January 27, 2007

Sketch Furniture by FRONT

written by Cyanide Seelowe

Months ago, when my boyfriend was supposed to be working, and i was supposed to be in class, i was given a link to click in IM that had the simple tag attached to it: "I wanna try this!!"

What I saw was a video clip that had my jaw dropped and my artistic heart flittering with joy in my chest. A group of four people, the FRONT team, had set up quite a few cameras around an oval room. Two individuals stood in the center of the room and began to draw in the air with white pens. The cameras they were surrounded with captured the movements of the tips of these pens, and when the visual data was later compiled, they were able to translate the movements into three-dimensional objects.

The movie, as well as more info about the FRONT team, can be found here.

The footage that I saw was pushed out of my mind due to the then-upcoming finals weeks, but my memory was rekindled when fellow VAA reporter Rezago Kokorin wrote an article that involved bringing the objects of Second Life into the real world. Since that article I've been looking for that video clip and any other information that might go along with it in hopes of sharing it with my fellow artists everywhere. FINALLY, i am able to share this joy with you, and i hope your heart flutters as wildly as mine when you think of the potential that motion-capture artwork and designing with space has with Second Life.

January 24, 2007

If you are in Italy or in front of your computer...

...you might find these two events interesting:

1. The conference "The Philosophy of Computer Games" is taking place in Reggio-Emilia, Italy, from the 25th to 27th of January.
Website with abstracts and programme with links to presentation papers: http://game.unimore.it/game/Benvenuto.html
They are also going to videostream the conference. I think it will be from this site: http://tv.unimore.it (No, they didn't, but clips will be available in about two weeks. (Yes, if you go here: http://tv.unimore.it/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=76&Itemid=7 and then on Recording of the event.)

I do not know if anybody explicitly is going to speak about (our metaverse,) Second Life, but the snapshot on their poster looks rather familiar, doesn't it? Here it is:

From the Introduction:
The purpose of the conference is to initiate an investigation into how current research on computer games touches upon philosophical issues. In line with this purpose, the conference is interdisciplinary, drawing together researchers from very diverse fields: philosophy, computer game-theory, semiotics, aesthetics, sociology, psychology, and anthropology.

2. Piemonte_share_festival: 23.-28. January 2007. Exhibition, conference, workshops...
Website: http://www.toshare.it/
Today, at the conference, at least one speach was related to Second Life:

New media art communities
Contemporary artists choose to create a community on “Second Life” similar to “The Port”. The logic of commodification, however, seems to go beyond claiming immaterial ownership on every level. Beyond the question of copyright and patents there is also a fundamental question of who the peer is in peer-production?

(We will probably be able to see the lectures on the website later..)

The Port is an artproject initiated by the artists Goldin&Senneby.
Another Second Life-related artproject by them was "Objects of virtual desire": 5 virtual objects reproduced in real life... exhibited in Bergen, Norway, 2005.
There is more to say about them, but not to night.

Plurabelle Posthorn

January 21, 2007


written by Rezago Kokorin

I discovered eyefood on one of my random explorations, flying down a Linden road on the mainland. This is a beautiful gallery, a work of art in itself. The large open spaces of real world galleries and museums translates well into SL. The difference here being that it is much more open air than you would typically see in a real world gallery. I'll let the photos and the words of the artists speak for themselves.

Landmark: eyefood.Steiger, Steiger (124, 239, 122)

"It's like eyecandy, only more nutritious."

"Eyefood is a group of artists and photographers intent on exploring the relationship between the digital image, and the virtual world - both the three-dimensional metaverse of Second Life, and the two-dimensional social network of Flickr."

"What happens to an image when it gets embedded on a web page? How does a photograph change when it's placed on the side of a prim? And what do we mean by 'photograph' anyway? Does it always have to be 'of' something?"

"Or can it just be very, very pretty?"

Charity Auction Opening a Grand Success!

