Saturday, March 27, 2010

M Linden Art Show at UWA - RL & SL Crossover

The University of Western Australia is proud to announce that we have already kicked off the RL version of 'Doodle Art', Linden Lab CEO, M Linden's (Mark Kingdon) Personal Art Show! The SL version was held:

When: Saturday, March 27th, 2010 at 3 PM SLT (US Pacific)

Where: Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, University of Western Australia (UWA)

Alternate Location if SIM is full: (front of Winthrop Clock Tower - note you will be able to 'Cam' to the gallery from here but not be able to listen to anything in voice)

Chantal & White

This is the 2nd collaboration between the Linden Labs CEO & UWA, as M is on the Grand Prize judging panel for the year long, UWA 3D Art & Design (UWA3DA&D) Challenge!

Left to right: Len Zuks, Jayjay, Ian McArthur

The audience at the RL launch were amazed by the quiet elegance of M's works. Present at the event were Professor Ian McArthur (RL), Head of the School of Physics at UWA and Ionat Zurr (RL), Director of Symbiotica, along with SL notables quadrapop Lane (curator of the UWA3DA&D), Raphaella Nightfire (CEO, Evane Modelling Agency) and master of the miniature, Dusty Canning. quadrapop said the following of the experience.

Gumby Roffo & quadrapop ham it up @ the SL opening
"M linden's RL doodles draw you in. They are obviously made by someone with that 'eye' only artists have. It does not surprise me to learn M's first passion was to be a painter. Len Zuks' sculptures for this exhibition are smaller in RL than you would expect having the recreations in SL - but pack a punch and Len is a bundle of mischeivious energy, the best kind of artist with both practical as well as artistic ability."

Hosting the RL event, was award winning West Australian artist Len Zuks . Len has collaborated with Miso Susanowa who has breathed a fresh second life into his sculptures, 'Megabyte' and 'Lil Eizenstein', in a first ever RL/SL collaboration between American and West Australian artists. His RL sculptures stood alongside M Linden's works as he oficially declared the RL exhibition open!
Len examines M's doodle closely during the RL opening

The first time he saw M's work, Len said:
"It is not 10 minutes since my eyes first beheld an image of one of Mark Kingdon's artworks. I had been in discussion with Jayjay for several weeks on this anticipatory moment. If I had seen any other style of illustration, it would have been of a lesser impact. The unexpected image and the subsequent revealing insights was an unequivocal surprise. It is as if I had bypassed the artist's eyes and had a glimpse into the mechanism of the artist's mind. Wow! "

Jayjay Ziffanwe @ the SL opening

The SL exhibition opening was well attended, JayJay opening it with a short speech describing how this came about and introducing M Linden who then took questions from the floor.

M Linden in front of one of his SL 'doodles' @ Sl opening

M Linden answers questions from the audience

Machinima Created for this RL/SL Crossover:

Machinima, Doodle Art: The Art of M. Linden - By Larkworthy Antfarm

Chantal Harvey

M Linden/Mark Kingdon Doodle Art Expo at UWA in Second Life - by Chantal Harvey

Machinima, Lil Eizenstein - By Chantal Harvey

Machinima, Megabyte - By Chantal Harvey

Miso Susanowa with Iono Allen in the background

Blog post on Lil Eizenstein - By Miso Susanowa

Blog post on Megabyte - By Miso Susanowa

Publicity surrounding the event:
Metaverse Journal
SL Enquirer
New World Notes: Chestnut's Choices
soror Nishi's Blog
My So-called Virtual Life
Lane's List

Artists: M Linden, Len Zuks, Miso Susanowa
The Curator: White Lebed
UWA Owner & Co-Host: JayJay Zifanwe
The Gallery builders: The Slingshot, Nyx Breen
Logo, T-Shirts & RL/SL Crossover Builds by: Miso Susanowa
T-Shirt: Morigan Denimore
Promotional Machinimas: Chantal Harvery and Larkworthy Antfarm
Music: Kolor Fall/Patrick Faith
RL Host at UWA: Len Zuks

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

March UWA-Burniversity Artist Talk - Miso Susanowa

The March UWA-Burniversity artist talk was given by Miso Susanowa at the UWA Artist talks Platform. What follows is an edited transcript of the talk and discussion. Thank you to Miso for the text and Iono for some lovely images. Unattributed images were taken by quadrapop Lane.

