy Voom (Trace Sanderson).

The aim of this site is to document through film and narrative some of the most beautiful builds within the virtual world of Second Life. We hope over time to build the site from a small acorn into quite an extensive catalogue of in-world created content. Both Gala and Lainy will take it in turns to create a video of an inspiring build and present it on the archive site."

Above is what is written on the Virtual Build Archive website. I really like the way they are creating this portal to remember those builds which are here now, yet may well cease to exist as is the transient nature of second life art. But beyond that I really like the professional manner in which they are done. Over the next little while I will show those machinima they have already done. I think its a really worthwhile project that Lainey and Gala are doing and if you like what you see then go visit the site.

Alexander Beach - Inspired Architecture from The VBA on Vimeo.

Monday, October 26, 2009



     One day Colemarie Soleil sent me a wonderful present.  She created a song for my poem called Irrevocably.  I am not musically inclined, despite my best attempts, and so to hear my poem put to music was both flattering and mystifying.   The sculpture which contains this poem was the initial idea for the Daughter of Gears story.  From this poem and scene grew a deeper understanding for each character, and with each new build I attempt to fill in the web which connects all the characters that I create.  For example, the most recent build at Burning Life called Vessel's Dream takes place before the Rabbicorn story in the timeline.  While The Daughter of Gears takes place 100 years before the Rabbicorn flees to the tower.  The story follows a theme similar to many of my narratives.  Two robots hiding from those who would salvage parts from them.  They are discarded and not seen as something human.  But even in their fear as they hide one will sing to the other in an attempt to forget what is out there hunting them.  The ingenuity of man gave them the ability to love but no form of status in society.  They hide from the salvage bots and one records the other into her memory so that should she be caught her last vision will be of her companion.

Sing me a song
sing it under your breath
if the salvage bots hear it
then it will mean our death

My love is a program
installed onto me
I gave it to you

If the robots do find us
then run quick from me
I will record your face
so it's the last thing I see

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Vessel's Dream at Burning Life

If you enjoy exploring and discovering my builds without any help then don't watch this machinima nor read the post!

     Burning Life has arrived again with art curated by the wonderful White Lebed.  She has taken up a difficult job which was done last year by Poid Mahovlich.  I always admire people such as White and Poid who take up these thankless jobs where if it is laggy.. well then its their fault.  However, if all goes smoothly with great art.. then the artists get the credit.  If anyone has a gesture where you shake your fist at the sky then now is the time to send it to White.

     My work this year is fairly personal.  It is about how things can drive one to the solitude of virtual worlds.  In the machinima music by Godspeed you Black Emperor, you will hear a man who gets very angry relating a story about his speeding ticket.  Myself, it is not what he is saying, but rather all the rage coming off him in waves which affect me.  He is a symbol of all those things which drive one away to a quieter place.  Vessel's Dream combines characters from Immersiva with a new story which interprets a poem I wrote called Lilac.  In the build Bryn Oh has placed her horns in the night table and her wings against the wall.  The Rabbicorn is on the bed and she dreams of happier times.  She flees first life to Second Life and from there goes to her third life which is Lilac.

This is a cam build, which means your avatar will get to a point where you can only continue by using you camera.  Very few people will ever get past the first two rooms because of this.  But there are plenty of artists who build things that are accessible to everyone, so I refuse to feel guilty.  Some people like my work for the challenge and discovery, the hidden parts and the need to click on things, I built this for those people.  If you are unaware of how to use your cam then here is a quick run down.  Sorry I only know how to do this on a PC.

Hold down your Ctrl and Alt at once, and keep them held down.  Now move your mouse over something.. your friends face or a sculpture... when it is over an object hold down the left mouse button.  Now with all three held down move your mouse.  You will notice that you rotate around whatever your mouse locked onto.  You use this to maneuver your cam so that you can see into cracks you normally cant see into.  If you release the left mouse button and use the scroll wheel you will zoom forward to what you were looking at.  Next you would move the mouse onto another object further into the build and then again hold down the left mouse.  But always keep the Ctrl and Alt held down.  It is very much like being spiderman.  Anyway, I hope some of you can make it to my build and below is the SLURL.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

MUD to LambdaMOO?

