cheesy SL

Posted by Eric Dymond | Sat Oct 13th 2007 3:37 a.m.

SL looks pretty chessy to me.
So VRML 97, so weak on the creative side of life.
Can avatars make a differnce in the world I navigate physically?
Domenica uttered the unbelievable comment:
" chimera becomes the truth when enough people believe in it: "
no it doesn't.
Hitler, Musolini, George Bush, Jimmy Jones , et al convinced many that their *world* was truthful.
The victims of the Jonestown massacre qualify as enlightened and right thinking by your definition.
It is chimera, it is a restrictive environment. It is a lie.
It holds people back from exploring new rules and systems. It is a holding tank for the digi-iliteratii.
Eric
  • Rob Myers | Sat Oct 13th 2007 5:16 a.m.
    Eric Dymond wrote:
    > SL looks pretty chessy to me.
    > So VRML 97, so weak on the creative side of life.

    VRML 2 destroyed network VR at the time by being an unimplementable
    committee standard. If SL has only made a complete, multi-user
    equivalent to the online VR of a decade ago that people can actually
    access now they have the bandwidth that is a good thing.

    There is an incredible amount of creativity in SL. It is generalized
    drag, universal dandyism, a simulacral social canvas. Not all the
    creativity is phrased as art, but there are many artists working making
    avatars, skins, actions, effects, environments and events before we even
    start considering attempts to make "VR art" in SL.

    > Can avatars make a differnce in the world I navigate physically?

    Yes. Political and labour struggles are finding expression in SL. And
    shared fantasy and roleplay can have social content or serve a socially
    useful function without directly illustrating these as the historical
    examples of carnivals, masked balls or the commedia dell'arte all show.

    > Domenica uttered the unbelievable comment:
    > " chimera becomes the truth when enough people believe in it: "
    > no it doesn't.
    > Hitler, Musolini, George Bush, Jimmy Jones , et al convinced many that their *world* was truthful.
    > The victims of the Jonestown massacre qualify as enlightened and right thinking by your definition.

    Stepping around the equivalency, I'd rather despots stuck to their own
    island in a virtual reality somewhere rather than actually getting any
    realworld power.

    > It is chimera, it is a restrictive environment. It is a lie.
    > It holds people back from exploring new rules and systems. It is a holding tank for the digi-iliteratii.

    If you have a broadband connected computer you are already part of a
    tiny percentage of the Earth's population. And SL does raise the more
    cogent questions of Naomi Klein's No Logo period. It's a training ground
    for good little pavlovian capitalist consumers with Beverly Hills
    ambitions. It raises the spectre of a Baudrillardian Disneyland to a
    more general electronically mediated unreal "reality".

    But the client is now Free Software and IBM and Linden Labs are working
    on an Open Avatar format. Second Life Herald provides critical coverage
    of SL, and there are movements for avatar/user rights. If people are
    concerned about SL's current state then they can still do something, its
    history has not yet finished, there is more that can be achieved.

    SL is a coercive corporate enclosure, a kitsch lowest common denominator
    distraction from reality. It is also a site of social expression and
    conflict where many of the issues that effect contemporary social
    expression and interaction are being explored with genuine consequences.
    We shouldn't under-estimate the value of a shared space within society
    where fantasy and masquerade intersect with the enabling technology and
    driving economic attitudes of the day.

    I don't think anyone will suffer if they ignore SL. But if they get a
    decent graphics card, learn Linden Scripting Language, find out what
    legal, social and political issues are finding expression, and get
    involved then they might find that more can be made there than baby
    unicorns. And even the baby unicorns raise questions...

    - Rob.
  • Domenico Quaranta | Sat Oct 13th 2007 5:35 a.m.
    Hi Eric,

    > Domenica uttered the unbelievable comment:

    Domenico. I'm male, both in RL and SL :-)

    > " chimera becomes the truth when enough people believe in it: " no it
    > doesn't. Hitler, Musolini, George Bush, Jimmy Jones , et al convinced
    > many that their *world* was truthful. The victims of the Jonestown
    > massacre qualify as enlightened and right thinking by your
    > definition. It is chimera, it is a restrictive environment. It is a
    > lie.

    Quite an interesting strategy, to take a statement out of its contest
    and apply it to the history of the world in order to question it. But,
    let's follow you on your own terrain...

