Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Tower and the Quest

Forgive me, dear readers, if I congratulate myself again and again for luring Alpha Auer (aka Elif Ayiter) into becoming my co-blogger here. Sometimes she writes and I don't. Sometimes I write alone for weeks. Somehow, this blog doesn't get overly lonely. And oh, the things she creates! She amuses me; she fills me with awe.

On this occasion, and for Burning Life 2009, the Tower and the Quest was built by Alpha Auer, the story and animations were created by Frigg Ragu, and these sumptuous avatars by Grapho Fullstop. And guess who Grapho is?

Me, as the Fool

The five sets of avatars are based on the Tarot of Marseilles. They are free and available in both female and male versions. They come with their own animation overriders by Frigg! Wear them and pose, using the delightful poses sprinkled throughout the Tower. Visitors are encouraged to interact with the build and each other, creating their own interpretations and mythologies.

The rest of these images were taken by Alpha herself.

The Hermit


The Chariot

The notecard at the installation reads:

Upon arriving you will receive a full avatar for each of the following characters which you can obtain from 5 spheres placed around a circle at the entry location: These are "The Fool", "The Hermit", "The Chariot", "Temperance" and "The Moon" with skin, clothes and attached poses/animations. These characters are based on the “Tarot of Marseilles”. Each character has their own stage/sphere which progress vertically as the platforms of the tower – but you are free to use the entire installation as you want, of course. In addition to the poses and animations attached to the avatars, you will find poses and animation placed around and inside the installation. Walk/fly around, try the poses and animations to create your own photostory. Use all of your senses, because there are details in the spheres and sounds to enrich your imagination.

A story usually contains the following elements: A character (protagonist), a place (which you now have), a problem and an antagonist. The spheres are detailed, the poses and animations have titles – all this is provided to inspire you to create a story.

Tarot are packs of cards found all the way back to the fifteenth century. Historically Tarot has been played for divination purposes. The “Tarot of Marseilles” is one standard pattern design of the card. Within our context it is not so much the divination usage that is interesting, but rather the design and folkloristic associations the cards give. The 5 specific characters chosen for this project form a narration. The fool is regarded as the storyteller/the creator, while the hermit is the protagonist, whose actions are represented by the Chariot, while Temperance is needed in “getting the story into balance after the action” and the Moon is the end of the story.

Take photographs of your stories and creations and show us the results! If you post your pictures at FLICKR, we would appreciate it if you tag the pictures with: “The tower and the quest”, “alpha.tribe” and “Poses for prose and poetry” - in this way we will be able to find your pictures and admire and be inspired by your creations, and thus get ideas for new narrative installations.


Alpha Auer, aka. Elif Ayiter is a totally irreverent, mischievous, politically incorrect, frivolous, fashion victim avatar in Second Life@. She is the CEO of the virtual fashion enterprise alpha.tribe as well as the builder and owner of Syncretia and Syncretia Annex. During less frivolous moments she has also been known to blog for the NPIRL blog of Second Life@.

Elif Ayiter, aka. Alpha Auer is a designer and researcher specializing in the development and implementation of hybrid educational methodologies between art&design and computer science teaching full time at Sabanci University, Istanbul, Turkey. Her research interests include data visualization and the development of Kinesthetic/Somatic/Biological interfaces for the metaverse; both in collaboration with teams of computer scientists. She has presented creative as well as research output at conferences including Siggraph, Consciousness Reframed, Creativity and Cognition, ISEA, ICALT, Computational Aesthetics (Eurographics) and Cyberworlds. Elif is also the chief editor of the forthcoming journal Metaverse Creativity with Intellect Journals, UK and is currently studying for a doctoral degree at the Planetary Collegium, CAiiA hub, at the University of Plymouth with Roy Ascott.


Frigg Ragu aka. Heidi Dahlsveen (Norway) is a storyteller, author and assistant professor at the University College of Oslo. Her main field and interest is to perform stories for all kind of people and she has lived as a storyteller since 1996. She has been performing, telling and teaching internationally in countries like Bulgary, Denmark, England, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Sweden, USA and Wales. At the University College of Oslo she is responsible for three kinds of storytelling studies. In Second life her main interest has been how to create poses as a narrative element. She has received support from Norwegian Arts Council to research performing arts and create performance in Second life.


Miskat Qinan: Many special thanks for all the input during the early phases of concept development!

Marcthur Goosson: Drapes (The Hermit and Temperance avatars)
Nomasha Syaka: Sculpty horse (The Chariot avatar)
Tetrahedron Fayray: Greek amphora (Temperance avatar)
Philips Replacement: Blonde Beauty female hair (Temperance avatar)
Flame Trudeau: Male hair (Temperance avatar)
Kithylin Perth: Wolf heads (The Moon avatar)
Cognitive Gears: Facelight (The Moon avatar)

Teleport directly from here.


Alpha Auer said...

You are so fast Bettina that there is really no catching up with you at all is there?

I want to underscore how very important Frigg's role has been here: Although she argues endlessly with me on this one, she is the one who developed the story here. What I know about Tarot (and storytelling for that matter) can be written on the back of a postage stamp, with plenty of room left over for an awful lot of hhhs.

Frigg had been creating a series of poses and images based upon the Tarot of Marseilles which she was posting onto her Flickr feed and so basically we took it from there. Or rather, she took it from there, I should amend. On top of which she has been a great collaborator, giving lots of good solid advice, with rare good humor. Couldn't have worked out more beautifully. So, thank you Frigg - again and again...

Unknown said...

Thank you so much Bettina Tizzy for blooging us. And thank you too Alpha for giving me this learning curve. I feel very honoured for both the blog and the work I have seen and experienced grow. I know the tools and experience given to me by Alpha will benefit both lifes.