Monday, May 31, 2010

Contesting Science, Artfully

    The next time she has a big idea like this, Marjorie Fargis has asked that she be shot - it's been a mammoth project, but looking on from outside SCIEN & ART CONTEST is a journey well worth taking. The idea (and I should throw the name of Talete Flanagan  in at this point, he's a RL physicist and SL Italy's answer to Bill Nye) came from a Science on the Road show they put on some time back called The Year of the Cosmic Rays. From that starting point, they came up with the idea of six interconnected aspects of physics research: they called them Big Bang, Atom, Cosmic Rays, String Theory, Electricity,  and Nano-technologies. Artists were invited to submit pieces that illustrated these fascinating fields, now on show in six different locations across SL.
My first stop was  UWA Winthrop where the Nano-technologies bit is on show.  Kolor Fall  has built a meditation on the rust of mortality - or is that the (im)mortality of rust? - and if you click on the glass top you can pose among the particles, lying down inside the coffin while drinking in his short, deep poem. Click on the pic to enlarge.  "We're all pools of light," Kolor commented. It's just that he's the only one that looks like a pool of light. Filthy has executed a neat bit of nano-vation by texturing a cube with one of his paintings and calling it Embracing sixfold and Betty Tureaud (may her hens never cease pecking!) gave me the lowdown on her lovely entry.
Betty Tureaud: I am interested in the danger of nanoparticles.
Thirza Ember: But your piece looks like floating toys, or Fruit Loops. kinda. It's very pretty.
Betty Tureaud: Nano is pretty - it's cool structures, complicated nature builds the micro cosmos. The nanoworld is beautiful. Take pollen for example.
She handed me a picture of pollen. It was undeniably beautiful.
Thirza Ember: So that's why you chose it for this competition instead of, say, string theory? For the beauty behind the danger?
Betty Tureaud: Yes! yes you got it right :)
There is, of course, a much better and longer notecard that explains in more depth, but you can get that for yourself. Also in the top picture Freewee Ling's piece that looks like a lab. It said Touch but I didn't want to unleash any particles so I refrained, but you touch it and tell me about it, when you visit UWA .
Don't stop there - five other galleries host the rest of the competing works, and they are all delightful in their own different ways. At the Spanish-language Biosfera 3 the Open Science Project, you'll find interpretations of the Big Bang.
 I really liked Loki Glas' piece, and look forward to going back to see artwork by Igor Ballyhoo and Selavy Oh which hadn't yet been put down. At CWS Isand there's a sort of Stonehenge where you'll find the Cosmic Rays entries. Maryva's is the prettiest (seen in the foreground, with Merlino Mayo and shellina Winkler in the background) but all are thoughtful and highly individual and well worth the time it takes to rez.
There are over fifty artists on show, I can't possibly do them all justice, but here are a few more standouts. Among the String Theory at the USMP which is a Peruvian University - howzat for exotic - there is Gleman Jun's Einstein-inspired cello player (it looks like Kolor gone green to me), and Wizzy's string thing, shown here.
Then these two gorgeous and amazingly different takes on the idea, first, this one by Abstract Baroque
... and an unnamed piece all in white by Mila Tatham, I think it should win, it elegantly portrays string theory 'explaining everything' from love to the planets. Wonderful - look in the Italian bit for the photo of it. 
No pictures of mine are going to do any of this justice, so make sure you TP to all the destinations, you can find notecards, LMs and all that jazz if you go to Second Physics HQ . Oh, and the Electric section of the show is here too. I could go on, about the Atomic Art, at the Alpine Executive Center (pol Jarvinen is a standout over there) and all the rest, there's masses to delight and inform in this exhibition - but your own adventure will be more fun.
 The show is on for about two weeks, then there'll be the prizewinning and jury-bating, and notecard passing, all the usual fun. Hats off to the organizers and galleristas, including JJ Zifanwy, Mark Helendale, Maximo Eames, Noke Yazuka, Sunset Quinell and Mexi Lane, but especially toTalete and Marjorie for giving us so much art for thought.
