-empyre- August 2007 – Avatars and SecondLife

7 08 2007

Second Life : The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – Being in Second Life <http://www.secondlife.com >

Neal Stephenson’s Metaverse reigns supreme. One of it’s current incarnations- the multi-user virtual universe Second Life claims a population of 8.5 million avatars. SL is embraced by many as an innovative and safe fantasy scape – enabling play, creativity, education, companionship, love and lust. It is reviled by some as a cesspit of antisocial isolationist addictive behavior; and SL is dismissed by others as simply an over-inflated hype driven commercial venture expounding the values
of property acquisition and commodity exchange.

Whatever your perspective, SL is serious business with an exchange rate which fluctuates against the $US and an estimated Second Life avatar electricity consumption equivalent to the average citizen of Brazil.<http://www.roughtype.com/archives/2006/12/avatars_consume.php>

In this seemingly infinitely expandable universe aesthetic endeavours, creative constructions and artistic performances are enacted daily by talented artists and researchers – some of whom will join us in discussion this month as guests, and many more as part of the -empyre- community and beyond. We hope to hear from all of you and view your work.

Performance, architecture and artwork images from the guests and -empyre- community will be available on our Filckr site and a synthesis of the discussion will be edited into a richly illustrated chapter of a new Pretsel publication on the Second Life Architecture Competition. No dialogue will be published without individual approval and if you wish to upload images of any SL creativite activity which you are posting about to the Flickr site please email me. <http://www.flickr.com/photos/goodbadugly>

Guests

–> Annabeth Robinson (UK) is a Second Life Artist focusing on interactive and sound driven projects, Metaverse consultant and Sim builder, Lecturer -Design for Digital Media at Leeds College of Art and Design. aka AngryBeth Shortbread http://www.annamorphic.co.uk/

–> Patrick Lichty (US) is a technologically-based conceptual artist, writer, independent curator, co-founder of the Second Life based performanceart group, Second Front, animator for the The Yes Men, & Executive Editor of Intelligent Agent Magazine
aka Man Michinaga, http://slfront.blogspot.com

–> Stephan Doesinger (Austria) is a conceptual artist and architect who initiated Bastard Spaces the 1st Annual Architecture and Design Competition in SL to be announced at Ars Electronica aka Doesi Beck http://www.doesinger.com/ http://www.sl-award.com

–> Dr Ricardo Peach (AU) is the Program Manager for the Inter-Arts Office at the Australia Council for the Arts, which is funding a SL residency.aka Ricardo Paravane
http://www.ozco.gov.au/grants/grants_new_media_arts/second_life_artist_resid
ency/

–> Christy Dena (AU) is researching changes to art and entertainment in the age of cross-media production for her PhD at the University of Sydney. Dena works as an industry strategist, mentor, educator and journalist. aka Lythe Witte http://www.christydena.com/ http://www.lythewitte.net/

–> Dr Fabio Zambetta (AU) lectures at School of Computer Science and Information Technology at RMIT University Melbourne and researcher in the area of 3D embodied conversational agents, 3D virtual environments, and interactive storytelling.
aka Fabio Forcella http://goanna.cs.rmit.edu.au/~fabio/projects/

–> Kathy Cleland (AU) is a writer, curator and lecturer in the Digital Cultures Program at The University of Sydney and is currently completing her PhD investigating avatars, digital portraiture and representations of the self in virtual environments. aka Bella Bouchard http://www.arts.usyd.edu.au/departs/digitalcultures/?page=staff&id=katclela
·

–> Adam Nash (AU) is a media artist, composer, programmer, performer and writer who works in networked real-time 3D spaces, exploring them as live audiovisual performance spaces. His work has been presented at SIGGRAPH, ISEA, and the Venice Biennale. aka Adam Ramona http://yamanakanash.net/

—> Dr Melinda Rackham (AU) is the Executive Director of ANAT – Australia¹s peak cultural organisation for artists working with emerging technologies. Her Ph.D. explored the nature and construction of avatars and multi-user Virtual Reality Spaces. aka Marina Regina http://www.subtle.net

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