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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Doing the Math: Wizard Gynoid

oggi anche in italiano, se ti va di leggere.
I try to live my daydreams
Garrett Lisi
Wizard Gynoid came into SL three years ago after reading a news story about the opening of the Swedish Embassy in Second Life. That totally intrigued her - how could a country be opening an embassy in a video game? The first thing she discovered was how friendly people are here. After about a month, it finally struck her - the good 3D software program she'd dreamed of for years was here, and totally free! Fascinated by esoteric sacred geometry, which she had mostly been working on in her head or on paper, she set out to build Metatron's Cube.
We met at her workspace in New Caerleon, which is full of bright colours and blocks. Wintermute Renfold stopped by, looking all Na'vi; he asked me if I was a bot, and then engaged Wizzy in some cyberpunk chat I didn't follow, not having artificial intelligence and all. Here in the photo you can see 'Synchronicity,' submitted to this month's UWA competition.
Wizard Gynoid: I wouldn't say that I am a scholar, but I have studied Western esoteric tradition extensively, and was always good at geometry and mathematics - I aced my college calculus classes. My very first structure was quite complex. I wanted to make my own interpretation of Metatron's Cube, and I've since done a 3D version of what I think is the "classical" approach to it. In ancient times geometry and what we call the sciences were known and preserved by orders held together by initiations of silence. I have been fascinated by the way geometry was taught and passed down through the millenia. The Jewish tradition holds that only when an adult male has proved his worth by having a family and prospering, can he BEGIN to learn the esoteric knowledge. Traditionally I suppose, it was done in the dirt with a stick - well, here we have something that has never existed before, the ability to visualize what is in our heads by simply rezzing it, and making it come to life. That thrills me and I made some machinima of my work. 
Many builders are shy about sharing their work-in-progress, and I wondered what made Wizzy film her process.
Wizard Gynoid‧: I was proud of it I guess. I was trying to communicate something new using this new medium of expression. This is Wizzy's Workshop and this is my original temple. It was originally located on one of the outlying islands, high in the sky - at the time I had it enclosed in a huge box, because I was under the impression that I could keep out intruders. It wasn't long before I realized that there were ways of gaining access to the inside of buildings.
Yeah, that happened to me once. *draws veil*  The temple is aligned at an angle on the surface of the platform. Wizzy built it on the morning of the summer solstice of 2007 and on that morning she aligned the temple to the rising of SL's sun, a tradition you find from Stonehenge to Luxor and beyond. Interestingly, the alignment is now off, just as it is with ancient Egyptian temples. The reason? When SL upgraded to Havok 4, they changed the physics of the sun, but the temple remains aligned to the old rising of the sun, and she won't change it. Sacred geometry, tradition, communication, and memory all at work here, as you can see. I cheated a little bit with the east angle to get the photo down in the Italian bit.
Wizard Gynoid‧: I am trying to demonstrate how there are multiple dimensions of reality. There are four dimensions of reality inside my cube. There is an infinite regression involved, so the notion of infinity is involved as well. The merkaba is one of what we call the duals of the Platonic Solids. It is made up of two tetrahedra and is the most complex and beautiful geometric object known, with all the characteristics of classical sacred geometry. The Golden Ratio is encoded throughout its structure.
The first version was ground-breaking, and made her name in SL. It comprised an amazing 1500 prims, and Wizzy had help with the scripting from Glyph Graves, so that different elements within the structure lit up at different times.
Wizard Gynoid: I became "that E8 person." hehe.  Garrett Lisi the theoretical physicist, whose somewhat radical "Theory of Everything" uses the geometry of the E8 to predict the appearance of sub-atomic particles,  came into Second Life to see my E8 Polytope, and guided me to learn more. I created yet another "rotation" of the E8 with about 3000 prims. The best way to try to describe my work is to show it to you, in person, so you can fly around it, into it and experience it firsthand. That is what SL is good for. Xenophile Neurocam gave the E8 space on the Butler College sim,but when Xeno lost that sim I was looking for a home again. Meanwhile, I had been experimenting with the open sims. Reaction Grid is dedicated to education, and they kindly offered me two regions, and I now have 90,000 prims to play with in ways that are Impossible in Second Life. There is no longer the ten meter limit on the size of a prim, so no need for megaprims. On the Wizzy sim, I went to work to create a very detailed immaculate reproduction of the E8 Polytope in its most elegant rotation, and in March an episode of  Designing Worlds was filmed there. The object is 6,672 prims and is 200 meters in diameter. You can fly through the center of the 3d object, and a 2D version demonstrates how the 3D object casts its 2D "shadow" together, that's about 13,000 prims.