After months of planning, articulating, meeting, and just generally discussing, the Virtual Artist Alliance was finally able to hold it's first charity event: the First Book Charity Sculpture Auction!

Despite a few last minute set backs, retractions, and hurdles, we were able to gather ten artists to create sculptures a mere three hours before the scheduled event that were to be auctioned off for the benefit of our chosen charity. among the sculptors were members of our own VAA, Rezago Kokorin, Dale Innis, and myself. i was also able to get some newer artists out to participate- self-proclaimed non-artists Davidicus Liadis and Mylinn Ofeq, as well as hesitant sculptor Inarra Saarinen . finally, we had some famous artistic veterans building with us, such as Cheen Pitney and Alazar Fauna, along with amazing last minute surprises that Bree LeShelle and Ina Centaur whipped up in the last 15 minutes of the build-off.

I was extremely proud of all of the work that was produced during the build-off! patrons were bidding on the pieces before i could get all of the bidding boxes out, so that definately bodes well for the remainder of the event.

January 18, 2007

Happy birthday, Art!

Art's Birthday... Dear Perfomance Art Fans... you are invited...
So I went to the party on the 17th... cause art was born on 17th of january and because I'm a performanceartfan, I went to Second Fronts celebration of Art's Birthday. It all took place at Second Fronter Man Michinagas The BitFactory, also the home of the famous perfomancegroup. Not only a fan, I am now an offical groupie, member of Second Front groupies, founded on the 17th by Great Escape (does that mean I have to have sex with Second Front after their shows?).
The "Binge" performance, a colorful and beautifully chaotic performance. An important ingredient was the puke, everybody was puking loads of bloodlike redwine all the time, even I, because we groupies were invited to join the performance, so I puked (thank you, Man) like I never ever have done before, and there were pink flamingos, huge cakes and hamburgers, a withered xmastree with all the lights on.

So I joined in and had some nice interaction with Gazira Babeli. Better than sex we agreed...
Some scenes from the party:

Finally I was thrown out and up in to the sky with this red puke running out of me. It reminded me off something... Was it a way to say F... of, you stupid groupie! (?)

Plurabelle Posthorn

The Winners...

Here's the Winners of the Mauriac Contemporary Art Competition: Josie Baccara, Antonius Camus, Daruma Picnic (my favourite!), Tremali Lightworker, Jam Ingramm and Gunn Tunders.


Plurabelle Posthorn

January 17, 2007

The Art of Madcow Cosmos

written by Rezago Kororin

Madcow Cosmos is a relative newcomer to SL but is already an accomplished builder in terms of the sculpture he creates. It puts one in mind of natural history museum displays, but with a whimsical twist.

These are fantasy creatures, but they're obviously inspired by the skeletal reconstructions of prehistoric animals. The complexity and anatomical detail of his work is a marvel to see.

I discovered his work recently when I saw it on display next-door to the Public Sandbox in Mauve. You can see it at the landmark below, and also here in my sculpture park in Blekinge where one of his "low-prim" works is on display.

Madcow's Prim Creatures, Mauve (162, 48, 36)
Blekinge Sculpture Park, Blekinge (139, 111, 99)

Madcow clearly has skill, imagination and a sense of humor. He is an artist to take note of and watch.

January 13, 2007

Art in 360 degrees

written by Rezago Kokorin

Zimzim Yongbo is a RL photographer and the owner of Digital Media Art, located here in SL.

The art in his gallery is made up of his RL photos which were shot with a fisheye lens. In the upstairs area there are a couple which have been tiled together to create a mural.

The thing which drew me to the gallery was the Pano Rooms. These are cube shaped rooms specially designed for showing 360 degree photographic panoramas.

The photos are displayed on the floor and ceiling as well as the walls, and with the door closed you are fully immersed in the environment of each photo. The photos can be changed by touching the viewing post which you sit on in the center of the room.

ZimZim is currently planning to sell these for L$100 and have an auto-update server so that when people rez their Pano Rooms they will get all the latest photos. He intends for everyone in SL to be able to afford one.

