Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Pirats Opening La Manufacture Art Gallery

The opening begins at 1:30 pm PDT/SLT and features the following artists:

Chu Ann, Daruma Boa in SL
Jeffrey Lipsky, Filthy Fluno in SL
Josina Den Burger, Josina Burgess in SL
MiraBelle, Marielou Decuir
PJ Trenton

Sunday, June 19, 2011

An Interview with soror Nishi

“hihi”, it was a simple introduction that soror Nishi had made in her very first blog post, on the 4th of May in 2007.  Four years and one thousand and eighty five posts later, she’s had plenty to say on a host of topics, from notes on her creations, to what was on her mind on a particular day and seemingly, all points in between. It had only been a few weeks prior to that post, that she’d rezzed in Second Life for the first time. While her introduction was brief it wasn’t long before she began exploring that medium, sharing her insight on topic after topic and … Oh, and lest I forget … her fantastical builds … the colors and forms used to create the most delightful objects. Her trees are easily distinguishable and the hallmark of her landscapes … all of which she combines into scenes that dazzle the eye, defy description and produce an imagery that transports the viewer to places they can only dream about. It is one that cannot be experienced outside of a virtual world.

I’d seen over the course of my travels in Second Life and in InWorldz several of her builds. The most recent opportunity had been “Transubstantiation”, which had exhibited at UWA. We’d been introduced by a mutual friend some time ago and we’d exchanged pleasantries several times as our paths had crossed. It had been shortly after seeing the UWA build that we’d talked about my doing a piece on her. She agreed and we set a date and time.

"Everything is going well in your world I hope?" I asked as soon as she'd arrived at my place on Magna Carta. We stood on the third floor of the structure, it is open to the sky as I'm in process of re-building and hadn't raised the walls of third floor yet.

"Yes, I had a bit of brain lag for a week or two … but it's all cool again." She replied.

"That's good to hear." I said with a smile. "Are you ready to start?"


"How and when did you discover virtual worlds?"

"In April 2007 … I was at a house in Cornwall where two of the guys there were in SL. I was just starting an exhibition of paintings (RL) and they said how I should try and sell them in SL. So ... talking with them I soon realized that actually I could BE the paintings, or be in them anyway. So ... sculpties were just being introduced … it took me ages to unRuth. I had an old Mac lappy ... well ... and so it went ... I sat in this exhibition in RL for 4 weeks with my lappy and tried to get Blender to work, there were no tutorials and I eventually made a prim … sculptie and I painted loads of textures and ... the rest is history." She replied and then added with a smile; "I only sold one painting."

"I saw that you'd started your blog right around then as well. Was that your first experience blogging?" I asked.

"Yes, first it was just a sort of diary … just thoughts and a sort of documenting my time, and then it became more to do with my work and eventually a mix of all sorts of stuff." She said in reply.

"It has a very good following and interaction with your readers. Is that interaction important to you?" I asked her.

"Well ... I think its a pain to send out information to all my friends list all the time, so I wanted it as a place where people could find out what I was up to, but more recently it has been great to exchange ideas with people. It's also corrective, because if I go off at a tangent, my readers will tell me ... I like that."

"Shifting back to virtual worlds ... What is it about them that you find so interesting?" I asked.

"It is pure heaven for a sculptor. I have always been a 3D designer since I was small, but it wasn't called that. I have ... like some people hear music all the time ... I have always seen shapes, form and composition and color. It's a continual experience for me. Everyday I see how things sit in 3D alongside each other. I always have. I think there's a sort of set of rules of harmony … how volumes interact in space. It's like music must be for some people ... there's harmony and disharmony. I was probably around 4 or 5 when I started arranging things." She said in reply and then added; "Soo ... virtual worlds are heaven."

"Has the creativity you've experienced here helped you in your real life?" I asked.

"I think the recognition. The fact that people 'get' what I do, that has helped with my confidence as a creator, but I haven't really turned that into any visible change in my real life … my confidence has increased and my computer skills."

"And that's a good thing." I commented.

"Indeed. I actually have a problem with RL art because it entails manufacturing a product, which I am good at ... but that leads you to a life of sales … I hate sales." She said and then laughed before she added; "And ... then there's storage too … so digital art is perfect for me. I was asked if I have an aim with my art and really, as far as RL goes, the answer is not really".