You can see the whole thing in a photo in the Italian part, but the shadow looks like this. As you can see it resembles those spirograph drawings that fascinated us as kids. If you'd like to go in person, it's not complicated to get to RG, and in fact, in Wizzy's picks, she gives step by step directions on how to get there to see her two regions.
Wizard Gynoid: The ultimate goal is to lobby Linden Lab to develop and release a portal that will easily go to the open sims, like Reaction Grid. Technically it is possible, there were successful teleports from SL to OSGRID during tests last year, and I am optimistic. I don't think that Linden Lab is threatened by the open sims. M Linden said recently that he is very supportive of the open sims so I have high hopes that he will encourage the development of intra-grid teleporting. Btw, M Linden and I go waaay back. hehe! When he was a noob, he came to my Rezzable Visions sim and bought several of my creations for display at his office in Linden Land - and they are still there on his own sim "M Squared"
... this is her M Linden dummy, complimenting her victory...
Despite moving in such exalted circles (and squares and other polyhedrons) Wizzy still felt the thrill of getting an honourable mention at this month's UWA prize. The feeling was mutual.
Jayjay Zifanwe: The piece by the Wizard Gynoid was breathtaking. I had for a long time wanted to include something of hers - however, prims were always a problem as the competition allowed for only 100 when Wizzy can do 500,000 just as easily. This was the perfect vehicle for her work. Let me add that we're really proud to announce this week that Dr Gary Zabel (Georg Janick - SL), University of Masachusetts will be joining the judging panel for the Grand Prize of the UWA 3D Art & Design in September 2010. The panel has been growing throughout this first year, other members include Frolic MillsSasun Steinbeck  Wil Dreadlow,  Lowell Cremorne, White Lebed, M Linden, Lanai Jarrico Pat Insoo,  Mal Burns,  Apollo MangaKoinup Burt aka Pierluigi Casolari, and they'll look at 1st and  2nd prize recipients from across the year and choose an overall winner.
Namedropper.
Wizard Gynoid: My piece at UWA is a logical development of this E8 theme. I took a cross section of the E8, an orthogonal projection of one of the axes. It is a remarkable thing, so symmetrical and orderly, very elegant, and I looked for a way to bring it to life and that is what it does, it comes to life and pulsates with energy. I am very happy with the way that turned out. My next problem is... how do i top that?
Wizzy has an entire tradition - a literary geometry if you will - written into her work But who would she pick for a literary build in Second Life?
Wizard Gynoid: Well, qabalah is an old literary tradition, but I also love cyberpunk, as you heard, so I would choose William Gibson  and Neal Stephenson, who coined the term "metaverse" and set the stage for Second Life with a book called "Snowcrash". I met someone who had a William Gibson Neuromancer parcel at Burning Life and made friends with her. It was excellent, it tried to bring to life aspects of the book -. imagery that was only words became more real through her interpretation of it. I placed one of my own objects there, that I had made for fun: there is a scene in the book where a character has the platonic solids orbiting around his head. This is my homage to Neuromancer and William Gibson.
La geometria è la passione di Wizard Gynoid, e i mondi virtuali le hanno dato la possiblità di esprimerla in modi impossibili in RL. La geometria, la matematica, e in particolare le analisi differenziale - all'università Wizzy ha sempre preso voti altissimi in queste materie, e in seguito ha studiato le tradizioni esoteriche, come quelle egiziane e ebraiche. Incantata dall'elegante precisione dei solidi platonici - le forme che si vedono come un'aureola intorno alla sua testa in questo foto - era particolarmente affascinata dal cosidetto cubo dell'arcangelo Metatron - a volte conosciuto come Thoth - una forma mistica chiamata anche Merkaba o fiore della vita. Anche se non conosci questa tradizione,  il nome l'avrai sentito in SL, si chiama così la land di Aquila Faulds e Laragrace Rau dove infatti promuovono le pratiche culturali e spirituali legati a questo simbolo. 
