Re: [-empyre-] Introducing Adam and Fabio
Thanks for having me as a guest. I've been really enjoying hearing
what people have to say so far, I hope I can contribute a little. I'm
an artist, I like to make things, everything I attempt to say is said
far more eloquently in my work, so forgive me if I babble like an
inarticulate moron :)
Links to my work can be found at http://yamanakanash.net/projects.html
As an artist working in realtime 3D for 10 years now, I'm happy that
Second Life is currently very popular, as it marks the beginning of
the mainstream 3D MUVE (Multi-User Virtual Environment) era. It's
been a long time coming, and there's been many false starts. Along
with meme timing, I think the chief reason SL was the one to take off
is precisely because of the real world copy philosophy that we all
agree is so irritating. It is a way in for the uninitiated. Once
they're in, most people are happy to identify the differences between
SL and the physical world.
Second Life's chief advantage is its popularity, which (only for a
short time no doubt) justifies working within it's technically very
limited and frustrating environment. It has no scenegraph, so any
kind of nested animation is impossible, as is interesting programatic
animation/interaction or procedural generation. Also, everything is
server-based, which makes elegant or computationally intense
animation and interactivity almost impossible. However it is a very
popular realtime 3D MUVE.
I identify the realtime 3D MUVE as a post-convergent medium. It is
not primarily a visual medium, nor is it primarily any single media-
element, rather it is post-convergent. This means that distinctions
such as audio/vision, real/virtual, live/archived are misleading.
Sound, vision, time, data, network and social interaction all
converge in a symbiotic relationship environment. The idea that,
within such an environment, a person must be represented by a single
visual/temporal presence seems anachronistic and unworkable. The
logical conundrum presented by the avatar is easily demonstrated
inworld by simply 'alt-clicking' on something else - suddenly your
avatar is no longer representing anything, it's simply another
collection of empty geometry.
With a background in performance and music, I approach the medium as
a formal abstract system, referring to but not beholden to any other
system, real or otherwise. Of the pre-convergent media, perhaps music
has the most sort-of-similar approach, since it is also a formal
abstract system that is not overtly subject to a desire to
realistically represent the physical world.
Adam Nash (Adam Ramona in SL).
On 09/08/2007, at 6:41 PM, Melinda Rackham wrote:
When SL first appeared in around 2002-3 I was writing my PhD Thesis
theoretical and technical construction of avatars and virtual reality
multi-user environments. Linden Labs sent me the install disk for
release. I spent a bit of time exploring it than totally
Life as far too limited to generate any real creativity - it
seemed to me
form my interactions and immersion within 3d art environments a
unsophisticated reproduction of first world hierarchical norms and
As I was also working as a world author/creator in VRML, the SL
potential seemed very limited compared to the freedom I was used
didn't think it would take off - I was rather vocal about its
and the pervasive normalcy of its avatar choices. I guess I
considered it a
little suburban.. Not really an arena fit for serious artistic
and predicted that it would hang around for few years and then die
So I come from a position as a SL skeptic as well. Because its has
and grown- many think through its reporting in traditional media.
Geert Lovink posted recently on fibreculture list "The hype around
been intense lately, mainly fed by old school broadcast and print
the wannabe cool corporations." This may be the case - but I've had to
reconsider its importance as an artistic arena and its hype is not
issue in terms of what sort of fascinating practices have been spawned
This brings me to introduce to Adam Nash and Dr Fabio Zambetta ,
RMIT in Melbourne and working in world with sound and artificial
Adam's artistic practice in Second Life is an extension of his
in multi-user virtual environments. It explores the medium for its
performative audiovisual qualities, fundamentally questioning
audiovisual practices in virtual space, especially that of the
sound/composition and performance background strongly informs his
to creating works for virtual environments, embracing sound, time
user as elements equal in importance to vision.
To Fabio SL represents an ideal platform for freeform exploration of
technical challenges in the area of 3D embodied agents on one hand,
networked entities on another. He has two projects starting soon:
1) Building a Virtual Services Infrastructure in Second Life.
The goal of the project is to build virtual services in SL that
is currently achieved by e-business applications such as virtual
digital libraries, online shops, etc.An investigation of how 3D
can constitute a better and/or more efficient and immersive user
with respect to standard web interfaces is expected to be carried out.
