Oedipus Rex: in Second Life

Virtual world Second Life has a vibrant arts community to say the least. Part of that community is the Avatar Repertory Theatre (ART). They have a few shows under their belt now, including Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

Their latest is Oedipus Rex (Oedipus The King) by Sophocles. During October there’ll be six performances, with tickets costing L$500 (around US$1.50). That’s a pretty reasonable price for the whole theatrical shebang including music.

Here’s a short promo to give you a taste:

More information on the show over at the ART blog, or you can check out the theatre space itself in Second Life. If you haven’t checked out Second Life before, here’s a good excuse to do so.

via [Metaverse Journal]

UWA’s art challenge completes final heat: final on the way

The University of Western Australia have just wrapped up the last heat of their 3D Art & Design Challenge (full info below), and once again the depth and breadth of the work being displayed is impressive.

I feel very privileged and anxious at the same time, to be one of the panel of judges for the Grand Final, which is coming up fairly soon. I’ve said it a few times now, but I’ll repeat it now: UWA are arguably the preeminent virtual worlds art supporter worldwide, and it’s a claim they deserve in the most emphatic way.

We’ll be bringing you a wrap of the final judging when it’s completed.

The full announcement from UWA:

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NISH & HERICK TRUIMPH ONCE MORE – AUGUST WINNERS OF THE UWA 3D ART & DESIGN CHALLENGE

103 entries of the highest quality to the final August round of the UWA 3D Art & Design Challenge, and what happens? Nish Mip’s powerful and enveloping piece, THE LAST OCEAN takes the top prize (L$5,000) making it an unprecedented 3rd time she has won First Prize for the IMAGINE Challenge breaking a tie with Bryn Oh & Igor Ballyhoo, both of whom won the Challenge twice. Lee Supermarine and Eliza Wierwight shared honours in taking 2nd Prize. In the FLAGSHIP Challenge, Herick Straaf narrowly beat 5 time champion Nyx Breen to take the top prize for a 2nd time. Jesse Keyes, Alizarin Goldflake & soror Nishi picked up L$6,000 each in winning Legacy Awards for their work across the year for the IMAGINE Challenge, while Nyx Breen took home the Legacy Award for the FLAGSHIP Challenge.

The final month of this year long L$600,000 challenge, August saw a record shattering 103 submissions to the IMAGINE challenge with 6 Flagship Builds pushing the total across the year to 841 entries from more than 300 artists and builders. 6 of the 7 continents of the world are represented as entrants hailed from Venezuela, Belgium, Mexico, Wales, Canada, the USA, the UK, Uruguay, Scotland,England, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, France, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Denmark, Holland, Ireland, Portugal, Austria, Cuba, Serbia, Tunisia, Germany, Japan, New Zealand and Australia.

Commenting on the win, Nish said, “My thanks go to Jayjay and quad for putting so much work in to organising these competitions. They deserve the biggest round of applause for their efforts and to everyone else involved through support and sponsorship in whatever way and that includes the artists, judges, and the people who come along to look and appreciate this great boost for second life art. I really feel proud to have taken part in these competitions. I only came looking for a sandbox to finish my Butterfly house off, but I think everyone in whatever life they have wants to feel that they have a purpose and I’d like to make a special thank you to JJ for spotting something that I hadn’t realised I had and am still even now finding hard to believe. I can only put my success down to being a bit of a perfectionist and never being satisfied with what I’ve done. Perhaps that helps, I don’t know, but these competitions have definitely paved a way forward for me that I really appreciate. Thank you everyone who’s made that possible. I know with the dedication that the UWA in SL has put in to the virtual art world they will go from strength to strength and I very much look forward to the coming years and to hopefully participating with UWA in making our second lives so much richer. I love you all. ”

In acceptance, Legacy Award winner Jesse Keyes said, “I am honored that i managed to hang on long enough to receive the UWA Legacy prize.
Its been a long year and I look forward to making and entering more contest builds in the up and coming year. I would like to thank all the people that have worked on setting up the contest and to Jay Jay Zifanwe for puting bugs in my ears on when the build is due (they were real bugs). Thanks again UWA for hosting such a geat event”. She emoted, “gets drunk and falls off the podium, waves to every one, uses trophy to crack walnuts.”

soror Nishi, fellow Legacy Award winner, and winner of the Honourable Mention Prize for JOY for August, with ‘Dotty the Dragon’ chimed in, “It’s a great thing to feel that what you try to do as an artist, that what you try to ‘say’ has been understood. An award is like someone saying ‘yes, soror, I agree’..and it makes it possible to go on creating, trying to express difficult ‘stuff’.”

The biggest winner on the night in terms of the number of awards won was Eliza Wierwight, whose cleverly named entry, THE SATIRICAL POLEMICIST won the 2nd overall IMAGINE prize (L$3,000), 2nd Prize in the People’s Choice Award (L$500) as well as the Rain Prize (L$1,000). “What an interesting journey from working in isolation for such a long time, then the genuine feeling that I am a part of the Arts Community family in Second Life as I do now. I’m smitten. While I’ll know I will always seek time to get delightfully lost in the process of creation in seclusion, it’s a reaffirming joy when I head back to shore to find such warm welcome as has been expressed in these awards I’ve been honored with today. If I was to say that a position in the People’s Choice is like an embrace, then the Imagine Challenge Prize and the Rain Prize on top of that had me floored with delight. My huge and genuine thanks to the SL Community , the University of Western Australia, my precious friends, my muse , the delightful Miss Q (quadrapop Lane) and the genuine and astounding Jayjay Zifanwe whom I am still honing an ever developing artistic temperament on just for the sheer amusment of it. Again, for everything , my sincere thanks.”

The Non-Scripted IMAGINE prize was won back to back for the first time every, by prim wizard nessuno Myoo with THE UNICORN WOOD EDITION. “I’m really happy and I want thank all for the great opportunity to show my works alongside all this masterpieces. For me it is a great honor.” Only he and soror Nishi have more than one piece in the reckoning for the Non-Scripted Grand Prize.

