Saturday, April 18, 2015

Madpea's Unia

     About a year ago I was asked by Kiana Writer of Madpea to create a scene for an upcoming
project they were developing called Unia.  I was quite happy to oblige and wrote a little story and scene within the larger narrative and together with Caer Balogh created a dreamscene called the Drowning.  I was thinking to myself as I explored the finished work today, that, along with the various individual artists we are familiar with working in Second Life, there have also been great collectives that produce truly fantastic work.  For example some may recall Rezzable productions which was run by RightasRain Rimbauld and included artists such as Lightwaves, Pavig Lok, Littletoe Bartlette, Spiral Walcher and others.  They created works such as Greenies, Black Swan and Tunnel of light.  They produced exceptional work yet I think Madpea have surpassed them as the greatest ... team?  Not sure how to classify them.  From Kiana Writers narratives to the core work of Harter Fall, Fae Varriale, Rag Randt, Electronic Mode and the many others.  Scripters such as Indigo Lucerne, Gaius Tripsa and Fuzz Difference along with Arduenn Schwartzman.  They even had custom motion capture animations by Abramelin Wolfe.  Guest artists such as myself, Jaimy Hancroft, Rebeca Bashly and Fuschia Nightfire.  You can see how to play the game and the contributors at this link.

 It opens April 27th.  This was a monumental task two years in the making that nearly broke the team, but they persevered to create a must see experience.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Imogen and the pigeon and Singularity of Kumiko book

Imogen and Kumiko
I have recently completed a book which combines Imogen and the pigeons and its prequel the Singularity of Kumiko.  You can find the link to them here..

     I made the books for myself as I wanted to have something to put on my bookshelf, I try to catalogue all my work in some way and .. well... I like books.  There is also a free ebook there too for phones or ipads or whatever.  The book itself if 70 pages long and can be done in glossy pages like the one on the bottom or matte as seen above that.  They do a good job.  Anyway, I am just letting people know should you have enjoyed those two stories and might like to have it as well.  Thanks to the Ontario Arts Council for support as this was also part of my new media grant.  These works were also shown at the 17th biennial de cerveira and the Arts and Algorithms digital festival.  The books are set to the cost of printing meaning that I have not increased the price by a single penny for myself.
       I will be working on making a machinima for the Singularity of Kumiko but until then here is the first part called Imogen and the pigeons.  Also thanks for the Avi choice award for favorite artist that was fun to get.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Tanr Prize Best Exhibition 2014 - The Golden Age of Russian Avant-Garde

 Great news!
Alpha Auer

     The hybrid artwork that was created both in Second Life and at the Manezh museum in Moscow
has won a prestigious award in Russia beating out  some remarkable competition to claim the prize.

Here is the announcement by Saskia Boddeke.

Bryn Oh
"We have been awarded the Tanr Prize Best Exhibition 2014, the annual award of The Art Newspaper Russia for the installation: The Golden Age of Russian Avant-Garde which was shown last year April at the Manezh in Moscow.
Nessuno Myoo

     The Multimedia installation consisted of a huge art -installation created with projection screens telling about the raise and fall of the Russian Avant-Garde from 1910 to 1930. The basis of the exhibition was the work of painter Kazimir Malevich Black canvas from 1915, the most famous painting of the Russian avant-garde period.

      Part of the exhibition was an installation about the ~Russian Avant Garde in the online game/ world: Second-Life with the artists: Bryn Oh, Alpha Auer, Jo Ellsmere, Nessuno Myoo, Eupalinos Ugajin , Caer Balogh and Soror Nishi."

And thanks to the Linden Endowment for the Arts for their support as well. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Lobby Cam - opening March 29th, 2015

Lobby Cam has a hud.. so be sure to get it from the start and wear.

     Opening on Sunday is my new immersive artwork called "Lobby Cam".  This work, as with previous creations, might challenge some computers.  With Caer Balogh, we have tested the region for lag and it is fine for most mid range computers.  In the story is a giant wheat field that blows in the SL wind like waves in the ocean.  It has long been a dream of mine to build such a field and it is quite beautiful I think, but it has a lot of alpha which makes your computer have to calculate what it should be able to see on the other side of the alpha.  We have tested with alpha blending and alpha masking and in the end it is as efficient as a massive field of this sort can be.

A few things that can help.

The region has no water.. so you can turn water reflections down to "minimal" and water
transparency to off.  Just click ctrl and P together to bring up your preferences page.. then from there   (the graphics tab) take the check mark off of transparent water and advanced lighting model.

There is another thing you might  need to do, that is to ensure the windlight has changed for you.    Click "world" at top of your screen then pick "environment editor" then pick "environment settings" and from there click "Always use parcel/ region settings".  Even when you have this on it sometimes windlight doesn't change.  So a good way to encourage it to is by clicking "world" then "region details" which you can then close without changing anything.  All that does it remind it to check if the windlight has been changed.