Photo taken by Iono Allen

Collaborating - Process

First, I'd like to thank Jayjay and quadrapop again for all the exciting and important work they are doing here for the Arts in Second Life. I think LL SHOULD be doing it, and it's good and rewarding to see that some people have stepped in to take up the slack :)

I wanted to use this opportunity today to talk about process; specifically, the collaborative process. Some of you may know that I was involved for many years in performance art, music and rave production. So I'd like to give you a little bit of that background, then discuss some aspects of group collaboration and then a bit about each piece I did with Len Zuks, a RL Australian sculptor. On my blog you will find links to Len's home page as well as photographs of the two works we did together (Megabyte & Lil Eisenstein).


The collaborations I have been involved with in SL seem to be more like collisions: some patchwork around a "unifying theme" but each person kind of going on their own interpretation of that theme, which is ok... but it seems like comparatively, little brainstorming was done on the actual thematic structure; what people felt about the theme, how it impacted them, what others' ideas about the theme affected their own process...

I was involved in large group collaborations in Los Angeles from 1990 to 1999 as well as touring with bands in from 1979 to 1986, involving anywhere from 15 people to over 200. There were subgroups within these collaborations- lighting, sound, blocking, staging... the usual subcategories. Those subgroups would meet often, talk, hang out, listen to each other, get a feel for each other. The subgroups would also be in touch with one another through individual contact and also through the subgroup's lead or point people at regular intervals.

This process of communication gave us a unifying approach, a common vocabulary and a sense of group mind which contributed immensely to the organic growth and realization of our concept; this synergy helped each individual part mesh and support all the other parts, because we were all on the same page. That is... we formed a group mind rather than a collection of individual artists or performers. That was our aim.

When I first agreed to work with Len, he talked about giving his work an "interior life." But he kept saying, "no, no; I want Miso to do whatever it is she's going to do to the works without my input."

So I needed to find out where Len was when he was making Megabyte and Lil Eizenstein; I didn't want them to be merely a "slapped on coat of paint" or my own ideas of what they were to be; I wanted to COLLABORATE with Len.

After a bit of my own pushing/nagging/persuading, Len and I started to talk; about our ideas and approaches to art, about materials, about the meaning of work... many topics and offshoots that helped me FEEL Len, feel where he was when he was making Megabyte and Lil Eizenstein. This helped me FEEL his work and really started the process of working WITH his pieces rather than against them or on the side of them. So it began to be a real collaborative effort between us.


I began with Megabyte, Len's wonderful hippopotamus. Len had told me he'd been thinking about Jayjay and what he was involved in, ie computers and SL, when Len was making this work. Len's conversation started me on the following thought process:

A megabyte is a large amount of information... a hippo is a large animal... an animal contains a huge amount of information in its' DNA structures... an animal is the product of his environment and that environment is coded into those genes... the hippo's environment is the savannah...

So I started to think of how I could put Megabyte's environment, his world, inside him, incorporated into his genetic structure... all off of Len's comments regarding "the interior life." Then I remembered that when I was a child, from about age 7 to well into my mid-20s, I used to hollow out eggshells to make fake Faberge eggs for friends and family at Easter and Christmas. I would carefully cut out pictures of animals and scenes, glue them to cardboard for stands and carefully fold them and insert them into the hollowed eggshells with a tweezers, glueing them into place to make tiny dioramas inside the eggs (I also tried my hand at that time on 'ship-in-a-bottle' pieces).

Since this was a childhood memory... I decided to use cartoon animals inside Megabyte; the typical animals of his home environment. I added the djembe drum so I could incorporate a rythmn track to support all the animal noises attached to the figurines inside and to Megabyte's own vocalizations (which, although they sound strange, are actual hippo vocalizations, unaltered or processed).

