Friday, December 30, 2016

Farewell 2016 you horrible horrible year!

This spoof trailer kind of sums it up but 2016 was not such a great year.  And a few more people were lost since it was made like Carrie Fisher and Richard Adams just a few days ago who, perhaps, is not as well known but was a very influential writer for me.  He wrote Watership Down a childhood favorite book of mine.  He gave me a love for rabbits.   As you can see in the image from Singularity of Kumiko below I put in his book as one the things strewn about at the accident scene.  If you have not read it then I would suggest picking it up.  Also here in Canada we lost Leonard Cohen whose music, lyrics and poetry I admired greatly.  And then at the start of the year my Father died of ALS which Trumps them all (no pun intended) 
      But then I prefer a glass half full.   There have been some great things happening in 2016. While it was too late for my father thanks to the ice bucket challenge the gene responsible for ALS has been found, meaning we are closer to an effective treatment.  Hmm well there was a significant increase in tiger numbers for the first time in a century.  Scientists figured out how to link robotic limbs with the part of the brain that deals with intent to move so people don’t have to think about how they will move the limb, it can just happen.

Child mortality is down across the planet, the ozone layer is repairing itself, A 4-year old befriends a lonely man and helpedhim heal after losing his wife
new Star Wars movies are being made that don't suck, two Olympic runners collided and fell as one struggled to rise from the track the other stopped to encourage her opponent knowingly forfeiting her chance for a medal with the delay.  And tons of other things no doubt.  Happy new year everyone.

Friday, December 9, 2016

"Hand" opens December 10th.

     I would like to thank everyone who voted for me at the AVI awards.  I won both the Favorite Machinima Artist and Favorite Artist categories.  

     Hand will open tomorrow December 10th. Phemie's mixer exploded so she can't play for the opening but will instead play live at 2pm  SLT on the 18th of December (Sunday).  Again I would like to thank Phemie for composing a song for the machinima trailer based on conversations we had about the story for Hand.  I think she did a fantastic job absorbing the mood and it was a pleasure to create the trailer around her song.  The musician named Haze was also very helpful by layering in ambient sound to Phemies track.  Great job you two.  I also would like to thank Bellimora, a wonderfully talented scripter, who made the hud for the work and essentially helped with any scripting that was beyond me.  Scripting and me don't get along
Flutter and Hand
very well.  If scripting were a person and both of us were at the breakfast table at the same, then you would just hear the clink of cutlery.  If we passed in a hallway, then we would pretend to have a message on our phone we had to look at immediately.  If we both went to the theater to watch the new Star Wars movie, well we probably wouldn't sit together.

If you are able to then please put in the windlight settings, shadows and use Firestorm viewer.  The directions are at the landing point.   The hud will attach to you automatically and the pages for the story will appear this time when you walk close to a scene with Flutter (the main character) in it.  Not all scenes with Flutter have a page but many do.  The hud also has a text to local chat button if english is not your first language.  Just click this to send the chat to local and then copy/paste it into an online translator.  There are seven pages to the story and I hope you will enjoy it.

Friday, December 2, 2016

New artwork "Hand" opens December 10th

     After three months or so of writing and building, my new artwork "Hand" is ready to open.  It will open December 10th (which is a terrible time to open something other than Christmas related work as Linden Lab will be promoting all those very soon).  There will be a special concert by Phemie Alcott at 12 noon SLT.  Phemie, along with some additional sounds by Haze, wrote a wonderful song specifically for the artwork which you can hear in the machinima trailer above which I created for it.  She is one of the phenominal talents who reside in our virtual world, and I was fortunate to have her take the time to create something for me.  When you arrive there will again be an experience to accept (If you accepted one of mine before you won't need to) and on the wall some settings to put on the shadows with projectors.  Firestorm is the best viewer to use as I have used a feature which lets me change the windlight sky by altitude.  So some floors of the building have different windlights and they will trigger if you use Firestorm.  There will be a narrative in a hud and this time the pages will appear when you walk within the proximity of the main character named Flutter.  You will meet her in a subway sitting on a bench to start.  There are lots of little hidden things as usual and I am going to limit the amount of avatars to try to keep lag down.
     Sadly I am not sure how long this work will stay up this time.  As my work takes longer and longer to create as it gets more complex it means that people don't come to the region as much as I am building it.  An unfortunate side effect of that is I don't receive tips towards paying tier during the build process which was three months and translates to $900 USD.  For the first time in 8 years I don't have tier rent for next month.  So if you can afford to tip then please do so that Immersiva can stay open.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Machinima - Scissors

     A girl drops her scissors onto the grass when startled during a lightning storm. The scissors land in the soil, one blade piercing it, creating an almost religious symbol or icon which draws forth an Emperor Moth to perch upon it. From there other insects are slowly drawn to the mysterious artifact and begin to worship the symbol and its moth. Soon they begin to fight amongst themselves. The girl looks down upon the tiny world at her feet and is dismayed to see what her scissors have caused. A seemingly innocent tool taken and then distorted into something quite different. After seeing how they have changed, she ponders for a while, then eradicates them. A girl transformed into a Goddess for a little world of insects.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Machinima - Anna's Many Murders

Anna was a quiet girl
who through eyelashes
watched the world

And though she appeared
to be quite meek
inside she harboured
a darker streak 

That is the opening words to Anna's Many Murders which exhibited on Originalia sim. 

