Archive for misc

much alive about nothing

So I spent some more time in my newly created room in lively but I don’t seem to warm up to it (whereas second life was love at first sight for me). I figured out how to move around, I even figured out how I could move my furniture but I don’t know yet how I’m supposed to search for other people, or how I can find their rooms, how to make snapshots (yes, I like to document my life), and what I’m supposed to do, besides chatting around. I wonder if google really wanted to present the second life follow up because if that was the plan, I don’t see much resemblance so far. I have gotten to know second life as an inspiring place where creativity is pushed forward. In lively all I see is limitations so far. Where in second life I have always felt I could expand my personality, in lively I just feel Im using a fancy chatprogramme. I know there are people who also consider sl to be exactly that, but I’m not one of them. What I do find interesting however is how apparently some well known sl users have already found their sl names used in lively, and not by them. That’s interesting, no? I wonder who would be doing such a thing, and more importantly why. Does it tell us something about the expectations some people may have? Another thing that’s basically just funny to see is how many sex rooms are already available on lively. One of the bigger issues when sl was hyped was the enormous amount of sex related stuff that could be found, mostly even without searching. Nice to see that just wasn’t an sl thing after all, but mainly just human nature.

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metanomics

It was about time I wrote something about metanomics. I’m not exactly sure what to call it, is it an organization? Is it a project? A talk show? Conference center? What is it? Fact is that mr. Beyers Sellers (rl name Robert Bloomfield) started something that is turning out to be a pretty succesful endeavor in sl. On the faq page of the metanomics website I read the following:

”Metanomics’ refers to the study of the business and policy aspects of the “metaverse” of virtual worlds. Metanomics can focus on issues arising within virtual worlds, such as how developers manage the economy of a game world (like World of Warcraft), or how residents of virtual worlds manage and regulate business. Metanomics also includes the study of how real-world businesses can use virtual worlds as part of their strategy, and how real-world law and regulation might apply to virtual-world activities. Finally, metanomics includes the use of virtual worlds as laboratories in which to study real-world business or policy issues.’

At the moment metanomics has a regular in-world talk show / discussion on monday nights (european time, its noon slt) with usually a pretty much filled up room. I have been present a few times now and it has always been busy. In fact, this week I couldn’t get in because the sim was full, which is when I found out about the partnersims. Such a nifty thing! Together with some belgian journalists I was able to follow the whole thing in another sim on live screen and read all chatcomments from the other sims due to another smart thing called chatbridge. Real nice. Last monday one of the sl-art-scene-celebrities Bettina Tizzy was on.

I must say, it was not that I heard so much new things but she took the words right out of my mouth when she spoke about commercial companies in sl and how they still can’t seem to find a suitable and effective way to present themselves in sl. You can see the video of last mondays metanomics session here (which btw I can recommend, and unless you are considering a career in wedding planning you can skip the first part). And so there it is, a pretty succesful metanomics, an alive-and-kickin-sl-art-scene, struggling-with-virtuality-rl-companies and google presents us…lively. Off course I felt obliged to at least take a look. So I did, and honestly? To me it seems like a pimped chat programme for teens. But I must say that until now I have only spent one hour there, and I have not yet figured out how to move around. Ahum, sl eye-hand coordination is playing tricks on me. Two big differences, and I think essential ones if you compare lively and second life, are the fact that lively is not so much a world but more a collection of visualised chat rooms, and the fact that users cannot create in lively. Up until now, that is. And there is no economy, up until now as well. Anyway, for anyone who wants to know, my lively name is vivermicelli.

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bridges again

carp3 caravaggio bonetto

In one of the reports of the in-world discussions about sl economy on the mixedrealities blog, I read how someone explained that sl economy cannot be compared to real life economy since the only actual product in sl is creativity. I totally agree. Yes, even for plotting a scam one would actually need some amount of creativity. And in my experience I see more and more emphasis on this in sl. A lot of the big corporate and commercial companies that wanted to be ‘in sl’ when it was all hyped are saying their goodbyes now and I understand why. It is because they have not taken the time to figure out what sl is really about and made a mistake thinking that only being in sl would bring them more success and more customers. It does not work that way. People have sl avi’s for different reasons obviously, but I think they always involve words such as wonder, escape, inspiration, internet development and the future. And for me these words do not come to mind when dealing with RL banking issues for instance. What does come to mind however is that it comes as no surprise that so many artists are active in sl, or any other virtual world. When it comes to big changes in our world artists have always been there. So they are here, obviously. To explore, to work with it, research it, to develop. Recently I met a student from the Ecole Nationale Sup√©rieure des Arts D√©coratifs in Paris. He is working on the land his school uses for their students. Thats what I like, RL art institutions asking their students to work in and explore the possibilities of sl. This land can be found here. And a few days before I met him I ended up in Diabolus. A gallery space where several artists are working, among which Juria Yoshikawa, Josina Burgess, Velazquez Bonetto and Caravaggio Bonetto. All RL artists from different parts of the world. At the moment they have Carp3 going on, a cybernetic art research project as the sign in the gallery says. Reading one of the artists profiles I found out that some of these artists are working with a curator from a rl museum in denmark on a rl exhibition on cybernetic art. I contacted this curator and asked her about her plans, I had seen her name around a few times already but never actually got to talking to her. This is what she answered:

I am working on an idea for an exhibition that interacts with SL…saw the one today at Statens Museum…Tagging Art..not interesting, just two big screens..no interaction’

So, apparently the Statens Museum in Denmark already gave some attention to sl art with this tagging art exhibition. She continued:

All there is in the exhibition is two giant computer screens and a box that jumps if you click on it in sl. In RL you must be able to feel you are in sl’

So, as far as I’m concerned she mentioned one of the essential ingredients to make a rl exhibition on sl art a good one. Interaction. I must say, I can’t wait to hear more about this project and see how it will develop.

