[-empyre-] short overview

Hello everyone! 

I've been looking forward to this month's conversation as well, and am
finding it interesting already. As a start though, I'll give a little
introduction about some of the things I do in/with SL. 

In my work for industry (film, TV, print, art), I advise clients (creators &
producers) on Second Life -- what it is about, whether it is appropriate for
them to enter it and if so, how. A couple of examples:

a) Mentor for a UK author Alison Norrington. Norrington has been adapting a
print novel onto the web for her Online MA in Creative Writing and New Media
program. Norrington has been developing the protagonists identity across a
number of social networking sites, on a blog, with videos, SIMS and Second
Life. Since Norrington was new to SL and didn't have much time or $$ to
create elaborate sets, her SL component consisted of the character meeting
people inworld, in character. 

b) In my capacity as a board member of dLux Media Arts, a screen and digital
arts organization in Australia, I advised them on SL and the art scene. dLux
was interested in exploring the space but wanted to do it gradually. In
order to assist dLux in finding out more about SL arts practice, to
introduce the SL community to dLux and service the SL community I was the
strategist and developer for the dLux Pony Club. The club is basically a
tour of SL arts practices. I commissioned Cubey Terra to build some cute
ponies (which was the director of dLux -- David Cranswick's inspired idea).
Guests of the tour jump on the ponies and teleport around SL visiting
spaces. The idea behind the tours is to encourage shared experiential
critical discussion of SL arts practices. The next stage of this project
will have guest tour guides. (more info www.dluxponyclub.org).

The idea that there is a need for shared critical discussion came out of my
own observation that there isn't much critical discussion of SL artworks.
Though there is within the SL art community, the conversations don't really
reach people outside it. As we're all aware, most of the discussions about
SL in the public sphere are usually introductory rants. So, early last year
I started writing for Australian academic Angela Thomas
(http://angelaathomas.com/)/Anya Ixchel's SL arts magazine SlateNight. 

My second piece, The White Cube of the Virtual World Art Space (in 2 parts),
discussed 'remediation' in SL. I noticed as I wondered around the many
spaces that there were remarkably different approaches to art in SL. To
describe these differences I invoked Richard Grusin and Jay David Bolter's
notion of 'remediation'. (Which is the term Patrick just flagged too!)
Bolter and Grusin's 'remediation' describes a continuum of how 'old' media
is represented and subsumed in digital media. What I did in the articles was
to describe a continuum of how 'real world' art is remediated in SL. I was
asked to present these ideas at the NMC's Impact of Digital Media Symposium
last year (an inworld lecture!). 

The slides of the talk and link to the audio are here:
Or the articles are here:
Part one:
Part two:

Another article I wrote explored academic and SL artist JC Freemont's
(http://pages.emerson.edu/faculty/j/john_craig_freeman/) adaptation of his
'Imaging Place' works. In particular, I interrogated how the work is
informed by and the nature of Gregory Ulmer's theory of 'chorography',
aporia and epiphany. One of the things JC mentions as an affordance of SL is
that he gets the opportunity to speak to people about his works. Rather than
creating a work and leaving it in a gallery and perhaps not being privy to
how it was experienced by guests, in SL he is in there and speaks to people
quite often. He is able to get feedback, and explain his works 'in
person'...and this has been quite exciting and inspiring for him as an
This article is here:

I have also reviewed another of JC's installations with a Second Front
performance at the opening. In this article I explore the nature of borders
in JC's artwork, Second Front's and SL/RL in general. As Kathy flagged
earlier, what I found quite interesting about the Second Front performance
is that I found it really difficult to discern what was a griefing, a glitch
and what was part of the performance. 
This article is here:

One of the areas I'm particularly interested in, considering my research
focus, is works that include the real world in them. There have been a lot
of live streams (RL to SL and vice versa) but this is more a broadcast
angle. I'm interested in artworks that are more in line with what Andrea
Zapp calls 'networked narrative environments'...where the Net (in this case
SL) and other sites and the real world are brought together to create an
integrated artwork. I've got some I've come across but I'd love to hear of
any projects this esteemed list would be aware of. 

Christy Dena/Lythe Witte

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