"Creation for the sake of doing so?" I asked.

"Yes ... and I am really the only person I need to satisfy. I am my strongest critic, so if I am happy ... life is sweet." She said in reply and then added, "Well, it is important as I said above that other people get it."

"A blog post you wrote in June of last year in which you said that 'Art in SL is different … There is no difference between artist and artisan in SL'. Do you still feel the same way?" I asked her.

"Yes, that was inspired a bit by that post by Alpha Auer. She meant that art in previous times had a sort of purpose, a function ... and that losing that had caused art to lose its way a bit. And so now ... these earrings I've been wearing for four years ... that's a very close relationship to one person's creation. That's as important as any painting or other fine art." She replied.

"I would tend to agree with you, seeing how much effort it takes to create a piece of apparel in second life." I commented.

"Yes, I mean really it's the same in RL too, I guess." She said.

"Which of your creations do you think is the most significant to you as an artist and why?" I asked.

"That's a tricky one … my sofa is very good, and mostly unnoticed, but my skin is the one I think affects me most … not this one by the way. When it comes to trees ... it would be quite difficult to pick one … my birch, maybe?" She replied.

"I was thinking that perhaps it might be one that you'd learned the most about yourself." I commented.

"hmmm ...that's a continual process, not sure I could narrow that down to one piece ... though there is a painting which I made before I knew of SL … of soror based on my reading of Jung. That probably led to soror that would be quite important."

"Speaking of soror, how did you come about that name?" I asked.

"It’s from European Alchemical tradition, she is the muse of the alchemist." She replied.

"I couldn't help notice in your picks, second life profile, that most of it seems to have been de-rezzed. “Was that a result of your moving to IWz as a base?" I asked.

"No. Well ... partly … but as you know builds come and go, it's the nature of this medium. The beach, my land on lifstaen I gave up so that I could afford a sim on IWz … the others were just natural wastage."

"Things do change in second life, no doubt there. What are the themes and trends that you think important for the future of your work in virtual worlds?"

"Well, in some ways it's just to continue doing what I do better. I don't have an aim and I'm never really sure what my next build will be. Twisted Isle is quite different because Transubstantiation was a sort of summary of 4 years work … a simplified version of tree of trees. Then Jeri Rahja gave me the opportunity to do something different and it's not got many trees on it at all." She said and then quickly added; "Four trees … one type."

"I'd missed Tree of Trees, but thought transubstantiation was one of the most amazing builds I'd ever seen." I commented.

"Thanks. Well ... in Trans I had started to change direction slightly anyway. I took a bit of a step towards a more abstract version of my previous work and incorporated a slightly urban feel too." She said.

"I'd thought the geometry was different then some of what I'd seen of your work before." I said.

"Yes … well ... I've always had the belief that the geology of virtual worlds is geometrical and it was time to show that. The Lindens wrote the rule book. They decided we would have sea and sun and earth and gravity ... but, really none of those things are a given in virtual worlds. Its possible other grids may arise where these things don't exist, but...the geology will be geometrical there too." She said and then added with a grin; "And the trees will look like mine."

"Yes, I think that's one reason why WoW is so popular. Avatar was a popular movie. We crave fantasy rather than replication in my opinion … replication is simply doubling my life. Why would I need that … but...the opposite is interesting … parallel universes...very appealing."

"Have you been to WoW?"

"No, I am not very competitive … it doesn't appeal."

"One last question, have you been able to increase the sales of your real life work?

"No. Well, I haven't really tried. I don't have a product for sale … my work RL is going fine. I do landscaping and gardening … but I don't sell an art product." She replied

We talked briefly after her reply and then she left to log out for the evening. As she did so,  I made a note to check out her latest build in InWorldz and soon.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Seasons of Hope Relay Weekend 2011

I received the following notecard from Noki Blindside:



Relay For Life of Second Life will be held this year on the weekend of July 16th and 17th, 2011.  It is the culminating weekend to months of fund-raising, and a time when we all come together as one team in our fight against cancer.  On that weekend, forty sims will make up our Relay track, themed builds will span the sims, and each team will have a plot of land to build their team campsite.