Corcosman Voom, who wan an Honourable Mention for the Legacy Award (L$4,500), also took the Bohemian Ghost Prize (L$1,000 + 600 prims on the Summerland SIM). “I was very pleased to have been awarded an Honourable Mention UWA Legacy prize and The Bohemina Ghost prize in this, the final round, of the UWA 3D Art & Design Challenge. It has been my pleasure to be able to exhibit my art this past year in the company of work by so many talented artists. I am very grateful to UWA and everyone associated with the Challenge for the opportunity it has given to so many people. Most of all, I appreciate the dedication and hard work Jayjay and quadrapop have put into making this project a success. Thank you both for making this a great year.”

A paradigm breaking piece called ‘ANTARCTICA – AN INDIVIDUAL EXISTENCE’ by Glyph Graves won the Honourable Mention Prize for Second Life Wizardry. This must see work, uses real time data from weather stations in Antarctica to create an enchanting symphony of sound and light. The technical expertise required to create such a work is mind-boggling.

Gleman Jun was also a multiple award winner as his ‘STOP FEAR’ won the People’s Choice Award as well as the Honourable Mention (HM) Prize for Emotion. Other award winners included Oberon Onmura (Legacy Award HM), Oldoak Merlin (Casey Prize & FLAGSHIP HM), Blue Tsuki (HM Prize for Immersion), Gingered Alsop (HM Prize for Scripting Magic), Pinkpink Sorbet (Anton Mesmer HM Prize).

Joining the extended judging panel for the Grand Prize are art philanthropist & founding patron of UWA-BOSL Amphitheatre, Phillip Vought, Paisley Beebe, CEO of Perfect World Productions TV and Jopsy Pendragon, creator of the Particle Laboratory Learning Centerhave who have all stepped in to take the place vacated by M Linden. They will have the entire month of September to make their decisions.

UWA is grateful to Bohemian Ghost and the Summerland Estate for raising L$33,000 which was put toward the Legacy Awards. Bohemian Ghost will also be part sponsoring the People’s Choice Award for the Grand Finale, along with the Residents of Artemesia who have been sponsoring the monthly People’s Choice Awards.

The Grand Prize Round is now open, and there is a People’s Choice Vote for this. There has been a beed over the past few weeks to rezz all the past winning flagships across the grid. We would like to acknowledge all those who have given up valuable prims and space to allow UWA to put up these flagships till the end of the voting period which is the 30th of September. They include Caren McCaw & Nyx Breen (of the Annapurna SIM), Dijodi Dubratt (Toor), quadrapop Lane (Poorlatrice), Kip Yellowjacket (Virtlantis), Lilli Field (Mysten), Phillip Vought (Acquitaine), Cuwynne Deerhunter & Eliza Wierwight (Patron) and the Linden Endowment for Arts (LEA).

This is the first time LEA land is being used and opened up to the public. One SIM of the LEA cluster has been opened up for this purpose.

The machinima challenge, MachinimUWA II: Art of the Artists, is ongoing, and closes on the 20th of September. & works have come in thus far from Tutsy Navarathna,spyvspy Aeon, Bryn Oh, Megan Merlin, Missy Restless and Yesikita Coppola. These Machinima feature the works that have been entered across the year to the UWA 3D Art & Design Challenge. They are all linked on the blog http://www.uwainsl.blogspot.com/.

WINNERS OF THE AUGUST ROUND OF THE UWA 3D ART & DESIGN CHALLENGE

IMAGINE CHALLENGE – 3D ART

LEGACY PRIZE (IMAGINE): $L6,000
Alizarin Goldflake
soror Nishi
Jesse Keyes

LEGACY PRIZE (FLAGSHIP): $L6,000
Nyx Breen

LEGACY PRIZE (Hon Mention): L$4,500
Oberon Onmura
Corcosman Voom

Imagine Challenge 1st Prize: ($L5,000 + Custom T-Shirt)
THE LAST OCEAN by Nish Mip

Imagine Challenge 2nd Prize: ($L3,000) JOINT
THE SATIRICAL POLEMICIST by Eliza Wierwigh

WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD by Lea Supermarine

Best Non-Scripted Entry: ($L3,000 + Custom T-Shirt)
THE UNICORN WOOD EDITION by Nessuno Myoo

FLAGSHIP CHALLENGE – BUILDING DESIGN
Flagship Challenge 1st Prize : ($L5,000)
CONCEPT BUILDING FOR AXS LAB by Herick Straaf

Flagship Challenge 2nd Prize: ($L3,000)
UWA AXS LAB by Nyx Breen

Flagship Honourable Mention Prize: (L$1,000)
Oldoak Merlin

Honourable Mention Prize for EMOTION (L$1,000)
STOP FEAR by Gleman Jun

Honourable Mention Prize for SECOND LIFE WIZARDRY (L$1,000)
ANTARCTICA – AN INDIVIDUAL EXISTENCE by Glyph Graves

Honourable Mention Prize for JOY (L$1,000)
DOTTY THE DRAGON by Soror Nishi

Honourable Mention Prize for IMMERSION (L$1,000)
THE DEEP by Blue Tsuki

Honourable Mention Prize for SCRIPTING MAGIC (L$1,000)
QUANTUM MATRIX by Gingered Alsop

THE ANTON MESMER Honourable Mention Prize (L$1,000)
PARTLY ANTSY CHAMBER by Pinkpink Sorbet

The RAIN PRIZE (L$1,000) – Established for one of the Founding Patron of the UWA 3D Art & Design Challenge
THE SATIRICAL POLEMICIST by Eliza Wierwight

CASEY PRIZE – JULY (L$4,000)
BLACK SWAN by Oldoak Merlin

THE BOHEMIAN GHOST PRIZE (L$1,000 + 600 Prims on the Summerland SIMM for at least 3 months)
THE AERIALIST by Corcosman Voom

PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD – 1st prize (L$1,000):
STOP FEAR by Gleman Jun

PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD – 2nd prize (L$500):
THE SATIRICAL POLEMICIST by Eliza Wierwight

Susa Bubble: saving the art from censorship

You may have seen a story on New World Notes today about the removal of an installation from the 7th birthday celebrations for Second Life.

