Sunday, December 6, 2009

further Interactive - The Vanishing

Some further links regarding the Interactive collaboration at Caerleon -

Apollo Manga's review Part II

FreeWee's thorough Picasa photo-documentary

On Friday, Dec. 4th Iono Allen - Diabolus artist and machinimist - went on a tour with me through
Interactive - the large-scale immersion installation by Caerleon artists I have blogged about before. Iono was nice enough to allow me to use our conversation during the tour on this blog for further thoughts and illuminations about Interactive. That transcript follows:

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[Behind the Maze]
Miso Susanowa: did you look in the Well?

Iono Allen: the well ?

Miso Susanowa: yes, it is a big clue. You are searching for a noob yes? And you see... yourself looking back at you, yes? So we tell you right here; at the very beginning; the noob is you

Iono Allen: yes, that's a wonderful idea !

Miso Susanowa: We do this many times in the installation; we show the strings of the playwright. We say - this is not a simple visual movie (Second Life) - this is a world. To be truly present in a world one must interact with that world.

Iono Allen: I agree completely.

Miso Susanowa: we made it like a game where everything is revealed and
yet you do not have the understanding; later, all is obvious... Second Life at first it seems mostly a "chat program with pictures" but later, you realize it is much more, or can be... if you INTERACT with it

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[In Alizarin's Forest]
Iono Allen: and these balls here ?

Miso Susanowa: More dancing, for a group; we encourage interacting with friends here
Iono Allen: and this one is for couple ?

Miso Susanowa:Yes; so Alizarin says, "dance alone, or dance with a friend, or dance with friends"

Iono Allen:Yes, I understand better now. I didn't get that message because I was alone.

Miso Susanowa: SL is not very much fun or interesting alone... only when interacting with the people here :)

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Miso Susanowa: Transition from a... virtual forest to a cartoon forest.

Iono Allen: and the transition is very good indeed

Miso Susanowa: Peeling back another layer of the artifice. At first... SL is all show, yes? :) The best Guides in Second Life are the same ones as in the "real" world - your own curiosity and willingness to engage and participate.

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Miso Susanowa: be sure to turn on your music stream :)

Iono Allen:I have it yes; old French songs.

Miso Susanowa: This is one path offered in Second Life... to just have fun; to play the man-woman game.

Iono Allen: Right, it's one of the choices in SL, and in rl too !!!

Miso Susanowa: Yes. There is a depiction of this on the walls of the Maze...

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[The Little Village]
Iono Allen: I like the giant people looking at the village.

Miso Susanowa: ahhhhh a HUGE clue - THEY look at YOU; YOU look at the little people. Here are worlds within worlds; more pointed echoes.

Iono Allen: yes

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Iono Allen: Ahh this is very mysterious to me.

Miso Susanowa:The walls and floor change according to your presence and Artistides shows her hand as the Maker; hers is the only wall that does not change because it is HER wall.

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Miso Susanowa: Shakespeare in the depths

Iono Allen: yes

Miso Susanowa: We point again to the play made by you; we show you a famous playwright.

Iono Allen: and the lights ?

Miso Susanowa: The aisle lights of the theatre receeding into the distance.

Iono Allen: and here I am now on a chair, with a book

Miso Susanowa: the author? ^_^

Iono Allen: Victor Hugo...

Miso Susanowa:Another playwright! And you are now in the reverse perspective, observing the "Stage" of the mine floor...

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[The Factory]
Miso Susanowa: the chair is an echo of The Wizard Of Oz, "the man behind the curtain." You are the controller... the rock wall here, another storybook reference: "Open Sesame" or Ali Baba.

Miso Susanowa: Lollito shows the dreamer's bed and tells you you are in a dream. And here is the dream, showing the Puppet Master.

Iono Allen: that is the message ! I didn't get that completely.

Miso Susanowa: All the tricks of SL; the colors, the toys... butt if you look up you see the puppeteer. Our layers get thinner as you rise above.