Above pic: a work by Caravaggio Bonetto at Diabolus.

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lost

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Spending the first half of this year an enormous amount of time in second life, the past weeks I felt like doing very down to earth and basic real life things. I guess it’s a perfectly normal response, for spending too much time in the brain usually makes me want to feel some real ground under my feet or smell some trees…and sometimes rl actually forces you but for some reason those things always seem to be less exciting or even boring. Anyway, the past period I hesitated to actually log in to sl and I’m not quite sure why. Could it be the overwhelming realisation that I can hardly keep up with all the real interesting things going on in there? Just recently I heard somebody say that route navigation only became a success when tomtom made it easy. So, what does that mean? Does that put me in the group of people who can only use and enjoy new techniques when made easy for the masses? I don’t own a tomtom by the way. But I do have a car. And for some reason I think I will only get route navigation if it actually will come with a possible new car for I was not planning on buying one. Now, where does that put me? I wonder. The thing is, I have so much admiration for artists and developers I see and meet in sl but at the same time it makes me feel so…well…basically…stupid. I can only imagine the excitement they must feel going around in this world and meeting likeminded souls. I just feel like a bystander, not capable of speaking the same language. The pic above is overig and me walking in a labyrinth at the burning life land. I guess, even though we could find our way pretty easy, it can be considered exemplary for the way I feel right now.

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alpha channel

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So, tuesdays event I called a small disaster. At the time I didn’t know how appropriate the use of the word ‘small’ turned out to be. Today I witnessed something much worse. I tp-ed myself over to megastore textures R us. It usually takes a while to have everything rezzed there but now…no problem at all. The whole land was completely empty! I checked if I was actually at the right place but yes, I was and in the distance I could see one person standing. I flew over and there she was, Lilibeth, one of the TRU designers. Upon my obvious question what had happened she answered: ‘I tried to send back some objects owned by other residents and now the whole store has gone’. Let me tell you, that store was huge. I gazed at her. Wasn’t this the exact same thing that happened to me two days ago? Unbelievable. I mean, I still think of myself as a very unexperienced sl user so if this could actually happen to the experts…wow…I guess I’m really part of it now. Lily however did know something that was new for me, a magical thing called rollback. The Lindens could turn back time for her and put the place back as it was an hour before. Unfortunately I was not allowed to stay and witness, since the lindens throw everybody who is not the owner of the land out for such an operation. And then, another important moment today. Alpha channels are a big thing in SL. After weeks of struggling with this whole new concept for me I finally made it! Hooray! See the wall above? Thats the pink wall in my new home. The little pics on it are on a transparant background with alpha channel. I cannot tell you how happy I am I finally made it! Hooray again!

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coming of age

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All sorts of new experiences these days. To start with a small disaster, today I lost DEPOT. Here’s what happened: when I logged in I noticed a small package on the floor. It had a picture of a naked man on it, named Paul. Probably the packing of a shape or skin or something. So, I assumed somebody purchased that from the crappy store nextdoor and decided to unpack in DEPOT. What I did not understand was why it was still there, since I always have autoreturn on. So I checked, autoreturn was off…hmm…so I put it back on. Wrong decision. With Paul the rest of DEPOT disappeared. Of course I could take it out of my lost and found folder, but in parts. And when I rezzed it again, I obviously did not rez at the exact same place so the autoreturn of my neighbours kept on taking it and thus deviding it in even more parts. Stress! Anyway, I sort of fixed it, I think. A more enchanting experience the past days was voice-chat-try-out. As it happened I had a little mic lying beside the computer for ages now so I guess it was about time I started using the thing. So when asked I finally unpacked and plugged it in. That was the easy part. When I finally had everything working in sl I had the most lovely evening. Another fun thing was the mail I received by Tom Bukowski today. He has written a book about second life called ‘coming of age in second life’ and needs a bookcover. He set up a contest to search for the right cover and I also sent in some pics I thought appropriate for the title. And guess what, one of them (the one you see above) is shortlisted. Does it need explanation? To me coming of age in sl has everything to do with learning how to build. Even if you only develop your building skills to the most basic level (yes, I’m talking about me here) it’s crucial. My whole sl experience changed when I rezzed a box. Anyway, all shortlisted pics are to be seen in the Elektra Sparks gallery. Boy, what a day. In a few days I will write some more about a fun upcoming project.

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plane crash

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A few weeks ago I was flying over some, what seemed to be, abandoned land when all of a sudden I bumped into a plane crash. It looked absolutely awesome. I immediately decided it could be a great location for a new exhibition. However, when I got back the next day the plane was gone. That’s sl, here one day, gone the next. But I was able to track down the owner who was in fact building a punk club some acres down the road and she was so sweet to give me the planecrash as a gift. Some gift, no? So, now I have 16 parts of plane in my inventory and no idea yet what to do with them. You see, it is a pretty big thing and the land I own is for sure not big enough. What you see in the pic above is me and edo somewhere high above a sandbox trying to figure out how much land would be needed for it. Oh well…I got things to do…still need to finish the new DEPOT, and my home…and then I’ll see what would be appropriate for showing in the plane…art… or maybe it should not be art…or maybe…and well, yeah the land. Okay, we’ll have to see about that. First things first. Its fun though, owning a plane, even if it is crashed.

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