17 March 2017

News and more blog posts on Haveit Neox's "Bleeding Books"

I'm rather behind, but here are some updates on Haveit Neox's Bleeding Books:

  • It was selected as an SL Destination Guide Editor's Pick
  • Inara Pey wrote a very insightful commentary on her blog.
  • It was also covered by Kara Trapdoor and Maddy Gynoid (in German)

Striking a blow for the little guy, Radegast

I'm a fan of Radegast, a lightweight SL viewer that pares down graphics and other functions.  I use it when I just want to do something simple like clear messages or chat in IM (especially if I'm on my backup computer), but some artists (like Jo Ellsmere and Oberon Onmura) use it to run bots that are part of their work. Radegast was orphaned when its developer passed away, but fortunately someone volunteered to take it over and it's alive again. (Thank you, Cinder Roxley!)

A few ago, Norton Security stopped me from using it by cutting off its access to my internet, thinking it's a malicious program. After a few days of this, I was pretty annoyed. So I made a "false positive" report to Norton and -- hurrah! -- they just told me they'll take it off their blacklist.  Might take a day or two for that to appear in their updates. Lesson: Complain, because sometimes it works.

05 March 2017

Blog post by Caitlin Tobias about "Bleeding Books"

Caitlin Tobias has written a blog post about Haveit Neox's Bleeding Books. It includes a machinima she created which gives a great sense of the installation. Thanks, Caitlin!

04 March 2017

Haveit Neox: "Bleeding Books" at Split Screen

Haveit Neox creates some of the most recognizable art in Second Life, partly because of his style, and partly because of certain recurring motifs (such as centaurs). In Bleeding Books, now open at Split Screen through 30 April, the main returning motifs are ships, architecture, and -- most prominently in this installation -- writing. Books hang in the sky, and from some of them a torrent of letters pours out, raining on the people below. Letters also form twisting bands hanging down into the space. At ground level there is a large building where, among other things, letters can be found imprisoned. Haveit writes:
Bleeding Books begins in the sky, and drops to the large fortress at ground level. It is a story in my ongoing series on abuse as seen through the lens of language. What happens when knowledge is so disrespected that it is freely contaminated with doses of falsehood? There are avenues to properly sort facts in this information age, yet we easily turn a blind eye to certain evidence if it goes counter to our beliefs – even when our choices may cause immeasurable harm. In the exhibit, the texts of books bleed falling letters of the alphabet, for they can no longer contain any structure of value.

Bleeding Books by Haveit Neox

As Haveit's note suggests, there is often a political edge to his work. He is, in my view, one of the few artists in SL who manages to integrate political thought into his work in a highly effective manner.

The installation uses a windlight: "Phototools- Got It Light." If you're using Firestorm it should apply automatically; otherwise, select it within your viewer for the intended effect.

Bleeding Books is at Split Screen (http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Amra/52/128/130) for the next two months. Visitors interested in Haveit's work should also see his installation, The Haul, now on view at MetaLES.

20 December 2016

Machinima of Alpha Auer's "from here on there be dragons"

There is a machinima of Alpha Auer's from here on there be dragons by Veyot. The dancers use the avatars that Alpha provides at the installation's landing points. I enjoyed watching the video quite a bit!

Many thanks, Veyot!

07 December 2016

StormEye Reigns Again

Recently Lemonodo Oh invited Douglas Story and Desdemona Enfield to use part of his LEA sim to install one of their works. They chose StormEye, which they first presented in February 2009. In Second Life time that seems like ages ago -- in fact it was somewhat over two years before mesh was introduced. It was a time when artists and "creative types" explored the magic they could perform with prims, scripts, and maybe an animation or two. It was perhaps the pinnacle of the period when people discussed the creation of art that is impossible in real life.

In StormEye, the visitor walks through a slightly undulating corridor as the weather passes from clear and sunny to a thunderstorm and then clear again. The corridor is composed of around an thousand curved surfaces, giving a scalloped effect. On them, video of the storm sequence plays, occasionally there's a burst of lightening, and one can hear rain and thunder. It's a highly immersive experience. If you like, there are pillows here and there, so you can sit and read while the storm rumbles around you. And although you won't actually get wet, near the entrance there are umbrellas available (made by Bryn Oh) to add that final touch to the downpour. (Look inside the umbrella for a couple of Bryn touches.)

StormEye by Douglas Story and Desdemona Enfield (click to enlarge)

The StormEye construction floats above a red sculpty landscape that Desdemona designed with mathematical data. The color derives from a flower photo taken by Doug's typist Dennis Schaefer. For more information, see the website for the original installation at http://slstormeye.blogspot.com.

To experience StormEye, you need to play media (use the camera icon). Originally media in SL required installing Apple's Quicktime player, but supposedly it's no longer necessary. Also, Apple no longer supports Quicktime. However, I had a problem getting the video to play so I had to install Quicktime anyway (from here). If you turn on media and the build just turns white, install Quicktime. Note, Quicktime for Windows has security holes, so if you need to install it on a Windows computer, Apple recommends that you remove it again as soon as possible.

Also, be patient! The entire sequence from clear skies to storm to clear again takes about five minutes. If it isn't raining inside (yes, Doug and Desdemona intended that joke), then take a seat and wait.

If I sounded a bit nostalgic in the first paragraph, I am. Along with the departure of many artists from that period, I think the sense of exploration and the impulse to discover the possibilities and limits of art in virtual worlds have faded somewhat. I'm not sure if that simply means we've more or less found those limits, or that emphasis has shifted to other things (skill with mesh maybe?). The question "What crazy thing can I do here?" is a good one for making art in Second Life.

StormEye will only be open until the end of this month, so don't delay: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/LEA24/120/115/25