Inaugurata oggi, Scien & Art è un concorso dedicata alla Fisica di Talete Flanagan  e Marjorie Fargis.  Cincuanta artisti hanno partecipato a questa prima edizione, che vuole unire due grandi discipline, arte e scienza. Il concorso si divide in sei categorie, Atomo, Big Bang, Raggi Cosmici, Elettricità, Nanotecnologie e Stringhe.
Marjorie Fargis: E' nato tutto da un evento, l'anno dei raggi cosmici. Volevamo festeggiarlo in qualche modo, e da quel tema si sono sviluppati tutti gli altri - infatti le 6 categorie si collegano.
Si parte dalla sede principale di  Second Physics  e il percorso ci porta in cinque land diverse, dalla peruviana USMP dove troverai le opere ispirata alla teorie delle stringhe. C'è l'opera di Wizard Gynoid - sotto c'è un prim con alcune foto-ricordi - una dice 'I wish I could speak Italian'... davvero carina. Questa scultura nella foto invece è opera di Mila Tatham, stupenda, come quella di Abstract Baroque visibile nella parte inglese.
Alla land di MarkWD HelendaleCWS Isandgli artisti si esprimono attraverso la loro creatività dando vita alla loro visione dei raggi cosmici, il luogo si addice all'argomento, è Stonehenge. Dalla pianura di Salisbury, alle montagne: quelle del Alpine Executive Center. La materia qui è l'Atomo, e poi si passa al stupendo sim spagnolo di Biosfera 3 dove sono esposte molte belle opere come quella di Loki Glas, e gli avatar-statue di  MosMax Hax -all'inizio della parte italiana.
L'ultima tappa, l'UWA dove sono in gara le nanologie fantasticate da alcuni artisti di rielievo quale Filthy Fluno, e Kolor Fall. Kolor ha scritto anche una poesia che accompagna la sua 'nano bara'... cliccare per entrarci, se hai il coraggio.. essendo un po' malinconica e amante della poesia, ecco una foto. Ma non è affatto tutta ruggine e mortalità, i nano sono belli, importanti, forti e essenziali alla vita e l'evoluzione del cosmo: e infine la stupenda opera di Betty Tureaud, una delle artiste più talentuose di tutta Second Life.
Non mancare a questo divertente appuntamento con l'arte e la scienza, un'avventura attraverso la conoscenza e l'estro artistico dei nostri cari amici!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Hearts and Lines

I cannot read them now.
O Gentlemen the time of life is short!
To spend that shortness basely were too long,
If life did rise upon a dial's point,
Still ending at the arrival of an hour.
Henry IV part 1
...avevo poco tempo questo we ma ora ho aggiunto anche in italiano... o quasi... basta scorrere in giù un pochino
So tonight I'm going to see Henry IV at the theatre in RL. I don't really want to go, because Americans doing Shakespeare is always cringemaking, but hey, it's raining and, and if it does turn out to be dire, well, that's what the intermission is for. If that seems anglist to you, bear in mind firstly that nobody actually reads this blog, so I may as well say what I really think, and secondly, imagine Ricky Gervaise playing The Duke in a biopic about John Wayne - that's the feeling we get, seeing you lot do Mister S., however much time and money you throw at it, and I'm guessing tonight's performance will have little of both.
But I digress.
Two inworld thingys for your cultural pleasure: first up, the beautiful Coeur Duchy has a job opportunity, if you're of a literary or historical bent. The Duchy is an anglophone RP land, one of those fairytale collaborations that SL7 promises to celebrate. Graceful francophiles Bedrich Panacek, SkyeRyder Varriale, and TatianaDukochic Varriale, together with baharat Atlas have established a beautiful eleven-region playground, based, the notecard says, on Angelique and  "Pride and Prejudice, originally written in 1796/1797". The 'originally' had me wondering if Jane Austen had been dug up in the late 1890s and obliged to rewrite the book under the supervision of HG Wells or similar, but apparently not, so I am glad I didn't ask them that when this very courteous quartet gave me the tour, or at least a partial one. There is so much to see in Coeur Duchy, one visit is not enough. I recommend the  carriage ride, the palaces, and don't forget to visit the caverns in the Languedoc. I fell into them, it's a long story involving Kirsten's viewer and some funky tping.  