All the textures used in the sculpture are made from Jayjay's photos of the actual sculpture and Len's metalwork. I added a bit of fun to him with the following eyes, the moving tail and ears.

So... it's easiest to get inside Megabyte to see all that hidden interior life by click-focusing your cam on his mouth, then swinging the camera around that point to his back and then pushing the cam inside him. Then you should see the savannah and the animals. When you do, click on the drum to start a percussion loop, which you can then use as a backround to "play" the animals by touching each one :) The hippo vocalizations will play irregardless. If you leave the drum going, you can scratch/dub a jungle boogie lol. Oh, btw... it seems giraffe's make a "crunch crunch" leaf-eating sound -_- So i cheated and used the "sound of a dying giraffe" from South Park :)

Since I came through the gaming worlds after my stint in the early 3d and VRML worlds scene, I click and explore everything :)

Len loved this piece so I was encouraged to start on the second.


This was the second piece I attempted. I had done a quick rough for Len and Jayjay as a kind of "audition" for the assignment. I revisited that rough and corrected some of the structure, as I had worked originally from a straight-on photo of the work and now had more photos from various angles to help me see what certain structures were. Since I had the metal textures made already from Megabyte, I applied them. I added some "SL effects" like the E=MC2 particles, reflections in his glasses of the handwritten first page of Einstein's Theory of Relativity on the lecturn and etc.

When I began to look for sound to incorporate into the sculpture (because much of my work in SL incorporates sound; it's sort of a signature part of my work) I came across Einstein's 1945 Voice of America broadcast.

This really affected me; most of the "Einstein" we see today consists of pictures of "The Whacky Professor" type images; hair all askew, the one with the tongue poking out, E=MC2... all quick signifiers, condensations, reductions of the entirety of the person and the scientist. The speech is deeply moving, plaintive and sincere; very very human. It is also quite uncomfortable for some types, as it doesn't allow easy dismissal of the issues it raises. That speech is incorporated into this work.

This speech triggered the whole approach to the sculpture and was quite strong and, I felt, an honest reaction to the subject matter. The atomic branches and the mushroom grew almost instantly from Len's original base.

Since the original sculpture had the figure sitting on top of the dome, it suggested to me the approach of the spinning universe; Einstein's whole approach to the wonder of his mathematics and thinking processes, above the kind of thinking that would apply such a wondrous perception of the structure of nature to the terrible destruction wrought with the applications of his discoveries. I added the lectern and the Theory to support this view; of a scholarly man, immersed in the sheer wonder and excitement of the universe, sadly oblivious to the darker side of such knowledge.

This was a deep alteration in the approach to the piece and I was quite worried that Len or Jayjay would find it political, offensive or just too dark. But it was an honest reaction to the research I was immersed in on Einstein, his work and his life. Thankfully, both Len and Jayjay really liked it!

The collaboration with Len has been truly fun and rewarding, and I'd like to thank Jayjay Zifanwe for facilitating this collaboration with one of Australia's finest sculptors. it's been wonderful getting to know Len and we hope to do more work in the future. Thank you all for listening.

Further Discussion
Miso Susanowa: ah also i must mention, if you touch Lil Eizenstein you will receive information about Len and also a copy of that 1945 speech of Einstein's that moved me very much.

Jayjay Zifanwe: Len is actually grateful to Miso for allowing his works to grace this realm

Miso Susanowa: questions or comments or anything?

quadrapop Lane: Miso - there is a third piece in the works is that correct?
Miso Susanowa: yes... although i am discussing this with Len, but he has also mentioned a real collaboration, starting from scratch, now that he has been touched by the wonder of SL as we all have :)

quadrapop Lane: oh that is great to hear - next step is to get him inworld :)

Miso Susanowa: yes... Jayjay is happy as am I... because Len is very afraid/unknowing/scared of computers, which is sad because he'd really make an excellent builder here
i will nag him :) you all know how good i am at that :)

quadrapop Lane: hehe

quadrapop Lane: the RL sculptures will be displayed at the University of WA as part of a show in April - so if you are in Perth, Western Australia in April pop on over to UWA and see the real thing

Miso Susanowa: yes... i'd love to go to Australia and meet Len, I have wanted to see the country for many years

quadrapop Lane: we would be more than happy to host any SLers who wanted to visit :)

Jayjay Zifanwe: well there is a very very special RL event happening soon at UWA
Jayjay Zifanwe: that will feature the RL works Megabyte & Lil Eizenstein
Jayjay Zifanwe: and at that time we will play the winning machinima for the RL people, and also show these SL works on the big screen

Miso Susanowa: thanks everyone for coming!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

FLASHBACK: Team UWA wins Google Earth Build Your Campus in 3D Challenge

As a precursor to entering Second Life, team UWA won the Google Earth challenge

The Google HQ has just sent through a link to all the 3D buildings of the UWA Campus available on Google Earth:

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

UWA & Through The Virtual Looking Glass

UWAin SL's gallery spaces will be taking part in a RL/SL cross over as part of the Through the Looking Glass project opening in RL on April 7 2010

As the intro page of Through the Looking Glass website says:

Through the Virtual Looking Glass is the collective name for exhibitions of virtual art that will take place this April in five real world galleries and other spaces in as many countries, specifically, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, and the United States.

Australia will also participate in the April events virtually, while hosting a real world exhibition at a time later this year.

Organizers of the exhibition in each country will choose its content and methods of display which will include interactive artworks from the virtual worlds Second Life and OpenSim, images and machinimas (virtual world videos) shown on plasma screens and digital frames, prints of virtual artworks, physical sculptures and paintings inspired by virtual art, some with embedded electronic components, and literary readings and musical performances occurring in the real world exhibition spaces and streamed live into Second Life and OpenSim.

Through the Virtual Looking Glass is organized and presented by a network of international groups, all of them leaders in the field of virtual art, including the Caerleon Sims/Virtual Art Initiative, Cybernetic Art Research Project/Diablous, Museo del Metaverso/Uqbar, Pirats, the University of Massachusetts, and the University of Western Australia.

Quoted from here

The University of Western Australia will be taking part virtually via its SL presence, this will include:
  • a special viewing of the artworks that are so far in the running for the grand prize in the UWA 3D Art & Design Imagine Challenge
  • A special display of the collaboration between Len Zuks (RL) and Miso Susanowa (SL) on the recreation and reinterpretation of 3 of Len's RL sculptures - where possible this will link to RL venues where the works can be seen.
  • Art talks given by some of the artists who have entered the Imagine Challenge (including Miso Susanowa)
  • The monthly Imagine and Flagship Winners Announcement Party on the expanded UWA art sims.
As we get closer to the date/s we will blog in more detail each of these events.

UWA VIRTLANTIS, Second Life English & The Tower of Light


UWA VIRTLANTIS: Official opening 5am SLT Sunday 14th March

The UWA Virtlantis Sim, represents the coming together of the University of Western Australia's expanding education programme and Second Life English led by Kip Yellowjacket.

This, the 4th of the Sims of The University of Western Australia in SL, is a collaboration that will explore and take the lead in new and exciting developments in the area of in-world language learning/teaching.

In the centre of this sim, stands resplendant the majestic 4km high Tower of Light, built by the incredible David "DC" Spensley, of San Francisco, who is DanCoyote Antonelli in Second Life. The symbolism of the tower is as the 'anti-Tower of Babel', in this case bringing together peoples and languages and cultures from all over the world.

In DC's words, "The Tower of Light is an attempt to encourage people to look past the scale imposed by representations of the material world within virtual space. While familiar objects provide visual anchors and clues to the function of virtual artifice, they might also mask the true nature of conditions in virtual space and limit the potential these conditions actually represent.

It breaks out of the these artificial boundaries and encourages the virtual citizen to broaden their view literally and figuratively. In this way the purpose of the Tower of Light resonates with the intent of Second Life English Education and the University of Western Australia to empower people to look beyond appearances and seek insight into the true nature of the world we inhabit. Many thanks to UWA for this honor."

We welcome one and all to the launch of UWA Virtlantis, dedicated to language, education and the exchange of culture!