2) Generalized Reinforcement Learning for 3D Learning Characters
The goal of this project is to build a solid and adaptive decision
strategy for 3D characters embeddable in entertainment and/or
applications (e.g., video game, serious games, etc.).The main area of
investigation at the moment revolves around building virtual senses
augment the characters’ perception of their surrounding and hence
better information to be used in the decision making process.
Please welcome Adam and Fabio to -empyre-:
Adam Nash is a new media artist, composer, programmer, performer
Heworks primarily in networked real-time 3D spaces, exploring them
audiovisual performance spaces. His work has been presented in
festivals and online in Australia, Europe, Asia and The Americas,
peak festivals SIGGRAPH, ISEA, and the Venice Biennale. He also
composer and sound artist with Company In Space (AU) and Igloo (UK),
exploring the integration of motion capture into realtime 3D
He is currently undertaking a Master of Arts by Research at the
Animation and Interactive Media at RMIT University, Melbourne,
multi-user 3D cyberspace as a live performance medium.
His work as programmer, composer and lead performer in Virtual
acclaimed live and online cyber performance piece seen in Australia
UK, led him to his current interest in virtual performance. He was
programmer and performer with The Men Who Knew Too Much from
including several national and international tours. He has also
composer/sound artist with Not Yet Its Difficult, Theatre Of Hell,
Bronowski. He has performed drums, keyboards and vocals with many
groups and bands in Australia and Japan, including Japanese noise-
collective Proud Flesh, Melbourne electro-dub outfit Half Yellow,
Choo Dikka Dikka (responsible for the legendary underground hit
Destroys Expo’) and Melbourne Concrete Poetry group Arf Arf, among
He also runs the net label concentrated-sound.net to distribute his
sound work under a Creative Commons license.
He is currently a Lecturer in Computer Games and Digtial Art in the
of Ceative Media at RMIT University. He has been a writer and
Digital Media World magazine, and editor of the Computers and Internet
department at LookSmart. He was also a Project Officer at com.IT, a
community charity he helped to establish that recycles computers and
redistributes them for free to NFPs domestically and overseas. He
in the Japanese language.
Dr Fabio Zambetta holds a Master in Computer Science majoring in
Maths and a PhD in Artificial Intelligence.
He has been working in the multi-disciplinary area of embodied
conversational agents and learning 3D characters over the last four
He has mainly contributed to the advancement of the area of
learning characters, working on the use of reinforcement learning
and classifier systems as a mean to achieve autonomy in characters and
generate meaningful and believable behaviour.
He has also investigated a variety of problems in the 3D characters
like human and facial animation and modelling, and human computer
interaction as witnessed by his publications.
Dr Fabio Zambetta has extensively applied his research to the
and e-commerce application domains in the last few years, and has
a software consultant/instructor in the games and software industry.
Dr Fabio Zambetta served as a guest researcher at the prestigious
Fraunhofer-IPSI institute (Darmstadt, Germany) during summer 2001.
of his investigation revolved around the design of techniques for the
efficient transmission and animation of facial expressions in
Over the past four years Dr Fabio Zambetta has co-supervised more
Honours Students on topics including facial animation, learning
web agents, and he is currently supervising a PhD student on the
emotions and learning to improve adaptation and individuality of NPCs
(Non-Player Characters) in videogames.
His current research focus revolves around interactive storytelling
hand (a book chapter is in preparation for the very well known AI Game
Programming Wisdom series, to be published in 2008), and on 3D
perception and decision making on another (this research being
funded by the
RMIT Emerging Researchers Grant, 2006 round).
In his spare time Fabio loves modding games such as Neverwinter
Unreal Tournament, Warcraft, and programming cool pieces of software.
Dr Melinda Rackham
Australian Network for Art and Technology (ANAT)
PO Box 8029
South Australia 5000
ph: 61 8 8231 9037; fax 61 8 8231 9766
Australian Network for Art and Technology (ANAT) is supported by
Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian, State and
Territory Governments; the Australian Government through the
Council, its arts funding and advisory body, and the South Australian
Government through Arts SA.
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