Each team is given a small parcel of land to build a team campsite. Teams decorate their campsites to a team theme or a theme that will tie into the over all Relay theme which this year is SEASONS OF HOPE.   You will have to follow a few guidelines such as prim allotment etc, but it is your plot to have fun with!  If you would like suggestions for builds, or need any help with building your campsite, Design Chair, Charlene Trudeau and her team of designers and builders will provide help for you.

The campsite is the team’s home base and the point of support that will keep them going throughout the Relay weekend.  You may NOT hold fundraising events at your campsite due to sims becoming overloaded and people not being able to walk the track.  You MAY sell items at your campsite if they are in the RFL vendors or you may have people sponsor you per lap.  Keep in mind the track spans 40 sims, so each lap may take a good hour or two.

A moving tribute to survivorship, cancer survivors from Second Life start-off the Relay by walking a victory lap around the track known as the Survivors’ Lap. Also a Luminaria Ceremony to honor those affected by cancer is held at dusk. Lit candles are placed in bags bearing the names of both survivors and those lost to the disease.

Throughout the evening and into the next day, everyone enjoys entertainment, fun, and camaraderie. Long before walkers have completed their last lap, new friends have been made, old friends have been hugged, and all hearts have been touched by the magic event that is the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life.

Each community’s Relay For Life is special and our Second Life Relay For Life is no different, but it’s greater power lies in the synergy created from all the Relays taking place nationwide.

The common theme of every Relay, dating back to Dr. Klatt's first efforts, is to have members of teams continuously walking, running or rolling around a track for 24 hours, to honor those who are surviving cancer, those who have died from it, and the efforts of all who fight it. Cancer never sleeps, and the fight against cancer never rests!

Some common elements of Relays across the world and here in SL as well include:

Celebrate – The Survivors Lap
Relay starts with a Survivors Lap – a inspirational time when survivors are invited to circle the track together and help everyone celebrate the victories we’ve achieved over cancer. The Survivors Lap is an emotional example of how Relay participants are ensuring that more lives are saved each year – like those of each individual on the track. We also recognize and celebrate caregivers at Relay For Life. These individuals give their time, love, and support to friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers who face cancer. At Relay, people understand the frustrations and joys of being a caregiver, since the effects of cancer reach far beyond just the person diagnosed.

Remember – The Luminaria Ceremony
after dark, we honor people who have been touched by cancer and remember loved ones lost to the disease during the Luminaria Ceremony. Candles are lit inside bags filled with sand, each one bearing the name of a person touched by cancer, and participants often walk a lap in silence. As people take time to remember, those who have walked alongside others battling cancer can grieve and find healing. This is a time that truly highlights the importance of defeating this disease.

Fight Back – The Fight Back Ceremony
Last, there is a Fight Back Ceremony, where we make a personal commitment to save lives by taking up the fight against cancer. That personal commitment may be to do something as simple as getting a screening test, quitting smoking, or talking to elected officials about cancer. By taking action, people are personally taking steps to save lives and fight back against a disease that takes too much.

Celebrate, remember, and fight back are themes that link all Relays events together.  

For more information contact:

MamaP Beerbaum
Event Chair

Dwen Dooley
Event Co-Chair


Survivors & Caregivers Art Show and Auction

The note card arrived when I had been off line and when I had the chance after I'd logged in-world, I ported over to look around.  With pieces donated by RAG Randt, Miso Susanowa, Trill Zapatero, Gracie Kendal, Feathers Boa …. I could go on and on here, but it'll be easier to attach the list Tricia Aferdita provided. A worthy cause and good art to view and or bid on. Enjoy!

The RFL Survivor/Caregiver Committee exists to honor cancer survivors and cancer caregivers during the RFL of SL fundraising season, and during Relay.

Toward this end, we bring you the Annual RFL Survivors/Caregivers Art Show & Auction!

Beginning on Sunday, June 12th, 2011 at Noon SLT, the public viewing and the Silent(scripted)Bid Auction will take place on the American Cancer Society sim. This part of the event will run an entire week, ending on Saturday, June 18th at 11:59pm.

Once the Silent Bid Auction has ended, everyone will be notified. Those with the winning bids will automatically be sent instructions on what to do next.

The Live Auction will take place on Sunday, June 19th at 2pm SLT. Come early to get a good seat. Woodstock Burleigh is again our Auctioneer. Thanks Woodstock!