A while back Tezcatlipoca Bisani told me about a book he was reading called Designing Virtual Worlds by Richard A Bartle.  He told me it was quite interesting so I went out and bought it.  The first part of the book goes through the history of virtual worlds which was particularly interesting because as a users of Second Life we are in a rather explosive part of virtual history on a chronological timeline.  I will attempt to sum up a small portion of what I read in what may be a paint dryingly boring blog post.
     Originally virtual worlds were known as MUD's (multi-user Dungeons).  The word Dungeon was connected to an old port game called DUNGEN rather than the tabletop game Dungeon and Dragons. The first was programmed in MACRO-10 on a mainframe in Essex University in 1978.  It was text based and moving through the world involved describing in a narrative what the viewer was seeing.  When visual imagery was added the term changed to persisent worlds and then when enormous numbers of people began to use them it changed again to MMORPG's (Massively-Multiplayer online roleplaying games).  But what constitutes a virtual world?  Well here are a few things which Mr Bartle lists.  And please remember that Bartle wrote a book and this is merely a blog post.  Not a lecture more an informal chat where I may well butcher some of his ideas accidentally.
     So in a virtual world there are automated rules that allow users to affect it.  Another characteristic is that we represent individuals in world and we channel though our "character".  Interaction  is done in real time, the world is shared and it is also to some degree persistent.   So the environment in a chat room would not be considered a virtual world because there are no physics and normal video games are not included because often they are not persistent and also single player ones such as a first person shooting game is not multi user.
  Back to Essex university.  Students began to play these games and program their own.  The university began to let other universities connect to them by dial up modem and by 1984 media discovered them and began to write articles.  At this time CompuServe decided to try to make some money off the phenomenon. 
     The programming language for MUD's was now being stressed by new advancements and as such became a bit unweildly.  So new versions sprang up with different traits.  TinyMUD's, LPMUD, AberNUD, DikuMUD etc etc etc.  TinyMUD's were interesting because they were not really games but merely a place where users could stand about and create new locations and objects.  They would then show them to other people (sound familiar?).  MUD designers worked under the premise that designers should create the world as users likely wouldn't be very good at it.  Along came LPMUD which believed the users would build a better world then the designers and so gave the ability to build objects.  TinyMUDs morphed into MOO's and LambdMOO's which brought in the ability for users to script in world.
      So now getting to the mid to late 1990's we had companies such a CompuServe porting games to run on the PC.  There was some success however using dial up was a huge deterrence because it plugged up the phone as well as cost an arm and a leg to play the games seeing as at that time phone charges were much more expensive than they are today.  Around 1993 we had the advent of the world wide web which caused the main internet providers to have a price war which made the internet affordable to everyone.  AOL went into games such as Neverwinter Nights, Dragon's gate and Federation II and began to get a huge user base.  Neverwinter Nights took in millions of dollars and had 500 simultaneous players.  Later on Gemstone III had 2,000 to 2,500 simultaneous players.  Then came the first massive success which was called Ultima Online.  It charged $9 a month and within a year had 100,000 users.  They were taking in 12 million dollars without having to pay any retailers.  It was also a graphic game.  Not text based.  A 2D environment which was possible because internet speeds were increasing and download times of graphics was now possible.  Home computers got stronger.  I won't go all the way through the history but eventually Everquest arrived and went first person 3D and had 300 000 subscribers.  Also there was Final Fantasy which did phenomenally well.
    Now what Tezcatlipoca Bisani failed to mention was that the book was published in 2003.  The year Second Life began and before World of Warcraft.  I have read that world of warcraft in one month makes $70, 000, 000 which was the total gross of the Hollywood movie Ironman at the time of the article.  Second Life now has around 60, 000 users online at any time and a functioning economy... and its not a game.
    I wanted to categorize Second Life into this history somewhere and find out what it was.  I also was curious about a second phenomenon which was anonymous online celebrity for a virtual world.  Is there a name for it? and has it existed in the past or is there a new form of celebrity coming forth out of internet games.  Anyway, so I sent Richard Bartle an email to ask him.  Here is his response.

BRYN    -

>I am reading your book Designing virtual worlds and I find it
>quite fascinating.
    My apologies in advance for chapter 6...

>So much has happened since you wrote it
    Yes, it's now getting to the point where its relevance is
more historical than contemporary.

>Is Second Life considered a MOOs?
    It's a spiritual successor to MOOs. I don't believe there
is much MOO DNA in SL, but it has evolved along similar lines
so has similar properties. Its popularity among academics
and journalists is eerily reminiscent of LambdaMOO's, and I've
said in the past that it's the LambdaMOO of today. So has
Pavel Curtis (who wrote and ran LambdaMOO); when I spoke to him
last year, he said that Linden Labs doesn't like the comparison
but it's pretty obvious to him and LambdaMOO's old-timers.