    They are not "enlightened" or "right". As every social community, they
    have (or had) their own truths, and their own rules. I'm against the
    death penalty, but I have to recognize that it's real in the US; and
    it's the right thing to do for many people...

    But coming back to my point: what I was saying is:

    1. (quite banal, indeed) that people "living" in Second Life, as well as
    in other simulated worlds (and in every networked community), have their
    own rules and laws; they can accept them or fight against them, but they
    have to respect them if they want to be part of the community;

    2. that people living in simulated worlds perceive what they are doing
    there as REAL. They are not taking themselves TOO seriously, as
    Salvatore claims; they are simply taking themselves seriously. You can
    keep on thinking that they are just data on a server: but, this way, you
    will never be able to understand not only SL, but every digital
    environment. If SL is a chimera, Odyssey is not a real exhibition space,
    art in SL is not real and Sugar is taking herself too seriously, then
    Rhizome is a chimera, the Artbase is not a real exhibition space, net
    art is not real and, let's say, Mark Tribe is taking himself too
    seriuosly...

    dom

    --

    Domenico Quaranta

    mob. +39 340 2392478
    email. qrndnc@yahoo.it
    home. vicolo San Giorgio 18 - 25122 brescia (BS)
    web. http://www.domenicoquaranta.net/
  • Jim Andrews | Sat Oct 13th 2007 7:06 a.m.
    Could somebody who knows SL really well please send some URLs to strong art in SL?

    I'm not very familiar with SL, have only visited a couple of times, but would like to see some interesting SL work.

    Not 'you should have been there' types of links, but 'here is the real thing, and it's there for all to see whenever they want' sorts of links.

    Thanks,
    ja
    http://vispo.com
  • Domenico Quaranta | Sat Oct 13th 2007 8:42 a.m.
    Jim Andrews ha scritto:

    > Could somebody who knows SL really well please send some URLs to
    > strong art in SL?

    here is the real thing...

    "Collateral Damage"
    The Show, April 2007
    http://slurl.com/secondlife/Locusolus/126/98/41

    here some images and texts:

    http://gazirababeli.com/CD.html

    bye,
    dom

    --

    Domenico Quaranta

    mob. +39 340 2392478
    email. qrndnc@yahoo.it
    home. vicolo San Giorgio 18 - 25122 brescia (BS)
    web. http://www.domenicoquaranta.net/
  • Rob Myers | Sat Oct 13th 2007 9:12 a.m.
    Jim Andrews wrote:
    > Could somebody who knows SL really well please send some URLs to strong art in SL?
    >
    > I'm not very familiar with SL, have only visited a couple of times, but would like to see some interesting SL work.
    >
    > Not 'you should have been there' types of links, but 'here is the real thing, and it's there for all to see whenever they want' sorts of links.

    Second life is inherently aesthetic and performative. The art is being
    there. Ask a dandy or a soi-disant situationist.

    That said:

    http://nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2007/08/top-10-art-inst.html
    http://sl-art-news.blogspot.com/
    http://slfront.blogspot.com/
    http://slartmagazine.com/
    http://secondlife.reuters.com/stories/2007/04/16/artists-struggle-but-dont-starve-on-second-life/

    - Rob (Yarrel Fox on SL).
  • Salvatore Iaconesi | Sat Oct 13th 2007 9:12 a.m.
    hello there!

    let me give my 2 cents.

    Eric said, quoting Domenico:

    > " chimera becomes the truth when enough people believe in it: "
    > no it doesn't.

    well... actually it does.

    but, as he pointed out, let's ask how significative (or, even, influent) this perception is, how much weight it has on overall society.

    SL is totally irrelevant - that's if you step out of the hype cycles -.

    Yet it is an experiment. As activeworlds was. As were jaron lanier's virtual reality gizmos. As lsd, in some ways.

