Tuesday, April 8, 2008

AngryBeth Shortbread opens PLAY: A Collection of Sound Sketches, and talks about Twinity

AngryBeth Shortbread (aka Annabeth Robinson; rez: 7-26-2005) breaks ground with such ease that I'm not even sure if she is aware of how signifcant her work is. Certainly everyone I know in Second Life who works with sounds and physics greatly admires her. Now, this Leeds, UK-based multi-media artist and lecturer has just opened PLAY: A Collection of Sound Sketches 2006-2008, with some installations we've seen before and new ones, too. The show will be open to all throughout the month of April, and was presented at the People : Place : Prescence conference and exhibition on April 2nd at the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (FACT) in Liverpool, England. You may visit it in Second Life by teleporting directly from here.

According to Beth, who likes to encourage social play and experimentation, "Though most of these works could be recreated in other software, it is the social aspect of the virtual world that makes me stick to working in Second Life or similar. Seeing groups of online people experiment and collaborate on producing music with my pieces is more rewarding than a more solo experience on a flash based website or similar. And I still get goosebumps when I watch a group of international avatars all playing together telepresently, yet seemingly all together in one place and presence."

Here's a vid of one of her newest "toys," that is labeled PUSH at the installation:

In this video by Osprey Therian, you can see a good demo of an older piece by Beth dating back to 2006 that I find very entertaining, called the Synthy-Go-Round, an experiment in mixing two synthygorounds remixable tunes that is part of this month's show, and labeled TOUCH. Basically, you can orchestrate your own mix by adding or subtracting different tracks/instruments, available to you in each cube.

There are a few NPIRLers that are actively exploring virtual worlds other than Second Life, and Beth is definitely one of them. "I've been doing a little peek at Twinity, but it's in very early Beta. I'll return when they've added an ability to upload content - not just textures - but it looks promising," said Beth. When I asked what kind of content she was hoping for, she indicated that she's looking to them to make sound files, 3d builds and eventually scripting uploadable. "At the moment, its textures and webpages on a prim. The webpages on a prim do rock, though," she added.

I asked if it was stable at present, to which she replied, "Nope - you've got to have a patience of a saint."

While I haven't tried Twinity yet, I am fascinated by the ability to work with mirror effects there. Here's yet another video that Beth created, working only with the items made available to users inside Twinity.