Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Morphing furniture with more options than there are days in the week

"Have you seen Jennifer Hana's morphing latex living room set?" asked fashion writer and NPIRLer Iris Ophelia. "Nine prims, and it has high quality animated sit poses, of course," she added.

I had not, but Iris soon remedied that situation when she teleported me over to see this wonder that was rezzed in her own studio.

Iris demonstrated the sit poses and they were good

Furniture is not a regularly featured topic on this blog, but this... this is the sort of thing that warms the cockles of my digital heart. For that matter, I can't imagine that it would fail to interest Tracie Rozhon, House and Home reporter for the New York Times. Really, what New Yorker wouldn't appreciate having this many options - ten of them! - with just one furniture set, to squeeze out the best use of their tight square footage?

I'm looking forward to the day when Jennifer will be able to use more inviting textures for this line of sculpty chairs. Here's a quick and dirty video I threw together so that you could see all the possibilities. I like the ones at the end best.

Jennifer Hana (rez: 8/4/2006) is Japanese and has a bold, clean, luxe design vocabulary.

There are many branches of her Sculptix shops throughout the grid. The Sculptmix: Transformable L Sofa with 10 variations is available by teleporting from here. I like her store at Cocoloco - which she also developed, best (teleport directly from here).

Cocoloco... an earlier NPIRL build

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A little animation for your viewing pleasure...

While this wasn't created in a virtual world, it is still a fun watch. Thank you, Patchouli Woollahra, for sending it our way.

Credits, as listed on YouTube:
kokiriko bushi / omodaka (far east recording)
Animation dir: teppei maki

Monday, April 28, 2008

Oh dear - Check your inventory

April 29, 12:30am Update: Earlier this evening, I received an email from Dizzy Banjo who shared with me that Bid Messmer had just confirmed some problems regarding inventory management issues. I just spoke with Bid, and this is what I learned...

Bid Messmer: I have always worked on scripting exercises and things just to test ideas, I save them for later in case what I learned becomes useful. I don't have to start over. This was a project I did that was based on hive behaviour in physical prims... and I am now working on a project were I have to script a bunch of insects, so it would have been handy not to have to spend another week re-inventing the wheel.

Now I try to rez the object and it doesn't show... I can hand it to others, and they can't rez either. I filed a ticket. Rowen Linden came and she tried to rez things she hadn't rezzed in a long time, too, and her things didn't rez either, so she went and asked the Inventory Management team. She came back to say that she had spoken with the project manager of Inventory Management, and had been told that back on September 12th of last year, Linden Lab had run a program that collected unused objects and removed them from the database.

Back a ways, if an object wasn't rezzed by anyone between Sept 12th and early December, they had a program sweep through and delete it permanently from the server.

How prevalent is that? Have you found anyone else with that problem?

Bid Messmer: Yeah, a few, including Lindens who never heard about this. Their inventory team said it only deleted items that were unreferenced and not in an active account... deleted accounts and such. I am a VERY active account. Here all the time. I have about 4-5 things so far I found that will never rez again. This is just a warning to everyone, if you've got important projects, to rez them every few months.

Which Lindens did you speak with?

Bid Messmer: I am not sure which Lindens were on the dev groups commenting. I had a friend relay for me, but Rowen Linden was my Concierge contact and did the leg work and got the answer. Talked with her today on the phone with a Concierge call.

You discovered this today?

Bid Messmer: No, I first noticed this a week or two ago, but with all the asset issues I figured I'd try again later.

So you kept on trying?

Bid Messmer: Yeah. A few items, all from a while ago. If the item was transferred to someone else, and that other item was rezzed in that time frame, it seems to have protected it from that sweep. So a commercial item is likely not to be affected. If anyone else has a copy, then likely protected. Also, since they admit they run this on deleted/inactive accounts, it's likely a glitch that doesn't effect everyone, but I know damn well I wasn't ever out in that time.

Before and after I spoke with Bid, I rezzed several items to see if I ran into any troubles. I also contacted Tayzia Abattoir, owner of the longest-running museum in Second Life® - the Crescent Moon - since my immediate concern was that valuable and extremely rare pieces of art that she holds in her inventory might have gone missing. I am happy to report that she has not yet found any unrezzable objects. I agree with the two people who commented here that I should have waited until I had more of the facts, but the initial information I received was comprehensive enough for me to believe that the issue exists. Has anyone else experienced troubles with this?