Anna visits the Therapist
This was the story of Anna, but she also made an appearance in the story called Imogen and the pigeons.  In a hidden scene the
Therapist/The rapist is seen with a note stating he was getting a new patient named Anna who he had added to the list of names on his monarch board behind him in this photo.  (The patients were given monarchs to take care of).  The note states that Anna might be "Anti social".   Anna doesn't really like authority figures as the therapist discovered.

The therapists calm
was visibly curtailed
when it dawned upon him
that he'd soon be impaled.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Machinima - Obedience

     This was a promo machinima for a hybrid art exhibition which exhibited at both the J├╝disches Museum in Berlin and in the virtual environment of Second Life (LEA). The virtual space was created by Bryn Oh and Jo Ellsmere and showed on monitors within the Museum allowing the guests to navigate the 3D space. The Museum installation was the creation of Saskia Boddeke and Peter Greenaway.

I created a retelling of the Biblical story of Abraham and his son Isaac.  Essentially, God wishes to test Abrahams faith by asking him to take his only son Isaac up upon a mountain to sacrifice him to God.  Abraham takes Isaac up the mountain and is prevented from sacrificing Isaac at the last moment by an Angel.

I was not brought up in a religious home so for much of my life I have been an outside observer of those who practice religion.  I am not against any religion, and generally would say I am curious to watch the ceremonies and stories told.  When I was asked to create something for this museum project I decided to retell this story in a modern fashion.  To essentially look at the story as if it happened today and was seen by someone like me, and then perhaps explained to the police.

So for example, in my story, Abraham is told by God to sacrifice/murder his son by a voice through the TV set late at night.  He tells Isaac that they are going on an adventure so, excitedly, Isaac packs a backpack with things they need as well as two snickers chocolate bars, one for him and the other for his Dad.  They eventually climb an apartment building stairwell to the roof rather than a mountain and upon the top he forces a gun barrel into his sons mouth.  He pulls the trigger but an Angel places her finger between the hammer of the gun and the bullet.  This mirrors the early pictures of Abraham using his finger, like a pacifier, in the mouth of Isaac as a baby.  One of the strongest and earliest bonds between a father and son.

In my version I wondered if Isaac could see the angel or if she were invisible.  I wondered what the moments would be like after God was satisfied with Abrahams obedience towards him and  the gun was prevented to fire.  Would Abraham collapse in relief?  How would Isaac see his Dad knowing that he would have pulled the trigger and killed him?  I wanted to show in the scenes an ugly frantic struggle for survival rather than the gentle scenes usually depicted in religious work.

I also created an "after" scene which showed Isaac cowering away from his father in terror peeking through his fingers.  The Angel stands behind Abraham so it becomes unclear whether Isaac is afraid of his Father or the Angel behind him.

In my research for the story I came across some interesting things describing God in his chambers and the various angels around him completely covered in eyes and watching all... which I then converted to camera lenses.  It was an interesting parallel to the cameras watching us all the time in our everyday lives.  There were the kings who, for all eternity, chant about how wonderful God is.  To an outside observer, well, God seems a bit insecure :)  What I also found interesting was that there are a few variations of translations, and they are pretty huge differences.  In some God says "Abraham, take your son, your only son Isaac and sacrifice...." in other translations it is a question "Abraham would you take your son....."  To me this is a huge and interesting difference.  It is either a command or a question.. and if it is a question then perhaps God doesn't want Abraham to blindly be obedient but rather to think.

I was really happy with the conversation and discourse this work created with most visitors.
People generally talked and debated in a very civil way.  It was encouraging.  I did, however, get a fair amount of angry mail too haha.  But that was to be expected.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Machinima - Rusted Gears

As a result of being nominated for two AVI choice award for Favorite artist and Favorite machinima artist I will be posting a machinima every few days.

Rusted Gears

I watched you leave me
a year ago this dawn
but I have rusted gears
so I can't move on.

I wanted to tell you
how I felt that day
I searched my software
for something to say

but you left me for
emotions true
now I will forever search
for someone like you.