Use the attached Landmark to come and take stroll around looking at the fabulous artwork. You just may see a piece of art that you just have to have.

All proceeds will go the RFL of SL General Donations. To help in the fight against cancer, not only where you live, but internationally.

Thank you,

Tricia Aferdita
Chair of the Survivor Art Show & Auction,
and the entire RFL Survivor/Caregiver CMTE

Silent Auction: (12pm June 12th to 12pm June 18th)
AL Series: Lunch - by RAG Randt
Bird Shine Sculpture - by Hypatia Pickens
Daddy (For Sylvia) - by Miso Susanowa
Perseids 2/10 - by Bump Squeegee
Baby Y - by Kolor Fall
You Will Not Forget - by Timomachos Pegasi
PATRON: Momento Mori - by Eliza Wierwight
Apartment 5 B 3 - by Alexx Fenstalker
Netherlands: Spring Flowers - by Samara Barzane
Japan: Kyushu (Broken Glass) - by Moeuhane Sandalwood
Agave - by Winter Nightfire
Through the Ice into the Depths - by By Darwin
Angel Wings - by Briawinde Magic
Arctic Past - by Schmonson Dalglish
Shimmer - by Douglas Story
Set Fire to the Rain - by Raven Haalan
Innocence on a Creek - by Longfellow Playfair
Katje's Garden no. 1 (signposts) - by Konrad Jansma
Tessa Cristole - by Van Caerdnow
A Star of Hope - Hermes Kondor
A Gap in the Clouds -  by Cassandra Ushimawa
Reaching for the Light - by Tricia Aferdita

Live Auction:  (Sunday June 19th, 2pm SLT)
Soft White Bloom - by Cardinalwildflower Sommer
Rust Mandala in Green - by Scottius Polke
One of a Kind Season of Hope - by Tayzia Abattoir
Unleashing the Light - by Fuschia Nightfire
Complex Heart - by Glyph Graves
Alive in Wild Paint: Love - by Feathers Boa
Fire Tree - by Trill Zapatero
Fall Flight - by Kimba Sideways
In the Grid - by PJ Trenton
Let Them Eat Cake - by Gracie Kendal

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Conversation with Jayjay Zifanwe

I’d logged into Second Life early one morning, as I normally do before I leave for work. Ostensibly, it’s to collect messages along with any group notices all of which provide me a list of places to visit or people I would like to chat with when I return later in the day. While doing so on that particular day, I received an instant message from Jayjay Zifanwe who’d suggested that I relook at one of the entries from the recently concluded UWA III Machinima contest, “Twinkle’s Journey”. He’d simply said, “look for the hidden meaning”. I did and was surprised that I had missed the message. I felt badly that I had and doubly so for the creator Bay Sweetwater as the hidden meaning was a heart wrenching one. Jayjay and I chatted briefly afterward and I thanked him for calling my attention to it and then logged out. The next day, while I read through the blogs that I follow, I came across a post he’d written titled, “The Most Important Thing I Have Done in Second Life”. Early in the post he writes;
“I think these days, it is very hard to get below the surface with anything, to really know something or someone beyond the superficial exterior. News, happenings with acquaintances, friends, relatives sometimes go by in a blizzard of email, facebook and twitter posts. Many times we look, we read, we post, but we do not really see, we do not truly understand, nor do we really communicate. Sometimes though something happens that allows me to break through this fog... ”
I’d been introduced to Jayjay by White Lebed shortly after the University of Western Australia (UWA) formally became a part of the arts and educational community of Second Life in October of 2009. I do try and make frequent visits there to view the art submitted as part of the challenge, cast my vote and chat with friends and colleagues. Jay Jay Jegathesan (SL Name JayJay Zifanwe), is a Manager, School of Physics at the University of Western Australia and a winner of the Google Earth Build your Campus in 3D Competition. In Second Life, he manages the five SIM’s that comprise UWA’s virtual presence and of course which include the site of the UWA 3D Art & Design Challenge. Over time, UWA has hosted many special builds, including the works of artists such as Glyph Graves, Soror Nishi, Silene Christen and most recently Wizard Gynoid. Beside the promotion of UWA, Jayjay also works tirelessly at promoting the arts in Second Life through collaborative efforts with several of the major art houses in Second Life and he is also a member of the Linden Endowment of the Arts (LEA) committee.
A few days later, we exchanged messages once again and made arrangements to meet for this interview. I’d arrived early and ported over to the UWA sandbox. The Winthrop Clock Tower is right next to it and so I arrowed my virtual self in that direction. I checked the map and noted the presence of a dozen or so avatars scattered about the five UWA SIM’. I flew up and hovered near the clock. It all looked very familiar as I had seen it many times when I’d viewed the machinima that had been submitted. I had been asked by Jayjay to be part of the judge’s panel and while it had been a fair amount of work, I enjoyed it immensely. I was about to fly around to other parts of the SIM, when Jayjay had arrived in world. He messaged me and sent a teleport request. We met for this conversation at the platform which serves as the 3D Art Challenge. It was here that we’d often talked on most of my prior visits. We were surrounded by the art on display and it struck me that he stood amongst them much as a shepherd would his flock. We exchanged pleasantries and then began.
Nazz: I’d looked at your profile earlier and saw that you’d passed your second rezz day recently. I’m curious as to what is it that keeps you coming into Second Life every day?
Jayjay: Well, it’s the fact that the presence of the University of Western Australia has succeeded beyond what I had originally envisioned for it. We really wanted to build the campus initially, just a recreation of the plan and that’s what it would have been. But through serendipity, we’ve had successes in teaching with ongoing under grad and post grad programs, art, machinima, architecture, and a little bit of research as well.
Nazz: So it’s been a combination of things, your successes and experiences that have led you to grow the presence and take it forward into areas that maybe you hadn’t thought possible when you first came in to Second Life?
Jayjay: Yes, definitely. I mean like I hadn’t really walked into a an art gallery, well apart from the gallery at UWA itself in ten years or something like that … before agreeing at the drop of a hat to run the art competition, not having any experience at all in SL, not really knowing the art scene … and then deciding to do what has turned out to be the UWA 3D Art Challenge.
Nazz: What was your initial impression of the art scene in Second Life?
Jayjay: I've always had an interest in art because I'm a Pisces … I see in my profile that Pisceans really are supposed to have an affinity for art and I never found it before. So I guess it's finally found its voice. I mean you have a natural liking for art things which are beautiful and are able to capture the imagination. You're able to do that here … it's hard to explain to someone who doesn't kind of feel it … like you know it’s not like I'm an artist myself or feel like I'm a supporter of the arts or a patron of the arts or anything … in a sense though that's what's been happening.
Nazz: In the nearly two years since it began in Second Life, UWA has established itself as one of the premier venues in Second Life for showcasing art and artists. Was that what you were thinking when you first started the art challenges … to create a venue that entices artists to come here to learn, grow and experiment?
Jayjay: I had no idea what I was getting into or what I wanted. The very first event that we had was the launch of an astronomy art gallery in real life and in Second Life actually … of the space photographs of John Goldsmith. It was also the simultaneous launch of the first structure put on UWA land in second life, it was the physics building. We had that launch but two days prior to it, Professor Ted Snell asked what I could do for art to go along with the launch. He said he'd give us a small amount of funding for it … and I just said I could organize a yearlong art competition without thinking about it.
Nazz: I remember coming to one of the first competitions. It was a small space and it seemed like there were only twenty or so entries. What is the average number of entries now? 
Jayjay: At the moment, for the month of May it was seventy-eight. The average for a month is about seventy but it can range from fifty something to seventy something. We've also limited entries to two per artist. When we first started, the very first month I think there were twenty plus entries but one of the participants had eight art works in and another had six … so I think the actual number of artists for that first challenge was about twelve. I was really lucky I had the time and managed to get really prominent artists sending in works … like Alizarin Goldflake, Oberon Onmura  and Soror Nishi. 
Nazz: Where do you see the art challenge going and I'm leading you just a little because I did see where you're now collaborating with several of the leading art houses in Second Life … is that what you see as the evolution of the art challenge?
Jayjay: The collaboration was the evolution of the first year. We had the UWA 3D Art & Design Challenge and it was just UWA and we only had a UWA panel at the time. What I thought was that by the end of the first year we had grown big enough I guess to be noticeable to the art scene overall in SL. I didn't want the situation whereby other art groups were feeling that they were in competition with the UWA. The art groups really to be a force need to collaborate … that’s why the idea for it to be a collaboration came about. We're supposed to be gaining symbiotic energy from all this, as opposed to trying to outdo each other. That’s why this happened for the second year … whereby there are prizes given by these groups for whatever they've selected … and the interesting thing is almost all the time there is a whole range of different things being selected and that's what I saw in the first year as well. Each person … each artist and each judge has a different idea of what's the best and that’s why there are so many prizes as well. I'm going back to the question … what's the evolution. The 3D Open Art Challenge ends this year really. I don't know what I'm going to do beyond it. I don't think I have the capability or capacity to continue indefinitely … it was never the idea to continue the art challenges every month as a monthly challenge in perpetuity so it will end this year. What I do beyond that I'm not sure. We will have a major art event next year, it’s probably not going to be a monthly art challenge … maybe one larger art challenge in the middle of the year … and something like one large machinima challenge. What I do know is, we will definitely have and we've already started is the Machinima IV Challenge which is the Art of the Artists one. It's in a way a companion to 3D Open Art Challenge. There will be a Machinima V somewhere in the middle of next year. Beyond that I don't know. 
Nazz: On the topic of machinima, where did your interest start in that medium as art?
Jayjay: I didn't know anything about machinima except for seeing like one or two. I actually saw one by a UWA student as part of a class project he did for a second year school of business unit. Everyone was supposed to give a presentation at the end of the semester. The whole course was about business in second life. Everyone else was doing a powerpoint presentation … he did his presentation in the form of a machinima. I guess I saw that one and I thought it would be great if it was more focused … it started out really well ... It was just this kid who was doing it with no real experience. It had really great music and it started off showing the ability to learn in a virtual space and then it started to focus on free tee shirts and peacocks. It could have been so much more ... he did show a bit on education and a little about the arts.
Nazz: How did that evolve to become a machinima contest?
Jayjay: I had kept that idea in the back of my head and then White Lebed said I should run a machinima competition. She in fact contributed a small amount ... she didn't want me to tell people about it. But it's been long enough since then that I can actually say that she put in 5000 L$ for it and I added 5000 L$ and that’s how we started … 10000 L$ was the first prize pool for the UWA Machinima Challenge. For me to run it, I had to run it as a way to break through the real life and second life barrier. There is a difficulty with bringing second life to real life in a university setting and making people sit up and take notice and interest. So the first year challenge had the theme of showing off the art, architecture, research and teaching on the UWA SIM’. That sounds like an extremely exciting topic for a machinimatographer and that was the challenge for the 10000 L$ prize pool. I had no idea what it took to make a machinima and I found out through this … to make one minute of machinima takes 10 to 12 hours of work … so I realized the prize pool was completely inadequate … there were people telling me that we were trying to get a free advertisement for the university as opposed to running a machinima competition. I spent a lot of time with each of the machinimatographers for that round and to show them personally all the areas that I knew were important to be filmed and the reason why we were doing it … the background and the future. It was, I explained to them a weapon to actually bring in more funding to the arts in general and machinima ... and that was the hope and