I've just been informed that any object in your inventory that you didn't rez between September 12, 2007 and early December, 2007, may very well be g*o*n*e. While the objects may show in your inventory, they are likely unrezzable. More info soon.

If you find that this has happened to you, would you please let me know?

The Perils of Mixed Realities events - as experienced by Hamlet Au

Last Thursday, and in the company of my friends and NPIRLers Pavig Lok and Flea Bussy, I teleported into a recreation of a penthouse in Manhattan. The event - a mixed realities party on the occasion of the Real Life and Second Life® book signing of Wagner James Au's (aka Hamlet Au) The Making of Second Life.

Hamlet was in New York city, in the company of Iris Ophelia, to speak at a Fashion Institute of Technology event. In fact, Iris gave the keynote address on the Institute's Technology Day. Go Iris! As an aside, there's a girl who's inventory I'd like to raid any old day of the week.

Since Hamlet was already in the Big Apple, the opportunity to throw a Real Life media bash in his honor was... um... low-hanging fruit, so his publisher - HarperCollins - did just that.

Falk Bergman, Hamlet Au, KallfuNahuel Matador, oh-dear-I-didn't-get-her-name- but-she-was-very-nice, and Flea Bussy

I've never attended a mixed realities event on the Real Life end, and I tend to get engrossed with the people around me - in any life - so I can well sympathize with Hamlet who was torn between attending to his guests in Manhattan, as well as the avatars who were present at the pixelated penthouse. I understand that there was a balcony that he kept heading for, during which time he would leave us avatars to our own devices, and his white-suited self would slip into "away."

Fortunately for him, Iris - who was also present in both worlds - would stand up and jiggle his mouse now and then to bring him back to life - but there was really nothing she could do short of operating his avatar - in the face of the onslaught of tricks that some of us (I'm not naming names) pulled on the poor man.

The lovely Iris Ophelia kept coming to Hamlet's rescue

Various lamp shades were placed on his head, a skirt wrapped around his waist, garbage bags rested at his feet, and cockroaches the size of Saint Bernard doggies visited him.

I stashed my photographic records of these horrors (lol) away, thinking they would never see the light of day, but then Kit Meredith blogged about it and, good sport that he is, Hamlet did, too.

It is a concern, isn't it? Those of us who inhabit virtual worlds must live two lives, and it gets even more complicated when we have to be present - and darling, witty and engaged - in two places at once.

A picture that is worth $100L - and you get wings, too

Just for fun, I will give $100L to anyone who posts a photograph of themselves wearing these wings (not any others!) as a Flickr comment to my photograph (below), which I've posted on Flickr, by May 3rd.

Here's how you do it:

* Find one of the incredible promotional triptychs for the Garden of NPIRL Delights created by Rezzable Productions for this build festival, anywhere on the grid.

* If you ask me where you might find a triptych, or contact me in ANY way with ANY question regarding this $100L giveaway, you will be immediately disqualified. The idea is that you seek it out. What would be a logical place for you to find it?

* Accept these wings by Kaeli Candour from that generous object. They are free, and come with a few other great goodies.

* Wear the wings.

* Photograph yourself in them. You do not have to copy my posture in the photograph above. In fact, I look forward to seeing what you come up with! Importantly, it should be easy to see that the wings you are wearing are the ones given out by the triptych.

* Post your pic on Flickr (you will need a Flickr account to participate, and Flickr accounts are free).

* Go to the "all sizes" menu above your photograph, select "small" and copy the html code.

* Go to my photograph on Flickr here, and add that html code to the comment box, and make sure I have your in-world name.

* One prize per participant.

* Good till Saturday, May 3, 2008, 11:59pm SLT.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

An object that is really an event: The Garden of NPIRL Delights promotional triptych

The triptych created by the Rezzable Productions team to promote their joint effort with us, the Not Possible in Real Life group, is simply without equal in the promotional category.

Click to see large (pretty crazy stuff here)

The 4-sim, 2-month build festival - Garden of NPIRL Delights - is getting underway, but there is still LOTS of room for more builders. FOUR sims, people! If you own or manage a sandbox, would you consider rezzing this 24-prim baby there? It will autoadjust depending on the stage of the festival, so you may leave it rezzed.

What do I mean when I call it an event? Check this out...

The freebies alone... a pair of wings, a halo, and a lightning bolt that you can zap... um... others with, are top retail quality.

The festival is open to all builders and building begins tomorrow. The sims will open to the public on May 14th. We are very interested in discovering unknown builders, in helping intermediate builders along (there will be tutorials and all sorts of events once the festival opens to the public), and group collaborations, too.