The builders have gone to a lot of trouble to recreate the countryside of France, from the canal du Midi to the drained marshes of the Poitou, and though in the palaces there are an awful lot of textures, it is eminently worth the time it takes to rez to see these buildings. If you ever went over to see the old Versailles sim you'll already be a fan of Tatiana's work, and many of her buildings- or rather, renewed versions of them - are here.
Bedrich Panacek: Angelique was set in the 17th century, but Tat focused more on the Rococo period, Marie Antoinette, King Louis XVI and so on, so we gradually moved to the late 18th century, so Angelique is gone, but we still kept the rural aspect of the duchy. This is the time when revolutionary ideas were taking place. France probably saved the US from the British, and in turn, France loved the ideas of the new nation. So this is a time of great inner reflection, especially with the peasants and bourgeois, and our interest is more with them than with the nobles.We are all interested in history and the art of the time, including music and architecture. Baharat has been working very hard to build up the music aspect, and we have a science academy, and a growing library. 
While you're here, don't miss the beautiful Opera house. They hold regular events here,  including the recent Spring Concert. More pictures below in the Italian bit, if I get round to finishing it, and don't forget if you click on them they get bigger. But not better, There's no cure for that.
baharat Atlas:  This is a typical box seating and you can see the beautiful view of the theatre. For our concert with Mr. Zachh Cale we nearly had a full house, he is a sweet man and great musician, and a great supporter of the arts. There is also a green room in the back that we will be using for discussions.  I love this room. Many times I meet with musicians for discussing performances. They really like this room, and we are planning a grand season next Fall.
The build was carefully planned out, and they have replaced most of the outside items with their own creations over the past two years, but all agree, it's still a work in progress, and one that they all continue to enjoy. With a group membership of over 250, clearly they're not the only ones.
This is the Academie Royale des Sciences built by Skye, in the green dress. Inside is a reading room and the building has side rooms specializing in various branches of science including optics and chemistry. There is also an Art academy, and Bedrich and the team take this business very seriously, so  if you've a special knowledge or interest in either French literature, or in the sciences as they were understood during this time, and can see yourself as a drama-free librarian from the 1780's, you should definitely get involved. 
Here's another opportunity to participate in an elegant ongoing event: the Author Convention and Exhibition at the Ars Poetica Gallery located in the London School of Journalism Space Orb. In her opening remarks, Jilly Kidd explained that she'd kept the search for exhibitors fairly low-key, since she really wanted committed writers to get involved in this exceptional opportunity to be part of a permanent display - heck, the LSJ even pays the upload cost for textures used! Corwyn Allen curated the current work on show, an amazing 226 poems by 48 different poets, and he also opened the event with some of his own work, including the beautiful 'Pearls'.
The downside of poetry in SL  ( blame the pathologically kindhearted) is that there is a lot of reallllly bad stuff being performed. At many a poetry event, you'll find scansion, rhymes, and content that would make McGonagall spin like a top, *is that going to get me banned?* not to mention the mock-coy brigade, with their umming and erring "oh! do you really want me to read something to you? I'm so unprepared!" patter, as they audibly flick through their notebooks. 
Anyway, by a miracle of technology, the LSJ orb was blissfully free of that kind of wannabe rubbish today. Corwyn was followed by Wolfgang  Glinka, seen above, who read a published poem about the sea. He has a voice like a rural Archdeacon, toasting muffins by the fire, so his second piece, a love poem involving grinding crotches and loss was surprising, but not in a bad way. Variety is delicious when it's well done. Just before RL reclaimed me, I got to hear another poet new to me, donjuan Writer. Despite the name, he sounded a bit like Ricky Gervaise and read witty, short poems I loved: 'It's not worth it, thinking it's not worth it,' he declaimed. Might be something in that.
Afterwards, I took a minute to read Ada Radius and Harriet Gausman, and (avoiding the dreadful Sabreman Carter) I found this beauty by DanteOsaka Deschanel. Don't miss it.