I will cap the avatar limit on the sim to something fairly small so that lag is not an issue, but for those of you with older computers there is another option.  There is a service called SL Go which pre renders what you see then sends it to you.  I think that is how it works anyway.  This lets even computers, run by busy hamsters on wheels, see the build at ultra settings with no lag.  SL Go offeres a free 7 day trial and I cant think of a better time to use a free trial.  So that is an option too, but as I said most don't feel lag but this is an option if you do.


I hope you will enjoy the artwork, see you on Sunday.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Gehorsam / Obedience for the Jewish Museum in Berlin

Abraham and baby Isaac
I am currently working with Peter Greenaway, Saskia Boddeke, Jo Ellsmere and others on an elaborate project that will run simultaneously in our virtual world and at the physical space of the Jewish museum in Berlin.  The virtual element will allow visitors to the museum to have the ability to navigate  a modernized version I have created for the tale of Abraham and his son Isaac.   Jo and I are working feverishly on a LEA donated region for this event.  There is an opportunity for you (or your children) to be within the (rl) work as well.  Please read the release below for information.
     We are creating an immersive installation called Gehorsam /Obedience for the Jewish Museum in Berlin opening on the 21th of May. 
The subject is the Akeda, The Sacrifice of Isaac.
The intention is to create an exhibition to demonstrate and deconstruct the meanings of the Akeda - an event shared by three religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
The main character in our story line is Isaac / Ishmael, the sacrifice.
The introduction of our installation will be a mosaic of hopefully hundreds of children and young adults proclaiming to camera that they are Isaac or Ishmael: 
The innocent child that has the right to be protected. Today we have started a campaign on social media to collect as many as possible I’m Isaac video clips.


We are looking for young adults and teenagers to join in.
Are you an Isaac or an Ishmael?
Do you know an Isaac or an Ishmael?
Do you feel you are an Isaac or an Ishmael?
That you have the right to be protected!
That you deserve a future in a world without wars!
Please send us your video clip.

 We would like to assemble as many as possible different languages, use your own language: German, Dutch, Spanish, Japanese, Danish, Arabic, etc

- A video in landscape format, use your mobile phone, I pad or any other device.
- Make sure that your face is not too dark.
- Make sure that it’s not too noisy around you.
- Look straight into camera for about 10 seconds, without speaking.
- Then you speak straight into camera:
  “I’m Isaac” or “I’m Ishmael”
   (in your own language).
- Wait another 10 seconds and give us your best smile.

Please send your clip to:
File too big?
(for free)
By sending in your video clip you give us the permission to use it for this art installation.

Thank you
Saskia Boddeke & Peter Greenaway

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

An interview with Selavy Oh

Selavy Oh

Previous interviews
Alpha Auer
Mikati Slade
Glyph Graves
Blotto Epsilon and Cutea Benelli
Nessuno Myoo

Bryn Oh: Where are you from?  And who are the most renowned artists from your country in your opinion?

Selavy Oh: Germany. Artists: Albrecht Dürer, Caspar David Friedrich, Joseph Beuys, Gerhard Richter.

Bryn Oh:  Often the average person outside SL  is perplexed with virtual worlds in general.  When people unfamiliar with the virtual ask you what you do how do you explain it?

Selavy Oh:  I don’t explain. I offer them to demonstrate it.

Bryn Oh:  Who are a few of your favorite artists and why?

Gerhard Richter
Selavy Oh:  This would be a long list. So here you go, no specific order for the names:

Robert Morris. Bruce Nauman. Joseph Kosuth. Sol LeWitt. Gregor Schneider. Pippilotti Rist. Alva Noto. Fiona Banner. Allan Kaprow. … and of course Rrose Selavy

Caspar David Friedrich

Bryn Oh:  Whose artwork do you personally dislike the most and why?

Selavy Oh:  The late Salvador Dali. Because he started out as a very promising artist (just look at his fabulous collaboration with Bunuel in 'un chien andalou‘ and 'l’age d’or‘) and then quickly turned into kitsch.

Bryn Oh:  Which of your own works are you most proud of?  Do you feel any failed and if so do you now know why?

Sol LeWitt
Selavy Oh:  Which ones I’m proud of? I think the ones that were challenges for me. Like the first big works using Second Life, I was unknown in the community, a beginner with this medium, but still I succeeded and achieved some works I can be, well, proud of.

The failures. Well, many have failed in one or the other aspect. An example: I had two big installations at the LEA sims, one in DC Spensley’s show and one for a show by Lori Landay. The work was called "the rules“. I had put a lot of work into it, a lot of thinking, coding, conceptual ideas. But it was pretty much a failure. The idea didn’t come across. Too complex, the beauty of its inner logic was apparently not accessible to the visitors, the installation seemed uncommunicative, demure. For example, nobody noticed that both installations were connected. It’s in a way ironical, because the topic of the piece was that we constantly try to understand the rules governing the world around us, but even when they are plain and simple, we have a really hard time to recognize them. But: I’m still proud of this one, even though it was a failure.