>and is there a term for an anonymous internet only "character"
>who has had their popularity move from a virtual world into that
>of the real world?
    Not yet that I know of, at least in English. I'm sure
there are a bunch of gaming superstars in Korea that have
gone from the obscurity of playing a virtual world to nationional
prominence on the strength of their playing skills.


I would like to reiterate that my version is a very poor summing up of what Richard wrote in his book.  If you would like to read it in his words then the book is called Designing Virtual Worlds

Pseudo celebrity Leroy Jenkins from World of Warcraft.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Coo Coo Bird

About a month ago, in a fit of insanity, I offered to build a sim for what seems to now be a questionable University. I don't want to get too deep into this, but after completing the sim in two weeks for a landowner whom I have come to suspect is mentally unstable, I was banned from the sim. Naturally I demanded my work returned and when he refused I contacted the Lindens to see if this was not in fact theft. The Lindens I spoke to surprised me by not wanting to get involved and as a result I solved the problem by giving friends mod rights to my work and having them go into the sim to delete my creations commando style. The artists who he later contacted to make the sim for him have also since fallen out and left. I imagine in the future there will be virtual world psychology experts who can explain this odd behaviour. Perhaps its a form of bullying or a mistaken sense of power. Anyway, this is a portion of the sim which I happened to film on the day it was deleted. It had a very short life and below is what the sim looked like before hand. Personally I believe a University should showcase the potential of virtual worlds rather than mimic their real life campus. I think the version I created would have captured the imagination of many more people than what we see below. Seriously, we don't need offices with desks in virtual worlds. Nobody will sit at them. And students who see a representation of their own school will merely say "Hey that is kind of cool, its a bit like my school." There is, in my opinion, no lasting value to recreating a first life location beyond the technical feat. There is no jarring of the mind nor any engagement of ones imagination. Perhaps there are some exceptions but I can't really think of any right now. Go have a look at Selavy Oh's work at IBM 3, it's a virtual space that is interesting to be in.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Untrust Us

I was playing about with sky settings and added some text as a water texture for this machinima. This is a band called Crystal Castles whom I adore. They use an old apple chip in a keyboard for retro video game sound effects in their tunes.

Discovered something interesting to do with sky settings with the help of IBMs Jessica Qin. If you and those coming to your sim use a viewer called "restrained life" then sky settings can be set on your computer if you touch something containing the settings. It worked in tests where all one had to do was click on a ball I had that contained the settings and instantaneously they were implemented. So if it works in a viewer it should not be too difficult to incorporate into second life with similar coding. Here is the jira again.

About 30 people have voted since I posted it the other day, so if you are a blogger or have friends who owe you a favour then please post about the jira or make your friends vote for it after giving them a stern talking to. Just say something like "hey dude remember when I bought you those prim underpants at that store that one time? well now its time you paid me back...." I guess you should customize it to something that actually happened but you understand what I mean.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Particle Princess Colemarie Soleil

Last week I went to an extraordinary event in Second Life. It was an hour long particle show put on by Colemarie Soleil at Inspire space park. I have, in the past, seen a few events using particles for things such as firework shows etc but generally they have not been that impressive. I think the reason is that particles are often used to try and mimic a first world event. Thats fine, but at a certain point we need to branch out and say to ourself that we are in a virtual environment with no rules. Using particles to create say the fire in a campfire, is trying to keep a hold on first life. I appreciate the technical skills needed to create these things but the real impressive ones to me are those that create content for the new virtual world. Things that come into existence as a result of the new environment we live in. Colemarie isn't trying to mimic anything in first life, she emotes particles as an expression of her being. They express her emotions like a form of language. Watching her perform was a hypnotizing experience. Particles undulated amongst the crowd sometimes violently and at other times a slow mesmerizing caress. The crowds emotions reflected in the tempo.
What makes this a unique second life experience is that she is not separate from the performance. Everything emanates from her avatar. And her avatar is a character. She is not off to the side directing, but rather part of the narrative itself. I am having a hard time explaining but the show is about a character, Colemarie the faerie, and the particles are, if you know Colemarie, not an addition to her character for one night but more an exhaling of her avatar. Her natural ability. Its just Colemarie breathing.