Eccoci qua. Ti presento due land, e due occasioni per partecipare nella vita metaversale. Prima, London School of Journalism Space Orb la scuola di giornalismo londinese il LSJ ha una regione qui in SL; dove si può anche studiare la composizione e il giornalismo (c'è uno sconto del 10 percento a chi si iscrive ai corsi attraverso Second Life). Sopra la bella land, c'è una mostra letteraria organizzata da Jilly Kidd e curato da  Corwyn Allen.  La mostra è aperta a tutti gli scrittori di lingua inglese, ma finora la maggior parte degli iscritti sono poeti, e troverai 44 cornici (uno per ogni artista) e oltre duecento poesie. Troverai qui poesie di ogni tipo, belle e brutte, comiche  spirituali intime strane. La mostra è permanente, accettano ancora poesie e anche racconti brevi credo, e il LSJ sostiene anche il costo degli upload dei testi, quindi se hai scritto qualcosa in inglese, non indugiare, fatti conoscere ! Inoltre sulla piattaforma troverai informazioni utili a chi vuole farsi pubblicare in real, e il gruppo tiene diverse riunioni durante la settimana per sostenere ed aiutare gli scrittori di ogni genere.
Per l'inaugurazione ci sono stati dei reading stupendi, tra i quali il bravissimo donjuan Writer nella foto, e naturalmente dopo si ballava fino a notte fondoò io no, avevo da fare in real, e poi nn so ballare. Un gruppo davvero simpatico, dove it troverai subito a tuo agio, te lo consiglio.
Seconda occasione un po' diversa ma sempre allettante per chi ama leggere. Benvenuta in Coeur Duchy una land francese, americofona, storico-romantica, creata da Bedrich Panacek, SkyeRyder Varriale,  TatianaDukochic Varriale, e baharat Atlas. Baharat gestisce il bel teatro dell'opera, (eccoci in un palco - gentilissimi mi hanno voluto accompagnare tutti e quattro a fare il giro della land) non è solo un trionfo di textures, ci sono spesso concerti di musica classica e non solo. Il gioco di ruolo non è obbligatorio per i residenti o i visitatori, ma l'idea della land è di far conoscere l'arte, la letteratura, le idee politiche e scientifiche dell'epoca.

Tutta la land è fatta con prmura e precisione, gli owners sono anche i builders e hanno dedicato moltisismo tempo al look di ogni sim. Lo shopping qui è eccezionale, e ci sono foreste fiumi e zone residenziali tra i più belli di Second Life. Se ami la fotografia, questo è una meta ideale. Ma c'è di più. Per meglio servire i residenti desiderosi di ricreare la Francia illuminista, oppure rivoluzionaria il gruppo ha creato inoltre delle Accademie e una biblioteca. Uno splendido palazzo sulla riva del canale creato da Skye ospita l'accademia delle scienze.
L'accademia comprende una sala principale e otto studioli, dove vogliono esporre articoli e libri scentifici - hanno già un laboratorio chimico e una stanza per l'ottica con dei bei modelli di alcuni strumenti usati per capire la struttura e gli attributi della luce e la percezione.
Ecco Bedrich invece nello studio dedicato alla chimica. L'idea sarebbe di trovare bibliotecaio a tempo pieno,  una persona informata su questo periodo storico, che abbia anche una conoscenza delle lingue.  Troppo impegnativo? Il gruppo invita 'illuministi' di occupare le stanze e di allestire - attenendosi naturalmente allo stile e le maniere dell'epoca - una piccola mostra interpretiva magari su un solo aspetto del pensiero scientifico del sette-ottocento. L'idea ti interessa? Per sapere di più, basta rivolgersi al Duca. Impegnato collaboratore o spensierato turista, scegli tu - ma questa land vale la pena visitarla, è bellissima!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Rebaked Alaska

A red letter day on sim Rhetorica today, the home of the University of Alaska and the Rasmuson Foundation. Jeffronius Criss (in RL Jeff Clarke, Rasmusen VP) announced the winner of the Distinguished Artist Award of $25,000 and - I'm guessing - both a chicken dinner and a trophy of some sort. There are also a whole load of smaller prizes, covering everything from textiles to novels to photography to performing art. I was having some serious rezzing issues to begin with, but a couple of Ctrl/Shift/R and suddenly the gallery popped for me, in all its four floors of glory.