Gregor Schneider
Bryn Oh:  Do you have a method when creating? If so how does it often progress?  For example do you sketch or write out ideas first for weeks or do you perhaps just jump directly into the project with little planning and adapt as you go?

Selavy Oh:  First I do research. I try to get as much information as possible about the topic, the
location, the size limits, duration of the show, etc. I make notes, sometimes I draw, or take pictures. I might look up something on the internet. All that is like loading a battery. And then I take a shower. Taking a shower is my method to unleash the hounds of creativity. Very often though one shower isn’t enough.
Bryn Oh:  What are you currently reading, listening to or looking at to inspire your work?

Selavy Oh:  Some examples: reading a couple of philosophical articles about time machines, a text by Roland Barthes, looking at an old exhibition catalogue, watching the six hour long screening of Matthew Barney’s „The River of Fundament“, talking to members of an artists research laboratory, email conversations with a close friend. Trying to be open, like an antenna, open for receiving those signals "from the labyrinth beyond time and space".
Bryn Oh:  Does your work have an overall theme and if so what might that be?  If not please describe how you tend to pick your topics.  

Selavy Oh:  Yes, there is indeed such a theme. But I don’t disclose it. It is important as a guideline for me to create, but not for the reception of my work. An artist should not give the interpretation of the work - except if the interpretation is part of the work.

Bryn Oh:  Have you ever had to deal with negative publicity or a disappointing rejection of your artwork?  How do you deal with it?

Selavy Oh:  Negative publicity fortunately has been quite rare for me. But if my work is completely ignored, then that tells a lot. Of course, I had several rejections of proposals for funding or to get into a show. That’s ok, it’s part of the game. Perhaps I was lucky so far, perhaps I simply ignored other disappointments.
Bryn Oh:  Would you like to take a stab at explaining what defines virtual art? 

Selavy Oh:  I don’t like the term "virtual art" at all. It’s a misnomer. What we create is real art. Our material is mostly virtual or immaterial. And that’s already a defining term: you can’t touch it with your bare hands.
Bryn Oh:  What would you say makes virtual creations unique over other art forms?

Selavy Oh:  That you can touch it with your mouse. Joke aside, one unique feature is the possibility for non-destructive interactivity. Even if thousand visitors engage with our work there is no need for restoration. Of course you can also say: the unique feature is that virtual things don’t age. But that’s not completely true, they age differently. It’s not a continuous process, but rather instantaneous: at some point, our work will be gone, because the last piece of hardware to display it will have died.
Marcel Duchamp
Bryn Oh:  Centuries ago there was no such thing as an "artist" just craftsmen, as time progressed superior technical ability and creativity created the elite "Master" artist whose work stood recognized above all others.  In 1917 Marcel Duchamp submitted a work entitled "Fountain" to the Society of Independent artists.    He stated "... He (the artist) CHOSE it. He took an article of life, placed it so that its useful significance disappeared under the new title and point of view – created a new thought for that object"  He wanted to shift the focus away from technical craft to more of an aesthetic intellectual interpretation.  Some say that because of him almost everything is considered art today.  From an elephant painting with its trunk, a Banksy, a child's drawing to someone vomiting paint onto a canvas.  What is your perspective on this?

Selavy Oh:  Duchamp also said: "All in all, the creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualification and thus adds his contribution to the creative act."

This means that it is not enough to declare something as being a work of art. The artist may intend to create an artwork, but may fail. In Duchamp’s words: "What I have in mind is that art may be bad, good or indifferent, but, whatever adjective is used, we must call it art, and bad art is still art in the same way that a bad emotion is still an emotion."

Thus, Duchamp liberated art by allowing it to be created outside academic or other conventions. But at the same time he shifted part of the contribution to the creative act from the artist to the spectator. Because of this paradigmatic shift, my perspective is that Duchamp is responsible for a lot of bad art.

Selavy Oh - Conformational Change from Ux Hax on Vimeo.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Imogen and the pigeons machinima - fixed dialogue

     Yeah so.. I.. um forgot to put in some dialogue in the previous render of the machinima.  I have
looked around for someone to blame other than myself but it is difficult to find a scapegoat when nobody else is involved.  What I expect happened, though it sounds a bit far fetched, is that my cat perhaps walked over my keyboard when I was not looking, and through a complex and near moonwalk type of shuffle my cat Loki must have somehow erased the dialogue then jumped down to have a snooze before I returned to notice.  I really can't imagine any other scenario.  Anyway here is the fixed version of the machinima if you have a burning desire to watch it again.  And if you have linked or embedded the previous one somewhere, and it is not too much trouble, please delete that.  One of my personality quirks is to be bothered by people seeing an artwork of mine that is not the "final" artwork that I am happy with.  For example seeing a Flickr photo of my work where half of it didn't rez or something.    Anyway I will stop talking now.. here it is.