Thursday, May 28, 2009


All of you out there who have a network of friends, with whom you socialize in-person, on a somewhat regular basis -- never, ever take that for granted. You may or may not realize just how lucky you are.

You're lucky, and I envy you.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Beta-testing AvaLine

Arahan emailed me today to tell me about AvaLine, a new way to use voice chat in Second Life -- it enables you to receive phone calls to your avatar. It's only in beta testing just now, but I thought I'd be one of the 1,000 people who would give it a shot!

Here's how it works:

1.) Dial one of the numbers listed below:
Boston: +1 617-861-0749
Chicago: +1 312-348-3694
Dallas: +1 972-813-0067
Los Angeles: +1 213-271-2575
New York: +1 212-660-9951
Philadelphia: +1 215-475-5291
San Francisco: +1 415-490-9443
Washington DC: +1 202-629-9859
London, UK: +44 20-7100-5624
(* long-distance rates may apply, check before you call)

2.) When prompted, enter the access code of the person you want to call, followed by the pound sign (#). [Obviously, you have to know their access code beforehand.]

-- If the person is logged in, and is currently accepting voice calls, they will get a notification, which looks like this:

Beta-testing AvaLine - incoming call

If the call is accepted, it connects the way a regular voice-chat IM would:

Beta-testing AvaLine - answered call

-- If the person is offline, is unavailable, or does not have voice enabled, you will be able to leave a voice message, which will be emailed to them in the form of an .mp3 file:

Beta-testing AvaLine - message in email Inbox

Bear in mind that the person you call WILL be able to see what phone number you're calling from.

For more information about this service, or to sign up for the beta-test yourself, check out the following link:
(Note that you will have to sign in to the forums using your SL user name & password.)

In case anybody is interested, my access code is 807141. Leave me a message!

Upcoming NYC show - Aequitas

More information about the show that my recent painting, Bending Trees, will be in.

From the press release:


Dekka Raymaker Andrew MacLachlan Penumbra Carter Beth Olds Nebulosus Severine CM Pauluh Sowa Mai Stephen Beveridge David Ferrando Banrion Constantine Robert Garlick Elif Arat

For immediate Release:

Social media has drawn together a group of international artists to New York for Aequitas, an exhibit of art based on childhood experiences.

Artspace OSA in New York City and the virtual community of Second Life will host a joint exhibition of international artists: paintings, digital work, and virtual world installations during the month of June 2009.

Artists can be a solitary lot but with the advent of virtual worlds and web 2.0 they are finding each other and communicating in the way they know best: making and exhibiting art together. This disparate group of artists, having never met face to face, nevertheless finds a common ground in exploring their childhood for art.

Sowa Mai, also known as the artist Stephen Beveridge, conceived and planned this exhibit as an extension of the relationships he had formed in the Second Life virtual world with artist/avatars from different time zones and cultural backgrounds.

The exhibit in Washington Heights, New York City will display paintings and digital work by the human artists. An exhibit in the Second Life virtual world will consist of (art) installations and scripted objects by the human artists' avatar counterparts. Both exhibits are based around the theme of mining childhood experience for art.

Artspace OSA
June 1 - June 30, 2009
Reception Friday June 19th. 6:30-8:30
178 Bennett Ave @ 189th St, NYC
1 train to 191st Street | A train to 190th Street

Second Life Version
Caerleon Art Collective
June 26 - July 3, 2009
Reception June 26th. 6:30-8:30slpm

Stephen Beveridge
212 928 8351
SowaMai AT gmail dot com

Dekka Raymaker Andrew MacLachlan Penumbra Carter Beth Olds Nebulosus Severine CM Pauluh Sowa Mai Stephen Beveridge David Ferrando Banrion Constantine Robert Garlick Elif Arat

The Caerleon sims were founded by Georg Janick, the SL avatar of Gary Zabel who has been teaching in the Philosophy Department at the University of Massachusetts at Boston since 1989. Virtual Art Initiative (an associate member organization of the nonprofit company, Media Working Group, Inc.) is an organization of artists, writers, musicians, and scholars who are using the immersive and interactive digital media of such virtual worlds as Second Life to develop new forms of artistic content.

Virtual worlds are computer generated three-dimensional environments that allow people from around the globe to interact with one another through “avatars” (digital bodies) and shape their environments, both individually and collectively, by using graphical and programming tools.

Those involved in the Initiative believe that virtual worlds are like photography, cinema, video, electronic music, and so on in that they provide the opportunity, in the form of a new technology, for radically innovative forms of aesthetic expression. Most of our work is done on the Second Life virtual world grid, though some of us have worked in other virtual worlds as well, such as VastPark and OpenSim.

Artspace OSA is part of Our Saviour's Atonement Lutheran Church. With Rev. J. Barrie Lawless the church building is an active hub in the community hosting music, poetry and visual art as well as dance yoga and public meetings. The building is home to an ELCA Lutheran congregation with people from many different faith backgrounds. OSA is a Reconciling in Christ congregration, which actively welcomes and supports participations of its Lesbian and Gay members.


Friday, May 22, 2009

4 years in Second Life.

Today marks the fourth anniversary of my arrival into Second Life -- my fourth "rez day," as it's called.