First, some context. The installation is titled Susa Bubble, and it looks like this:

(You can check it out for yourself in-world or you can view a higher-res pic here)

The creator, Rose Borchovski sums up the issue from her perspective:

The Kiss has been returned to me from the SL7B sims where Linden is celebrating Secondlife. I quote “The images on your build are in violation of our general rating, to be clear: Nudity is not allowed at art events with a general maturity rating.”
I would like to point out and educate Linden Lab that most of classic and contemporary art is based upon nudity. Not because of Sex, but because of the beauty and the vulnerability of the human body, the human body we all share and look at in the bathroom mirror in the early morning.

The story of Susa is a sweet but savage story, told in image and text, sound and installation. It is about our dark inside, but also shows how vulnerable and lonely we all can be. My art shows a naked body, but it is not about nudity or sex.

Art being shown at a public art event of Linden means pretty pictures that bring aesthetic pleasure void of all critical thinking. Culture must be “safe” / sterile, no matter how free of content that makes it. As implemented by LL, “Community Standards” means content so content less that no viewer has even a remote chance of being caused to think about anything, to question any of their values or assumptions. Safe in SL means safe from thought.

When I protested against it in the group chat I was shut out .I was told not to discuss it in SL7B Group Chat “because this isn’t the place” — because NO place is the place to discuss it — because we don’t even want to think or let others think about the ideas we don’t want to think about

The worst part of censorship is not that which is censored, but the climate of self-censorship it imposes on all artists. Art is about having a voice. Art is about thinking differently and about thinking from fresh perspectives. When artists are not allowed to have a voice, culture is not allowed to progress.
When I hide my susas nakedness, I have stopped telling her story.

Nothing is more resistant to authoritarian control than a naked body. Control & conformity require uniforms. Nudity is too wild and uncontrolled. When you know my Susa Bubble story you can see it isn’t really even about “nudity” but that just suggests how powerful the forces for thinking-avoidance-at-all-costs are. Better to censor the world than risk allowing in a question that could topple the status quo. Authority does not like questions. Authority does not like creativity. Authority does not like art. Authority does not like nudity.

I did not bring my installation to the celebration to publicize myself, I make in art in SL because I want to share my Susa story and touch people

Greetings Rose Borchovski

Take another look at the picture above and then explain to me how it really qualifies as nudity? And remember, Linden Lab CEO Mark Kingdon has had his own art exhibited in Second Life. Sure, there needs to be some boundaries around what is acceptable but is it just me that finds that boundary to be just a little tight?

If you clicked on the SLURL above you will have ended up on the University of Western Australia sim which is now hosting the installation. Jayjay Zifanwe from UWA loved the installation and offered to host it, not in protest but in admiration of the work.

Which is the sort of collaborative attitiude Linden Lab could have adopted in their dealings with Rose Borchovski.

On top of everything else the Lab have been involved in over the past week – did this need to occur?

The final word belongs to Rose:

“It would be wonderful to take this oppertunity to have a fresh look at art and Second Life and what it means to Linden, to have so many artist creating”

UWA Art Competition: April Winners

The relentless creative behemoth that is the University of Western Australia’s 3D Art & Design Challenge continues its journey, with another large number of entries and interesting judging results. The full results can be read below, but the other noteworthy aspects are the creation of the UWA-BOSL Amphitheatre, a space “dedicated for not-for-profit Art, Education & Charity events”, the creation of a Science and Art competition in partnership with some Italian academics, and the selection of UWA’s Second Life presence as one of 100 treasures for a book to published as part of the UWA’s centenary celebrations.

I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it a lot more times, the UWA presence in Second Life would have to be one of the most dynamic, inclusive and expansive virtual worlds projects around. The yearly judging on the art competition is going to be one large challenge and it’s a privilege to be involved.

Also, Iono Allen has created a great machinima showcasing all the April winners:

For the dedicated, here’s the full announcement of the April winners:

Julez torments IMAGINE! Lili pips Nyx at the line: April Winners of the UWA 3D Art & Design Challenge

A chilling work where a demon captures your soul, by Julez Odigaunt has taken the top IMAGINE Arts prize ($L5,000) for the April round of the UWA 3D Art & Design Challenge. The piece, JULIA’S MAGIC MIRROR – DEMON, beat out an amazing field of 67 international artists, including past IMAGINE winner Glyph Graves who took out 2nd prize with his incredible immersive work, ORGANIC RECURVE. Meanwhile in the FLAGSHIP building design challenge Lili Field’s EYE OF THE BEHOLDER managed to stop an unprecedented 5th win for Nyx Breen, whose UWA AxS Lab was pipped at the post into 2nd place.

Going one better than her runners-up prize in the March round, Julia said, “What a great honor! I was quite shocked. The initial Mirror was inspired by a dark yet whimsical gypsy circus which Atomic Gaffer built. Then i decided to go darker, more haunting and it is the exact reaction that I aimed for that folks received when they interacted with the mirror. Thank you UWA for this wonderful honor and acknowledgment.”

Following the announcements yesterday at the traditional winners announcement party at the UWA SIM, Lili was shocked at her win, and the ever gracious Nyx said, “Once again UWA is an exciting wonderful experience all should partake in. To the artist and builders a wonderful job.”