    I once had the opportunity to propose a really big communication project. I proposed what seemed to me like an interesting web based action, and a (let's call it) trick on second life. The manager i proposed it to just looked at me, smiling, and asked me how big was the audience i figured to reach through this initiative. I answered that something in the order of the million internet users could be reached, if everything went right. Still smiling, he replied something like

    "one, or even two/three, millions? in the whole campaign?!? i can get ten times that, by placing single big advertisment on the side of a highway! and ten times that, *each day*, with an ad on television..."

    i, on my side, stopped smiling immediately :)

    technology offers new models, new possibilities, but we really should keep our feets on the ground when we speak over these issues.

    maybe repeat to ourselves "it's just a niche, it's just a niche, it's just a niche" a couple of times before even opening up our mouths.

    and Eric added that:

    > It is chimera, it is a restrictive environment. It is a lie.
    > It holds people back from exploring new rules and systems. It is a holding tank for the digi-iliteratii.

    and that's exactly why i go around SL destroying everything in sight! :)))

    seriously (just a bit): "digi-iliterati" is possibly too restrictive of a word. "iliterati" is much better.

    becuse it's a general pattern connected to technlogy (not internet/computer/virtual_world technology, it happened with coal, with oil, with nukes, with hammers and scissors).

    there is a trend. of ambition, on one side and of expectation, on the other. both leverage on frustrations and ignorance.

    when i (sorrysorrysorry) took down odyssey's server i wanted to point out (notsorrynotsorrynotsorry) how ignorance plays a major role in SL activities.

    (some) people believe that it is a reliable/effective platform, so much that they use real money (linden mediated, but real), real identities (don't tell me that the guy offending me for weeks for "flooding his SL lawn" doesn't have a real identity), real ambitions.

    SL is a restrictive, unreliable, unstable, opportunistic, consumistic environment that lets you play some nice tricks. that's all.

    how you use those tricks is up to you.

    but you just cannot come and blame me if i, for example, "steal" some of your stuff over there, because you accepted that possibility the moment that you logged in.

    (that stuff isn't really yours in the first place, too. if you understand computer architectures and terms of usage contracts you can understand this really well. but how many users know/understand this? not many, if you look at the number of people "pretending" to own something on second life)

    and about the exploration of "new rules and systems", Domenico said an interesting thing:

    > 1. (quite banal, indeed) that people "living" in Second Life, as well as in other
    > simulated worlds (and in every networked community), have their own rules and laws;
    > they can accept them or fight against them, but they have to respect them if they
    > want to be part of the community;

    this is perfectly true.

    and it only has two small bugs: the platforms are open to anyone and the *real* rules are not defined by users.

    the platforms are open to ayone, even to those not accepting the rules and laws. and users have no real way to apply their "democratic" decisions.
    I can get banned infinite times on SL, and infinite times i can get back in.

    and the *real* laws are not created by users in the first place, as they are defined both in the contract you agree to when you register on the services, and also in some more "mysterious" ways, by technological platform control, by data structure manageent, and so on...

    the terms of service contract: it is just obvious. service providers (be it SL, or google mail, whatever) produce these monsters that hardly anyone reads (or understand).
    people mainly press "I Agree" one milllisecond after the webpage displays, to access the service.

    technological platform control: is it significative to define a rule or even a law if the "world" can be shut down, completely changed, moved, turned to something else, maybe transformed into a pay service, by the infrastrcture owners? Because this is the situation: today you exist, tomorrow you don't, as i (the service provider) can transform, let's say, SL into something else whenever I want. Or even throw it out in the trash, if I care, or if it's not profitable anymore.

    it already happened on mp3.com, for example. and it will, again. on the mp3.com websites, they even left an online forum open for public discusion, when they closed: it was full of people arguing that they shut down "their" community.

    And then there are more esotheric things. Control through data structures.

    why do i necessarily have to choose "male" or "female"?
    why can't i write in my own language, especially if it requires a "strange" font?

    life is not like that. control structures are.

    There is a really interesting project funded by the european union.

    It's called the DBE (Digital Business Ecosystem)

    It started out really nice, just to turn into an incredible mess (represented by thousands of written documents, wasted funds, and no system whatsoever, except for really small implementations).

    The base for the project was the creation of a collaborative platform allowing users to define their own data structures, including the ones used to define their identities.

