Friday, October 17, 2008

Wonky wacky Steampunk wonderfulness

UPDATE! Bogon Flux is in flux, but will soon have a new home. It is no longer rezzed at Hambone or China. We'll keep you posted.

One of the more impressive installations in recent memory is a gone-bonkers Steampunk structure that builds upon itself and then sheds parts or all but its base to begin anew. Pipes and doorways (many of them open with a touch) make it possible to navigate from one section to another until, that is, it decides to cut you loose.

The towering structure was shown at the recent BL, but the lag was so fierce that despite three trips expressly to see it, my only view was one of grey goo.

I was tickled then when its creators, blotto Epsilon (rez 9/17/2005) and Cutea Benelli (rez 3/10/2007), who's scrap metal fashions we reviewed here just ten days ago, alerted me to the fact that now and for two weeks, Bogon Flux is fluxing and mutating and growing like a happy bush in the Wastelands, and may I say... the experience is pure high-energy pleasure.

A fully "grown" Bogon Flux - but mind you, it is never the same way twice. Says blotto: "The organic architecture idea had been rattling around in my head for a while, like buckshot in a rusted tuna can"

... in the act of shedding its parts

Have you worked on projects together before?

Blotto Epsilon: This is our first. Before that, we got to know each other exchanging disgusting meat objects.

blotto Epsilon

Is this what the name Bogon Flux is about? If so, I'm impressed! I'm clueless here... have no idea what it all means.

blotto Epsilon: That's a workable definition. We are all about bogosity. I have a different one for myself: the Bogon Flux is an aura that surrounds me which causes computers to crash. But in fact, in this case, it was a placeholder name that we never replaced :) Another possible explanation is that it was a from a long forgotten headbonk induced vision, which I just recently rediscovered in a jar in my refrigerator.

Wherever you go, you are likely to run into the eyeball

What books do you two read? Are there any particular authors or books or movies, that influence your designs?

blotto Epsilon: I admire the work of writers and directors like William Gibson, Hayao Miyazaki, Terry Gilliam, Caro + Jeunet, but I would probably dispute that my part of this came about as a result of design :)

Cutea Benelli: Strangely enough, I seem to have missed out on all the books and films that people are reminded of by Bogon Flux. I like the work of Charlie Kaufman, Kim Ki-Duk, Kubrick, to mention a few that start with a K. As for books, I'm a glutton, as long as it's quality, so I wouldn't want to blame anybody in particular but assume instead it's everybody else's fault but ours.

blotto Epsilon: I left out Tim Burton.

Would you say that bogon flux is steampunk? If not, what genre would you say it is?

blotto Epsilon: Probably that, or plumbingpunk.

Cutea Benelli: Dizzy Banjo called it steamboink. That felt pretty accurate.

What is your favorite item in the build?

blotto Epsilon: One of Cutea's modules was a Parisian cafe. We rejoiced when those were rezzed close to the root (lower probability of decay there). Nice place to hang out and share a glass of wine (until your ass is dumped on the ground :)

blotto and Cutea at the Parisian cafe

Cutea Benelli: I'm a nerd. I like the pipes.

I am particularly fond of the windows. What a delight it is to look out onto the post-apocalyptic Wastelands.

The sharp contrast of the ornate filigree against the grungy, dusty rooms and tubes is both daring and refreshing

What has surprised people the most in the build?

Cutea Benelli: Hard to say, but it seems to be either the fact that it actually builds itself or that it explodes under their buttocks.

If you were to customize my visit, what are the top three things you'd have me do/see/experience at Bogon Flux?

blotto and Cutea:
1. Let you knock it down. The boom button is fun.
2. Incorporate a module of your own design into the organism.
3. Make sure that the Parisian cafe module rezzes.

Cutea and blotto didn't hesitate to stack burly pipes with delicate and very surprising items

What do you like best about it?

blotto Epsilon: The unpredictability... not knowing what it will build. Cutea made dozens of lovely custom modules to keep the structure diverse and surprising.

Cutea Benelli: I like all the things people read into it. And the boom button, of course.

What were the biggest challenges?

blotto Epsilon: SL® permissions. They are essential and powerful, but they nearly made us hate each other (well, not really, but sense of humor was essential). Also, having to clean up after broken scripts and scattered debris throughout my neighbors' 13 Wastelands sims.

Does Bogon Flux need a home? If so, how many prims do you need?

blotto Epsilon: Due to the generousity of friend and neighbor Makaio Stygian, it's running in Hambone Slash in the Wastes for the next couple of weeks. It can run reasonably with a few hundred prims, but it's more fun with a few thousand :)

This photograph of Cutea by Cutea herself

How would you describe the steampunk palette? From the (fab) looks of both of you, it's your groove.

blotto Epsilon: I quite like steampunk, but I'm also biased towards the wasted/recycled appearance of stuff in the wastelands. Living here has shaped my appreciation for the construction value of decrepit burned-out salvage.

Cutea Benelli: Agreed. Love steampunk, love post-apoc, but also oscillate between a lot of other styles. Life's too short for purism anyway.

To get to Bogon Flux, teleport here and then look for these coordinates (or the building itself!): 218/203/75.


Unknown said...

This is wonderful. How do you make sure it doesn't overlap with itself? And could it be done with a non-tree structure, with potential loops?


epsilon said...

before branching, it probes for sufficient unoccupied room within the volume that bounds its growth (can be non-convex). the probes are serialized to prevent competing branches from claiming the same space. it should be possible to accommodate cycles, though i've not thought hard about the details.

qarl said...

i gotta say - this was my favorite exhibit at BL. i picked-up one of the freebee hats and haven't taken it off since.

Dale Innis said...

This is one of my favorite 3 or 4 SL things ever! I am in awe, and terribly envious that it wasn't me what did it. :)

Anonymous said...

so sad that this is gone! i went to see it but its not there. has it moved somewhere? i want to take a walk in it...