Sunday, March 7, 2010


A wonderful steampunk based work called the 'Atomic-Go-Round' by US Midwest (Indiana) artist, Atomic Gaffer claimed the L$5,000 IMAGINE Prize in the February round of the UWA 3D Art & Design Imagine Challenge. At the same time, the Nyx Breen machine rolled on to claim another win in the Flagship Challenge with his 'AxS Gallery,' this is the 3rd time overall he has won the main Flagship Prize.

Nyx also went back-to-back with winning the Casey Cultural Prize with the same building as he constructed his Flagship entry from typical WA materials; jarrah and limestone.

For this prize though, he had to share the limelight, as there was a tie for first prize with Olmia Tenk and her entry 'Viewing WA'. Olmia's work brought together historic, contemporary and multi-cultural dimensions of WA in a diorama form.

Commenting on his win, Atomic Gaffer said, "Thank you very much JayJay, Quad and everyone else associated with the UWA! My artwork, both RL and SL tend to be very thematic, and I try to tell a story in every piece. Many are quite dark in their approach. "Atomic Go-Round" was a cathartic departure for me that was quite enjoyable and freeing. I use the same techniques and approach in RL and SL work, and the Carousel was really very enjoyable to create and watch people enjoy."

Nyx has also already submitted his March build for the Flagship challenge and it will take a lot from preventing this juggernaught from winning his 4th top Flagship Prize. Nyx Breen said, "Well thank you again, it has been an honor and a privilege to work with learn from and share with so many truly great artist that the UWA experience has provided to me. Honestly, it has been the highlight of my creative side in SL to associated with this group. And thank you to the Casey Cultural Committee for their opportunity in helping me recognize that SL is truly a multi-world and multi-learning opportunity that I believe it was originally designed to be when it was conceived. Thank you again. I'm looking forward to March and the wonderful art and experiences we will share. If the creations are as good as we have seen in the first half of the year we are in for some amazing things."

Numerous other awards were also given, and the Artist Book Prize was won by the RL/SL combination of Len Zuks and Miso Susanowa with their work 'Lil' Eizenstein'.

The People's Choice Award taken by Pol Jarvinen's 'Castle' over Fuschia Nightfire's somewhat controversial piece.

soror Nishi's
'Night Orchid' took out the Best Non-Scripted Imagine prize, and Alizarin Goldflake took 2nd Prize for the Imagine Challenge for a 2nd time with her piece 'Night light'.

A record total of 74 entries were submitted for the February round of the challenge with 71 artworks for IMAGINE and 3 FLAGSHIP builds. Challenge co-host, Jayjay Zifanwe said, "The international connections made through SL are very important to me, and through FEBRUARY, the challenges have seen Artists & Builders hailing from Canada, the USA, the UK, Uruguay, Scotland, England, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, France, Brazil, Chile, Denmark, Holland, Ireland, Portugal, Austria, Cuba, Serbia, Tunisia, Germany, Japan, New Zealand and Australia. Thats 6 of the 7 continents of the world represented. Special prize to the person who introduces me to an artist from Antarctica!".

Other winners on the night included Ivy Lane & Phil Metalhead (2nd prize, Flagship Challenge), Gumby Roffo (Honary Mention, Casey Cultural Prize), Physeter Nicholls (Honary Mention, Artist Book Prize) and the Honary mention prize winners from the Imagine Challenge fro February; Sharni Azalee, FreeWee Ling, Ub Yifu, and Feathers Boa.