    And on the personal ownership of the infrastructure (through p2p mechanisms).

    the aim was to define an environment (the ecosystem) in which users could freely define themselves (their existence and identity) and their lives/activities (culture, production, heritage ... ) and their interactions (buy, sell, communicate, move, invite...) in both structure, content and dimensions.

    it was really interesting. especially if put in parallel to the centralized, standardized models offered by services such as second life.

    which is not really more that a graphically advanced social network. it is nothing innovative.

    the aim of not being limited by gravity or by weight/size or by the possibility to copy a piece of music infinite times is not so significative if compared to the possibility of *freely* defining and communicating one's self.

    it may be interesting, but it isn't a focal point.

    but then Domenico said:

    > 2. that people living in simulated worlds perceive what they are doing there as REAL.
    > They are not taking themselves TOO seriously, as Salvatore claims; they are simply
    > taking themselves seriously. You can keep on thinking that they are just data on a
    > server: but, this way, you will never be able to understand not only SL, but every
    > digital environment. If SL is a chimera, Odyssey is not a real exhibition space, art
    > in SL is not real and Sugar is taking herself too seriously, then Rhizome is a chimera,
    > the Artbase is not a real exhibition space, net art is not real and, let's say, Mark
    > Tribe is taking himself too seriuosly...

    and i perfectly agree to that.

    they are not data on a server. they are real people (behind data on a server :) ) making experiments on a virtual world, with varying levels of success and effectiveness, and with a lot of effort put behind what they do.

    if they're fine with it: good for themselves. if someone likes it: great!

    I am there too, experimenting and getting myself kicked out :)

    and to offer points of view in which i believe, and that seem so lost in the hyped, ignorant chit chat sometimes.

    (hyperformalism! (and the like) oh, come on.... :) of all the significative experiments that could be performed in a virtual world, that one is ridiculous: bypass real world limitations??!?! single copies of digital art products?!?!?! wow!
    i could even accept that supposedly mystical approach to colour and polygons, if it wasn't sold for innovation... )

    oh, well, i guess i'll never get an article on Second Life Herald :)))))

    my best !
    s
  • Rhizomer | Sat Oct 13th 2007 10:49 a.m.
    these pavlovian capitalists are mainly engaged in geometric,numerologic archaic magic styles like things which are also forbidden by religions however, they believe they are religionists.For instance you can observe some of their related bookshops.They are arranging the bookshops,their houses very carefully.They frequently arrange word games, word versus vision games.They repetitivly try to teach you some ugly word, language, sound relations which are again mainly related archaic brain working,i think.they provide from advertisement boards, computers,people as your doorkeeper or even your fiancee's friends to teach and/or to reach you for some word vision meaning relations which are horrible,disgusting and mainly gender related despise of you

    believe me, i have proofs

    thanks to hearing me

    Rob Myers <rob@robmyers.org> wrote:
    Eric Dymond wrote:
    > SL looks pretty chessy to me.
    > So VRML 97, so weak on the creative side of life.

    VRML 2 destroyed network VR at the time by being an unimplementable
    committee standard. If SL has only made a complete, multi-user
    equivalent to the online VR of a decade ago that people can actually
    access now they have the bandwidth that is a good thing.

    There is an incredible amount of creativity in SL. It is generalized
    drag, universal dandyism, a simulacral social canvas. Not all the
    creativity is phrased as art, but there are many artists working making
    avatars, skins, actions, effects, environments and events before we even
    start considering attempts to make "VR art" in SL.

    > Can avatars make a differnce in the world I navigate physically?

    Yes. Political and labour struggles are finding expression in SL. And
    shared fantasy and roleplay can have social content or serve a socially
    useful function without directly illustrating these as the historical
    examples of carnivals, masked balls or the commedia dell'arte all show.

    > Domenica uttered the unbelievable comment:
    > " chimera becomes the truth when enough people believe in it: "
    > no it doesn't.
    > Hitler, Musolini, George Bush, Jimmy Jones , et al convinced many that their *world* was truthful.
    > The victims of the Jonestown massacre qualify as enlightened and right thinking by your definition.

    Stepping around the equivalency, I'd rather despots stuck to their own
    island in a virtual reality somewhere rather than actually getting any
    realworld power.

    > It is chimera, it is a restrictive environment. It is a lie.
    > It holds people back from exploring new rules and systems. It is a holding tank for the digi-iliteratii.

    If you have a broadband connected computer you are already part of a
    tiny percentage of the Earth's population. And SL does raise the more
    cogent questions of Naomi Klein's No Logo period. It's a training ground
    for good little pavlovian capitalist consumers with Beverly Hills
    ambitions. It raises the spectre of a Baudrillardian Disneyland to a
    more general electronically mediated unreal "reality".

    But the client is now Free Software and IBM and Linden Labs are working
    on an Open Avatar format. Second Life Herald provides critical coverage
    of SL, and there are movements for avatar/user rights. If people are
    concerned about SL's current state then they can still do something, its
    history has not yet finished, there is more that can be achieved.

