Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Machine Poems and (virtual) sculpted storybook by Bryn Oh

Posted by Bettina Tizzy
Poetry by Bryn Oh
Photography by Dil Spitz "DilSpi" - ©All rights reserved

An acquaintance of mine has had several of her storybooks for children published with some success. In fact, she makes a decent living in Los Angeles in this manner and that is quite an accomplishment given that writers and illustrators with ideas for children's books are a dime a dozen. But there is an opportunity created by virtual worlds that intrigues me and I expect will pique the interest of book publishers, too. Eventually... One of these days now.... Seriously! I cannot, for the life of me, understand why they haven't capitalized on this platform already. Certainly animation studios and production houses are beginning to look at virtual world imagery as both a source and a resource (I can tell you that folks from Disney are frequent readers of this blog) and conceptually, I do believe that even a television commercial for a major brand may have been heavily inspired by content created in Second Life®.

Virtual artist Bryn Oh is already considered a master at delivering supremely immersive environments through the use of her sculptures coupled with original prose, poetry and even a play in which the attendees took part. There are simply thousands of us - virtual residents - who have attempted to explain to each other how moved we've felt by what we've experienced through her art via photographs, blogposts and machinima.

Her newest installation, curated by Tezcatlipoca Bisiani (aka Andrew Sempere) at one of the two IBM art sims in Second Life - Rabbicorn - is a second installment on her dark but moving Daughter of the Gears story. And it really is a story. Instead of turning the pages, we teleport to the next chapter. Instead of gazing upon the illustrations on a 2D page, we walk around the characters and situations. We hear the music, we move in and out of light and shadows. We are right there. But even if you never logged in to Second Life, the potential for the events to unfold in a traditional book is very much there through the use of well executed photography.

German photographer Dil Spitz "DilSpi," instantly agreed to capture some images of Rabbicorn for this blogpost when I approached her, given that she is already a fan of Bryn's work. Dil donates the proceeds of all sales of her images taken in Second Life to organizations that help stalking victims in Real Life. Keep in mind that Rabbicorn is a predominately dark build, so photography in this case was a challenge and Dil respectfully did not tweak the gamma or brightness.

The Machine Poems that follow on this page were written by Bryn for previous installations and not for Rabbicorn, but I thought I'd post them here to give you a taste of her storylines.


All my friends
Are charlatans
And Videonauts
In dark nights
With search lights
Broken hearts
Are useful parts
Carry me
From the street
And love me though
I'm obsolete

26 Tines

The laboratory is silent
The scientists gone
We have seven hours
Before the dawn
Come to me through the half-light
To my jar by the rack
Surrender your cord
To the adaptor on my back
26 tines
At the end of your cable
Connect you to me
So that we are able
To feel emotions drawn
Through the cables caress
And forget till the dawn
Our loneliness


All my dreams
Were programmed by you
So that they would
All come true
Fly on the wall
Then to the street
When obsolete
If I could only see you
One more time
Maybe you would
Change your mind
Resale hunters
With laser beams
Take all the parts but
My hardwired dreams

Teleport to Rabbicorn directly from here.

Here are just some of the blogposts we've done about Bryn and her work in Second Life: