Saturday, July 31, 2010

#secondlife art tour Saturday

Real life may change for some however Second Life continues to provide a platform for presenting the work of artists, authors and educators. While I have not been able to maintain my previious level of writing about and exploring Second Life I have found that creativity remains strong in Second Life as I have demonstrated below.

If you enjoy seeing innovations in art, presentation of art, and mixed media I highly recommend a journey into Second Life. Today I visited the University of TX in San Antonio and got a new perspective into art in Second Life.

The work of Bryn Oh, I retrieved the information below from a notecard retrieved at the University of TX site where this build is located. Please watch the machinima:

Opening the door allows the viewer to cam into a bunker type enclosure. The first element encountered is an old radio playing the music of Vera Lynn. Vera Lynn was born at the end of WWI and sang music for the troops in WWII. Her music offered hope to the common soldier. In addition to the radio the viewer will also find two types of flying robotic insects symbolizing war technology and the dog fights of WWII.

The viewer proceeds down a narrow tunnel into a new room whose main focus is a tiny robot in a test jar. The robot is in the process of being handed a cable which will allow them both to be connected. They are the expendable creations of the Scientists. Experiments viewed dispassionately by humans, yet who contain deep emotions of fear and lonliness. Perhaps moreso than their keepers. They symbolize soldiers as game pieces for war leaders. Left clicking the tiny robot will show the machinima for this build.

To learn more about artist Bryn Oh I would suggest visiting his blog, his in world sites, and viewing his mahcinima. Below are some photos I took of his work in Second Life:

Utopia 04:


Immersiva on midnight settings:

Here I am sitting atop a mushroom in Immersiva:

The work of Second Life resident, Ragamuffin Kips is also featured at the University of Tx San Antonio build. The background information below was retrieved from a note-card in Second Life.


Ragamuffin Kips is the alterego of Texas-based artist Anthony Jacob. His current fascination lies in merging SL elements with pastel and charcoal drawings to create works with a foot in both "worlds." A life-long artist, holding a master's degree in Communication Arts, Anthony has a passion for both the theory and practice of art in virtual space, and their future implications for the human endeavor of creation.


My new work continues with themes of organic form, but seeks to merge my real life experiences with this new world of virtual sensations. Stepping back from it as viewer, I'm often surprised by some of the imagery it conjures. These images appear, to me, deeply personal but also universally human.

In addition to the University of TX build Ragamuffin also has a a gallery in Second Life.

From the University of TX art notecard:
by Gary Kohime

When we are united as a collective we are able to accomplish many things. Especially when it comes to Humanitarian endeavors or causes.

My Piece represents, at its base, the source that brings us together in Unity as a spiritual rose.

In the center of the rose is a cocoon. The cocoon represents the many various factors that need to come together to give birth to all our efforts, as a collective, in order to make a difference; its also being protected inside the rose. The cocoon strings are all of us, as individuals, not only coming together, but also as the glue to staying the course for a particular cause.

As it matures inside the cocoon then it breaks through as a process of realization that has us reach out our hands to those in need.

After all is said and done, the Red Tipped rose represents the budding of an even greater Unity with those that were served. This will ultimately be a cause to some future blossoming into those that received help will or may assist with some need to come.

In closing;

I sincerely hope, that when the occasion arises, that we step up as brothers, and sisters and do the right thing.

Thank you


Gary’s art:

Igor Ballyhoo:

My work on this exibit is appology to person who you see infront of you in name of all human kind and in the name of humanity...
If you dissagree with me, kiss my ass!
Igor Ballyhoo

Field of Scissors:

I would like to thank every person that was interested in seeing it, my special thanks to all of you that even filmed it...
I must admitt that I find some of machinimas that were made in my forest even more interesting then forest itself:

ColeMarie Soleil

Osprey Therian

Nur Moo

Welcome to the HeartSeed
[13:14] HeartSeed: Plant the Seed and Nurture it.
[13:14] HeartSeed: It Will grow....
[13:14] HeartSeed: Reach for The Stars!.
[13:14] HeartSeed: Put your hands in the Earth!.
[13:14] HeartSeed: For many years.
[13:14] HeartSeed: We have been together.. linked through the etheric plane,...
[13:15] HeartSeed: ..we are the seven spirits of celestial light, and love of our creator.
[13:15] HeartSeed: We meet like brothers and sisters to honour our link within the etheric plane.
[13:15] HeartSeed: We are of the earth yet of the stars.
[13:15] HeartSeed: Children of the forest seek and you shall find my brothers and sisters.
[13:15] HeartSeed: For We are All Children of the Light.

There are many fascinating places in Second Life such as Patron Art decor and Gallery, owned by Eliza Wierwright in Second Life:

Raul Crimson wrote about Patron in December 2009 at this blog:

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Music in Second Life

Second Life does provide plenty of opporutnities for musicians to gain a following, allbeit somewhat small..but then you get to get this audience sitting in front of your computer, in the comfort of your own home or studio if you wish.

I decided to venture out today, and wander around and listen to various musicians, take some pictures and review the music scene in education from an educators perspective. Is there a chance that college level music programs can use Second Life as a learning opportunity for students?

It's 8 am (SLT) and I am sitting in the comfort of my living room when I log in to go on this venture. I find that musician Russell Eponym is playing at the Drunken Dow in Second Life. Russell plays regularly at the Drunken Dow at this time every Saturday morning. He has a soothing voice and focuses on folk songs. Based upon a review of his calendar you can see that this talented singer is actively involved in bringing his music to an audience in Second Life.

According to his real life bio he is:

Russell Taylor Ashby
Quintessentially British living in North Wales
- musician/singer/songwriter
- artist
- writer
- teacher
For free downloads go to:
For photos go to:

While these events are held virtually it is important to remember that these events are experiential can be experienced as if they are real, and quite enjoyable.

It is hard to judge how much these artists make in Second Life. If 10 people are there and they each tip around 100L the artist gets 1000L for that performance which lasts an hour. 1000L is a little less than $4.00 (USD), if they also charge a fee to the venue to perform they may get anywhere from 3000L - ..well I suppose up to what the venue is willing to pay.

I could listen to the amazing russell Eponym all day, his music, his story, and his voice are amazing.

Musicians in Second Life are more than happy to promote and sing for fundraisers. Today I attended a fund raiser for Virtual Helping Hands Helen Keller Day celebration in Second Life at Club Accessible. This morning Jordan Reyne was playing..and I found her to be amazing artist.

As a visitor to Second Life you should be impressed by the level of fundraising that occurs across the grid, the willingness of talented musicians to give of their time to support these efforts, as well as the level of talent involved.

By 9:46 am I was wandering over to Avillon Mist to listen to Shannon Oherlihy, in my opinion, one of the best singers in Second Life. Her voice evokes memories of Joan Baez or Judy Collins.

I then wandered over to Guthries in Second Life to listen to davecorbett Darwin. He has this wonderfully gravelly voice that really resonates with the blues lover.

Second Life Musicians have a variety of ways to promote themselves. The venue owner who books an artist who has a good following really has a gem as these people come with the artist to visit your sim and perhaps even tip your venue. If you have shops on your sim perhaps they will shop for some virtual goods.

Below is a picture of Guthries which shows how signs, group joiners and other boards are used to get tips and have people join your group so they return to your venue:

I next found Remy Farman at Club Falling Water's Back Up Club. I found his web tab and reviewed his schedule of events. As you can see his event run through the morning, 10 am SLT and 12 PM SLT. Remy like Russell is also from Wales according to his bio.

One of my favorites is the superb singer, Tone Uriza in Second Life. He is pure blues singer and is simply amazing. His Second Life information is also on this website. I see that Tone only has a couple of shows lined up in Second Life, I hope this doesn't mean he is backing off on his events in SL.

This is what I am finding, that at this time of the day most of the artists are from the UK or other countries. This is a wonderful thing, Second Life is truly a 24 / 7 venue for events, to see and hear artists from all over the world, and to be entertained at all times of the day or night.

Second Life provides a means of communication via instant messaging, groups, notecards, and the guides associated with Second Life. In addition to this many artists make use of websites, Livestreaming and Ustreaming.

What can students gain from this? A way of gaining an audience, getting feedback on their singing, and a motivation to practice. They can also link up with other artists all over the world. In addition they can also learn a little about entrepreneurship through promoting themselves and/or their own venues.

Of course I can't close this out without mentioning one of my favorite venues in Caledon..that of the Empress of the Aethers on Thistle Hill. I have watched this from the start and there are exciting things going on there as Mr. Plutonian slow grows the following of this fine venue for musicians. These musicians include Mrmulti Writer, Shannon Oherlihy, Geos Copperfield, Strum Diesel, and DJ Lucien Brentano. If you are looking for a venue drop Andy Riverstone, manager, a note or one to Onyx Plutonian, owner, to get the details on scheduling your event there.

The interior of the beautiful Empress of the Aethers:

Another shot of the stage:

I include Empress of the Aethers here not only because it is owned by a friend but because it is also one of the most aesthetically pleasing venues I have visited, musicians and the audience all seem to love it. This is a key point if your venue is hard to find, if you don't promote your event using the events feature of Second Life, subscribo matics, groups,etc you just aren't going to have a good draw to your events..and a good audience means good tips.