25k buys a lot of creative time, but you have to be an Alaska resident to get in on this one.
I wonder, though - could we get a virtual Alaska going? I bet Bits n Bobs could put together some pretty realistic culturally referenced animations...*waits for you to put down that mental image*  ...seriously, the Rasmuson vision is one we can all get behind, over the years they've awarded about 4.5 million dollars to almost 200 people working to sustain and renew a cultural heritage as vast and diverse as the state of Alaska itself.
The Rasmuson award ceremony was one of the first events I ever covered on ArtsParks, and so it was nice to be back again, thanks to my old friend Cybergrrl Oh, seen at the top of this post. We were there to hear composer John Luther Adams accept, with only slightly bemused grace, our congratulations and questions.
TP over to the Rasmuson gallery to see art spanning the past four years, it's imaginative, fresh and surprising. Bring a sweater though, it's still snowing!!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Music in the Park

If you ever kindasorta feel guilty about 'wasting' time in SL, the cure is - go to a baseball game, and you'll suddenly feel your Second Life is a whirlwind of useful learning and productive experience. Me n my alt went to see the Hoos play the Tarheels, in front of a record crowd of four thousand; what can I say, there was a lot of lag, quite a bit of singing and swearing, and an infinity of broken peanut shells. Is it true, by the way, that boiled peanuts are good in coca-cola, or is that just one of those outrageous lies people tell? The game seemed to last several lifetimes. There was a twitchy pitcher, and a lot of foul balls, and one ball went out of the park and we heard it hit someone's car, which was when we were glad we walked. We were less glad when we had to walk home again. There was lots of shouting, and a certain amount of sunburn, grrrr gotta remember to put sunscreen on those shoulders...
Anyway the 'Hoos beat the Tarheels right at the end, in something involving a lot of running and bases and a homer apparently. I was not taking notes, but I did film a little, though not when they did the YMCA thing with their arms, which was actually the best bit, after the icecream.

After several non-refundable hours I was mercifully released from the grip of bball, and headed over to Two Fish where Rose Borchowski is hosting Oberon Onmura's new piece, Transition Zone. Pastel coloured panels rise from a platform, accompanied by soothing, magical music. You can watch them as they transition through space and shades, and if you touch one, it remembers your name and floats away...
An exquisite experience. I had SL hooked up to the plasma TV and stereo, to show a friend what it's all about, and there couldn't be a better way to introduce someone to the Life. Oberon's work simply beamed out of the screen, captivating us.
We then moved over to another big event this weekend, MayFair at the beautiful French Quarter. After the huge success of the Benefit concert for cypress Rosewood, (hope he's 100% drier these days, btw) which presented many of SL's topline musicians in half hour sets, Symbiotic's Votslav Hax and BobbiJo Johnson organized a piano sampler along the same lines, and it was wonderful.
The park setting for this piano concert in the French Quarter shows SL as a real-atable space, and  for a first-time visitor to Second Life, it made a superb contrast to Transition Zone. For some mysterious reason my inworld no-lag streak keeps going, so that made it all look twice as nice, but the MayFair event was really all about the sound, the amazing sound of almost a dozen different pianos, each saying the same thing in different accents. Mayfair kicked off  with the brilliant Zachh Cale, (in the photo at the top of this post)  grr because of the baseball I missed him at the  French Quarter but I caught him singing Cole Porter in a marked manner over at the Mango Yacht Club - what a voice, I love it. The MayFair lineup included some great musicians I'd not heard play before, like Kyle Beltran,  Horatio Allen and Thwip Zifer  seen here at his distinctive blue piano, they all rocked.