Landmark: Digital Media Art, Daydream Islands CTR (156, 56, 21)

Be sure to check out the website Digital Media Art.
A quote from the site:

"Digital Media Art is one of only a handful of companies that offer panoramic photography that covers a 360° horizontal sweep with a full 180° degrees of vertical pitch. Unlike many of our competitors, our panoramas show ceilings and floors, you can look right down to the floor beneath the camera and smoothly pan the viewpoint all the way up to the ceiling or sky directly overhead. This makes a real difference to the realism of a scene – be sure to have a really good look around when viewing our gallery images."

January 10, 2007

Oyster Bay- Bringing the Beauty of the Sea to Second Life

As a general enthusiast of the Ocean, I am simply Obligated (captial "O") to tell you all about Morris Vig's Oyster Bay Aquarium and Sculpture Garden. A delightful blend of art and education, Oyster Bay is a quiet and refreshing retreat that you'll want to share with your friends.

The opening of Oyster Bay proved to be a happenin' event, with a hefty number of people flooding the area throughout the day. A delightfully eclectic mix of music was played in the background while patrons enjoyed beautiful, complex, large scale virtual sculptures.

The most intriguing thing about Oyster Bay is, by far, the aquarium. When you first teleport into the aquarium complex, you are surrounded by the serene, reflective blue of The Deep. Peppered throughout the inner sanctum are small markers that, when approached, give you small tidbits of information about the ocean and the life that resides therein. The amazing detail of the surrounding ocean floor is definately a sight to be seen- Oyster Bay is one of the few places in Second Life that organizes ocean life in accordance to their natural behaviors, as opposed to their decorative abilities.

Whether you're enjoying the sculptures on the suface, or exploring the Deep in true Second Life Style, you will not be disappointed in Oyster Bay.

Virtual Darwinism- The Evolution of Virtual Life

written by Cyanide Seelowe

When one looks back at the genesis of virtual reality, one can see a rich history of circuits, pixels, binary, and regular Joes wanting to create something big in their garage at night.

The folks at KIBOOK Interactive Design, on the other hand, have something a little more organic in mind when it comes to the evolution of virtual reality.

Digiquaria is a simple, colorful and intriguing site that proves that keeping it simple, stupid, is the way to go with interactive design. It takes you through eight digital lifeforms that have been inspired by real water life, and gives you an idea of how they move, live, and coexist with one another.

Also, if you have a creative business or organization, Creativity Incubator might be a site you'll want to check out. Quoted from their website, Creativity Incubator is "... a new service dedicated to helping growth-oriented small and medium-sized enterprises increase their capability in creativity and innovation. It's for managers and executives, decision makers and influencers - people who are actively seeking new and better ways of doing things in their organisation."

January 8, 2007

VAA interviews Sasun Steinbeck

This reporter is truly and non-ironically thrilled to be able to post a VAA interview with SL arts celebrity and all-around cool person Sasun Steinbeck, who kindly agreed to answer our questions without any arm-twisting at all....

Q: Thanks so much for talking to me for the VAA weblog!

A: Thanks! I'm thrilled to have the chance to blather on about my favorite things :)

Q: Just to start with something very specific, can you say a little something about "Galleries of Second Life"? All the best galleries seem to have those signs; just what is it, why and how did you start doing it, and so on?

A: The gallery list started as just a personal project because I found myself visiting quite a few art galleries, initially motivated by my wish to get my Morphing Sculpture into some art galleries for sale. The Lindens actually did have an out-of-date list at their official Resident Art Gallery near their offices so I started making corrections and submitting them to Pathfinder Linden. I found myself having a lot of fun visiting art galleries and just fell into this quest to ferret them all out and get them on this list. I thought I'd update the list once time and be done. Here I am 1 year later and doing updates constantly with over 100 entries on the list. It's crazy how many galleries there are in SL compared to 1 year ago, it's just been an explosion of art, which has been very thrilling!

