Sunday, December 14, 2008

Catch up: The New York Times on virtual architecture, AM Radio's voice on Arthole Radio, and more

Posted by Bettina Tizzy

It feels like an eternity since I last sat down to blog about the many enchantments and the occasional disappointments that my virtual life affords me. I’ve been caught up for weeks with the physical world of Real Life and moving to Austin from Santa Monica. Last night I unpacked the last box, and may I say… I simply love Austin. It’s good to be home.

Meanwhile, my new co-blogger Alpha Auer has been a miracle of productivity and triumphs. I congratulate myself on my association with her. The metaverse is too eventful so I couldn't very well expect things to stand still during an absence of three weeks, and I’ve especially enjoyed seeing it through her eyes.

Actually, I did do a blogpost about Eshi Otawara’s new Collection, which she unveiled yesterday to instant acclaim. Its immediate success surprised absolutely no one, least of all me. She informs me that all six of the Limited Edition outfits have been snatched up, and sales of everything are so brisk that she has decided to put all of her older styles on sale, 50% off (teleport directly from here).

You simply MUST see the arm pieces on Eshi's Limited Edition Kabuki dress up close, but you will have to know one of the six people who now own it to do so

Anyhow, here's a very quick summary of some of the news items that must be shared asap:

The New York Times eyes virtual architecture

Last Sunday, the New York Times style magazine, known as T, ran one of the most balanced yet favorable articles I've read about content creation in virtual worlds. Original Sim by Sam Lubell delves into architecture in Second Life® - not sex, adultery and MacMansions, for a refreshing change - and several NPIRLers and their works were featured, including Scope Cleaver, Keystone Bouchard and DB Bailey. I was flattered to see the NPIRL blog mentioned as a key source, and took pleasure in seeing Designer Dingson and photographer Lem Skall get their due, as well. Random House has published two beautiful and inspiring books that Sam Lubell authored about architecture in the fair European capitals of London 2000+ and Paris 2000+, and he is the Los Angeles correspondent for Architect's Newspaper.

AM Radio speaks on Arthole Radio

Arthole Radio has launched a one hour weekly program hosted by artist and art history/critical studies professor at the School of Visual Arts in New York, Amy Freelunch (aka Amy Wilson). For one of her inaugural shows, Amy conducted the first-ever voice interview with none other than fine artist AM Radio. I cannot encourage you enough to listen in, and you can do so here. It takes time to load, so be patient.

AM describes how artworks are capable of social interaction in virtual environments, hence the effort he put into creating his singular avatar; why he believes that he needs to be the best and most influential user of his work; and his views on how he is often compared to Andrew Wyeth.

What to do with a paper moon, by AM Radio

During the interview, Amy said something that has stuck with me: that virtual artists are pushing the medium as far as it can go. I agree. This is certainly one of the most compelling arguments I've heard for why Linden Lab needs to throw much more support behind artists.

Alternatives to Second Life

There are two new virtual worlds that I have yet to visit, one of them being Rezzable Productions’ Opensim foray with a test grid featuring a Greenies build. You too can sign up to be a part of the alpha testing.

Truth be known, so far, I’m less than wowed by the alternatives I’ve discovered to Second Life, and my dissatisfaction isn’t just over physics. Marianne McCann has shared with me that Legend City Online has banned kid avatars, and this after its owner, LaLa Legend, responded to me in writing – yep, I’ve got it in black and white - when I asked her if LCO would be welcoming all communities (child avatars, Gor, BDSM) with these words “We welcome people from all walks of life. Of course, we expect everyone that comes to our community to be respectful of each other’s choices. As well as expect that all activities are legal.” Bah! I have heard from a couple of people that LaLa bans folks if they so much as disagree with her on any small thing, too. Is this true? Has this happened to you?

Oh nooooes! Svarga is up for sale

It also broke my heart to learn via Hamlet Au and his New World Notes that Laukosargas Svarog has put Svarga up for sale. The fact that this blog has never covered one of the most NPIRL and extraordinary regions in Second Life is a huge oversight on my part that must be amended.

Yay! Tooter is back

On a happier note, that wicked-good and fun avatar creator Tooter Claxton is back! He’d gone missing since May, save an occasional email, but weeks had gone by since I’d heard from him, so I was overjoyed to see the little blue box pop up, notifying me that my friend was back in-world.

Photographs I take in Second Life still suck

Waaaaa! I'm a blogger, for cripes sake, and photographs are my instruments. Even though I attended Bridie Linden's office hour, blogged about that disappointment here, reopened JIRA #VWR-1641, downloaded the lasted drivers, and tested several clients - both production and RCs, nothing seems to fix this bug that ails all photographs I take in Second Life. Importantly, the same is not true of photographs I take in Legend City Online or Openlife, so I know the problem isn't with my system.


Amy said...

thanks for the shout out, bettina!

Alpha Auer said...

Well, it is certainly good to see you back!

And meanwhile I am glad that you do not seem to think that it was a case of "when the cat is away..."