This was a portion of the show....

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Estate / Sim Windlight preset / day cycle options

As of right now sims follow a standard 24 hour cycle. When a person arrives to a sim they can see it as the sim owner wished by going to region default, but other than that there is not much variation from sim to sim.
Since I have been in second life there have been a handful of "new" things to pop up which change the way we see or interact in this world. There are the unfortunate crazes like bling, but the big ones i am talking about are thing like sculpties. Or when voice was added.. or glow. some things make a huge difference and one which would have the same kind of impact across the grid is to allow for custom sky settings for sim owners. What this means is that I could use the already existing custom tools to build skies and have them set to region default. People would arrive to Immersiva and suddenly be put into not a mere sunset or nice sunrise but something new and different.
The sky settings would allow for every sim to have its own particular feel and would revolutionize the way we see second life in a relatively cheap alteration to the already existing code. What Linden Labs does right now is to have what they call jira's. Jiras essentially are wish lists that people vote on for a wide range of features. Linden labs looks to see which ones are the most popular and decide to work on them. I am told that if a jira reaches 500 votes then they will begin to take it seriously. So the jira for custom sky settings stands at 327 people voting for it. Its been sitting there for a year or so. Would everyone who visits this blog take two seconds to vote for this jira so that I may one day be able to have skies such as in the video below for all to see when they arrive at my sim. Here is the jira. Please vote.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Immersiva - Tuesday, September 15th, on Live n Kick'n

Thank you Pascale Illyar for letting me know about my buggering up the dates. I had said the event was on Tuesday September 17th..

Anyway the event is TODAY! so come if you like.

On tuesday September 15th a show called Live n Kick'n will be filmed at Immersiva with the intention of showcasing both the great Singer Winston Ackland and Immersiva the sim I built which Dusan Writer sponsors. Brekka Nightfire wrote a very nice intro to the event which I have shamelessly copied and pasted below. Are you allowed to copy and paste things from other blogs? I don't know but I think you can.

Tuesday, September 15th, on Live n Kick'n

Come join us for another wonderful installment of Live n Kick'n. Brought to you this week from the Bryn Oh Immersiva sim! <--- Here at 9pm SLT! Singer Musician Winston Ackland appeared on “Tonight Live with Paisley Beebe” February 09, to tell us about how he got to submit one of his songs for the blockbuster Holiday film “Marley and Me” starring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson. Winston describes his sound and influence as...old blues guys, moptops, depressed 70s minstrels, glam crooners, and good ventilation noise. So basically make your own comparisons. His songs have humor, pathos and irony and often just good times associated with them. He has sold real Life Albums under his real life alt, with a great deal of success but loves second life for the fantasy and ability to play his music from his home studio. Any audience member at a Winston Ackland show is bound to laugh, sing and dance and basically have a damn good time!

Winston has agreed to perform on our next episode of Live n Kickin, on the 15th September at 9pmslt. He will be performing at the Bryn Oh Sim, Immersiva, a stunning full Sim Art installation in Second Life, imagine a cross between James and the Giant Peach, and Steam Punk and you might have some idea of Bryn Oh’s installation but even then you have only scratched its surface.

Bryn Oh is a sort of second life "Ghost artist" for a Toronto Oil painter. She held her recent installation at IBM called the Rabbicorn, her sculpture is a combination of mystery, story telling, poetry with steam punk influences. If you don’t spend time with her work you will miss many of her hidden mysteries, the poetry tells the story.

In this extraordinary environment of Immersiva we are encouraging audience members to embrace the steam punk theme to compliment the venue.

This will be a show not to miss either online at or in person as part of the Music Video!

Come along this Tuesday 22nd a bit before 9pm

Friday, September 4, 2009

Rabbicorn back story

The Daughter of Gears

The Rabbicorn story is now on Immersiva. Inside the build was a machinima backstory on the Daughter of Gears showing how the two stories were tied together. This was the hidden machinima.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Rabbicorn closing september first on IBM

The Rabbicorn story closes at IBM 3 on September 1st and I have decided to move it to Immersiva. It was 10 000 prims and I am hoping to pare it down to around 8 000, but it will still force me to delete much of what is on Immersiva right now. If you wish to see the Rabbicorn before I remove it go now because I have a very itchy delete finger atm. Marlen Slazar made a wonderful machinima of Immersiva which captured some of the things which are about to go. Thank you Marlen its really quite beautiful. Its all very sad to me to delete these things and it makes me wonder why open sim allows for 45 000 prims on a sim where second life gives me only 15 000. It seems like open sim might be a better fit for my terrible primmy nature.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tezcatlipoca Bisani


Tez is a really great guy and when I saw his wonderful write up on NPIRL I just felt the need to repost this machinima I made of him as the lead Handsome boy model. The best part of this machinima is that none of them knew what I planned to do with the footage. Such a trusting bunch and so good natured. I am less so.