vision … the first challenge as a battering ram to break down this wall between RL and SL. Several of the judges … like the vice chancellor for the university … saw the entries by Cisko Vandeverre … ColeMarie Soleil … Chantal Harvey ... Iono Allen. The prize pool jumped up to 230000 L$ and so it succeeded in a spectacular way in breaking down that barrier. After that funding was provided for the second and third round … based on what happened with that first machinima challenge. It’s kind of freed me so we don't have to focus on UWA ... for example the third machinima challenge was journeys and they could do any journey they wanted but they had to incorporate Winthrop Clock Tower as part of the journey. They didn't have to focus a lot on it or didn’t even have to mention that it was part of the university … it just had to be part of the machinima and I think they did a brilliant job in bringing that forward and so the future challenges will have some aspect of UWA in it … but not having to do some song and dance about UWA to get it in.
Nazz: I do want to talk more about the recent contest, when you'd messaged me to have another look at Twinkle's Journey. I did and then a few days later I read your blog post which I thought very moving. One of your key points and one I think we can all relate to is how we don't often get to know each other as we're all so busy in our own lives. When you did recognize the message and in your conversations with Bay Sweetwater what was your reaction to that?
Jayjay: It makes you realize … it makes things real. Sometimes in second life you paper over the real life aspects. You don't really know the people and you don't know peoples motivation and I completely missed it. The first time when I saw that machinima, I didn't think Twinkle's Journey was Twinkle's Journey. It started out with a star, you got beautiful scenery and stuff then you didn’t see the star and I wondered why for a few seconds … why I didn't see the star … but I didn't really relate to it at all. I thought it was okay, but it was like a kids movie. In fact when I commented on the machinima I commented more on the art work within the machinima. Actually I thought the creations were good and that was the thing I could relate to. So when she won a prize for being a participant in the viewer’s event, a four way tie for 3rd place, which was good, I could have decided … should I only give the Lindens or should I give four books ... what would be good to do? I decided I would send the books. So when I said I would send the book, “100 Treasures of UWA”, she said donate it to a primary school. I was half thinking maybe … just in my mind as I was already preparing the packages … that it would have been just as easy to slip it in an envelope and send it off, as opposed to looking at how to donate a book to a primary school. But something in the back of my mind said that I should. I then called the school and I managed to get the principal straight away. I told him that there's been a donation … So I wrote to Bay that I'd organized donating the book to this school and if you'd like to give a message … and there was something strange about the message … it didn't sit right and so I asked if she'd like to give a different message, about why you're donating the book and that's when I went back to have a look at those words … “A childs journey to the stars, told by those of us who are left behind”. That's when the penny dropped, I did a search on Bay Sweetwater and that’s when I found the blog and she'd written on the blog that yes she had lost a child. I felt thankful that I had organized a school to be receiving this and thankful for the message and the way she wrote it and making me realize the background to it … from one of what was fifty machinima and one that in the end didn't win a prize, it became the headline in my mind almost as a post script to the whole challenge.
Nazz: After I viewed the machinima the second time, the thoughts and emotions stayed with me throughout the rest of the day. Then when I saw your post, I thought it was very moving. Thank you again for calling all of our attention to re-look at the machinima and the underlying story. 
Jayjay: Sure, that’s why the title of that post as well was the most important thing I've one in second life. Some people might look at other achievements or something of the overall university and it would be true I guess, but then to me I put this as the most important thing I've done. Because the blog is UWA's in SL, whenever I write for it, I never write like that … that was how I normally write , that’s my style … but I generally suppress it and write in an official kind of tone or official inflection … but for that one I had to drop all of that and write as I naturally would. 
Nazz: It was obvious that it came from your heart. Before I go, I wanted to thank you as well for asking me to be part of the judging panel. It was an enjoyable experience. When I looked at the twenty plus names of the panel members, I felt quite honored to have been included in such a distinguished body.
Jayjay: We’re glad to have you Nazz. It may be curious that there are as many on the panel and people may wonder why I do that. Like I’d discovered from the 3D Art Challenge last year … there is such diversity of opinion in arts … at giving a top ten list, it's really hard to award a winner. However, by doing it as an aggregate of all these judges the winners … the top two or three come out so easily out of the whole mix that its absolutely incredible for me to watch as the one who puts it together. 
Two days after we’d met, he’d messaged me in world with, “Sharni Azalee has made an artwork in tribute of Twinkle & Bay Sweetwater”. I stopped in the next day to see it. There’s a small plaque on the piece, it says; “Love’s Eternal Inspired by Twinkle and Bay”. Do stop in to see it when you can.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Opening of Queen's Choice Art Galleries

