Monday, May 25, 2009

Brooklyn is Watching Podcast #60

Recurring readers may remember I mentioned that I had exposed a family of kinetic Marsdog sculptures to the visitors in SL as well as RL of Brooklyn is Watching - an interworld art project interfacing a Second Life sim with a gallery in Brooklyn.

Last weekend it was kindly discussed in the weekly podcast - click here to listen to it.

This was a really, really interesting listen for me , for more than one reason. Firstly my art was being discussed by people I had never met in either world - interesting, but a situation that can easily occur in real life too. So taking into account that the few lines of info I had provided on the brooklyiniswatching website were disregarded I thought my work scored pretty good - the four debaters at first didn't know what to think of or do with the objects, and yet they were discussing one of the larger ones (I suppose from listening to the podcast) in it's seeming stasis, lying on the back, gradually finding  out about the tounge-sticking and feet moving, ending up learning about the physical character of the sculpture through collision. I regard the discussion a win for my art in that it seemed be able to make four guys talk about it quite intelligently about it for several minutes without saying it sucked big time - on the contrary it seems to have invited interaction.

To me the discussion had a special twist and was particularily interesting because one of the panelists apparently wasn't familiar too much with SL itself, so his reaction to Second Life art was not filtered through the lenses of limitations seasoned users are aware of and generally was to be expected to approach the works with a more intuitive attitude than someone who has internalized the workings of the UI. 

While I have never met any of the illustrious round I have already had time to google the two non-regulars ... and the one I suspect must be the SL noob, Jason Robert Bell, is not only author of a caveman-robot comic, but he is also selling what I have just ordered as a first gift for little Emma Danger over the pond: a little plush Caveman Robot!

All in all the podcast has made me curious for more, Brooklyn is Watching is definitely a project to watch for some serious world connecting art discourse. Follow this SLUrl to visit the inworld location:

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Josh Ellingson exhibit

When I read the announcement a few days ago on (the non-SL related blog) Suicide Bots that Josh Ellingson, the artist that had designed the Robogames 2008 poster, would have his first exhibit in SL at the Museum of Robots, I got all excited because the art on the poster was impressive. And indeed Josh - or Grover Zelin in SL - did deliver.
Highly recommended!

Photos on my Flickr:

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Give us a Phone Call in Second Life

Today Linden Labs announced a new product in limited beta: phone calls from the real world into the Metaverse. Historic indeed:

"This marks the first time a Resident will be able to communicate with a non-Second Life user within Second Life. The service goes into a limited Beta trial today and will launch as a full offering in Q3."
At least for now, if you are not in the US or GB long distance rates will apply, since the number to call is composed of any one of a list of now 8 US and one London phone number followed by an individual "access code".

So to call our avatar Magggnnus Woodget dial any of these numbers:

Boston +1 617-861-0749
Chicago +1 312-348-3694
Dallas +1 972-813-0067
Los Angeles +1 213-271-2575
New York +1 212-660-9951
Philadelphia +1 215-475-5291
San Francisco +1 415-490-9443
Washington D.C. +1 202-629-9859
London, UK +44 20-7100-5624

followed by the "access code" 128033. If you are in San Francisco for example you would dial 490-9443 128033 ...

Of course I would have to have voice turned on to take the call I suppose, but I actually have started to experiment with it (the feedback noises were terrible).

Here is the announcement on the SL blog and this link leads to the access code dispensary.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Brooklyn is Watching - Art

Brooklyn is watching is a mixed reality exhibit taking place in a gallery in Brooklyn and simultaneously in SL, where the visitors in Brooklyn can see into SL, not vice versa.

Since the exhibit invites anyone to contribute some art and document it, I obliged and gave Brooklyn a family of Marsdogs to watch:

They should be there for a few days before they get returned, unless of course they propel themselves through the air over the parcel's borders at some point, which sounds not unlikely since they are physical and animated at the same time.

Friday, May 15, 2009

XStreet Login Change - not so gret akshuly

This one has a pre-quel. A while ago on the XStreet marketplace webpage, the login cookie suddenly expired in a very short time-span. Something in the background had changed and this little detail was not considered. Which caused an uproar amongst users that were - like me - used to keeping open one or more tabs in their browser with the XStreet page on it, frequently checking it, be it for new forum posts, traffic or products. Logging in every time you want to refresh a page can be a major pain in the ass and actually get me to not use a page so often anymore. Happened so in this case, I changed my behaviour to only checking the page once or twice daily for the period of time XStreets new owners - Linden Labs - took to decide to fix this.

Now back to present time: this monday May 11th another change to the login occured. Now everyone with an SL account can login to XStreet with their SL login. Everybody has to use their SL login now to get into the XStreet page.

And now it comes. The cookie again expires in a very short period of time. Five days counting, two Jiras and several threads on the XStreet Forums and no fix in sight - so now it's a feature. Nice Job.


And just for giggles here is the traffic for my items on XStreet for the last month:

(With all SL residents suddenly having XStreet accounts and this being advertised you would expect and influx of new eyes in the last few days, no?)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Give someone the swineflu ... (T-Shirt)

Thanks to Robin Wood's free T-Shirt template (and the CDC's generous image service) Mechatiki Research is now able to offer the Dollarbie H1N1 T-Shirt with the popular 2009 swineflu virus on it. Get it on XStreet or pick it up inworld at Mechakitty Design.
Also new: the charcoal Mechatiki T-Shirt. Available on XStreet (1L$, so it is gift-able) as well as inworld at Mechatiki Space landing point (0L$).

E-ducators Welcome

SL resident Times Sands has published a 6 page article titled "A Technical Update on Second Life's Readiness for E-Learning", which is an informative look at where the technology stands today and what is still needed from an e-ducator's perspective.

It also contains a point to which I can attest to from first hand experience:

"... A reverse question is whether Second Life might be a useful venue for creating training content to be delivered in the real world? And the answer is a resounding Yes. Virtual films (called Machinima) are being made in Second Life faster and less expensively than would be possible in the real world (if they were even filmable in the real world at all)."
... Mechatiki Production's eager staff are ready to take your orders.