Wizard Gynoid: Nei tempi antichi, la conoscenza e la magia erano tutta una. Questa conoscenza  fu occultata, custodita dai sacerdoti, celato dietro riti. Si tramandava la conoscenza solo agli uomini che si erano dimostrati maturi, sposati con figli e attività avviate, e poi usando un bastone si tracciavano le segrete geometriche nella sabbia. Oggi invece è possibile far conoscere a tutti queste meraviglie tramite il mondo virtuale. Si possono esprimere e insegnare in un modo impensabile in passato. Io ho voluto creare il cubo di Metatron, non solo nella sua forma classica, ma anche seguendo una mia interpretazione. Per me è stato molto emozionante vedere in 3D una forma geometrica che avevo spesso disegnato in 2D e anche sognato, e ho voluto fare varie  machinima purché il pubblico potesse comprendere l'importanza della struttura e anche come  l'ho creata. Importantissimo per me sfruttare questo potente strumento per esprimere delle idee fondamentali. 
Nel suo studio Wizzy's Workshop ha creato un tempio e qui troverai il Merkaba. Il tempio Wizzy l'ha creato nel 'lontano' 2007 e l'aveva rezzato la mattina del solstizio vernale, disponendolo in modo che il sole sorgesse tra le colonne. Oggi invece, non sorge più il sole in quel quadrante - un aggiornamento della piattaforma di SL ha cambiato la fisica del sole virtuale (per ricreare l'aurora in questa foto ho dovuto spostare l'est... un po di magia mia). Ma Wizzy ha voluto lasciare il suo tempio dov'era, com'era, un po' come gli antichi templi dell'Egitto.
Wizard Gynoid: Con il mio merkaba volevo dimostrare che ci sono più mondi. Dentro ci sono quattro dimentioni e infinite regressioni. Eà la forma più complessa e bella della geometria, ed è una forma matematica e anche sacra. 
La costruzione del E8 l'ha resa famosa, con l'aiuto di Glyph Graves ha fatto in modo che alcune parti si illuminavano, rendendo la complessità ancor più comprensibile al pubblico.Il fisico RL Garrett Lisi è entrato in SL per vederla e hanno lavorato insieme sul progetto creando una forma ancora più sofisticata, di ben 3000 prim! Qui in SL i fans della geometria vedono finalmente avverarsi il sogno di poter volare attraverso e tutto intorno a queste forme intricate.
Trovare 'casa' per Wizzy però è sempre stata difficile. Le sue strutture sono enormi, a volte troppo grandi per SL, e dopo soggiorni a Rezzable, Butler College e altri luoghi, infine, è stata invitata ad occupare due regioni in ReactionGrid, un mondo parallelo al Second Life. Con 90.000 prim a disposizione, può finamente realizzare i progetti enormi che ha in mente.Ha realizzato questa versione del E8 Polytope,  come vedi c'è al centro un tunnel che permette all'osservatore di entrare dentro ' e ha messo anche il 2D 'ombra' coloratissima della struttura, visibile nella parte inglese ' due strutture per un totale di  13.000 prim. Una bellissima puntata di Designing Worlds ne è stata dedicata.
Wizard Gynoid: Visitare Reactiongrid non è difficilissimo, ma fra poco sarà ancora più facile, credo che i Linden  creeranno dei portali tra Second Life e gli altri mondi virtuali. Io conosco abbastanza bene M Linden, quando era newbie, ha comprato alcune opere mie, e le ha ancora sul suo sim, una persona molto colta che ama l'arte. 
Quando M Linden ha visto l'ultimissima proposta (premiato anche al UWA questo mese) l' ha rimpita di complimenti, e Wizzy per scherzo ho creato un bot M Linden con un tag : 'Wow this is brilliant, Wizzy' - vedi nella parte inglese. Non si prende troppo sul serio, e nonostante tutti gli elogi ricevuti, era sinceramente toccata quando  'Synchronicity' (praticamente una 'fetta' dell'E8) ha vinto. 
Anche JJ Zifanwe, il direttore del UWA, ne è entusiasta. 
Jayjay Zifanwe: L'opera di Wizard Gynoid toglie il fiato. E' da parecchio che desidero vedere un suo pezzo qui a UWA, il problema era sempre la quantità di prim - qui il limite è 100 e la sua arte spesse ne richiede molte migliaia. Quest'opera invece è perfetto. Vorrei cogliere l'occasione per annunciare che il direttore di Caerleon, Dr Gary Zabel (Georg Janick - SL), University of Masachusetts si unirà alla giuria per il Gran Premio UWA 3D Art and Design a settembre 2010. Insieme a lui, Frolic MillsSasun Steinbeck  Wil Dreadlow,  Lowell Cremorne, White Lebed, M Linden, Lanai Jarrico Pat Insoo,  Mal Burns,  Apollo MangaKoinup Burt aka Pierluigi Casolari sceglieranno un vincitore per il gran premio da tutti color che hanno ricevuto premi mensili (1° e 2° premio) durante l'anno.
A Wizzy invece un'ultima domanda, se dovesse creare un sim per uno scrittore a lei particolarmente car, chi sceglierebbe?
Wizard Gynoid: Mi piace William Gibson  e Neal Stephenson, l'inventore della parola 'metaverso'. Ho visto un build per Gibson a Burning life, mi piaceva moltissimo vedere un'originale interpretazione del suo libro Neuromancer. Nel libro uno dei personaggi porta un'aureola con i solidi paltonici, e ho voluto creare una mia versione in ommagio al grande scrittore.

4 comments:

Wizzy Gynoid said...

Thirza, thanks so much for allowing me to share my SL life with the world in this way!

sororNishi said...

Wizzy is so talented that she is a great bonus for any grid that has her pieces on show, and this excellent post gives a good insight into her work.

alizarin said...

wtg Wizzy!

Solkide Auer said...

I think that Wizzy is one of most fantastic and powerful artist/builder in SL and i'm proud to be friend of her. I like to visit her work and every time it's a surprise to me.
And last but not least is also a very nice person.