    SL is a coercive corporate enclosure, a kitsch lowest common denominator
    distraction from reality. It is also a site of social expression and
    conflict where many of the issues that effect contemporary social
    expression and interaction are being explored with genuine consequences.
    We shouldn't under-estimate the value of a shared space within society
    where fantasy and masquerade intersect with the enabling technology and
    driving economic attitudes of the day.

    I don't think anyone will suffer if they ignore SL. But if they get a
    decent graphics card, learn Linden Scripting Language, find out what
    legal, social and political issues are finding expression, and get
    involved then they might find that more can be made there than baby
    unicorns. And even the baby unicorns raise questions...

    - Rob.
    +
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  • Salvatore Iaconesi | Sat Oct 13th 2007 1:18 p.m.
    Jim, and you can also checkout me having a little fun at Ars Vrtua gallery and in other places in second life here

    http://www.artisopensource.net/didYouReallyWantASecondLife/

    and the disputed action i did at odyssey's place here

    http://odysseyart.ning.com/photo/photo/listForContributor?screenName=xdxdVSxdxd

    at odyssey art you can also see some of the most interesting (for what i know) experiments over there

    there's also this:

    http://www.getafirstlife.com/

    :))))

    and, to see the stuff, you really have to be there. pictures and videos don't give the same experience. which is a mixture of excitement and deep boredom, at the same time, but you have to experiment for yourself.

    best!
    s
  • Rhizomer | Sat Oct 13th 2007 4:07 p.m.
    Rob Myers wrote:

    > There is an incredible amount of creativity in SL. It is generalized
    > drag, universal dandyism, a simulacral social canvas. Not all the

    stencil spotted being deployed at Ars Electronica this year:

    'go get a first life'

    discuss

    --
    damian stewart | +44 7854 493 796 | damian@frey.co.nz
    frey | live art with machines | http://www.frey.co.nz
  • Rob Myers | Sat Oct 13th 2007 4:33 p.m.
    Damian Stewart wrote:
    > Rob Myers wrote:
    >
    >> There is an incredible amount of creativity in SL. It is generalized
    >> drag, universal dandyism, a simulacral social canvas. Not all the
    >
    > stencil spotted being deployed at Ars Electronica this year:
    >
    > 'go get a first life'
    >
    > discuss

    Dude, it was a *stencil*.

    At *Ars Electronica*.

    Problematizing *VR*.

    It's either deeply ironic or the product of someone who has no mirrors
    in their apartment.

    SL isn't stopping a potentially revolutionary proletariat from rising up
    and displacing an oppressive society. It's uplifting the
    basement-dwelling demographic into a pseudo-social environment with
    realworld ramifications. This is a gain.

    The alternative to playing Dungeons & Dragons with your friends wasn't
    getting a life, it was sitting in your bedroom with no friends.

    - Rob.
  • Rhizomer | Sun Oct 14th 2007 6:46 a.m.
    Rob Myers wrote:

    > SL isn't stopping a potentially revolutionary proletariat from rising up
    > and displacing an oppressive society. It's uplifting the
    > basement-dwelling demographic into a pseudo-social environment with
    > realworld ramifications. This is a gain.

    you what?

    hang on, are you defending second life on the basis that it gives people
    without social skills the ability to develop their social skills in an
    environment where you have to manually trigger your body language by
    pressing a key? that's frankly ridiculous. a lot of the people who inhabit
    second life actually do have quite active (first) social lives. and those
    that don't aren't going to find SL a stepping stone toward a 'real' social
    life. on the contrary, i think.

    anyway my point in bringing this up was to try and figure out why there is
    this perception around SL that people who play it don't have lives.

    whenever i've visited SL (even the 'art' parts) it seems to be just a whole
    bunch of incredibly unattractive avatars standing around staring blankly at
    each other, with the occasional twitchy body language, and everything is
    *ugly*, *ugly*, *ugly*.

    as an outsider i just don't get it. i don't understand why people would
    spend so much time on something that seems ultimately completely
    self-serving. my personal take on things: i write code, yes, i'm a big geek
    actually, but all of the geeking that i do has as its end an object that is
    destined to be shown to the world outside - either as an interactive
    installation piece for uninitiated members of the general public, or as a
    music performance for non-geek members of the music-listening public.

    but with SL, no-one's going to see it except for other SL users. if this is
    going to change, then this no-life perception has to be addressed head-on.
    this isn't happening, and so SL will remain marginalised.

    i've watched some of Gazira Bebell's videos and they just don't touch me at
    all. it's kind of interesting but i don't feel like there's someone
    /performing/. there's no risk. part of performance is the fact of having
    someone flesh and blood right there. but in SL, everything matters less,
    there's less emotional engagement, and so it's so much harder to care.