Several of the grid's most talented creators made this explosive (literally) promo for the festival... It really is more of an event than an object. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you would like a copy of it.

Hieronymus Bosch: Painting
Ordinal Malaprop: All scripting and building
Spiral Walcher: Flowers and lightning bolt
Kaelie Candour: Wings
Madcow Cosmos: Devils
Vint Falken: Several textures
RightasRain Rimbaud: Project Director

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Oh, go be a kite!

Let's just say you want to create an art installation in Second Life® that has lots of wriggly things that move like waves and open and shut depending on what side you are on, or emit a different sound for each phantom prim you traverse. If you are not a coder, then you'd do well to turn to Desdemona Enfield, who once scripted the acclaimed FlowerBall: An Interactive Thingy and DynaFleur. Desde has been busy, as usual, "developing projective geometry tools to, I hope, automate (or semi-automate) the reproduction of Firstlife structures (buildings, statues, landscapes) within a VR environment," she tells me. That's pretty much the kind of answer you can expect from Desde any time you ask, "What have you been up to?" So when Desde expressed interested in Blue Tsuki's art gallery, I hastened to invite her to prepare a guest blog post, and fortunately for all of us, she agreed.

Meanwhile, photographer Stephen Venkman, who's work often graces these pages, and whose limited editions sell out overnight, spent a happy evening yesterday with his wife, Kimberly Mirabeau, playing with Blue's works and recording the moment. It gives me pleasure to share with you their combined impressions on the work of a new-to-us and highly imaginative artist, and Impossible IRL'er, too.

By Desdemona Enfield
all photography by Stephen Venkman

With an exhibition at his Fine Art Gallery (teleport directly from here), Blue Tsuki (rez: 9/3/2006) presents three of his works: Kite, DNA, and Shadowbox.

KITES is an array of kite strings extending from the ground into the sky, each having a stylized avatar shape at the upper end, its proto-arms extended as if flying in the breeze. A visitor may either sit on the ground, where she grasps the string and leans back to brace against the force of the kite, or sit on the string, in which case she becomes the flying kite.

As a one person experience, the scene leads me to contemplate the author-avatar relationship, the author being that mysterious entity that sits at a computer and breathes life into an avatar. The avatar soars in the breeze of a virtual existence, light as a feather, totally free, except for the constraint that connects it to the author... a connection which, if severed by a logout, renders the avatar lifeless, fluttering to the ground of non-existence.

Seen as a two person experience, I became mindful of the oscillating dynamic between two autonomous individuals. When one person chooses to be the anchor of the relationship, then the other is free to swoop and dive through life, zooming about, floating, exploring. Yet, as with a kite, the apparent freedom of the airborne person is conditioned upon the tension applied by the ground person. Should the ground person let loose the line, the flyer will fall to the earth. It is only in the tension between them that the exhilarating living experience becomes possible.

After playing with this exhibit, I ran back to the reception and started asking total strangers, "Please, come fly me!!" As you might imagine, reactions were mixed.

AVATARHELIX consists of two helical strands spiraling upward. Between the strands, are pose prims which cause an avatar to stretch out and begin an animated rotisserie rotation, thereby representing one of the DNA links. The animation is subtle in that it moves the avatar in a manner that is consistent with arms and legs having weight.

When I experience this sight, my mind tells me that we are our DNA, and that the information contained in the pattern of those interspiral links creates us... that we are an expression of the DNA, we are the links within the DNA.

I asked Blue if he had hired a model and tied her to a large rotisserie grill in order to get the weight effect of that animation. He laughed and said that he himself had been the model.I congratulated him on a job done well, and expressed my concern that he had not been "well done."

SHADOWBOX is a collection of screens and pose prims. When a pose is selected, the avatar disappears behind the screen and begins a slow animation. The shadow of the avatar appears on the screen. The screens are not passive objects. Each screen has a distinctive moving pattern that keeps you aware that both a screen and an avatar are present. There is a relationship between the screen and the avatar that creates the view that you see.

There are numerous interpretations of projection which I will not bother to explicate. What fascinated me about the shadow box image was how distinctly recognizable they are. That was definitely my shadow on the screen. This illustrates that my outline is a significant aspect of my identity. It left me wondering if my mental focus on clothes and makeup is, perhaps, an aggrandizement of what are secondary details of my personal presentation.

