Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Demonstration: A Video for OccupyWallStreet

WARNING: graphic footage

Soundtrack: The Rolling Stones - Live in Brussels, 1973
'You Can't Always Get What You Want'

compiled video footage from Occupy Wall Street action
September 17-25, 2011

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Collection of Holala Alter

You might know about the article published in the Spanish arts journal Arte Y Parte in December 2010 that highlighted many Second Life artists. That article was written by Julio Juste [SL: Holala Alter] and is a very scholarly look at the art and artists of the metaverse (particularly SL]. I wrote about that article here.

Holala has published a small piece about his collection of virtual art, which is quite extensive. It is in Spanish, so what follows is an automatic translation. (if some kind soul who has actual working Spanish would like to translate the article to provide a better and more-nuanced translation, we would both be happy! Please email me if you can do this!) The original article is here:

Notes on a collection of art SL
Julio Juste/Holala Alter

When I visited in autumn 2008 [resident] SpaceXcape, I met my future vocation in Second Life (SL): SL collecting art, which postponed until the end of the first draft of my dissertation, a study of the metaverse and verification in SL. The critical tools and theoretical formulations on the virtual self and the imagination of it, exposed in my academic research, have had an extended practice in personal enjoyment and critical appreciation of the artistic works of art developed in SL, and I defined as weightless.


This collection arose from a personal desire. A wish is a fabrication and is preceded by a feeling. The initial criterion that gave rise to this collection was the collection of works in SL and SL, whose creators handle the physics of this medium, and exploit what is a feature of the metaverse: the construction of an imaginary writing.

I appreciated the bold imagination and synthesis code, which requires, to some extent, to relegate some instruments of the fine arts. Virtuosity is a consequence manifested in the work, rather than a test of manual skill of the artist, as an exhibition of his skill.

What counts in this art is the emotional event that will trigger a state change. The imagination that show these artists gathered at The Collection Art Holala Alter SL is the result of a thought, an abstraction that does not abandon its virtual nature, because it manipulates matter. The reality has not materially. There is no interaction with matter, but with the mathematical thinking that will govern the pixels, with the intent to convey a certain meaning and feeling. A sustained metaphor semantics which creates a new physics.


There was another question that, prosaic, was no less important: their economic viability. Even when the money in SL has a sense of miniature, the gradation of prices in this simulated world does not always keep consistency. So I set a maximum threshold under which the acquisition is always marked by the interest of the work, regardless of the name its author has assayed.

Do you guarantee the artistic interest of the work a high price? Taste in art is very subjective. After the attraction of a particular work arouses in me, is subjected to an internal debate: What? What resources the author has used to cause that attracts me? What is the key to his thinking?

Faced with an emotional situation that could qualify as outright, I value the relationship between writing and imagination when deciding on a purchase.

The concept differs from market seriously RL/SL in principle and until now there is no secondary market nor is there value; in art, the use value prevailing on the exchange value. The owner is not allowed to change the price, or transfer the work. The play is a guy who generates copies, close to the discharge of a song very rarely what is sold is an original. I do not know, in this case, if the author grants permission to transfer the work to another owner, and if allowed price change.


What time of SL art portrays this body of work? The collection began in 2009 but has not yet been completed. It brings together artists born since 2006, coincides to a considerable extent, the generation of Holala Alter (2008), and leaves room for artists who have appeared recently exhibiting his works.

The relationship to these artists and their works, including the role of the self in this art, my avatar is part of it, or confused, or merges with the work, in this case, the self
appears as the work of art. It so happens that in the metaverse and the thing I equate to the extent that everything here is representation, the representation of a representation, and develops into a state subject dips. Immersion is the involvement of self with the environment, the consummation of the metaphor of electronic life.

The metaverse is necessarily diving. There are clues in this art that appeal to me greatly: its development in time in SL, the space is an act, is process, and exploits the topological symmetry to achieve meanings that expand the realm of the imagination.


This collection includes works from the SB, but fit the criteria for the collection because the paradoxical relationship speculate SL / RL, and highlight the links between the two lives.

Art is the most artificial speech and the first man who invented and which is opposed to nature, although representing, abstracting, reducing its scale and subject. The other idea of identification between art and nature as art, it seems remarkable when assessing the works for possible acquisition.

In another sense, not always the works are for sale. And in some cases, my efforts to purchase certain works have been unsuccessful. So that the chances of executing my desires, sometimes away from my decisions based on them.

Artists in the collection:

Aneli Abeyante, Aloisio Congrejo, Anley Piers, Betty Tureaud, Binary Quadrity, Blue Tsuki, Cherry Manga, Chuckmatrix Clip, DACO Monday, Elie Maurice, Fiona Leitner, Fuschia Nightfire, Giovanna Cerise, Gleman Jun, Glyph Graves, Gracie Kendal, Heinky Shelman, Hypatia Pickens, Ichtyo broome, Loki glas, Luko Enoch, Maryva Mayo, Max Bobair, Miso Susanowa, Mitou Waco, Nessuno Myoo, Robin Moore, Sabrinaa Nightfire, Saiwun Yoshikawa, Buterbugsmetropolis Robo, Shellina Winkler, Shoshisn Shilova, Sistagrlro Wei, Treacle Darlandes, Tani Thor, Typote Beck and Yeti Bing.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

CSULB Virtual Art Gallery Fall Semester!