    --
    damian stewart | +44 7854 493 796 | damian@frey.co.nz
    frey | live art with machines | http://www.frey.co.nz
  • Rhizomer | Sun Oct 14th 2007 7:50 a.m.
    handsproje and its CONTRIBUTING artists and different diciplines researchers which are not directly related to each otheRS
    HANDSPROJE HAS NOT EROTIC PERFORMANCES AND VIDEOS

    Nanny kitachen

    Damian Stewart <damian@frey.co.nz> wrote:
    Rob Myers wrote:

    > SL isn't stopping a potentially revolutionary proletariat from rising up
    > and displacing an oppressive society. It's uplifting the
    > basement-dwelling demographic into a pseudo-social environment with
    > realworld ramifications. This is a gain.

    you what?

    hang on, are you defending second life on the basis that it gives people
    without social skills the ability to develop their social skills in an
    environment where you have to manually trigger your body language by
    pressing a key? that's frankly ridiculous. a lot of the people who inhabit
    second life actually do have quite active (first) social lives. and those
    that don't aren't going to find SL a stepping stone toward a 'real' social
    life. on the contrary, i think.

    anyway my point in bringing this up was to try and figure out why there is
    this perception around SL that people who play it don't have lives.

    whenever i've visited SL (even the 'art' parts) it seems to be just a whole
    bunch of incredibly unattractive avatars standing around staring blankly at
    each other, with the occasional twitchy body language, and everything is
    *ugly*, *ugly*, *ugly*.

    as an outsider i just don't get it. i don't understand why people would
    spend so much time on something that seems ultimately completely
    self-serving. my personal take on things: i write code, yes, i'm a big geek
    actually, but all of the geeking that i do has as its end an object that is
    destined to be shown to the world outside - either as an interactive
    installation piece for uninitiated members of the general public, or as a
    music performance for non-geek members of the music-listening public.

    but with SL, no-one's going to see it except for other SL users. if this is
    going to change, then this no-life perception has to be addressed head-on.
    this isn't happening, and so SL will remain marginalised.

    i've watched some of Gazira Bebell's videos and they just don't touch me at
    all. it's kind of interesting but i don't feel like there's someone
    /performing/. there's no risk. part of performance is the fact of having
    someone flesh and blood right there. but in SL, everything matters less,
    there's less emotional engagement, and so it's so much harder to care.

    --
    damian stewart | +44 7854 493 796 | damian@frey.co.nz
    frey | live art with machines | http://www.frey.co.nz
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  • Rob Myers | Sun Oct 14th 2007 1:30 p.m.
    Damian Stewart wrote:

    > a lot of the people who
    > inhabit second life actually do have quite active (first) social lives.

    Well there you are then. :-)

    > and those that don't aren't going to find SL a stepping stone toward a
    > 'real' social life. on the contrary, i think.

    There is socialization of a kind to be had in SL. As I say it is at
    worst better than isolation.

    > anyway my point in bringing this up was to try and figure out why there
    > is this perception around SL that people who play it don't have lives.
    >
    > whenever i've visited SL (even the 'art' parts) it seems to be just a
    > whole bunch of incredibly unattractive avatars standing around staring
    > blankly at each other, with the occasional twitchy body language, and
    > everything is *ugly*, *ugly*, *ugly*.

    That sounds like a private view in RL. ;-)

    Try Luskwood or somewhere further from the entry area.

    If things are ugly then you can get some land and make something beautiful.

    > as an outsider i just don't get it. i don't understand why people would
    > spend so much time on something that seems ultimately completely
    > self-serving.

    There is a long history of aestheticized social affect that SL can at
    least aspire to (drag, dandyism, masked balls, Commedia, LRP, fancy
    dress, subcultural style). People like to dress up and socialize under
    aestheticized assumed personas. This is widespread enough that we can
    assume it's socially useful. I believe SL serves this function in a
    broadcast media age.

