Saturday, May 29, 2010

Griefers IRL too:-)

In yesterdays final of the ESC this guy jumped up on the stage to participate in the Spanish act. According to him, he just wanted to "say hello to Spain" LOL.

He got his few seconds of fame in front of 18.000 people and 120 million viewers. In SL, at most 50 people would have had a chance to see it live, but with 50 people in front of the stage it would probably have been too laggy to jump up. Our virtual worlds still lack the support of large events.

But isl, the soldier boys' sword would have been virtual....

Thursday, May 27, 2010

25 of 52 - /me in Battery Street!

No flying the straight line in RL...

This autumn, I will be attending a conference in San Francisco, within walking distance from the Lab. I guess the view of the office building from the street will be less exciting than visiting the Linden Village in Second Life, but it will be nice to have seen the place anyway.

Thanks to Google, I do not need to travel across the globe just to see the rather mundane and sad-looking entrance to our world...

The thought of this made me think about distance. In virtual worlds, distance does not matter. We can reach any place on the map within seconds. Even places outside the map can now easily be reached through hypergrid. If I want to visit M Lindens office I can be there in a blink.

The physical world is different of course. The journey that brings me close to Mark Kingdoms office is almost 20 hours long. And why does this matter?

Lots of us are separating RL from SL, mostly because it allows us to be more open, more personal and closer to people than we would normally dare. I have told people on the other side of the world more of my inner emotions than I would have told most anyone IRL. And that's one of the greatest things about sl: Inbetween griefers and money mungerors you can find the most amazing persons. All open and caring because we know we can retreat to safer grounds if need be.

But this separation is more than anonymity. It's also about real distance. If I met someone ISL and found her living a 20 minutes walk from home, I guess I would be more careful about what I said. It could be my neighbors wife on the other (dance?) ball LOL.

So distance and physical location counts. I guess that's why it seems to be non-offensive to ask anyone you meet which country he/she lives in?

Anyway, I do look forward to see the east coast; never been farther east in the US than Minneapolis. And who knows, even if M does not let me in, I might find another second lifer around?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Eurovision Song Contest

We often think of US as the home nation of TV, but did you know that the worlds largest TV event is actually European? You may think the Superbowl a large event; in 2010 it had an average audience of 106.5 million. But the yearly Eurovision Song Contest final has an estimated 125 million viewers across Europe and the close east.

This is basically a song-writers contest, but today the performance and presentation of the singers and dancers are equally important.

The winner is chosen by televoting in each participating country. It is a two-stage process where each country gives 12, 10, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 or 1 points to 10 other countries (you can't wote for yourselves:-) based upon the number of televotes. This means that small countries (like Norway) has as much influence on the result as large countries (like Germany or United Kingdom).

The quality of the entries varies enormously, from simple and boring pop songs to innovative and beautiful works. But the value of the art is not the reason to watch ESC. It's the varied cultural expressions! I always finds it so fun and amusing to see what's popular in different counties:-)

Last year, Norway actually won the ESC, so we get to host the event this year. It has caused somewhat of a headache, because it's so expensive. Actually, the national broadcasting had to let go of the rights to show the world championship in football (ok, soccer, if you live in the US:-).

The video above is the Romanian entry. I like it because its a simple melody that gets easily inside your brain, and the video has some nice virtual reality scenes. Have fun!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

24 of 52 - Art with a sting

Kick a noob - or a griefer?

Is this art? Very often, Second Life art are beautiful, but rather uncontroversial. When visiting Shamen Galleries the other day, I found that Miso Susanowa have created a few items that raised my eyebrows a bit.

Be advised - you don't want to make your confession here

[2010/05/12 12:16] Cristopher Lefavre: Now you are supposed to say "father forgive me, for I have sinned...."
[2010/05/12 12:16] [
(this converstation I really can't share with you...)
[2010/05/12 12:22] Cristopher Lefavre: You did WHAT?
[2010/05/12 12:25] Cristopher Lefavre really wanted to be part of that fun
[2010/05/12 12:27] Cristopher Lefavre: That will be 5 ave Lindens
[2010/05/12 12:27] Cristopher Lefavre: every night
[2010/05/12 12:27] Cristopher Lefavre: in a week
[2010/05/12 12:28] Cristopher Lefavre drops hustler on the floor and picks up playboy

The things you hear when taking confessions in SL!