I also created a networked kiosk system for the galleries to use to distribute the list. This turned out to be a huge time saver since I could just update the list in the server and gallery guests clicking on the kiosks would get the latest version just like that. The system has worked out just perfect, I even sell it commercially, and Linden Labs uses it to distribute their notecards at the Welcome areas. In fact they set up my gallery list kiosks there too and it really makes me happy that so many newbies are getting this list and exploring something enriching like art galleries instead of the usual, um, attractions that newbies tend to flock to :) Within the past 6 months or so I've given out about 28,000 copies of the list to gallery visitors and Welcome area newbies.

Q: Now from the specific to the very general, tell us something about yourself! Your art is well known, you've been quoted in SlateNight magazine, you've been a Post Six girl... What doesn't the community know about you yet that you'd like to reveal? What's your SL (or even RL) story?

A: My life in SL has really revolved around my sculpture and the gallery list. With the sculpture, what I slowly came to realize was that I wanted to create something beautiful that can *only* exist in SecondLife, something never before seen that exploits the power of the 3D environment. I'm happy to see so many artists finding their way into SL and scanning in their 2D art and sharing that with everyone; that will always be a very valuable piece of the art scene in SL. But I also want people to think about what SL can bring to the table in terms of a new art medium - what types of things are possible with the 3D engine as a powerful tool to realize very complex visions of light, sound, movement, space, and intelligent objects; all of these elements interacting with each other in a programmable and powerful way.

I believe that creating 3D art in SL requires a whole new way of thinking; a new door has been opened and the possibilities have yet to be explored in terms of the things that creative minds can make that evoke powerful feelings in the people that observe them.

Q: About real and virtual art: while it seems blindingly obvious to some of us that art within SL has just as much potential authenticity as art anywhere else, we have heard doubters opine that SL art isn't "real". What's your take on this issue?

A: The experience is the same, therefore it's real. When someone goes into an SL art gallery and has that "ooooo" moment while looking at a powerful piece, and strong feelings are evoked, it's just as real as a RL gallery. I get so many nice comments from people about my sculpture, it's incredibly gratifying and rewarding to me. It's one thing that makes my SL experience so special, and I know the same thing is happening to tons of artists in SL. Are the artists here touching people's lives and giving them a sense of wonder, or making them think? Absolutely yes. And we have the tools to do things in SL and experience them in ways that are impossible in RL. In some ways it can be more "real" that RL, if you are powerfully touched in your heart by a beautiful painting, build, sim, or sculpture.

Q: You have lots of experience with the SL art community; what's your advice to a relatively new SL resident who wants to get into the art scene, either as a creator, an appreciator, or a patron?

A: There are a couple of key things you should do:

  1. Go visit some art galleries! Search on "art" in Search/Places, visit some, get my list :) and have fun exploring them. Maybe run into some gallery owners at their galleries and chat with them.

  2. Make friends in the art community. Keep your eye on the Events listings and go to some gallery events and openings. The other visitors are there because they love art, so have fun enjoying the art together with them and make some new friends! You have something in common already, it's easy :) Maybe find some artists and ask them for tips on how to import and sell art.

  3. Search on "art" in the groups listings and join some groups that look interesting. There are lots of great event announcements on the "Art &Artist Network!" group, I highly recommend that one.

Q: Obligatory SL question: what one or two places in SL would you recommend that our readers will love and that they might not have been to yet?

A: Siefert Surface was my original inspiration that eventually led to my Morphing Sculpture. He has an absoutely fascinating sim to explore called The Future. Spend some time looking around, there are neat things hidden all OVER that sim. Siefert is an amazing builder! And for #2, 3000 AD is just THE coolest sim for art. It's a must-see!

Q: And where can people get a look at your work?