Ankhari Holder, Phoe Nix, Bluemonk Rau and Hathead Rickenbacker followed each other almost seamlessly. Each half-hour set was filled with a different energy, and the changing styles and voices made my friend ask - why did you not show me this before? Cylindrian Rutabaga ended the event with great charm, but I have to say it was Tip Corbett's bravura performance that swept us away, that huge piano sound filling the whole house. I may have to move into the metaverse permanently; surrounded by all this talent, one can't help joining in with that song - "I don't care if I never get back..."

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.
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.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Cypress Rosewood Relief Benefit

Not a fan of cut-n-paste posts, as you know, but this is an exception.
Votslav Hax: Over the past weekend Cypress Rosewood lost his home and  shop to the devastating  floods in Nashville Tennessee. Friends of Cypress have responded and are calling  for a benefit held this Friday. Please note times we hope you  can  stop by and  give some support to one of SL's beloved musicians.
    Friday  May 7 Mardi Gras Park   Johin's French Quarter
      All times SLT

  •     2:30pm    Zachh Cale
  •     3:00        Bluemonk Rau
  •     3:30        Moondoggirl Moomintoog
  •     4:00        Frets Nirvana  
  •     4:30        Von Johin
  •     5:00        Anek Fuchs
  •     5:30        Gina Stella
  •     6:00        Skye Galaxy
  •     6:30        Kolor Fall
  •     7:00        Joaquin Gustav  
  •     7:30        Arman Finesmith  
  •     8:00        Senjata Witt

 Take off your AO, put on your unscripted hair and shoes, and come to listen, share, and contribute to the fund.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Built Wright

It was Rowan Derryth of Prim Perfect who suggested I go over to the Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Museum and meet up with Bacchus Ireto, the Curator and a fine builder in his own ...right. OK that's the only one, I promise.
Perhaps like me you think of Wright as an architect of the 1930's or 40's but in reality he was born not long after the end of the Civil War, in the period in which the Suez Canal was completed, and Dickens was on tour, Garibaldi was marching on Rome, and America was out buying Alaska. Wright's mother wanted him to be an architect, and in his autobiography he cites Froebel blocks (a sort of knobless precursor to Lego), pictures of cathedrals on the nursery wall, and summers spent toiling on his uncle's farm - but also taking the time to study the lie of the land - among his strongest influences. Well, the two semesters of civil engineering at U Wisconsin probably didn't hurt. He had a boatload of wives and partners, and lived through many personal storms (including the chilling Taliesin incident) and built homes, theatres, and cathedrals to God and Mammon not only across the Midwest, but from New York to California, even spending a few years in Japan.  He founded a school for architects, the Taliesin Fellowship, which favoured the hands-on approach to building (and probably contributed to his creative longevity) and wrote numerous books and papers. Fallingwater his most celebrated private residence is from 1936, and he was in his 80's when he designed the Guggenheim on Fifth Avenue.
There's way more to be said, and the FLWVM Welcome Center fills in the rest with elegance and vivacity. Even a few minutes in this Artful suite, bright with stained glass and redwood just like Wright's houses, are enough to get an idea of the scope of his creativity through photos and notecards.
I asked Bacchus where the name of the sim 'Usonia' came from.
Bacchus Ireto: Usonia is an acronym for the United States of North America; no one is entirely sure where Wright found it, it seems the author Samuel Butler first used it in the early 1900s and Wright appropriated it to describe the architecture he was building in the 1930s as liveable for modern Americans. We had a 'Usonian buildoff' back in February with about14 amateur and 12 pro builders competing, and you can see some of the entries here on the sim.
Afterwards, I noticed I was standing next to this huge 'Usonian Principles' board ... will the humiliation never end? No, don't answer that one. There is a huge amount of information here so take it up to the cafe on the third floor and have a read over a brew. While you're up there, take a moment to admire the theatre which is based on the interior of Wright's Unity Temple, in Chicago. They hold seminars here.