Last year I was invited to take part in the Cal Sate Univerity at Long Beach's Virtual Art Gallery program, part of the Art110 course at CSULB as an artist-of-study. You can read last year's program here.

I am pleased to be again asked to participate in this program, curated by Glenn Zucman (SL: Lothar Leborski), an instructor at CSULB who is featuring a lot more Second Life artists this year in the program. It's very cool; Prof. Zucman and his TA Elizabeth Juarez (SL name: Mu5icliz Frentis) are very serious about the possibilities of virtual art.

Here's what Prof. Zuckman said after last year's class:

I’d hoped to have as many of the groups meet with their artists as possible, but without the pressure of a formal requirement, few actually did this. Your group got to meet with you in SL, and another group was able to meet F2F with an exciting performance artist / sculptor, Jocelyn Foye. Most of the other groups had much more minimal contact with their artists via email or Facebook.

I think actually interacting with your artist is so important, that I’m restructuring the course for fall, making this a scheduled part of the work. We’re also letting go of wonderful but dead artists like Ana Mendieta and amazing but inaccessible artists like Banksy, and putting together a group of Second Life artists they can meet with in-world, Southern California artists they can meet F2F, and a few New York and beyond artists they can meet with via skype.

A lot of my friends have been asked to participate this year: Gracie Kendal, Betty Tureaud, Trill Zapatero, Douglas Story, Desdemona Enfield, Vaneeesa Blaylock, soror Nishi, Wizard Gynoid, Tuna Oddfellow and Alizarin Goldflake. Quite a stellar lineup!

"The students will create both an architecture (or un-architecture) for the gallery, and also work with the artist to curate a compelling and insightful exhibition of their work. Note that we have 2 sections of this course, and would like to have a team from each section work with you, so there would be 2 independent, different galleries created. We will give you 3D copies of both galleries and also 2D photos of them."

There's a Facebook group and a student wiki. The students will speak to the artists about their work, tour some of their installations and galleries and then construct their own virtual gallery on the CSULB sims.

He says "The commitment from you should be minimal. We'd like for them to have one in-world meeting with you... we would like them to spend an hour or so with you so they can develop an understanding of your work and your ideas. This, and permission to exhibit your work, are the main things we are asking from you."

I had a BLAST with the students last year; I spent a lot more than one hour with them. It's true that a lot of time was spent explaining the basics of SL... but that made me think back to when I was a noob, and made me think harder about exactly what I was doing and how I was approaching it; that gave me a better understanding of my own work, so we all learned something. I really enjoyed talking with the students while I explained what LMs and TPs were, how to move stuff and how to rez a prim. Nothing like the enthusiasm of a noob to give you a vicarious thrill as they rez a wooden block :D

I'm looking forward to it again!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Watching Social Media - Occupy Wall Street

two new posts @Netpolitik, both dealing with the 'OccupyWallStreet' operation going on in NY at Wall Street since Sept. 17th.

Taking Wall Street by Twitter

This first is very messy, "real-time" blogging post; grabbing tweets as the situation unfolded and attempting to stay with the stream. Lots of conflicting information about what was happening and some observations about the 'media grey-out' happening domestically when foreign media (notably Russian, Egyptian and Spanish) were putting front-page or lead stories up. Lots of great tweets reproduced.

Taking Wall Street by Twitter - Day 3 - News

This post is a bit more coherent, summarising some of the issues, fact-checking on stuff like Twitter censoring hashtags, Yahoo email killing mail sent with the hasgtag or link to (videos of this happening) and Facebook deleting user's wall and post items in the same manner (video of this happening)

There's a lot of links to both independent (blog) media and mainstream media collected over the last 3 days as information starts to get out.

Definitely Netpolitik material; it's not all cheerleading but it is a fascinating look into using social media to "organize" a protest, how information and disinformation can cross swords and how mainstream media can be routed around by the network.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Treasure of the Social Madre

Mini Review:
Eric Schmidt and Mark Zuckerberg meet up with grizzled prospector Scott McNealy and decide to join with him in search of gold in the wilds of the Internet. Through enormous difficulties, they eventually succeed in finding gold, but nyms, bloggers, and most especially greed threaten to turn their success into disaster.


McNealy: Aye, me old gaffer was a People Miner in Ought Eleven; struck a rich vein in the MySpace Mountains but the Company jumped his claim...

Urchin: Mister, what does it mean when a company cashes out?
Schmidt: *sweat drop* *grimace*

Nym: ID? We ain't got no IDs. We don't need no IDs. I don't have to show you any stinking ID.