Two-thirds into the year long challenge, the judging panel had a very tough time of it with amazing pieces across the board. Sharni Azalee, whose piece, THE ABYSS, won the non-scripted prize said, “A woman’s handbag, the mystifying abyss, where the bravest of men fear to tread. I was honored to receive the award for non scripted exhibit and overjoyed that so many men took the challenge and entered the dark realms of a woman’s handbag 😉 it’s ok, we wont make u carry them :). Thank you to all at UWA, your support and encouragement has allowed me to find a place that I can express myself in a way I never knew possible.”

“I would like to thank the Academy… oh sorry. wrong award. I’m humbled and thankful and now I’m motivated to try to top this work.”. said the Wizard Gynoid, ever the joker in romping her way to the Honourable Mention Prize for Synchronicity with her piece ANIMATED E8,

Italian artist Gleman Jun (Honourable Mention : 10 SECONDS OF SL), on the other hand was philosophical, “Creation becomes art only when it meets the recognition by those who appreciate it. Wining this prize means discovering that one has taken the right path towards the realization of oneself.”

Samara Borkotron and Gumby Roffo were the winners of the$L4,000 Casey Prize (artworks representing an aspect of Western Australia) for March and for April, while The People’s Choice Award was won by the effervescent Miso Susanowa, and her LADY WITH FAN. “I am very honored that my Lady, who danced into my world, pleases so many people as she did me when I saw her first in a single prim. I am also honored to be among such great artists and the wonderful and heartening work and support of Jayjay, Quadrapop and the UWA for all artists.”

Other winners include Ivy Lane, Daco Monday, Maya Paris and Glamorama Flux (whose work ART ATTACK was the first ever piece she has had on display)

Some other exciting developments with the UWA presence were announce at the awards ceremony. First of all, the Universiy of Western Australia in RL celebrates its centenerary in 2011. For this 100 year anniversary, a special hard cover glossy book is being produced called ‘UWA’s 100 Treasures’ and the ‘UWA presence in Second Life’ has been selected to be one of those treasures!

Also on the 8th of May 2010, the UWA-BOSL Amphitheatre. a space dedicated for not-for-profit Art, Education & Charity events was officially launched. Built by Patch Thibaud, this beautiful new venue has been set up jointly by Best of Second Life (BOSL) and the Unversity of Western Australia (UWA) as part of UWA’s and BOSL’s aims of community service and support of Education and the Arts.

This space will be available free of charge for anyone wanting to organize such events.

Taralyn Gravois has been appointed as Director of the UWA-BOSL Amphitheatre. She has run a 4 SIM theatre in the past, and has a deep love and respect for the arts. In RL she was an award winning television producer for more than a decade. Anyone wanting to run events at the theatre, please contact her.

A partnership has also been formed between UWA, Second Physics and SL Art and Experience Italy for a Science & Art Competition for which registrations close on the 12th of May. The Competition aims to create artworks that communicate scientific concepts, with this first edition devoted to Physics. This is very important to UWA, as the UWA’s SL project is led by the School of Physics. Anyone interested in taking part do send registrations to Majorie Fargis by the 12th of May. Professor Franco Fabbri (RL), a Visiting Scientist at CERN who works on elementary particles, is one of the key people behind this effort.

The University of Western Australia would like to thank the Cultural Precinct at the University of Western Australia, ShedworX.com, the Casey Family of Western Australia, www.etshirts.com, MidnightRain Glas, Sasun Steinbeck, Galea Yates, Tranguloid Trefoil, Lowell Cremorne & Phillip Vought for their continued support of the UWA3D Art & Design Challenge

WINNERS OF THE APRIL ROUND OF THE UWA 3D ART & DESIGN CHALLENGE

IMAGINE CHALLENGE – 3D ART

Imagine Challenge 1st Prize: ($L5,000 + Custom T-Shirt)
JULIA’S MAGIC MIRROR – DEMON by Julez Odigaunt

Imagine Challenge 2nd Prize: ($L1,250)
ORGANIC RECURVE by Glyph Graves

Best Non-Scripted Entry: ($L1,250 + Custom T-Shirt)
THE ABYSS by Sharni Azalee

FLAGSHIP CHALLENGE – BUILDING DESIGN
Flagship Challenge 1st Prize : ($L5,000)
EYE OF THE BEHOLDER by Lilli Field

Flagship Challenge 2nd Prize : ($L1,250)
AxS GALLERY by Nyx Breen

Honourable Mention Prize for GATEWAY TO THE SOUL (L$500)
10 SECONDS OF SL by Gleman Jun

Honourable Mention Prize for SYNCHRONICITY (L$500)
ANIMATED E8 by The Wizard Gynoid

Honourable Mention Prize for CHARITY (L$500)
HELPING HANDS by Ivy Lane

Honourable Mention Prize for COLOUR (L$500)
LUCE E COLORI by Daco Monday

Honourable Mention Prize for TEXTURE & INTERACTION (L$500)
NIGHT BIRD by Maya Paris

THE ANTON MESMER Honourable Mention Prize (L$500)
ART ATTACK by Glamorama Flux

CASEY PRIZE – MARCH (L$4,000)
JUXTAPOSED by Samara Borkotro

CASEY PRIZE – APRIL (L$4,000)
ROUND HOUSE by Gumby Roff

PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD (L$500):
LADY WITH FAN by Miso Susanowa

ME/CFS Awareness Art Exhibition

In late March we profiled some work being done by Australians in regards to Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS).

That work has continued, with the launch of an art exhibition occurring this Wednesday May 12th, 6-8pm SL time (11am – 1pm Thursday 13th AEST).

All the works exhibited are by people living with ME/CFS. To have a closer look for yourself, here’s where to go or you can view some pictures of the exhibition space here.

The picture leading this post is an example of the excellent work on show, so take the time to visit if you can.

UWA Art: March winners and a three-year continuation

The University of Western Australia continues its 3D Art and Design Challenge, announcing the March winners. All those details are replicated in full below thanks to the indefatigable Jayjay Zifanwe and the UWA in SL blog.