This photograph by Desdemona Enfield

Also at his gallery is a display of his earlier works. If you sit and contemplate "SleepWalker," you will see an exposition of our relationships to our avatars and our dreams. If you take a friend and you both pose within "tunnel vision1.6," you will each have the sensation of that marvelous sense of energy flow between people that draws them into each other as if they were magnets. There is more, and I suggest that you explore.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Synthetic University: Blown up and rebirthed in under ten minutes

Yesterday morning, I attended the destruction and rebirth of the Synthetic University (teleport directly from here) in Second Life®, an event produced by MosMax Hax, the Austrian professor who leads the University, and a damn fine content creator himself. It's lamentable that I haven't managed to find the time to blog about his highly abstract and scripted Die Angewandte sim, and sensational installations - such as WhiteNoise - but I hope to someday soon. I suppose I do take some consolation in that I was able to share his Chris Marker project for the Museum für Gestaltung with you last month.

MosMax Hax, as photographed by Hardwarehacker Hoch

For the past five weeks, MosMax has supervised five of his students through the process of building and scripting the total demolition of the building that has served as the virtual sister to the Real Zurich University of the Arts (ZHDK). The "destruction" phase of yesterday's staged event was accomplished with striking similarity to a super dramatic and meticulously planned demolition in Real Life, except that - and this will come as no surprise to any seasoned Second Lifer - the finale of that phase culminated with a full-sim crash.

The original Synthetic University, as photographed by MosMax Hax

On the eve of destruction, Mosmax and his students ran several tests, as photographed by MosMax himself

What followed would definitely not be possible in Real Life... the creation of an entirely new University, in 4:10 minutes. Sim neighbor (she is creating the elegant Syncretia) and friend Alpha Auer commented, "I liked the old building with its overlaid textures a great deal, so it did sort of twist my heart to see it go."

"What ultimately emerged was something of swan like grace," continued Alpha. "Huge black and white bubble-like shapes create a dramatic contrast against the black and white square tiling. Transparent floors and ceiling merge indoors and outdoors. Color is provided by some elegantly designed red typographic waterfalls that pour out of the black and white bubble shaped containers."

Inside the Synthetic University, as photographed by Alpha Auer

It seems that the Real university is actually being relocated and will not be completed until sometime in 2009.

Kudos to MosMax and his students Rudebwoy Handayani, Chiaki Jie, Klabauterklaus Maximus, Nyaa Myoo and Akolyto Perfferle. That was nothing short of spectacular.

I am still learning how to make videos in-world, and awaiting my mail-ordered SpaceNavigator with increasing impatience, but here is what I managed to produce.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The dawning of a new era: COM Fun CLUB

For about ten days now, I have been obsessing over something called the COM Fun CLUB. Keep in mind, though... I only have a superficial understanding of what is going on there, and I'm sure that there are scores of inside jokes and details that are completely lost on me because I don't speak Japanese.

Nevertheless, I delight in what I do know, and I am extremely grateful to the lovely Yuyu Flores for introducing me, and to my new Japanese friends and gracious hosts who took the time to clue me in: NOW2000 Jewell, Maruru Mayo, and of course, Giorno Brando.

Let's get you started here. It all begins at the entrance of COM Collection 2008 (teleport directly from here).

The COM is a cute little green bird. You can get your own for $20L, and it is full perm.

You can also pick up a free test tube to later exhibit your COM after you have customized it, although I don't know if your bird would be accepted at COM Collection 2008.

Here is a mug shot of my first mods to my own COM. It's meh, and mini meh!

I met with NOW2000 Jewell, who owns the sim the COM Collection sits on. She was in the company of Maruru Mayo...

Maruru Mayo and NOW2000 Jewell... hula COMs

...and Giorno Brando, who also happens to make the best sushi in Second Life, as far as I can tell.

Giorno Brando - island COM

NOW2000 used a translator, which delayed the conversation a bit, but not uncomfortably. Sure would be nice to have an equivalent translator for English to Japanese...

How did this get started?

NOW2000 Jewell: Originally, the companion showed the work each other. It made it to the form like the exhibition because it was good at work. The person named Giorno Brando made (the first) COM.

The companions all have companies?

NOW2000 Jewell: It is not a character of the enterprise. Customizing inadvertently started recently.

How many people make COM?

NOW2000 Jewell: Now, the confirmed number is about 30.

Do you have more (COM)? Or do you wear the same ones every time?

NOW2000 became very pink and rosy

Maruru Mayo: 3.....4 brothers? lol

NOW2000 Jewell: lol. Other companions become the one that has been exhibited.