I promise this is the last time I post this machinima Tez. Ah who am I kidding... I will probably post it again sometime.

The other handsome boy models are Colin Fizgig, Cube Republic and Glyph Graves


Monday, August 24, 2009

Some musings on being irritated

Some musings
A NPIRL in world notice informed me that Keystone Bouchard has been working on some new ideas. I popped over to see what he was up to and he is doing some interesting things. I saw one piece he was working on which is untitled. Its a large metallic textured sculpture reminiscent of the first world site works or site specific movements. As I was looking and moving around it I began to daydream and think of how it relates to real world structures similar to it.

Below to the left is Keystones work and down to the right is a real world site work done by Richard Serra sometime in the 1980's. Richards work is entitled "Tilted arc" and was installed at Foley square in New York. It spans 120 feet (36.5 metres) was 12 feet high (3.6 metres) and weighed 72 tons.

Richard Serras work arguably failed.

What made it fail? It was designed specifically for the square and played off of the original design. This was not a problem. It conceptually dealt with the "Iron curtain" of the time ... not a problem. The problem was that it spanned a well travelled park effectively blocking morning commuters from getting to work. Everyone who had taken this short cut to work suddenly found a massive metal barrier forcing them to find a detour. After a public outcry the piece was removed. The artist had said he purposely wanted to make people have this type of reaction, and yet... his work is gone. I personally would say it failed due to its design and its placement in "reality".

When I looked at Keystones design I was able to fly over and around it. There was no irritation factor and I was easily able to navigate away to view other works. But it made me think about the second life equivalents to this. What are the things which can potentially cause irritation in the viewer with the side effect of them not properly experiencing what you had intended. What is acceptable and what is too much?

I recall going to an art exhibit last year where the original artist had set up his show and had allowed another "performance" artist to do their brand of art. It involved a screen full of chat spam .. some rotating prims with images of dog shit on them and some loud screaming. It was meant to be avant guarde but to me it was just annoying and I left within a minute. As a result I don't remember much about it .. the name of either artist or even what it was meant to be. Some artists like to defend their work by shouting loudly that its really the viewers who are too stupid and lazy to appreciate the deep message they are imparting. People are just not ready for it. Then it becomes one of those things where if you say you don't like it you feel guilty and somewhat a neanderthal.

So what I would like is for you the readers to leave a comment about things which you find annoying in builds. I think it could be very useful to other builders to know about them.

Here are some of the ones that bug me.

-giant towers that are difficult to climb in no fly areas.
-artists who hide things inside their builds so that nobody can find them.

oh wait... that's me.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Carousel of Dreams and Sorrows - The fallen Jethopper

The Fallen Jethopper

I am in the process of remaking Immersiva but its taking me longer than seven days. Its an unpopular choice but here is an explanation of sorts. When I paint a picture I would sometimes find myself afraid to accidentally screw it up. But at the same time I would feel that there was something missing, but not be exactly sure what the problem was. Perhaps I had a new idea I wanted to try but to do so might mess everything up. For example, if i had created a scene over a month with figures around a table, and suppose i wanted to move one figure over a tiny bit or change where he was looking etc then its a huge undertaking and you can quite possibly mess up the entire painting. This is mostly because if you erase something and then realize it was a mistake, then try to recreate the original, its rarely as good as the first attempt. Because the first time you are loose and open and when you recreate you are tighter and it shows. It often loses its spontaneity. So what happens is you have an almost perfect painting which you are afraid of ruining yet you are not 100% happy because you still wonder what might have happened if you tried your other idea. What this all does it keep you from trying new things out of fear of buggering up your work. It can keep you from advancing. I took what my gallery found to be a heartbreaking approach. It actually made one of the gallery owners cry when she was told of it. What I began to do was take my favorite paintings and destroy them. Well not destroy all of them. I buried some in the back yard of an old house i lived in, some were left in alleyways, one is buried under a gas station another is sealed in plastic and on the bottom of a lake. Anyway the point is that if I found myself becoming too attached to one (because you can fall in love with your paintings) then I would force myself to do this. Now whenever I do anything, painting or building in SL, I always advance. I can take something i love and not be afraid to try something which might destroy it, because well.. its better than being on the bottom of a lake. I have not had to do this for a while now and I still fall in love with things i make, I just am now able to suddenly try something new to them without fear. There have been many times when that new idea was an improvement and had i been afraid to take the risk then I would not have learned. Changing Immersiva is a bit like this. I don't feel there is anything wrong with it but I want to try new things. Anyway I realize the burying of my paintings sounds insane so lets move on to the Jethopper.