What’s even more impressive is the announcement that the UWA have agreed to fund the monthly competition for a further three years, to the tune of a million Linden dollars per year for art and half a million for machinima. That equates to around US$6000 per year on top of maintaining the UWA presence, which is certainly a demonstration of confidence by the University. It also extends the life of the competition to August 2013, ensuring exposure of a lot of artists over that time.

Onto the March winners:

Fuschia & Flivelwitz snatch IMAGINE, Breen machine chugs on: March Winners of UWA 3D Art & Design Challenge

For the very first time, a collaborative work has taken the top IMAGINE Arts prize for the March round of the UWA 3D Art & Design Challenge. The enchanting and enveloping HEATH, created by Fuschia Nightfire & Flivelwitz Alsop held off a very strong field of 55 works from artists all across SL in taking the $L5,000 first prize. Meanwhile in the FLAGSHIP building design challenge, no one seems capable of supooing Nyx Breen who has now won 4 of the 7 to FLASHIP prizes as this yearlong competition has crossed into month 8!

First time entrant, Flivelwitz and veteran Fuschia were thrilled and stunned to have taken the top gong. “Well i suspected we had won something! but not this”, said Fuschia, while Flivelwitz when asked to comment said “It is exciting to be the first to win in a collaboration at the UWA”.

The top 3 in fact were very close, and for the first time ever, a joint 2nd prize was awarded to Julez Odigaunt & Kolor Fall for their incredible works, JULIA’S WILTING HEART SHRINE & OCEANS OF LIGHT.

“Its such an honor that UWA appreciated Julia’s Wilting Heart Shrine. It is a very personal piece and I am glad it was well received. I would like to thank Ulrich Lionheart, the author of the poem. His words are so powerful and full of emotion – purely expressing what I was feeling at the time – it inspired me to create a shrine that allowed me to expose the mindset I was in at the time. It was quite healing” said Julez.

With Nyx’s back to back to back win in March to go with his October win taking his tally to 4, seems it will take some doing to dislodge Nyx who has declared that he will have one FLAGSHIP build submitted each month for the rest of the competition. It is going to take some doing to stop Nyx from having more than half of the entries that will come under consideration for the Grand Prize!

Following the announcements yesterday at the traditional winners announcement party at the UWA SIM, Nyx said, ” I would like to state that outside of developing some wonderful friendships in Second Life, that nothing has been as enjoyable as participating in an event that has truly global and groundbreaking results as the UWA Flagship Challenge. UWA has taken a small art show and made it a must see destination in the Cyber world and an event that if missed in Second Life, then one doesn’t understand the true potential of what was envisioned as the purpose of Second Life… creativity shared across a medium that brings us all closer.Great Job UWA, JJ & Quad and all that help make this possible.”

The best non-scripted entry was BLOOM GLOW by Gumby Roffo, another vetran of the UWA 3D Art & Design Challenge, while Sharni Azalee’s FOREST OF DREAMS was voted top for the PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD!

The Artist Book Prize, being awarded for the final time, went to Miranda Mhia work, STANDING ROOM ONLY. UWA would like to thank Juanita Deharo, Victor Vezina and Juko Temple for making this award possible.

Other winners include Sundog Branner, Ichiko Miles, Gleman Jun, Betty Tureand and Nish Mip. Full list below.

Some other exciting things were also mentioned during the awards ceremony. First of all, UWA played host both in SL & RL to the Big Kahuna himself M Linden, who for the very first time in any universe was displaying his wonderful artworks. These can still be seen at a permanent exhibition within at the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery which is on one of the 5 UWA SIMS.

This space has been listed as an SL destination for the Arts, which is the 2nd location within the UWA SIMS designated as an SL destination for the Arts, the other one being UWA’s Art & Design Challenge platform.

You can hear M Linden’s speech and watch some of the wonderful machinima created for the event on the UWA in Second Life Blog.

The next wonderful thing, is because of all the good news and publicity surrounding the machinima, the art & design competition and M’s show, UWA have been given funding for the Arts & Machinima for a further 3 years following then end of this current cycle in August 2010. The funding have received will allow UWA to provide L$1,000,000 per year for Art Challenges and L$500,000 for Machinima.

Also mentioned was the work of Lili Field, an Australian RL architect who has recreated UWA’s School of Business Building. A replica created based on the original buidling plans of an incredible award winning build at UWA .

IMAGINE CHALLENGE – 3D ART

Imagine Challenge 1st Prize: ($L5,000 + Custom T-Shirt)
HEATH by Flivelwitz Alsop & Fuschia Nightfire
Imagine Challenge 2nd Prize: ($L1,250) JOINT
OCEANS OF LIGHT by Kolor Fall/Patrick Faith
JULIA’S WILTING HEART SHRINE by Julez Odigaunt
Best Non-Scripted Entry: ($L1,250 + Custom T-Shirt)
BLOOM GLOW by Sledge Roffo

Casey WA Cultural Prize 1st Prize (L$4,000)

TBA

FLAGSHIP CHALLENGE – BUILDING DESIGN
Flagship Challenge 1st Prize : ($L5,000)
AxS GALLERY by Nyx Breen (4th time winner)

Honourable Mention Prize for ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES (L$500)
PRIMATAR’S LOVE: THE EVOLUTION by Gleman Jun

THE ANTON MESMER Honourable Mention Prize (L$500)
KINETIC-ART ELLIPTIC THREADS by Sundog Branner

Honourable Mention Prize for ARTISTRY (L$500):
HERA’S LYRE by Ichiko Miles

Honourable Mention Prize for TEXTURE & ATMOSPHERE (L$500):
BUTTERFLY HOUSE by Nish Mip – submitted for the FLAGSHIP Challenge

ARTIST BOOK PRIZE – 1st Prize (L$2,000):
STANDING ROOM ONLY – Miranda Mhia

ARTIST BOOK PRIZE – Honourable Mention (L$500):

WOMEN ARE AFRICAS HOPE – Betty Tureand

PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD (L$500):

FOREST OF DREAMS by Sharni Azalee

Linden Lab CEO’s art show in Second Life: UWA scores again

Linden Lab CEO Mark Kingdon / M Linden isn’t the sort of guy associated heavily with Second Life’s burgeoning art scene. So it’s a little surprising to find out he’s about to have his first art exhibition.

