Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Art directing

I have been asked by a couple of friends/acquaintances to be the art director for a performance art piece they're doing called "The Labor Project." Basically, I am building the setting and giving input on how it should appear visually, although the core of the project is all theirs. I've also been asked to find people to give it some press (bloggers, SL photographers, etc.).

The building's going fairly well, but the some of the subject matter addressed by the project (pregnancy) makes me fairly uncomfortable, so that's been a bit of an obstacle. Still, I do like to challenge myself. Hopefully things will work out.


More details to come.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Friday Five - Thinking Warm Thoughts

1. What is your favorite hot beverage?
Hmm, I have several -- hot lemonade (half a lemon squeezed into a mugful of hot water & sweetened with honey - perfect when you've got a cold or sore throat), tea of many varieties (peppermint, Good Earth, Earl Grey), good coffee, Starbucks green tea latte (which is like a meal in itself), hot apple cider.

2. Describe your favorite hot food?
How can I possibly narrow it down? There are so many good hot foods. A few comfort foods that immediately spring to mind are grilled cheese & tomato soup; oatmeal with maple syrup, brown sugar, & cinnamon; oeufs cocottes (basically an egg with soft cheese, salt & pepper, & a sprinkling of herbs baked in a ramekin in a water bath - there are infinite variations on the ingredients) with buttered rye toast; miso soup; baked potatoes... there are a million good hot foods.

3. What piece of clothing makes you feel warm and snuggly the moment you put it on?
My wool socks, my stripey sweater, & my polar fleece pullover that my mom made me for Christmas this year.


4. Do you warm up your car on cold days? Do you run the heat all the time or just enough to defrost the windows?
I don't have a (driveable) car at the moment, but I usually didn't warm up my car unless I had to defrost the windows -- not only is it a waste of gas, but I'm too impatient to wait.

5. What is your ideal warm-weather vacation spot?
I have no idea. There's plenty of places I'd like to check out someday, but I'm currently too poor (and a little agoraphobic).

Friday, January 18, 2008

Friday Five - Healthy Habits

1. Do you wear sunscreen? Do you use it everyday or just when you're at the beach?
I wear sunscreen only if I think I'm going to be spending a significant amount of time in the direct sunlight (which isn't often). However, I am pretty sure that the facial moisturizer I use contains sunscreen, and I use that almost daily.


2. How often do you brush your teeth? What about floss and flouride (sic)?
I brush twice, floss and rinse at least once.



3. Do you get at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day?
I try to. I like both fruits and veggies quite a lot so eating them is not a problem for me.


4. How often do you exercise? What do you do?
I'm a lazy sod. :P The most exercise I usually get is from running around at work. Although I sometimes do take walks or ride on my exercise bike.

5. Do you use a seatbelt every time you get into a car?
Almost always.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Lane's List: The Arts in Second Life

I was one of several artists interviewed by Nazz Lane for a blog article called The Arts in Second Life. Here is my portion:

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Nebulosus Severine - Art & Artist Network


What were some of last year’s key milestones in the SL art world and why were they significant?

In no particular order for chronology or importance, here are several milestones I can think of that had an impact on SL art in 2007:
  • The formation of Bettina Tizzy's NPIRL group, which has united some of the most influential and creative artists who use Second Life as a medium;

  • The Rezzable SIMs, such as Dark Swan and the Greenies installation, which devote entire SIMs to a particular theme or work;

  • The return of Starax Statosky, now known as Light Waves, who is arguably SL's most well-known and best loved artist;

  • Brian Eno's '77 million Paintings' installation, probably the most significant example of an SL-RL crossover art event;

  • The Second Life 4th Birthday celebration, which gathered together a wide range of artists, builders, and content creators, and was attended by thousands of residents, despite the massive technical problems plaguing the event.

  • Burning Life 2007, which was handled completely differently than any other year, causing a huge amount of controversy and drama for many residents involved, including the censoring of a sculpture by Cheen Pitney and resulting outcry as a result.

  • Project Open Letter, written to Linden Labs and signed by many residents frustrated with the repeated technical difficulties with Second Life. Many SL artists, some of the most passionate content creators, were among the thousands of residents to add their signature to the letter. http://www.projectopenletter.com/

  • The controversial "Keeping Second Life Safe, Together" post in the official Linden blog raised concerns of Free Speech and Free Expression for many SL artists. http://blog.secondlife.com/2007/05/31/keeping-second-life-safe-together/

  • Massive inventory losses affected many residents, among them important and highly respected content creators, such as Arcadia Asylum, whose frustration led her to leave Second Life for good.

Looking back to the start of last year, have things evolved the way you thought they would? Why or why not?

I personally did not anticipate the population of Second Life to grow so drastically. As a result, the art world has exploded here. I expected the art world to grow, but not as much as it actually did!


What were the trends that began last year that will have the greatest impact in 2008?