On the Carousel of Dreams and Sorrows is an empty spot between the Octobot and Seahorse. The Large Jethopper used to sit there. The tiny jethoppers would see him up there each day. They saw him almost as a god. Distant and mysterious. For to them he was unattainable. One day the wind came and blew the Jethopper from the carousel down onto the ground. When the tiny jethoppers came then next day they found him partially in the water. They saw he was rusty and a machine like they were. All the robots of Immersiva were left alone when the theme park was abandoned by man. They all adapt in different ways, some look for companionship and some merely exist. The tiny jethoppers had found hope and meaning on top of a carousel.


A Jethopper

on the ground
broke the silence
with a sound

A chirping question
a mournful call
at the sight of
the Icons fall

Once a remote
brought into focus

Two worlds built
and together fell
from the height of
a Carousel

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I saw a bear!

Ok so I am breaking my rule in keeping out rl. But there is a very good reason. You see on my writing retreat I was lost way up in this deserted area and suddenly this face appeared in the bushes. A moment later this young bear came out and began to walk beside the car. So like any city person who comes across a potentially dangerous animal outside the car... you roll down the window and start filming. In my mind he looked quite friendly and I am pretty sure I could have got out of the car and perhaps ridden on his back for a bit. So in case you can't tell by the movie this bear was about the size of a great dane dog and i was told it would have been around 200Lbs. The adults are much much bigger.

This is where I spent most of my time writing. This is a foggy morning.

Above is a place I tried writing at called cup and saucer. The little angular bit on the hill is where i sat and below is what it looks like up close. That triangular rock is completely natural and quite comfortable to sit on. I am afraid of heights so I was not able to look over the side, in fact i had to sit down most of the time I was up there. I have this weird reaction where even if someone else walks to the edge it makes me sit down. Anyway, I tortured myself for a while trying to work up there, mostly because I liked the idea of writing in this spot more than I actually enjoyed it.

I also found an old abandoned farm house on Manitoulin Island and so it had to be explored. I love exploring abandoned things that have been sitting around for years, I am not so sure I would have went inside this barn had I seen the bear first, but as it turns out nothing lived inside it.

I hear the Brooklyn is Watching show went well and if you saw my work and want to vote for me then go here and do so! Seems DanCoyote Antonelli is way in the lead for this but feel free to vote for me if you liked it.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Brooklyn is Watching final 5 show

I will be away for a week or so on a writing retreat in a cottage on a lake. This is due to an evil slave driver named Georg Jannick who is having me write a chapter on Immersion for a book. Hiding on a remote lake is the only way I will get this done. I think he wanted the rough draft last week. Anyway, while I am gone there will be an opening reception for a potentially exciting event. Below is the press release that Jay Newt has created, and within that release is a picture of us looking like a failed comic book superteam. My superpower is standing for long periods of time without going into "away" mode.
Brooklyn is Watching is a gallery which actively tries to promote SL art. They display work on monitors and each week have a podcast critique of work that has been placed there. Its an interesting event because as artists we place our work there to hear what we hope to be constructive intelligent criticism. But in many ways we listen to the panel to see if they are able to critique us. Are they prepared? have they done any homework? are they merely trying to be entertaining or do they seriously have an understanding of virtual art. Its a new dialogue and the critique is not coming from an old traditional method, but rather from a new perspective almost every week.
The above machinima is of my build for BIW. It is called Willow and tells the story of two robots who hide from salvagers. It is an another experiment in Immersiva, and hopefully those of you who go will find yourself captivated and drawn into this narrative environment. As with any competition there will always be differing views as to who should have been chosen. Everyone has their favorites and they get grumpy when they are not chosen. Personally I am very happy with the final five. DanCoyote Antonelli is one of the first successful artists in second life and is the father of Hyperformalism. Glyph Graves can create organisms and sculpture but also produces new and unique scripts. Selavy Oh is another Hyperformalist and one of my favorite artists in second life. She creates beautiful uncluttered creations which hide elaborate scriptwork. Nebulosus Severine's work is fairly new to me but that which I have seen have been of the finest quality. I look forward to following her work in the future.