I'd arrived in world early on Tuesday morning, my goal was to check messages, then log off , and then go through e-mails before I left for work. I had just started sorting through the group notices when an instant message arrived.

QueenOfNorway: Hello Nazz, do you have a few minutes? I'd like to give you a tour if you have time for a quick look.

The name intrigued me as it's not often, even for one who travels as extensively in the occasionally off beat virtual world of second life like me, that one gets to meet a Queen … and of Norway no less. I didn't reply right away though. I finished  a sort through the notices, most of which included the obligatory notecards and or landmarks and or objects, as I decided which to keep and which to follow up on when an opportunity arose. I then replied and explained my slow response.

Nazz: Mornin'.. . sorry I had a ton of notices.

I'd only had one sip of a first cup of morning coffee, so I hadn't recognized the name immediately and then I recalled she was planning to have a grand opening of her galleries this week. I typed out a second line before she could reply.

Nazz: So the opening is this Thursday .. At 6 pm PDT/SLT

QueenOfNorway: Good Morning. That’s correct. There will be a Concert with Tukso Okey from 6 until 7 and then a talk show between 7 and 7:30 … I talked with Jayjay Zifanwe earlier... I will have him on for Thursday at the opening at the talk show part along with Filthy Fluno . Then WaMark Spinning Funky Norwegian Music from 7:30 until 8 pm.

Nazz: Who's the host / hostess for the talk show?

QueenOfNorway: QueenOfNorway Alex

Nazz: Alright ... the artists and gallery names, do you have a list?

It took a few second for the notecard to open. There were several familiar names on the list.


Riali Sandalwood (India); oMiluo (China); Briawinde Magic (USA); Talullah Winterwolf (Ireland);  Miyuki Alter (Japan); Van Caerndow (USA); Fingers Scintilla (United Kingdom); Natsha Lemton (France); AmandaT Tamatzui (New Zealand); Cadwallader (United Kingdom); Ariel Brearly (United Kingdom) and Filthy Fluno (USA).

 I glanced at the clock and decided to take her up on the offer for a quick tour.

Nazz : I have a few minutes, TP please

I arrived at the SIM and as I waited to rezz, we continued in IM with an exchange of pleasantries.

QueenOfNorway: I'm putting up some prizes for the party. Every artist gave away one art work for a lucky winner among the guests. I have 12 art galleries here, one in each house.and over behind me... is the club where we will do the opening I think. I have a TV studio here too … in the sky platform.

The site had finally rezzed for me and I told that having the opening there sounded like a good idea. She handed a folder with land marks for each of the galleries and told me hop around at my leisure. She then offered to show me the TV Studio and when I agreed, she ported up and soon offered me a TP to join her. We spent the next 15 minutes or so touring the studio. A large amphitheater with what looked to be comfortable seating, a stage arrayed with the standard talk show props; a desk and along with guest chairs.

QueenOfNorway : So this is my set … hmmm … I could do music here too.

Nazz: Yes you could.  Are you thinking of doing a regular broadcast?

QueenOfNorway: Yes … will do daily YouTube videos , 15 minute videos and then maybe every 2. weeks a live talk show. Then when I have the crew weekly, i will stream there but need to find someone who can do the streaming … too much for one little queen.

We left the studio and made our way up to her office space, a nicely appointed space above the studio. 

QueenOfNorway: MY office with pool … I built this TV tower by the way.

We took the staircase up from there and I noticed a notecard giver with a picture of some type of gadget, it seemed to be a promotional picture and before I could ask what was it, she explained.

QueenOfNorway: I will be promoting the share view HUD on my shows … it's a HUDto share one's camera view with a friend or a group, not spyware but very useful gadget. i designed the buttons on the HUD

Nazz: I hadn't heard of that gadget yet.

QueenOfNorway: Oh, I will tell you about it … It's great for exploring SL, perfect for galleries, one can look at the exact same picture … or for shopping. You can teleport to a saved view and tele-hop on a sim … to one's camera view. I made this website for it:

I glanced at the clock on my computer and told her I needed to leave shortly. She said she understood and asked me to go with her to one more place. I agreed and we flew out the window … I know that sounds somewhat silly to say, but it is one of the bennies of virtual existence.

QueenOfNorway:  So this is the entrance for the TV tower , the sign is a TP to the studio. So here  is the shareview HUD … and then I am considering selling clothes here …  for men in the tower and females here at ground level.

She drew my attention behind where we stood and said.

QueenOfNorway : And over there is my little party palace … You know I could do the event here too.

We walked the short distance across to the palace and when we arrived I told her that it reminded me of a place I saw in Vienna … the summer palace I think it was. We chatted for a only a few more minutes and I then told her.

Nazz: I do need to run your majesty …  RL work time shortly.

QueenOfNorway: It was nice meeting you … I do hope you can make it to the opening on Thursday.

Nazz: Thank you for the tour, I do appreciate it and I will try and be here for it.

With that, I ported out back to my office on Book Island and logged out. I took a sip of coffee and thought, "Where else but in Second Life could an ordinary guy meet the QueenOfNorway."