What’s less surprising, at least to me, is that the exhibition will be occurring as part of the University of Western Australia’s presence in Second Life. I’ve said previously that the ongoing art and machinima competitions there are some of the best anywhere, so it’s a deserved location for exhibitions like these.

The momentum that has been generated and maintained by the UWA team has been nothing short of astounding, and things only seem to be growing further. Back to M Linden, here’s how he describes his history as an artist:

From the time I was 6 years old until I was 20, I had planned to be a painter. As I was contemplating graduating from college with a fine arts degree and all that being an artist entails, I decided to make a hard left turn and follow a radically different path. I changed my major to economics, graduated and went on to business school to get a graduate degree. I doodle to focus my mind and I can do it for hours. But, I prefer doodles that I can complete in one short sitting. I gravitate to repetitive constructs of unbroken intersecting lines or interconnected parallelograms…you could call them “dynamic connected systems.” I guess my art and my interest in economics shared this “connected systems” construct.

Drawing in 3D in Second Life wonderful. I can think bigger and do more in Second Life. It’s changed the way I think about art. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. said it best: “Every now and then a man’s mind is stretched by a new idea or sensation, and never shrinks back to its former dimensions.

The Exhibition is called Doodle Art and its opening is on Saturday 27th March at 3pm SLT (9am Sunday morning AEDT), at the UWA’s Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery. You can get a glimpse in Larkworthy Antfarm’s machinima here:

There’s also real world event taking place at the University this Friday, hosted by artist Len Zuks – contact Jayjay Zifanwe in-world if you’re interested in attending that.

Credits for the exhibition as supplied by Jayjay Zifanwe:

The Curator: White Lebed
UWA Owner & Co-Host: JayJay Zifanwe
The Gallery builders: The Slingshot, Nyx Breen
Logo by: Miso Susanowa
Promotional Machinimas: Chantal Harvery and Larkworthy Antfarm
RL Host at UWA: Len Zuks

Again, congrats to the UWA team for their work. Whether you like M Linden’s art or not, it’s certainly an acknowledgement of the work done by UWA to date and hopefully a good indicator of ongoing success.

UWA’s Machinima competition: beauty and success

On Monday the University of Western Australia in Second Life had a bash to announce the winners of its MachinimUWA Challenge. What started out as a L$10,000 prize ended up as L$215,000 thanks to the entries being viewed by the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alan Robson.

You can view each of the entries below, with the descriptions all provided by the UWA’s resident dynamo, Jayjay Zifanwe. If you take the time to view each, you’re likely to agree that the overall quality of entries has been very strong. I don’t envy the 12-member international judging panel for the decisions they had to make on the shortlist of thirteen. The final results were:

Winner
CISKO VANDEVERRE, Berlin, Germany
SEEK

“The judges thought that this was an absolute firecracker of a Machinima with a brilliant and very different approach. This had wonderful humour, amazing visual effects, great quality of editing and remarkable camera control.”

Second Prize
BRADLEY CURNOW, Perth, Australia
MachinimUWA: Art Architecture, Research, Teaching

“With Bradley’s work, the judges felt this had wonderful velocity with fantastic cutting to music transients, an epic soundtrack and showed off the “4 main elements” to great effect.”

Third Prize
COLEMARIE SOLEIL, Florida USA
UWA Machinima Challenge Submission

“ColeMarie’s brilliant modern and edgy piece was another favourite. Responding to the announcement, she said, ‘I would like to thank all the artists involved in the creation of the UWA sims,and to UWA in particular, for this terrific opportunity to creatively express myself. To all my friends who gave me my space and understood how much working on this project meant to me, to JayJay for asking me to make this video, and Surrealia Anatine for getting me into machinima to start with. To energy drinks for keep me working late into the night, and Bryn Oh for ‘subtle’ yet threatening encouragements to finish this video.’ ”

Honourable Mention
MASTERDARK FOOTMAN, Dallas, Texas, USA
The Heart of UWA

(video unavailable)

Honourable Mention
CHANTAL HARVEY, Maastricht, Netherlands
University of Western Australia in Second Life

Honourable Mention
LASLOPANTOMIK YAO, Barcelona, Spain
MachinimUWA

Finalist
PYEWACKET BELLMAN, New York City, USA
University of Western Australia in Second Life

Finalist
SOPHIA YATES, Lancaster, Massachusetts, USA
The Challenge – Architecture, Teaching, Research Arts on the UWA sims

Finalist
IONO ALLEN, Paris, France
Seek Wisdom

Finalist
GLASZ DECUIR, San Sebastian, Spain
MachinimUWA: UWA in Second Life, Achieving International Excellence

Finalist
NOVA DYSZEL, Toronto, Canada
UWA in SL Challange

Finalist
MASTERDARK FOOTMAN, Dallas, Texas, USA
UWA Jan 2010

(video unavailable)

Finalist
SOPHIA YATES, Lancaster, Massachusetts, USA
Second Life Virtual University of Western Australia