And yes! The periphery of the Collection area features dozens of very fine and unique COM, all standing in their test tubes.

Golden COM By Giorno Brando

COM photographer (and videographer, too!) by Miyaoka Hitchcock

COM nurse by Kisskiss Zemlja who also makes the incredible un-real avatar

I was invited to fly up to the COM coop... and that's when I learned how to dance!

NOW2000 gave me some special maracas for tinies, and then came further instructions:

NOW2000 Jewell: ^^ say action!

Suddenly my avatar was shaking the maracas and dancing with my friends.

NOW2000 Jewell
: Say stop

Bettina: stop

Our avatars came to a grinding halt.

NOW2000 Jewell: say manbo!

Bettina :D manbo?

NOW2000 Jewell: manbo!

Bettina: manbo!

Oh, we were really hitting it to a hot Latin tune, and shaking those maracas, all together!

Maruru Mayo: Yay, you can do it. :D

NOW2000 Jewell: When he or she hears the command, the person who has the maraca begins to dance all together.

I filmed a few sequences during this gathering but, lamentably, I made several errors. I even went back the next day with Madcow Cosmos, Ellen Boyd, and Rand Lanzius, but the audio was still messed up, so you will just have to go and experience this yourselves.

Ellen, me, Rand, and Madcow whooping it up

There's an awful lot going on at COM Fun CLUB, and it appears to be changing every day. There is one aspect to all this that I find a bit disturbing... it appears that they eat their own...

You are cannibals? You eat COM also? :D

Maruru Mayo: Lol
Giorno Brando: !
NOW2000 Jewell: It is coming to want to eat, dear.

I see you are cooking your COM.

Maruru Mayo: Yes, it super joke, lol > eat COM.
Giorno Brando: (I ate curry... very delicious).
NOW2000 Jewell: It is delicious.


Giorno Brando: I'm not dinner! XD
Maruru Mayo: COM = Bird = fried? Boiled? Baked? lol
NOW2000 Jewell: hehehe
Giorno Brando: I'm only a parrot.

After such a pleasant time, I took my leave of the COM Fun Club and my new friends, and pondered... could this be the dawning of a whole new era in my Second Life? And then I let out a little chirpy sigh...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Crescent Moon Museum showcases Cheen Pitney's privately-held cache

Canadian sculptor Cheen Pitney's new show, The Sin of Commission, at Tayzia Abattoir's Crescent Moon Museum, features only those works that he has created on commission for private clients. This is a rare opportunity to see, in one fell swoop, many sculptures that reside mostly in private settings and in Cheen's inventory.

Cheen works with traditional prims to create these beauties, and has been sculpting since he arrived in Second Life on 7/9/2006.

On Friday, April 25th at 6pm SLT, Cheen will give a talk about this art and his personal evolution and exploration as an artist in Second Life, also at the Crescent.

I especially love what he has done to the entrance of the museum. Teleport directly from here.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Keiko Morigi's Second Life + Photoshop combo = Art to spectacular effect

Second Life has been used before as a platform to create Real Life art anew, as can be seen in AM Radio's magnificent Death of Marat, portrayed here on Hamlet Au's New World Notes, and of course, in Robbie Dingo's absolutely unforgettable recreation and video of van Gogh's The Starry Night, among others.

What interests me especially about Swede Keiko Morigi's (she goes by the name [enter name here] on Flickr) (rez: 3/1/2007) recent work is that she sets up and photographs the recreation within Second Life, which, in her words "did look pretty crappy inworld... LOL... but ta-da... gotta love PS!" She is referring to Photoshop, of course... and her approach, which obviously met with much success here, is yet another way that Second Life can serve as a foundation for creating art.

Keiko Morigi's "Baglione," made possible with the participation of friends and models (and significant photographers themselves) Khamudy Mannonen and Raul Crimson.

In 1602, early baroque painter, author and Roman Giovanni Baglione created Heavenly love conquering earthly love, a favorite example of art historians to demonstrate the Chiaroscuro technique that was very much in vogue at the time, which focused on contrasting light and shadows softly to highlight and add volume to three-dimensional images.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The perfect pick-me-up: The Pink Fizz

Feeling low? Not your day today? Awwww. We can make it better! Juliet Ceres, owner of Bright Relics and Bitter Thorns, has teamed up with 713 Ayres, and artoo Magneto to create this charming steampunk avatar: The Fizz, available in loads of colors. Wear it and I guarantee you'll feel better. Teleport directly from here.