4 years in Second Life

I celebrated the occasion as I usually do -- in solitude, in thought, while visiting the realms of an SL resident whose work I particularly admire, Baron Grayson.

(Incidentally, his rez day is about one year before mine, almost exactly - his is May 23, 2004.)

When I first came to SL, I spent much of my time at his island, Sanctum Sanctorum -- it was my "home" for the first couple of months. Baron's builds were my first realization that building, creating, and making art in Second Life could be something really extraordinary.

Several weeks ago, I visited his current sim, The Nameless Isle, and found a breathtaking scene at the virtual water's edge. I've spent hours there, immersed in the colors and ambient sounds.

The Nameless Isle

As a tribute to Baron Grayson, I made a brief machinima with some video clips I filmed there:

(If you cannot see the above embedded video, click here)

Thank you, Baron, for continuing to inspire me 4 years later.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Consumers of the world: Read the Return Policy BEFORE you buy. Don't take it out on us because you couldn't be bothered.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My newest painting in upcoming NYC show

I was asked recently by artist Stephen Beveridge (known as Sowa Mai in Second Life) to participate in a crossover real life/Second Life art event. A few other artists from SL are also participating, Dekka Raymaker (Arthole's current guest artist) and Penumbra Carter among them.

The theme of the show, as told to me by Stephen, is "mining your childhood for art exploration." I had no trouble coming up with an idea for a painting; in fact, I had a particular set of childhood memories in mind that I have been meaning to channel into some art for a long time now. I'm not going to go into exactly what those memories are in this post, but I will share the image of the painting itself and the title.

Bending Trees (diptych)
Bending Trees (diptych)
Year: 2009
Dimensions: 16 in. X 10 in.
Media: Acrylic and thread on canvas.

I am relatively close to NYC, but rather than deliver this painting myself, I shipped it out and it arrived there Tuesday. I haven't decided yet whether I am going to attend the opening reception, but I have time to think about it. At the very least, I will be attending the Second Life event.

Show details:
OSA Artspace
June 1 - June 30, 2009
Reception Friday June 19th. 6:30-8:30
178 Bennett Ave @ 189th St, NYC
1 train to 191st Street | A train to 190th Street

Second Life Version
June 26 - July 3, 2009
Reception June 26th. 6:30-8:30slpm
More details soon!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A call to my fellow artists: What do you consider YOUR first work?

On my last Arthole Radio show, I proposed an interesting challenge to my fellow artists.

I got the idea a few months ago, when I received the book No. 1: First Works by 362 Artists, edited by Francesca Richer and Matthew Rosenweig. It features a wide variety of 20th century artists like Matthew Barney, Dale Chihuly, Chuck Close, Gilbert & George, Takashi Murakami, and Robert Longo.

An excerpt from the review page for the book:
The artists were asked to submit what they considered their "first" work of art--not necessarily the first piece they ever created, but the one that first successfully represented who they are as an artist today. Some of the works are first "mature" works, others are seminal or pivotal, others are catalysts, some are new beginnings. These submissions, along with written artists' statements, make up this fascinating look at the process of art-marking.


What do you consider YOUR first work?

Contact me with your contributions either in Second Life, on Facebook, or by email. Whether you'd like to record a conversation about it, or write something, or if you'd like to send pictures of the work in question, however you want to do it is fine by me.

I will discuss the contributions to this project, including my own, beginning with my next show on Arthole Radio, which airs on Weds, May 27th. I will follow up with more entries during later shows, so if you can't make this month's deadline, that's okay too.

I look forward to hearing about YOUR first works!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Bunnyken Party video

Here's a quick machinima I threw together with footage I captured this past Friday --

(Click here if you cannot see the embedded video)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Last-minute Bunnyken party at Le Cimetiere

Some of my friends from Le Cimetiere have requested a Bunnyken party!

So at the last minute, I had to scramble to throw something together, but I think it will be a fun time.

It will begin Friday evening at 7 pm SLT and last until the wee hours of the morning.

Last-minute Bunnyken party

My friend, DJ Emi Brissot, will be spinning the tunes.

FREE Bunnyken avatars will be provided!

All are invited!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Technical difficulties

I will be taking most of this week off from Second Life and other internet-related activities to do a complete system restore of my computer. This will take awhile since I have a TON of backups to make beforehand.

I will still be able to access my email for the most part (via my cellphone).

Wish me luck. :(

Friday, May 1, 2009

Arthole Radio on New World Notes

Hamlet Au of Second Life blog New World Notes has generously written a very positive article about Arthole radio's most recent broadcast:

...This is an inspiring, profoundly moving audio compilation of great music and voices, artists from around the world of every age, offering insights into how they became the creators they are today. You'll be awed by the eclectic diversity of the music, everything from an avant garde composer from the 1960s to a contemporary Oakland hiphop group with belly dancer accompaniment, and the stories told by Residents from Japan, the US, the EU, Australia, and elsewhere. Sometimes there's a direct line from the music to their Second Life work, sometimes the connection is more subtle. In either case, it's one of the very best things to come out of the metaverse art world, audio testimony to a vibrant community, and the soundtrack that helped make it real...

Read the full article here.