Details of Judging Panel

1. Professor Alan Robson (RL) – Vice-Chancellor, The University of Western Australia
2. Professor Ted Snell (RL) – Director, Cultural Precinct, The University of Western Australia
3. A/Professor Wade Halvorson (RL) – Lecturing in Marketing, Business and Electronic Commerce, The University of Western Australia
4. Colin Campbell Fraser (RL) – Principal Adviser (External Relations and Advocacy),
Vice-Chancellery, The University of Western Australia
5. Kelly Smith (RL) – Director, International Centre, The University of Western Australia
6. Jon Stubbs (RL) – Director, Student Services, The University of Western Australia
7. Susana Willis-Johnson (RL) – Marketing Manager, The University of Western Australia
8. Dr Carmen Fies (RL) – Assistant Professor, The University of Texas at San Antonio
9. Torley Linden (SL) – Linden Labs
10. White Lebed (SL) – Lead of Burning Life Art Department, Curator
11. Raphaella Nightfire (SL) – CEO SW&MB Fashion Productions, CEO Evane Model Agency, Snr Writer Best of SL Magazine
12. Jayjay Zifanwe (SL) – Owner of The University of Western Australia (SL), Creator & co-host of the UWA 3D Art& Design Challenge

The final word from Jayjay Zifanwe:

“In the words of Torley Linden as he was being TP’ed out at the end of the ceremony to attend to Viewer 2.0 matters, ‘This has been awesometastic!’. Yes Torley. It has indeed.”

National Portrait Gallery in Second Life

There hasn’t been an enormous fanfare about the launch of the National Portrait Gallery’s doppelganger exhibition in Second Life, but there probably deserves to be. For its first foray into virtual worlds, the Gallery has created an impressive exhibition that beautifully showcases the power of digital artwork.

I asked the architect of the exhibition, Greg More (SL: Dynamo Zanetti) to explain each of the exhibits, which he kindly agreed to do. Greg is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Architecture and Design at RMIT. Since 2002 he’s been primarily engaged in the use of 3D, realtime environments for architecture design visualisation. The RMIT’s island in SL, for RMIT architecture and interior design students, came into existence in early 2007. Greg also happens to be the driving force behind OOM Creative, a local virtual worlds design consultancy

iMirror

Artist: Cao Fei

It seems natural for an exhibition like this to feature machinima, and it’s certainly a striking one that is being shown. Superficially, it’s a montage of Second Life residents’ faces, but the overall effect is much greater.

Greg: “Developed for the Venice Bienale 2007, this is the only work in the show that wasn’t developed specifically for Portrait Island. Space designed to envelope the viewer into a screen experience, and also marks the limits of the landparcel supporting the streaming video.”

CodePortraits

Artist: Patrick Lichty

Aside from the vivid ‘Last Supper’ portrait, which is alone worth a visit, there are also QR codes for each of the portrait subjects, readable by smart phones with the appropriate software installed.

In CodePortraits we can extract these representations from their native environment via Quick Response codes which enable us to watch his archive of footage on our own mobile devices. Viewing these videos on a portable device, that can be played anywhere, at any time, reminds us of the photographs of loved ones and family that we may keep in our wallets, or the earlier tradition of the cameo.

Another fascinating mix of digital media with more traditional imagery.

temporary self portrait in preparation for the singularity

Artist: Andrew Burrell.

The largest work in the exhibition, it’s difficult to provide an explanation of its scope and purpose that’s better than the one provided by the artist himself. In short, the exhibit is a virtual device offering a glimpse of the narratives of the artist’s life, “both remembered and imagined”:

Each of the cubic nodes within the device can forge new connections with its neighbours creating a navigable network of narratives to which the viewer is given access through text and image. The work questions the site of the self and its relationship to the narratives of memory.

Autoscopia

Artists: Adam Nash, Christopher Dodds and Justin Clemens

I have to admit this was probably the exhibit that fascinated me the most. The Autoscopia website explains it nicely, but essentially you enter a phrase such as your Second Life name, and you receive (after a wait) a link to a detailed profile of yourself as found on the internet more widely. Try it for yourself and you’ll likely be surprised with the results.

Autoscopia’s portraits are built using data from internet-based ‘vanity searches’ conducted within the Second Life installation. Each name creates a unique outcome composed of 27 ‘limbs’. Each limb is fed data from websites such as Google, Facebook, Twitter etc, with colours, geometry and audio affected by variations in search volume. Data is then re-published via discrete web pages automatically composed through snippets of text and images collected during the search

iGods

Artist: Gazira Babeli

The experience of entering iGods can be a little disconcerting. The Greek temple exterior contrasts against the impressive experience of having your avatar transposed onto one of the seven ‘sins’ on the inside:

Move a little closer and the clones come to life, morphing into the appearance of the observer’s avatar; replicating their image back at them. Gaz’s hall of mirrors reminds us that, in Second Life, DNA is code and in virtual worlds this code can be replicated or borrowed. This unnerving experience exposes fears associated with identity theft and the often reluctant realisation of personal identification with one’s avatar.

The Wrap

According to Greg, the main approach for the exhibition, and the build, is not to replicate existing notions of portraiture or exhibition space. “Gill Raymond, the curator, set a really open brief for the project, and luckily on my advice we developed the space over a couple of phases, allowing for the environment to evolve, accomodate the artists developing the work, and tie things together with the website content”.

Feedback from visitors to date has apparently been enthusiastic, with a significant cohort of visitors spending more than an hour interacting with the exhibits. Kudos to the National Portrait Gallery for their investment in the exhibition. Alongside the ACVA initiative and the momentum built by the University of Western Australia’s Art competitions in Second Life, it’s fair to say that Australian art in the virtual world is an incredibly lively part of the wider art community.

Check it out in-world

UWA Art 3D Art and Design competition: December 2009 winners

The University of WA’s 3D Art and Design competition continues its significant momentum, with the December 2009 winners now announced. The full announcement below, plus you can view pictures of all the entrants on the UWA in SL blog.

As on of the finalist judges, each month makes me more nervous as I realise the depth of talent amongst the artists that have submitted so far. As always, have a look for yourself – the range of art and sculpture is astounding. The December round saw more than 70 entries across the different categories, so it’s an understatement to say there’s lots of interest.

