[-empyre-] outputs -- second life txt - space between people - swerve

Christina McPhee christina at christinamcphee.net
Sat Mar 29 20:09:26 EST 2008

Melinda and everyone,

I've just realized, that the idea of architecture as the 'in-between'   
as Elizabeth Grosz dwells  ("Architecture and the In-Between, '  in  
Architecture from the Outside) in this-- a space between tectonics and  
nature-- isn't really the same concept or problematic as Stephan's  at  
all, as the blurb indicates:

> If architecture is the construction of space between people, .....

So ok  it's about "space between people" :

no wonder I was confused.  The "construction of space between people"  
may be a much broader thing, involving the all arts obviously at a  
basic level, starting with dance; so of course also Second Life.

here's the url reference to the SL discussion from which Melinda and  
Christian have made the book chapter:


Of particular interest to me is Christian's remark when he starts to  
talk about the 'swerve'  or clinamen in Second Life.  I guess there's  
a swerve right here: I just bumped into it!

"I came to Second Life from the perspective of games rather than arts  
practice, so I'm not sure if my observations really apply to your  
question - however, I've noticed than more and more 'griefing'  
occuring (as often becomes pandemic in game worlds when they begin to  
disintergrate) and have found these purposefully disruptive activities  
to be very interesting. As the ABC found out, a couple of bored people  
can dispose of a lot of hard work, and especially considering how open  
the code for SL is, it may still be a point of interest. I'm sure many  
SL users remember the grey plague attacks being carried out and  
supported by the forums of several websites last year. Part of me  
believes that SL is a conspiracy amongst media researchers to create  
work for themselves, that it has no independent life, it exists to be  
spoken about, and it exists to draw funding. So count me amongst the  
skeptics there (unless I can join the conspiracy!)- but really when  
things go terribly wrong, something quite aesthetically complex  
occurs: - there is a continual sense of error. Its prime material for  
me is the 'pataphysical clinamen (following Jarry and then Christian  
Bok's book on 'pataphysics), or a kind of continual, immanent swerve.  
Nothing happens on time, you're always bumping into things, nothing  
works. Which, all things considered, has been producing some really  
marvellous pieces of art. I've been calling it The Garden of Errors  
for a while for that reason, and I think these works articulate that  
swerving really well:
Eva and Franco Mattes: Synthetic Performances: http://www.selectparks.net/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=661
Sculpture Garden: http://www.selectparks.net/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=615 

full text of Christian's post here :  https://mail.cofa.unsw.edu.au/pipermail/empyre/2007-august/msg00064.html


On Mar 28, 2008, at 4:17 AM, melinda R wrote:

> max's post reminded me that last august -empyre- had a discussion
> titled "the good,  the bad and the ugly" on art practices in second
> life
> - see https://lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au/pipermail/empyre/2007-August/date.html
> that discussion became a book chapter written my myself and this
> months co-moderator  Christian McCrea
> titled - "the Grand Tour - Art in Second Life"
> containing lots of shiny pretty pictures,  splashes of theory, and
> insightful and provocative quotes from -empyre- list guests and
> participants
> the book - "Space Between People "-  is available now at :
> http://www.spacebetweenpeople.com/
> The published chapter has been edited a bit from our original,  and
> the uncut version will go up the -empyre- site when i get time!
> cheerio
> mr
> If architecture is the construction of space between people,
> what happens when that space exists in a virtual world? That
> question is the starting point for this collection of revolutionary
> projects by a new generation of designers. The book
> begins by examining the important issues that have emerged
> as technology reshapes our idea of place and proceeds to
> present the four winning projects from the first architecture
> competition held within the explosively popular Internet community
> known as Second Life. Chosen for their inventiveness
> and aesthetic excellence, these structures—a cloud that can be
> inhabited; a meta-museum; an interactive sound scape; and a
> "snow palace" of discarded objects—illustrate the mindbending
> possibilities of digital design. In the book's final
> section, media artists share their real-time experiences
> conceptualizing and creating projects for the virtual world.
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre

Christina McPhee

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