[-empyre-] Welcome to the Good the Bad and the Ugly - Being in Second Life

Hi -empyre-
Our server in Sydney has ticked over into August and I am delighted to
return to -empyre- to be your hostess this month  with a discussion on
creative practices in Second Life : The Good, the Bad and the Ugly - Being
in Second Life <http://www.secondlife.com >
Neal Stephenson's Metaverse reigns supreme. One of it's current
incarnations- the multi-user virtual universe Second Life claims a
population of 8.5 million avatars. SL is embraced by many as an innovative
and safe fantasy scape - enabling play, creativity, education,
companionship, love and lust. It is reviled by some as a cesspit of
antisocial isolationist addictive behavior; and SL is dismissed by others as
simply an over-inflated hype driven commercial venture expounding the values
of property acquisition and commodity exchange.

Whatever your perspective, SL is serious business with an exchange rate
which fluctuates against the $US and an estimated Second Life avatar
electricity consumption equivalent to the average citizen of Brazil.

In this seemingly infinitely expandable universe aesthetic endeavours,
creative constructions and artistic performances are enacted daily by
talented artists and researchers -  some of whom  will join us in discussion
this month as guests, and many more as part of the -empyre- community  and
beyond. We hope to hear from all of you and view your work.

Performance, architecture and artwork images from the guests and -empyre-
community will be available on our Filckr site and a synthesis of the
discussion will be edited into a richly illustrated chapter of a new Pretsel
publication on the Second Life Architecture Competition. No dialogue will be
published without individual approval and if you wish to upload images of
any SL creativite activity which you are posting about to the Flickr site
please email me. <http://www.flickr.com/photos/goodbadugly>

There will be an inworld event during this month long forum  - details of
which will be announced soon. However, now please welcome our guests who
will guide us through their practices, projects, competitions, theories and
alternate lives over the coming month:

--> Annabeth Robinson (UK) is a Second Life Artist focusing on interactive
and sound driven projects, Metaverse consultant and Sim builder, Lecturer
-Design for Digital Media at Leeds College of Art and Design.
aka AngryBeth Shortbread    http://www.annamorphic.co.uk/

--> Patrick Lichty (US) is a technologically-based conceptual artist,
writer, independent curator, co-founder of the Second Life based
performanceart group, Second Front, animator for the The Yes Men, &
Executive Editor of Intelligent Agent Magazine
aka Man Michinaga, http://slfront.blogspot.com

--> Stephan Doesinger (Austria) is a conceptual artist and architect who
initiated Bastard Spaces the 1st Annual Architecture and Design Competition
in SL to be announced at Ars Electronica
aka Doesi Beck http://www.doesinger.com/ http://www.sl-award.com

--> Dr Ricardo Peach (AU) is the Program Manager for the Inter-Arts Office
at the Australia Council for the Arts, which is funding a SL residency..
aka Ricardo Paravane

--> Christy Dena (AU) is researching changes to art and entertainment in the
age of cross-media production for her PhD at the University of Sydney. Dena
works as an industry strategist, mentor, educator and journalist.
aka Lythe Witte  http://www.christydena.com/ http://www.lythewitte.net/

--> Dr Fabio Zambetta (AU) lectures at School of Computer Science and
Information Technology at RMIT University Melbourne and researcher in the
area of 3D embodied conversational agents, 3D virtual environments, and
interactive storytelling.
aka Fabio Forcella http://goanna.cs.rmit.edu.au/~fabio/projects/

--> Kathy Cleland (AU) is a writer, curator and lecturer in the Digital
Cultures Program at The University of Sydney and is currently completing her
PhD investigating avatars, digital portraiture and representations of the
self in virtual environments. aka Bella Bouchard
--> Adam Nash (AU) is a media artist, composer, programmer, performer and
writer who works in networked real-time 3D spaces, exploring them as live
audiovisual performance spaces. His work has been presented at SIGGRAPH,
ISEA, and the Venice Biennale.
aka Adam Ramona http://yamanakanash.net/
 ---> Dr Melinda Rackham (AU) is the Executive Director of ANAT -
Australia¹s peak cultural organisation for artists working with emerging
technologies.  Her Ph.D. explored the nature and construction of avatars and
multi-user Virtual Reality Spaces.
aka Marina Regina  http://www.subtle.net

Welcome to -empyre-'s Second Life

Dr Melinda Rackham
Executive Director
Australian Network for Art and Technology (ANAT)
PO Box 8029
Station Arcade
South Australia 5000
ph: 61 8 8231 9037; fax 61 8 8231 9766

Australian Network for Art and  Technology (ANAT) is supported by the Visual
Arts and Craft Strategy, an  initiative of the Australian, State and
Territory Governments;  the Australian Government through the Australia
Council, its arts funding and advisory body, and the South Australian
Government through Arts SA.

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