Building this kind of installation IRL would be a much bigger hassle, so in practice the RL artworld is kind of lacking in this type of art. Its more Not Practical In RL that Not Possible.... Again, SL makes a huge possibility to create new kinds of expressions.

I'd better take my own advise...

... or I might end up here?

"Foundation of guilt"

This work really got to me; at first the dark red colour theme drew attention, but it's more than that. It's like it contains a vision, something I don't really understand. Why make such a lively depiction of the catholic teaching of hell? In the midst of installations that somehow makes fun of the church? But I guess these are just my interpretations. Go see for yourselves!

Miso has an installation called State of Mind. You can see it at the Excalibur Studios. Be warned though, I was TP-ed home by some script, maybe because I did not enter my social security number at the keypad? LOL, jokes aside, State of Mind is worth going through, there are lots of pokes at the modern internet based society, kind of thought provoking.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I've got the Pnigalion!

Ever since I saw this piece I have wanted it on my wall. And today my wish came true! Cat herselves came over and helped me set it straight (its a complicated unlinkable multi-prim scritped work). But it does not matter. It's in my living room to stay!

Excuse me while I find a chair to sit on and enjoy this moment:-)

(You can find out more about Cat Boccaccio on her blog).

23 of 52 - Half of a US judge, the TOS and a Sesame Street machinema

I popped into the gallery of Peoney Feld the other day. She is a well-established artist in RL, and had a lot of interesting stories to tell about her works. The Law and Art exhibit at the third floor was what we talked mostly about; I definitively recommend a visit. Do read the notecards in the box, or even better: Ask her to tell you about it.

She had a copy of her RL oil painting showing a US judge and one of those black document suitcases you often see lawyers carry around. Somehow that picture captured my attention; it was like it was filled with some mystery. But I do guess it makes an even stronger impression in RL.

Btw; Everyone has seen a picture of the Mona Lisa, one of the masterpieces of the italian multi-genius Leonardo da Vinci. But if you ever moves your real life eyes away from the computer screen and let your legs move you to the Louvre in RL Paris, you can see her eye to eye. And believe me, that makes for a so much stronger impression. You really don't understand the mystery about her until you see her on the wall. At least I did not.

As a curtisy to Peoney I won't show the inside of her gallery or the art to you since she has clearly marked her land with a message in the About Land box: "No Photography of Artwork & Studio Allowed". However, the remark does raise some interesting points. Embedded in the new TOS is the Snapshot and machinima policy that gives you some explicit rights:
DISCLAIMER: I Am Not A Lawyer, so the following is not legal advice. Contact your attorney if you need to make sure you interpret the TOS correctly

"... Linden Lab and the Residents of Second Life (collectively, “we”) grant you the following copyright licenses:
  1. A License To Capture. You may take snapshots and capture machinima of the 3D content we created that is displayed in-world, and
  2. A License To Use. You may use the resulting snapshot or machinima within or outside of Second Life in any current or future media."
The only exception being an explicit prohibition of snapshots in the covenant of a private sim. On the mainland, there are no exceptions.

In other words: If you display your art on the mainland, you collectively gives anyone permission to take snapshots and publish them. This is great news for bloggers like me, because it gives us fair usage rights comparable to RL bloggers and journalists alike.

Now, that does not mean that you loose copyright on your work. I guess there is a fine line between fair use, like publishing a blog post about a gallery with pictures of the art, and publishing snapshots that in practice is a full copy of the content. When I publish photos from an art event, I normally try not to shoot an artwork directly from the front, in case anyone should just cut if out and republish it.

Anyway, enough boring legal stuff! Lets do some kindergarten:

Peoney pointed me to Chantal Harvey that has made a machinima from SL as an entry to a Sesame Street animation contest. The 10 Little Aliens machinema is just so fun to watch, and a real good example of how to use virtual world technology for real life purposes. As Peoney tells me, Sesame Street wanted to ban the entry because it was filmed in SL; such a shame. I concur with Peoney when she asks everybody to vote for this animation, just to make our world more visible.

Btw, in Norway, the show was altered a little bit and presented as Sesame Station. All the colorful figures lived and worked on a small railroad station.

The sign in the background says Tickets.

Time for lunch. Where is the Cookie monster when you need him!