The winners announced:

Igor Ballyhoo & Patch Thibaud truimph in DECEMBER ROUND of UWA 3D Art & Design

Two incredible works took out top honours in the December Round of the UWA 3D Art & Design Challenge announced on the 10th of January at the University of Western Australia’s IMAGINE Challenge Art Platform. On the tie-breaker ‘Chaos In Order’ by Igor Ballyhoo took the top IMAGINE art prize over Anyunie Daviau’s ‘Araucaria Artist Book’ (which won the Artist Book Prize), and renowned architect Patch Thibaud’s submission called ‘UWA Cultural Precinct Nexus’ beat all comers and set a new standard for the FLAGSHIP Challenge.

Igor also took the People’s Choice Award in another close battle that saw over 300 votes cast. This time it was neck and neck with ‘The Cub Rescue’ by Really Scrabblebat and came down to the final hour of voting. An amazing double by Igor, becoming the first to top both categories!

Stunned by the awards win, Igor said, ” I thank all people that voted for my work and I thank the amazing J.S. Bach for inspiration”

The Flagship Build of Patch Thibaud is true masterpiece and has already received a lot of attention in architecture circles. Frolic Mills, a judge for the Grand Prize and CEO of BOSL & CO said, “Patch has been an inspiration to many here in Second Life: From his first build, ‘The Best of SL Boulevard’ to ‘Ciudad de Mexico’ he has received outstanding critics even from people like SL CEO: Mr. M Linden. But what is trully remarkable about his University of Western Australia enty is that Patch was able to build something that can totally be executed in Real Life and that fits right in with the purposes of the University. I would love to see this art gallery come to life in the real world some day! Well done Patch and congratulations!”

Commenting after his win, Patch said, “The University of Western Australia is doing a wonderful thing, in their Flagship Challenge, for architecture in Second Life. The idea of encouraging creations in SL that could be used for a real world building is an innovative and exciting use of Second Life as a design tool, and further strenghthens the relationship of SL with real world applications. And I think the inclusiveness and openness of the process is an inspired and fertile platform for encourageing the arts in SL in general.”

The build can be seen here through the end of January: http://slurl.com/secondlife/University%20of%20WA/70/128/1999

A record total of 69 entries were submitted for the IMAGINE challenge for December and 5 entries to the FLAGSHIP. Professor Ted Snell, Director of the UWA Cultural Precinct (RL), Chair of the judging panel, had this to say about the entries this month:

“The range of works submitted in December was extremely impressive with a much larger number of entries moving on from technical competence in rendering images and objects to speak with an original voice and engage audiences in a conceptually challenging and intellectually rewarding encounter. The winning works were reflective and thought provoking, using the medium as a means of exploring ideas and concepts rather than merely re-presenting borrowed images or reworking existing concepts. They remain vividly in your memory after the screen has been switched off.

The architectural winner displayed a high level of sophistication and combined extraordinary technical competence with intellectual rigour and practicality. ”

At this point, the Challenge has reached 6 continents of the world, with only Antarctica out of the mix. Canada, the USA, the UK, Scotland, England, Spain, Italy, France, Brazil, Chile, Denmark, Holland, Ireland, Portugal, Austria, Serbia, Tunisia, Germany, Japan and Australia are all represented!

A number of other awards were also presented including the the ‘Best Non-Scripted Art’ prize taken by Sistagrlro Wei with ‘Black Soils Plains Running Through My Veins’. Other winners included Miso Susanowa, Jedda Zenovka, Nyx Breen, Scottius Polke, LollyPop Congrejo, Asmita Duranjaya and Oldoak Merlin.

The competition is now receiving entries for the month of January. Location is http://slurl.com/secondlife/UWA/64/132/250

A new prize has also been added to the IMAGINE Challlenge, and this is ‘The Casey Cultural Award’, which encourages artists and builders in all disciplines to research Western Australian historic OR contemporary Culture and present a piece which demonstrates aspects of Western Australian culture, ecomony or society.

A Machinima Challenge with a L$60,000 1st prize, closing on the 31st of January has also been announced.
http://uwainsl.blogspot.com/2009/12/machiniuwa-uwa-machinima-challenge.html

WINNERS FOR THE DECEMBER ROUND

Imagine Challenge 1st Prize: ($L5,000 + Custom T-Shirt)
CHAOS IN ORDER by Igor Ballyhoo

Imagine Challenge 2nd Prize: ($L1,250)
AURACARIA ARTIST BOOK by Anyunie Daviau

Best Non-Scripted Entry: ($L1,250 + Custom T-Shirt)
BLACK SOIL PLAINS RUNNING THROUGH MY VEINS by Sistagrlro Wei

Honourable Mention Prize for TECHNICAL BRILLIANCE (L$500)
VECTOR BEEHIVE by Scottius Polke

Honourable Mention Prize for SERENITY (L$500)
RADIANT STALLIONS by Miso Susanowa

Honourable Mention Prize for MESSAGE (L$500)
SPRAY ADDICT by LollyPop Congrejo

Honourable Mention Prize for BODY OF WORK (L$500)
WORKING FOR YOU & ME, DEVOTIONAL TRINITY & MECHANICAL BIRDS by Oldoak Merlin

Honourable Mention Prize for IMMERSION (L$500)
HEART SEED by Jedda Zenovka

FLAGSHIP CHALLENGE – BUILDING DESIGN

Flagship Challenge 1st Prize : ($L5,000)
UWA CULTURAL PRECINCT NEXUS by Patch Thibaud

Flagship Challenge 2nd Prize: ($L1,250)
FUTURELab by Nyx Breen

ARTIST BOOK PRIZE

Artist Book 1st Prize : ($L2,000)
AURACARIA ARTIST BOOK by Anyunie Daviau

Artist Book 2nd Prize: ($L500)
ASMITA’s PHILOSOPHICAL BOOK DISPLAY by Asmita Duranjaya

PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD (L$500)
CHAOS IN ORDER by Igor Ballyhoo

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