Not only will BIW have an event in Brooklyn to showcase sl art in rl, but they will also be at the Second Life convention promoting us there as well. There are those who can see that virtual art may be the next big movement in art history. Brooklyn is Watching is one of those and should be commended for the effort they are making to promote the new frontier in art creation.

Press Contact: Jay Van Buren

“Brooklyn is Watching Best of Year 1: The Final Five”
at Jack The Pelican Presents

Exhibition: Brooklyn Is Watching, Best of Year 1: The Final Five
Artists: Dancoyote Antonelli, Bryn Oh, Nebulosis Severine, Selavy Oh and Glyph Graves
Opening: Friday, August 7, 7–9pm Eastern
Panel discussion: August 15, 6pm
Lecture: August 16, 6pm
Dates:August 7¬–23, 2009
Address:487 Driggs Avenue at N. 9th, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
SL Location: East of Odyssey

Virtual art comes to Brooklyn. Inside the gallery are five monitors, each featuring a virtual copy of the real space occupied by a different virtual artwork. These are “The Final Five,” created for this context by the nominated and elected best of the hundreds of virtual artists who have exhibited in year 1 of Brooklyn is Watching.

The Artists are: Dancoyote Antonelli, Glyph Graves, Bryn Oh, Selavy Oh, and Nebulosus Severine —a diverse bunch, representing very different points of view of what it means to make virtual art. Visitors to this exhibition will have a chance to interact with the works and to vote for the best of the best.

Is virtual art for real? What is the nature of the medium? How do you talk about it? What are its conceptual and social-critical opportunities and limits? These are just some of the questions that Brooklyn Is Watching has been actively asking for the last year and a half.

Brooklyn is Watching is a mixed-reality project created by artist Jay Van Buren, and fleshed out by a rotating crew of collaborators. The stage is based in Second Life. Artists place artworks there to be seen by visitors to the Real Life venue Jack the Pelican Presents gallery—and to have their works discussed by international critics, curators and artists (including Tyler Coburn of Rhizome, and Barbara London of MoMA) in a weekly podcast and blog at The project has been widely discussed and written up in such publications as the New York Times Magazine and the Brooklyn Rail.

Nomination and initial voting, open to the public, narrowed the field to the “30 best”. From there selection to the Final Five was done by an expert panel that included SL art heavyweights: AM Radio, Amy Freelunch, AngryBeth Shortbread, Bettina Tizzy and Sage Duncan.


The final five in front of the virtual gallery. High Rez images available upon request.

The artists have employed a variety of strategies for making virtual art that relates to the virtual version of the real life space:

Nebulosus Severine envelopes the virtual gallery in a luminous fortress-of-solitude-like structure — that is a meditation on the nature of the self.

DanCoyote Antonelli (aka DC Spensley) explodes the metaphor of the virtual gallery by using the building blocks of that illusion as raw material for a dynamic, rhythmic, abstract sculpture stretching up into the sky.

Selavy Oh exploits the intrinsically flexible nature of virtual space by creating an interactive maze of nested, shifting Jack the Pelicans in which she has curated a show within a show featuring artists not selected by the judges.

Bryn Oh has turned the gallery into a ruin of glowing technological fragments infested with digital flora, inviting the viewer into her own idiosyncratic fantasy narrative.

Glyph Graves uses the gallery to show how art is a reflection of its physical and social environment by creating a work that changes based on the number of people viewing it.

In addition to the exhibit of the final five works, the opening night will feature a mixed reality installation by filmmakers Bianca Ahmadi and Juan Rubio. Jack the Pelican Presents will also host a panel discussion and lecture on the topic of digital and virtual art. The panel discussion will be held on August 15th at 6:00 PM and features Lori Landay, Stacey Fox and Pavig Lok. The lecture by Jerry Paffendorf will be on August 16th at 6:00 PM.

For more information, please contact Jay van Buren at or 785-220-2344 and visit our blog at

Jack the Pelican Presents is a trendsetting Williamsburg gallery specializing in contemporary art.