    > my personal take on things: i write code, yes, i'm a big
    > geek actually, but all of the geeking that i do has as its end an object
    > that is destined to be shown to the world outside - either as an
    > interactive installation piece for uninitiated members of the general
    > public, or as a music performance for non-geek members of the
    > music-listening public.
    >
    > but with SL, no-one's going to see it except for other SL users. if this
    > is going to change, then this no-life perception has to be addressed
    > head-on. this isn't happening, and so SL will remain marginalised.

    The world outside comes into SL in the same way it comes into a gallery.
    SL is a less exclusive social setting than a gallery at private view
    time.

    > i've watched some of Gazira Bebell's videos and they just don't touch me
    > at all. it's kind of interesting but i don't feel like there's someone
    > /performing/. there's no risk. part of performance is the fact of having
    > someone flesh and blood right there. but in SL, everything matters less,
    > there's less emotional engagement, and so it's so much harder to care.

    Early films were shot like stage plays. It wasn't until people stopped
    trying to make films into (bad) plays and developed an actual grammar
    for the medium that film got really interesting.

    It is trivially true that an avatar is not a flesh and blood person on a
    stage. Nor is an image of a person in a painting or a photograph. If
    they don't touch you then someone isn't using (or evaluating) the medium
    effectively.

    - Rob.
  • Domenico Quaranta | Sun Oct 14th 2007 3:25 p.m.
    Hi Damian,

    > i've watched some of Gazira Bebell's videos and they just don't touch me
    > at all. it's kind of interesting but i don't feel like there's someone
    > /performing/. there's no risk. part of performance is the fact of having
    > someone flesh and blood right there. but in SL, everything matters less,
    > there's less emotional engagement, and so it's so much harder to care.

    here you are discussing a limit of SL as a performative context. "There
    is no risk. no flash and blood". This is exactly the point raised by Eva
    and Franco Mattes in their Synthetic Performances. They say: "We chose
    actions that were particularly paradoxical if performed in a virtual
    world... everything is mediated, nothing is spontaneous. More or less
    the opposite of what performance art is supposed to be."

    they are exploring the limits of virtual environments, and the meaning
    of what we call "second life" (virtual life? life on de screen?)

    Gazira is doing the same, in a very different way. Choosing to hyde her
    "real" identity, she makes the "virtual life" her only possible way of
    exhistence. An exhistence in which coding and living are the same, and
    in which software means action. Her work doesn't touch you. Maybe that's
    exactly her point: what do people and avatars have in common? can they
    communicate, share their feelings? or are they completely "alien" to
    each other? Can we say code = performance? You say no. She says yes.
    Good? Wrong? That's not the matter. It's a statement, artistic research.
    I'm happy that someone is doing it.

    Bye,
    dom

    --

    Domenico Quaranta

    mob. +39 340 2392478
    email. qrndnc@yahoo.it
    home. vicolo San Giorgio 18 - 25122 brescia (BS)
    web. http://www.domenicoquaranta.net/
  • Domenico Quaranta | Sun Oct 14th 2007 3:25 p.m.
    Hi Damian,

    > i've watched some of Gazira Bebell's videos and they just don't touch me
    > at all. it's kind of interesting but i don't feel like there's someone
    > /performing/. there's no risk. part of performance is the fact of having
    > someone flesh and blood right there. but in SL, everything matters less,
    > there's less emotional engagement, and so it's so much harder to care.

    here you are discussing a limit of SL as a performative context. "There
    is no risk. no flash and blood". This is exactly the point raised by Eva
    and Franco Mattes in their Synthetic Performances. They say: "We chose
    actions that were particularly paradoxical if performed in a virtual
    world... everything is mediated, nothing is spontaneous. More or less
    the opposite of what performance art is supposed to be."

    they are exploring the limits of virtual environments, and the meaning
    of what we call "second life" (virtual life? life on the screen?)

    Gazira is doing the same, in a very different way. Choosing to hyde her
    "real" identity, she makes the "virtual life" her only possible way of
    exhistence. An exhistence in which coding and living are the same, and
    in which software means action. Her work doesn't touch you. Maybe that's
    exactly her point: what do people and avatars have in common? can they
    communicate, share their feelings? or are they completely "alien" to
    each other? Can we say code = performance? You say no. She says yes.
    Good? Wrong? That's not the matter. It's a statement, artistic research.
    I'm happy that someone is doing it.