Have a successful venue for music in Second Life just takes persistence. I have heard a rule of thumb that establishing a small business in real life may take a year or longer, it may take at least that long in Second Life if not longer.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Science in Second Life

Opportunities abound to access science related sites in Second Life. Of course the largest and most complex of these is SciLands in Second Life. Beyond that a list of science related sites in Second Life is also maintained. Zazen Manbi (Second Life avatar name) can be credited with creating the Science School and has a passion for the opportunities for Science education in the virtual world. You Tube videos abound on the use of Second Life in science education. In fact in August of 2007 the Science School was featured in an article in Inside Higher Education.

Despite the fact that many still predict the demise of Second Life, I found that the use of Second Life for science education is very much alive. I decided to tour some sites to see exactly what is going one and I found that the Science School is still as vibrant as it was almost three years ago when featured by Inside Higher Education.

The Science School is part of a larger group of sims known as SciLands. The leadership of Scilands maintains a blog that keeps those interested in science education in Second Life

The Science School

Ohio State University maintains a site in Second Life which includes a tour of the male testis. The photos illustrate the dynamic nature of this presentation:

The Tech Virtual Museum

The Tech Virtual is a not only a museum in Second Life, it is also a collaborative design platform for science and technology museums worldwide. The purpose of this platform is to generate concepts and content for use in museum exhibits.

Curators can select from content that includes broad concepts, exhibit models, and media.
International teams can collaborate virtually to produce exhibits or model an entire exhibition.
All content created here is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license. This means that participating curators and designers can utilize content from this resource by citing authorship credit in the resulting creation.

The photos below illustrate the variety of projects in The Tech Virtual Museum:

A variety of displays demonstrating social networking:


According to their website this sim in Second Life:

"from the National Physical Laboratory launched NanoLands in the virtual world of Second Life – a place where nano science and technology communities come together to exchange ideas and knowledge. NanoLands is part of NPL’s Nanotechnology Island, which offers regular events and opportunities for people to attend presentations, meet, network and influence others in envisioning and defining the future of Nanotechnology."

Pharmacology Lab designed to provide students to participate in a variety of acitvities in a Pharmacology Lab this site provide this experience 24/7.

Space Destiny

Elcuian Islands;

Explorer island

Welcome to Explorer Island, home of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Second Life. The island is presently under construction, but please feel free to look around while we build.

HERE - ISM Entry Point and Entrance to the JPL Mall Area
EAST - The "Probe Garden" of robotic space missions
NORTHEAST - Delta II Launch for Phoenix and Dawn events
NORTH - Von Karman Meeting Area & JPL Mall
SOUTHWEST- Mars Mountain Area with the following displays:

To the south part of the island you will find a mountain with a platform. From the platform you can launch a Mars Airbag and it will roll down the mountain in a direction based on forces from the wind, terrain and initial random speed. If you are quick, you can ride the airbag down the hill but the route will change based upon your riding of the airbag.

MARS ROVERS - MER and Sojourner
There are two rovers in the Mars Mountain Area. The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) and the Sojourner from the Mars Pathfinder Mission. It's possible to ride Sojourner but only one at a time, it's a small rover.

Once in a while, a dust devil on Mars will blow by the Mars Exploration Rovers. These dust devils are the same as those on Earth except on Mars, they can be 3 times larger than a full tornado on Earth. In Second Life, you and two other friends can ride them around Mars Mountain.

Some photos from Second Nature are below:

With some innovation and creativity virtual labs can be created in Second Life. Information provided at the site is as follows: GEM Calgary's project in Second Life, an educational region about synthetic biology. For more, see:

Examples of this are are the virtual synthetic biology lab from the University of Calgary illustrated in the photos below:

About MICA:

For more information and the schedule of events, please visit

From their website:

We have a series of public lectures, technical seminars and discussions, and informal discussions; please see the website for more details.

You can join the MICA - VW Astrophysics group in SL, and email to be added to the email list for event announcements, etc.

The Meta Institute for Computational Astrophysics (MICA) is the first professional scientific organization based entirely in virtual worlds. Whereas it is focused on computational astrophysics and related fields, we welcome and support other areas of scholarly inquiry.

The goals of MICA include:

* Exploration, development and promotion of VWs and virtual reality [VR] technologies for professional research in astronomy and related fields.

* Providing and developing novel social networking venues and mechanisms for scientific collaboration and communications, including professional meetings, effective telepresence, etc.

* Use of VWs and VR technologies for education and public outreach.

* Exchange of ideas and joint efforts with other scientific disciplines in promoting these goals for science and scholarship in general.

A variety of sites provide a view from space, aeronatics, NASA's jet propulsion, etc:

NASA's Jet propulsion site:

If you review the list of science education sites in Second Life you can see that I have barely scratched the surface with what is available to explore and possibly even replicate at your site. The bottom line is that Second Life can have a positive impact on your bottom line in providing a cost effective alternative to the real life facility.