Second Life® is the most popular online virtual world. Peak concurrent users just topped 88,000 and over 700,000 people regularly log in. Over 120 million real dollars changed hands inside Second Life® in the first quarter of 2009, some of it spent on virtual art.


Popcha! BIW’s premier sponsor provides hosting for the website, the original build of the BIW space, and the scripting for the project’s avatar, Monet Destiny.
Popcha! is a boutique media technology agency focused on making virtual worlds work for its clients. As one of Second Life’s ® first Gold Solution Providers, Popcha! has been been singled out as a highly qualified provider who has demonstrated a high level of client satisfaction and has developed successful projects on behalf of businesses, governments, educational institutions, and other business organizations in Second Life.

The University of Kansas Department of Visual Art is providing the SL sim for the 30 Best Show and the main Brooklyn Is Watching space is now being hosted on the department’s Impermanence research sim.
Located in Lawrence, Kansas, The University of Kansas is a member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design and is a Research 1 University. The Department of Visual Art is comprised of 30 full time professors who teach painting, sculpture, printmaking, new media, ceramics, textiles, metals and art education, and has impressive studio space.

Odyssey is providing the SIM for the Final Five show.
Odyssey is a simulator in the virtual world of Second Life® (SL) dedicated to contemporary art and performance. Providing services for artists and arts organizations, the aim is to experiment and work on art in a virtual 3D context and to explore the specific conditions under which art in a virtual world takes place. Odyssey artists and performers explore and experiment with this medium as a tool for art production and art environment. It is less a matter of importing existing art forms – they are interested in pushing the SL medium in new directions and exploring its full potential in a professional manner and to develop new forms out of the context of art history and in a critical view on the SL medium.

Tekserve provided us with the computer that visitors use at the gallery.
Tekserve is a privately held company with over 200 employees, operating in New York City and serving clients worldwide. Tekserve was founded in 1987 by David Lerner and Dick Demenus to provide service for customers needing Apple computer repairs at reasonable prices. Having met that need, they were encouraged to expand the business to offer Macintosh sales and consulting services as well.

VOOS is providing seating for the gallery.
VOOS was founded on the exciting philosophy of exploring the rich creative pool of New York City Furniture Designers. A hybrid of store, showroom, and a meeting point for local designers and design-lovers, VOOS is an address where locally made unique furniture: always fresh and sizzling with energy, is celebrated with a bi-monthly renewed inventory, an ever-expanding designer list, and fun events to keep the design community connected and happy!

Brooklyn Brewery is our exclusive beer sponsor.
Brooklyn Brewery is the first successful commercial brewery in New York City since Schaefer and Rheingold closed their doors in 1976. Today, The Brooklyn Brewery is among America’s top 40 breweries, and Brooklyn Lager is among the top draft beers in New York City.

Brooklyn is Watching Collaborators Past and Present: Stacey Fox, Beth Harris, Boris Kizelshteyn, Norene Leddy, Jenna Spevack, Amy Wilson, Steven Zucker

Special thanks to Dekka Raymaker for his help creating the virtual Jack the Pelican Presents, and to Penumbra Carter and Sage Duncan for their work on Machinima for the Exhibition. Thanks to Catherine Garnier for installation design and video editing.

Brooklyn is Watching 2009 Interns: Kristen Galvin, Elena Lauren Levis, Nicole Sansone, Walter Scott.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Gashlycrumb Tinies

About a year ago I began building a recreation of Edward Goreys "The Gashlycrumb Tinies". Using little steampunk robot children of course. I had just wanted to practice building and you can actually see my skill improve as it goes along. I sat on IBM6 and Rezzable sandbox building it for what seemed like months and it was the first and last time I tried to watch my prim count. This was mainly because its not very polite to use all the resources on a sandbox.
Shortly after I finished Gashlycrumb, KK Jewell offered her sim Arcspace as a venue to show it (with a little prompting from Bettina Tizzy I think). Edward Gorey is a favorite of mine with his offbeat cryptic humour, and if you dont know his work then I suggest you look him up. I am going to leave The Gashlycrumb Tinies out at Immersiva for the month of August should you be interested in seeing one of my early builds.

I forgot to mention that last year a celebrity of sorts came to see the show. None other than the Angel of Death (who sounds a bit like Crap Mariner). Here is the Angel of Death meeting Nevill.
Angel of Death meets Nevill