    Bye,
    dom

    --

    Domenico Quaranta

    mob. +39 340 2392478
    email. qrndnc@yahoo.it
    home. vicolo San Giorgio 18 - 25122 brescia (BS)
    web. http://www.domenicoquaranta.net/
  • Jim Andrews | Mon Oct 15th 2007 12:03 a.m.
    what is the difference between a tool and a work of art?

    something like Word, there's no one claiming it's a work of art. it's a tool. why? because it doesn't do too much toward shaping the user's creation toward its own unique ends, and it supplies hardly any of the content.

    the forms Word supports are not unique to Word. they're all about print forms and html forms, forms that are entirely independent from Word.

    also, Word doesn't supply much of the content itself in any unique way. you supply the text and the graphics--and the code, if you want it to do macros or viruses--though here there's more pre-written stuff to choose from.

    .
    .
    .

    is there any work of art in sl more impressive than sl itself? sl as a piece of net art?

    ja?
    http://vispo.com
  • marc garrett | Sun Oct 21st 2007 3:35 p.m.
    Hi All,

    One of the most disturbing things about Ars Electronica this year was
    how dominating Second Life was, it really felt quite unimaginative, but
    if you are scared of building an independent community I'm sure that
    it's just a sideways step - not much of a shift really.

    marc

    > Damian Stewart wrote:
    >
    >> a lot of the people who
    >> inhabit second life actually do have quite active (first) social lives.
    >
    > Well there you are then. :-)
    >
    >> and those that don't aren't going to find SL a stepping stone toward
    >> a 'real' social life. on the contrary, i think.
    >
    > There is socialization of a kind to be had in SL. As I say it is at
    > worst better than isolation.
    >
    >> anyway my point in bringing this up was to try and figure out why
    >> there is this perception around SL that people who play it don't have
    >> lives.
    >>
    >> whenever i've visited SL (even the 'art' parts) it seems to be just a
    >> whole bunch of incredibly unattractive avatars standing around
    >> staring blankly at each other, with the occasional twitchy body
    >> language, and everything is *ugly*, *ugly*, *ugly*.
    >
    > That sounds like a private view in RL. ;-)
    >
    > Try Luskwood or somewhere further from the entry area.
    >
    > If things are ugly then you can get some land and make something
    > beautiful.
    >
    >> as an outsider i just don't get it. i don't understand why people
    >> would spend so much time on something that seems ultimately
    >> completely self-serving.
    >
    > There is a long history of aestheticized social affect that SL can at
    > least aspire to (drag, dandyism, masked balls, Commedia, LRP, fancy
    > dress, subcultural style). People like to dress up and socialize under
    > aestheticized assumed personas. This is widespread enough that we can
    > assume it's socially useful. I believe SL serves this function in a
    > broadcast media age.
    >
    >> my personal take on things: i write code, yes, i'm a big geek
    >> actually, but all of the geeking that i do has as its end an object
    >> that is destined to be shown to the world outside - either as an
    >> interactive installation piece for uninitiated members of the general
    >> public, or as a music performance for non-geek members of the
    >> music-listening public.
    >>
    >> but with SL, no-one's going to see it except for other SL users. if
    >> this is going to change, then this no-life perception has to be
    >> addressed head-on. this isn't happening, and so SL will remain
    >> marginalised.
    >
    > The world outside comes into SL in the same way it comes into a
    > gallery. SL is a less exclusive social setting than a gallery at
    > private view time.
    >
    >> i've watched some of Gazira Bebell's videos and they just don't touch
    >> me at all. it's kind of interesting but i don't feel like there's
    >> someone /performing/. there's no risk. part of performance is the
    >> fact of having someone flesh and blood right there. but in SL,
    >> everything matters less, there's less emotional engagement, and so
    >> it's so much harder to care.
    >
    > Early films were shot like stage plays. It wasn't until people stopped
    > trying to make films into (bad) plays and developed an actual grammar
    > for the medium that film got really interesting.
    >
    > It is trivially true that an avatar is not a flesh and blood person on
    > a stage. Nor is an image of a person in a painting or a photograph. If
    > they don't touch you then someone isn't using (or evaluating) the
    > medium effectively.
    >
    > - Rob.
    > +
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