Schmidt: You talk about that data like it was real people.

Zuckerberg: Conscience. What a thing. If you believe you got a conscience it'll pester you to death. But if you don't believe you got one, what could it do t'ya? Makes me sick, all this talking and fussing about nonsense.

Schmidt: I think I'll go to sleep and dream about piles of data getting bigger and bigger and bigger.

Zuckerberg: Do you believe that stuff the old man was saying the other night at the Marketing Conference about data changin' a man's soul so's he ain't the same sort of man as he was before findin' it?



Saturday, September 10, 2011

Betty Tureaud's Matrix & revisiting 'code dreams'

Betty Tureaud has a cool new build at Danish Visions called 'The Matrix' which incorporates QR codes, which are gaining some current attention because of several new apps for the iPhone for reading these codes. These codes are not new to Japan and many European nations where they have been widely used for a long time.

My installation for last year's Artbreaker! show at Pop Art Lab, 'code dreams', contained many types of coded information which had to be discovered like easter eggs or hidden treasure. Among the coding systems used were QR and barcode; some were textures on things, some were sculptures and some were in tonal sequences. If you want to know all about that installation you can read this older post:

Betty's work jogged my memory and inspired me to dig out the QR and barcode bitmaps I used in code dreams and put them up on Flickr. Such codes are fun to play with and not limited to merely commercial uses. If you have a QR or barcode scanning app, you should be able to scan the code blocks and get the text, links and other information contained in the codes. Have fun and realize that information can be all around you; it's sometimes up to you to discover it and read the meaning.

And don't forget to visit Betty's fabulous installation at Danish Visions:

PS: here's the manifesto for code dreams in QR code:

On scanning this QR stamp you should get the following text:

"There is information all around you; hidden meanings in the patterns of the world. Some people are aware of those hidden meanings; we call them shamans, witches, wizards. They read signs and wonders, trends and currents and know their meanings."

Friday, September 9, 2011

Machinima: The Zinn/War & Peace

In June, 2011 Trill Zapatero curated the War & Peace show at The Howard Zinn Center for Social Consciousness and the Arts, a fantastically-detailed build Trill did on the Four Bridges Project sim in Second Life.

This is one small film of the Zinn, which is still open and can be reached in Second Life at the SLurl given below. I urge you to visit and take in the fantastic work of Trill and the contributing artists and learn something about Howard Zinn and the work being done at Four Bridges in Second Life.

Contributing Artists:

Em Larsson, Drumstick Ah, Igor Ballyhoo, Oona Eiren, Plot Tracer, Novia Halostar, Filthy Fluno, Chrome Underwood, Asmita Duranjaya, Trill Zapatero, millay Freschi, Pol Jarvin, Larkworthy Antfarm, Fiona Leitner, Mona Mendes, Aaron Hughes, Gamma Infinity, Bobbi Laval, pixel Reanimator, Newbab Zsigmond, Miso Susanowa

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

One of those Moods

Thinking about the net, then and now; friends, life, time, change...

"They were hiding behind hay bales,
They were planting in the full moon
They had given all they had for something new
But the light of day was on them,
They could see the thrashers coming
And the water shone like diamonds in the dew.

And I was just getting up, hit the road before it's light
Trying to catch an hour on the sun
When I saw those thrashers rolling by,
Looking more than two lanes wide
I was feelin' like my day had just begun.

          Where the eagle glides ascending
          There's an ancient river bending
          Down the timeless gorge of changes
          Where sleeplessness awaits
          I searched out my companions,
          Who were lost in crystal canyons
          When the aimless blade of science
          Slashed the pearly gates.

It was then I knew I'd had enough,
Burned my credit card for fuel
Headed out to where the pavement turns to sand
With a one-way ticket to the land of truth
And my suitcase in my hand
How I lost my friends I still don't understand.

They had the best selection,
They were poisoned with protection
There was nothing that they needed,
Nothing left to find
They were lost in rock formations
Or became park bench mutations
On the sidewalks and in the stations
They were waiting, waiting.

So I got bored and left them there,
They were just deadweight to me
Better down the road without that load
Brings back the time when I was eight or nine
I was watchin' my mama's T.V.,
It was that great Grand Canyon rescue episode.

          Where the vulture glides descending
          On an asphalt highway bending
          Thru libraries and museums, galaxies and stars
          Down the windy halls of friendship
          To the rose clipped by the bullwhip
          The motel of lost companions
          Waits with heated pool and bar.

But me I'm not stopping there,
Got my own row left to hoe
Just another line in the field of time
When the thrashers comes, I'll be stuck in the sun
Like the dinosaurs in shrines
Then I'll know the time has come
To give what's mine."
Neil Young, Thrasher - Harvest, 1972

Neil, Rust Never Sleeps tour, 1979

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Dr. Google, the IGP and Darth Schmidt

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt reveals his dastardy plan.

Insane Google Posse, yo!

Darth Schmidt confronts Botgirl