A: Check my picks for a nice viewing area to visit, I love to have people come by and play around with it. Don't forget to right click on the sculpture and pick Acid Trip! :)

Q: And finally, do you have any comment on what really happened on Hallowe'en in Amicitia? :)

A: LOL! OK first, I was NOT the only person throwing toilet paper all over those houses, #2, that's FAKE blood on my meat cleaver, and #3 any pictures you may have of me on that night wearing barely anything are assuredly FAKED, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it :)

Respectfully submitted, with thanks again to the gracious Sasun,

Dale Innis

January 7, 2007

Virtual Artist Alliance Headquarter is open!

Last night: the unformal opening of our headquarter and the first exhibition in our gallery. Seems like Cyanide, our founder, has worked a lot… The headquarter is free for anybody to visit at anytime. We will have our weekly meeting here, usually sundays 10am SLtime.

The artist Corrodo Butoh is showing slightly homoerotic collages, some paintings and drawings.

New and old friends gathered for a glass of champagne. Someone came as a cube, a champagnedrinking cube…

At the end of the party Alazar Fauna showed his sculptures and Rezago wanted one of them for his sculpture park where you can see two of them now.

Virtual Artist Aliance Headquarter at: World Domination HQ, Hughes Rise (149, 111, 125)
Blekinge Sculpture Park, Blekinge (157, 43, 476)

Two of Alazar Faunas sculptures at Blekinge Sculpture Park

Plurabelle Posthorn

January 6, 2007

Second Front performance at Ars Virtua opening 5th Jan 07

Last night JC Fremonts lovely exhibition "Imaging Place SL: The U.S./Mexico Border." opened at the Ars Virtua gallery. (See extensive interview with JC Fremont in Slate Magazine here.)But I must say the exhibition was overshined by the rather spectacular performance by the Second Front group.

Second Front is the first dedicated performance art group in Second Life. To officially open JC Fremont's Installation at Ars Virtua, Second Front will be creating a realtime interpretive and site-specific performance based on JC Fremont's theme 'Borders' to compliment "Imaging Place SL: The U.S./Mexico Border."
The perfomance lasted about half an hour or so. See pictures below.
Behind this group is the reallife Vancouver-based group The Western Front. If you missed last nights performance or happened to be there and like it, the next perfomances are not far away; during a festival called Art's Birthday 2007 from January 14 - 20, 2007, they are going to have different things going on online and I think they said a new SL-performance the 17th...

Plurabelle Posthorn

the Mauriac Contemporary Art Competition

Totally newbie as I am, it was fun to find a picture of my icesculpture here. I had forgotten all about setting it up. It was a contest. I do not think I won...

Now, I have set up some pictures in another contest, the Mauriac Contemporary Art Competition. Landmark: Dreams 128, 128, 22 (PG) - Dreams/ShockProof. Only twodimmensjonal works and PG, that means no adultstuff (so I have learned...) End Set-up is January 7, 2007 at 5 pm - so hurry! There will be monetary prizes for best RL art (painting/computer), SL art, and photograph in a Popular Vote and a Judged Vote. Well, that's not so important, but, ok, I probably say that because I never win...

Plurabelle Posthorn

January 4, 2007

A Sailor's Gallery

written by cyanide Seelowe

Upon looking for new galleries to explore under Search-> Events-> Arts and Culture, i came across a lovely little exhibition by Katjo Kagekiyo entitled "Sea & Sky- A Sailor's Diary". In it are displayed the photographic works of a sailor's journey and the variety of colors, moods, and textures of the sea. As far as the subject matter of the photos, there isn't anything too new or groundbreaking, but the masterful technique in the use of the camera is certainly something to be applauded.

The gallery itself, on the other hand, is a very unique site to see. Located in the Wayup, this gallery is a far cry from sterile white walls and angsty coffee drinkers- one is reminded of a rice paddy, perhaps, or the carefully crafted terraces of a Japanese garden. Surrounded by lush greenery and the serene silence that can only be found in the Wayup, I only found myself wishing there were cushions to sit upon so I could reflect upon the beauty of the art and the scenery surrounding it.

Landmarks- Soyeonpyeongdo (69, 142, 65)