I shot this postage stamp of a Machinima at Chakryn Forest by Andrek Lowell. Music by D. DiFonzo and Scott P. Schreer.

Keystone Bouchard's "Wikisonic" to get Real at the Tech Virtual Museum

"Turns out, I guess, that it actually is possible in Real Life. Go figure!" said Keystone Bouchard (aka Jon Brouchoud). Gasp! He was referring to his Wikisonic project, an instrument for collaborative musical composition that he created in-world with the technical assistance of Annie Obscure, and the scripting assistance of Dirty McLean, and that I blogged about back in early November.

Keystone is the founder of Architecture Islands, an incubator for architects and designers in virtual worlds, and also leads the Architecture in Second Life community group. He is co-founder of Studio Wikitecture, a Web 2.0 based architectural collaboration methodology, and founder of Crescendo Design, a studio specialized in developing sustainable design concepts. His ‘Nutrihouse’ design was chosen for construction in the Cradle-to-Cradle Home competition from over 625 entries worldwide. And I could go on for quite a while longer here, but let me hurry on to tell you the news...

In early February, Keystone got it into his head to submit Wikisonic to the Tech Virtual Museum Workshop in San Jose, California. "The main idea of the project was to invite collaboration, virtual and otherwise, toward the design of museum exhibits for The Tech museum. By submitting the concept, I had essentially open sourced the Wikisonic idea," explained Keystone, and like so many of the concepts that he conceives, it is now licensed under a Creative Commons license, and can be reused as long as Keystone is given credit.

In the Real Life version of Wikisonic, for which Keystone won a cash prize of $5,000 US, visitors will see a series of notes arranged on a wall similar to the notes on a musical staff. Each note will have a switch, with activates and de-activates both a light and an audible tone (each note in a scale in the key of C) contained within each note/switch. A trigger perpetually circulates through the score. As it passes by, it will play only the notes that have been activated by visitors.

The Second Life version, which Theory Shaw and I had the privilege to try out in this video with Keystone, can be seen here. When you active or de-activate a note, the installation changes - in real time - and a collective "song" emerges.

You can play with Wikisonic in Second Life, by teleporting directly from here to Keystone's Gallery of Reflexive Architecture. The Real Life exhibit in San Jose will open in June, and Keystone will be there.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The myth of Babel comes alive: Babelswarm

In September of 2007, the Australia Council for the Arts announced the winners of its $20,000 (Aus Dollars) - then the equivalent of $4 million Lindens - Second Life arts residency.

Now, Adam Ramona (aka Adam Nash), Mashup Islander (aka Christopher Dodds), and Justin Clemens (a senior lecturer at the School of Culture and Communications, Melbourne University) have just unveiled the fruit of that grant: BabelSwarm.

I contacted Adam, whom I've written about before, and asked him to explain the concepts and workings behind this new effort.

Adam Ramona: Babelswarm is an interactive audiovisual installation based on the myth of Babel and the principles of swarming. It is a mixed reality installation, with a Real Life installation at the Lismore Regional Gallery, New South Wales, Australia...

...and a Second Life installation at the ACVA sim - Australian Centre for Virtual Art, (teleport directly from here).

Adam Ramona: All chat in the sim is monitored and stored to an online database. Voice triggers in the Real Life gallery, or interaction within the Second Life sim, trigger the sky to rain down phrases from the database. These phrases fall apart upon spawning, and the individual letters are programmed to try to reform the word they came from. Unfortunately for them, all they know is their original position in their word. They don't know what the word is or what letters they are. An emergent tower of letters forms, constantly recombining upon interaction with avatars and other letterforms. It is an emergent audiovisual interactive sculpture constructed dynamically by the users themselves.

Adam Ramona: Each letter chooses one of a range of sounds upon birth. These sounds are sourced from many different Real Life people saying the phrase "And the whole earth was of one language and of one speech," the first line of the Biblical story of Babel (Genesis 11), in their native language, including Cantonese, Greek, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Mandarin, Malay, Romanian, Singhalese and English. These sounds are harmonically effected using my rational scale. Each letter has two states: hibernation and seeking. When seeking, it is actively looking for other letters to reform its word with. When touched by an avatar in this state, the letter will die. When hibernating, it sits still waiting to be reactivated into a seeking state by either a touch/collision from an avatar or collision with a seeking letterform.


Now that BabelSwarm exists in both real and virtual form, the possibility of setting up that installation in other Real Life galleries and museums is entirely plausible. More information is available here.