Artists selling "limited editions" of their work. This practice arose a fair amount of controversy, documented in part in ArtWorld Market's SLArt blog: http://slartblog.blogspot.com/2007/03/no-more-phony-limited-editions.html

Immersive sound installations, such as those created by Juria Yoshikawa, Daruma Picnic, and Adam Ramona.

Art SIMs, in which an entire SIM is devoted to a gallery or installation, such as the Rezzable sims or the collaborative 'Dynafleur' project on the Princeton South SIM.

Artist collectives, in which several significant artists with similar styles occupy a shared major gallery space, such as Oyster Bay (mostly sculpture) and The Cannery (featuring Snapshot photography).

Art blogging. Many individual artists and art collectives have blogs now. It's a great way to document events, gatherings and achievments as blogging is often the easiest (and usually free) way of creating a personal webpage. Many artists also have accompanying Flickr accounts to document their work and supplement their blogs.

"Mixed reality" events, SL art galleries or events that have a real life/first life equivalent occurring at the same time.

Live music events. These have been going on for a couple of years, but 2007 was the year that probably saw the greatest influx of new musical acts. I believe that this trend will continue to grow in 2008.

Windlight. While not a "trend," is something that will have a huge impact once it is fully integrated into SL. The atmospheric possibilities are almost endless for artists who are able to control SIM settings, and I imagine many will take the opportunity to incorporate Windlight aspects into their installations. There is also a new option for prims, "Glow," which will give sculptors even more to play with while building.


Have you explored other virtual worlds and has that had any influence on what you've done in SL? If you have, has what you've done there been influenced by what you've done or not done in SL?

Second Life is my first 3D online environment, so I have no outside influences from any other online worlds or MMORPGs.


What can we look forward to in 2008? (Events, openings, influences etc.)

I'm usually too wrapped up in my own projects to know about new events until they are happening! I am definitely looking forward to what Windlight will bring; I hope Linden Labs will be able to release a stable version of it this year. I've also got several personal and collaborative projects in mind for this year but, so far, those are all top secret!

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Read the rest of the interviews here:

http://laneslist.blogspot.com/2008/01/arts-in-second-life-part-one.html

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Thank you, Stephin Merritt...

... for this.




I rarely get excited about new music anymore, but I had to run out after work yesterday & buy this one.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

SL Topsites

I've submitted this blog to SL Topsites, so please vote for it if you get a chance.

Bowie bash, part deux

I'm having another gathering for the David Bowie birthday bash on Sunday, January 13th -- same location, but at 12 noon SLT/3 pm EST. I'll be posting pictures of the events early this week.

SLurl:
slurl.com/secondlife/Kress/169/87/638

Amsterdam sim gallery

One of the new owners of the Amsterdam sim contacted me recently and offered me a gallery space. It's not very big, but I always try to adapt what I'm going to be displaying to whatever environment it's in. Anyway, I kinda threw together this experimental piece --

'Come Closer'

In the info notecard:

'Come Closer'
------------------
Installation by Nebulosus Severine
------------------
This is a wall sculpture that will interact with nearby avatars. Walk close by and see for yourself.

SLurl:
http://slurl.com/secondlife/Amsterdam/181/140/25

* Edit:
Amsterdam has a fixed landing point which makes it more difficult to find my space. Once you arrive in the sim, exit that gate area, fly up in the sky and over some buildings, and follow the beacon.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Friday Five - Randomosity Redux!

1. What is your favourite fruit?
Strawberries.

2. What is the last book you read?
Ahab's Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund.

3. Do you like any of your school photos?
Yeah, some of 'em.

4. Do you ever blowdry your armpits to get the deodorant to dry quicker?

No.... (?!?)

5. What was the last film you watched?
The Prestige.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Friday Five - Unresolved

1. Do you make New Year's resolutions or personal goals?
Not usually; though I do sometimes keep in mind things that I'd like to happen, I don't usually make actual resolutions.

2. Have you ever kept a New Year's resolution? Achieved a personal goal?
The only major resolution/goal I've ever achieved is quitting smoking, which I swore I'd do before I turned 30, and that goal wasn't related to New Year's.

3. What things are you always resolving to do but never actually do?
Exercise more.

4. Why do you think most people fail to uphold their New Year's resolutions?
They probably just don't want to do it bad enough.

5. Share the thing you most want to do this year and describe five steps you will take to make it happen.
I'd like to get more motivated in general; that is my biggest weakness, I think. Five things I could do to help would be to set small goals for myself, make lists of specific things I'd like to achieve, get a bit more communicative with others, continue to take St. John's Wort supplements (which helps eliminate worrying and depression), and refuse to give in to negative thoughts (such as comparing myself to others).

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Intermundia update

I had a chat with Lys the other night and decided that Intermundia stays.

Which means hopefully I'll be starting some new projects soon! I've been talking to Arahan Claveau, my friend & fellow Arthole about it, and we might be getting together a collaborative space there. Something to look forward to!

Oh, seems I have caused trouble again...

Odious Source

...But it wasn't without consequences, because
Oh, SNAP!  I just got TOLD!