Developments within the UWA presence in SL were also announced.
The 4th UWA Sim has come on-line, thanks to a partnership with Kip Yellowjacket & Second Life English. The 4th SIM, UWA Virtlantis will be launched at 5am SLT on Sunday 14th March and will feature what is probably the tallest structure currently existing in Second Life, DanCoyote Antonelli's Tower of Light. The Tower is symbolic as an anti-tower of Babel, as the aim of this SIM is to bring together peoples and cultures from all around the world for language exchange and learning

Another development is the partnership between BURNIVERSITY and UWA with regards to Artist talks. More to follow on this, but we'll end with this joint statement by White Lebed and Jayjay, "Sometimes the best things happen naturally, spontaneously without any planning. When it came up that the Burniversity educational program led by White Lebed was similar to the UWA Artist Talks, we both thought that is would be of benefit to co-brand the events. When hosted at Burniversity with White, it will be the Burniversity/UWA Artist Talk, and when hosted at UWA with quadrapop Lane it will be the UWA/Burniversity Artist Talk. Previous collaborations such as the Machinima have been very successful, and we know that our collaboration in this as well can be very productive and mutually beneficial. We are sure the art talks will become something extremely valuable for the SL artists, for those who participate in Burning Life events and also in the UWA 3D Art & Design Challenges!"

ColeMarie Soleil's machinima review of the January IMAGINE Winners. And Magggnnus Woodget's use of the same machinima viewed from within SL using the new Beta SL Viewer 2.0's SharedMedia as part of his own video of the UWA Winners Party Feb 2010. This new SL viewer will see a renaissance in what Art can be and do in SL, what Magggnnus has done is but one small offering of the huge possibilities of this one new aspect of SL.

Photos of the February entries taken by quadrapop Lane are available on the UWAinSL KOINUP page.


Imagine Challenge 1st Prize
($L5,000 + Custom T-Shirt)

ATOMIC-GO-ROUND by Atomic Gaffer

Imagine Challenge 2nd Prize

NIGHT LIGHT by Alizarin Gldflake

Best Non-Scripted Entry
($L1,250 + Custom T-Shirt)

THE NIGHT ORCHID by soror Nishi

Casey WA Cultural Prize 1st Prize

VIEWING WA by Olmia Tenk & AXS GALLERY by Nyx Breen


Flagship Challenge 1st Prize
AxS GALLERY by Nyx Breen

Flagship Challenge 2nd Prize

ANGEL GALLERY by Ivy Lane & Phil Metalhead

Honourable Mention Prize for CASEY CULTURAL PRIZE

MV OCEAN DROVER by Gumby Roffo

Honourable Mention Prize for TECHNICAL BRILLIANCE

MAKING LOVE by Sharni Azalee

Honourable Mention Prize for ILLUSION

MAYA by Miso Susanowa

Honourable Mention Prize for INTERACTION


Honourable Mention Prize for RADIANCE

SUN'S BIRTH by Ub Yifu

Honourable Mention Prize for SUBTLETY

URBAN ANGEL by Feathers Boa


LIL' EIZENSTEIN Len Zuks & Miso Susanowa

ARTIST BOOK PRIZE - Honourable Mention

WHO WROTE THE BOOK Physeter Nicholls


CASTLE by Pol Jarvinen

The UWA 3d Art & Design Challenge Entries receiver will be accepting entries for the March round till 31st March. Get your entry in early, as works come in they are displayed, so the sooner the entries are received the longer they are on display. The February display will be pulled down by Wednesday this week and the new works will start to go up, we already have some exciting entries for March.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

February People's choice

The UWA 3D Art & Design People's Choice board for February is up and running - you only have until midnight SLT Saturday 6th March (that's under 72 hours as of time of posting) to get on over to the Imagine Challenge display platform on UWA to look at an incredible 71 artworks (the board only fits 70!) spread over 4 levels. The People's Choice board has grown so big that we had to move it to the back of the main floor (Level 1).

Each visitor has 3 votes to cast on their favourite works (one per work) and we don't envy you the task as this month is no exception in the hard to pick stakes...

There is something for everyone... traditional sculpture, SL only sculpture, immersive builds, interactive, puzzling, even politically motivated works.

Turn draw to 128-250m, turn music down and sounds up, touch everything, sit on everything (you may even be rescued by a robot! - and get a free outfit for your efforts), try walking into sculptures, play streaming media and explore video art, and 'cam' inside. See if you can find the following.... a monkey, a goldfish, a sheep, a kangaroo and the earth at night.

As Soror said in her blog post about this month's display "There are 70 entries, this month, and everyone is worth a look and some are worth two looks"