Bacchus Ireto: When our group was formed last summer, the mission from the beginning was educational.  In this gallery and the one above it are the permanent exhibit to introduce visitors to Wright and his architecture. The sim existed on rented land to begin with, but when we moved to our own sim, we rebuilt the museum buildings. A team of builders worked together on the sim design and physical plant, and how to display the houses to the best advantage. We've tried to show how each house fits into Wright's career, and the museum sponsors build offs throughout the year, geared to a specific style related to Wright in some way. He was quite a character, but aside from that, he is part of a school of architects that tried to develop what they thought of as a purely American architectural style, instead of relying on the past, or European influences and I find his homes true works of art in themselves. I'm a history student in RL, but in SL I build. At the beginning I was pretty inept, I learned by tearing apart prefabs. I commissioned a FLW house to live in and invited Frey over to see it, which is how I came to be curator here.
He's too modest. Bacchus' reconstruction of the first Usonian house, the Herbert Jacobs Residence from 1935, has just been approved for the sim. The FLWVM is the virtual worlds licensee for the RL Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation which must approve the builds that are placed here so standards are very high. I wondered if the group think Wright would have liked or used SL?
Bacchus Ireto: We've had discussions on that. Wright pushed the technology of the time, sometimes successfully, sometimes not so much. I think he would be frustrated by SL's building limitations sometimes: but unlike some architects, who really were more theoretical and rarely built things, Wright meant his houses to be lived in, and as you know, building in SL has some things you have to adapt to allow for cam controls and things. I think he would have been interested in the freedom of SL - but he was a funny person though, hard to predict his reaction.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Museum CEO is Frey Bravin, a web developer in RL, a builder in SL, and a lifelong Wright fan.
Frey Bravin: I first got interested in Wright's work when I was around 5 years old. We were out driving one day and passed by the Gregor Afleck house in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. It was the most amazing, beautiful house that I had ever seen in my short life; there was something about the house, how it just blended into the woods around it and became a part of them. It gave me an interest and a love of architecture that I have had to this day. I've driven past that house thousands of times and I never fail to look at it and smile every time I see it. I've been working on a SL version of the Affleck house for some time now but I'm way too picky and will not be happy with it untill I get it just right.
OK that time it was him not me.
The sim creates that magical 'been there' feel -  the best of virtual tourism, hey - you can sit on the roof, stumble through the kitchen, even fly across the terraces, and nobody tells you off!
Frey Bravin: Yes, that was the main objective here, to try and expose Wright's work that otherwise may have never had a chance to see it. We currently have seven houses on display but we plan on expand that to about 24 and rotate them, and we currently have three in production.  I've been really lucky with collaborators. We have had a lot of really good people want to be a part of this. It takes a big commitment and you have to be able to work as a team. The first person to join me was Rosie Oldrich right after I first started and she is now the Assistant Director We have a great partnership with the Builders Brewery, a group founded by Supremius Maximus and his partner Sensuous Maximus. They've been major supporters of the museum and a godsend to us. They run classes and events to encourage intelligent design on their sim, and collaborate with our projects, so its worked out very well for us all.
Sim Builders Brewery sounds wonderful, and I thought about TPing over, but their charter says 'no cursing' so I don't think they'd let me in. At least not this morning. Meanwhile, back on the ranch, or should that be among the prairies... sim Usonia is laid out in chronological order, and is a gallery of bravura building talent - many of SL's most prestigious names have lent their skills to making this project happen. It is amazing how relatively easy it is to cam inside the structures and I wondered if there was some kind of magic cheating with proportions, or if the houses are really that avie friendly.
 Frey Bravin: To some extent they really are just that friendly. Fallingwater in RL is a really small dwelling, interior-wise, so probably is the hardest to navigate for avatars. We try to build as close to the real scale as possible, using the original plans, so you can really get a true feel for the house.  I have a pretty good collection of books by and about Wright,  but I think my favorite is the Frank Lloyd Wright Field Guide which deals with every biulding that he did, and the unbuilt designs also. If I had all the prims and the time necessary, I would love to make the unbuilt Arizona State Capitol Building that he designed.
Drop in at Usonia for the art, for the culture, and for their Friday Fling, from 6-9 pm SLT, or - as pictured here - be there on Sunday between 12-2 pm SLT for 80's music at the Breeze.