Iono Allen: Yes. You see, I couldn't make any movie without your explanations :\

Miso Susanowa: but part of those explanations are my interacting with this installation with my mind, yes?

Iono Allen: I guess I had about 85% of them

Miso Susanowa: There were several artists working here; I missed many things the first few times through myself. All the elements work well together to support and reinforce the theme and statement.

Iono Allen: It is really fabulous.

Miso Susanowa: Many came to it... like a good book, I think it escapes many, because they engage in the behaviour we speak about here; sample, graze, move on...

Iono Allen: I have to say that the challenge is very hard, as clever as the artists have been !

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[The Star Globe]
Miso Susanowa: Ok, so now the long ride on the star ("you are the star"). In this we show everything. You are taken aloft, to see the SIM - to see the entire artwork and adventure story as it truly is. It is a digital simulation in a computer matrix called "Second Life."

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Miso Susanowa: here is the basic building block of SL - the Cube; we even place a plain plywood cube next to it, the most basic of building blocks a person creates when they begin trying toi build something in Second Life.

Miso Susanowa: The final area echoes the first treasure room, but this is the real treasure of Second Life - links to other groups, art, culture, music, education...

Iono Allen: I really like this idea

Miso Susanowa: And one may add to those links, becoming part of our installation.

Iono Allen: oh really ?

Miso Susanowa: Yes; this is where one may drag one's own LMs to add to the linkages. So the collection of information grows and each person becomes part of INTERACTION, the installation.

Miso Susanowa: Here the map you saw way back at the beginning, but now its meaning is clearer. You see the mountain ranges, the village, the pathways, the forest ... everything.

Iono Allen: yes

Miso Susanowa: When you stay in SL for awhile, suddenly a mess of random things make some sense and now you can puzzle out some of the meaning of the world.

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Miso Susanowa: The echoes of this sphere are all throughout... starting in the first welcome
area and maze... in fact, in the Maze treasure room, did you notice Free Wee's small globe?

Iono Allen: no

Miso Susanowa: Undersea... the chair spheres and gumballs... at the very beginning, in the welcome area, the language spheres; Artee's clue spheres you asked me about... like the repetitive elements of a story or painting; reinforcement of theme.

Iono Allen: Ahhhh yes! I try to use that in my machinima. Bach did that in his music.

Miso Susanowa: That is a good collab - we were all "on the beam." Each artist worked that theme their own way and the mesh is very gratifying and larger than any one artist. We did not wish a mishmash or collection of solo exhibitions

Iono Allen: You succeeded !!

Miso Susanowa: it was very gratifying

Iono Allen: and what I like is that it is art...

Miso Susanowa: it was a stellar collaboration

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Iono Allen: I guess that my first look here was about 2 hours

Miso Susanowa: It does encourage them to not merely "view and go" like snack food, which is a serious problem for the arts in this medium, with people conditioned to "computer games" as the use of this type of 3D platform. It is a bad habit for works of art and this is what we wished to dialogue about; it is very discouraging.

Iono Allen: yes

Miso Susanowa: To the artists working in this medium, SL is not just something to be engaged in idle time and to idle purpose.

Iono Allen: No it is not, I agree; a new medium, yes.

Miso Susanowa: There is a deeper world here.

Iono Allen: That's what I like in SL - I learn so much here! About ideas, about people, about technology; opening to the world; different cultures. Tools like Google Wave may be on the right way to improve things toward better communication.

Miso Susanowa: This is the future here. It is crude; it is just beginning, but it IS the future. And I live here.

Iono Allen: We are the future :)

Miso Susanowa: Exactly. And should the future be all... popcorn pictures? Or is it more? What makes it more? We do, by our engagement with it as a serious world. Not many of us have the chance to directly affect a medium of such vast reach. Most people did not have the opportunity to affect the printing press or the television station in the past. Now, with technology reaching to public access levels and affordability, we stand on the verge of a total transformation in media as big as the first printing press or affordable camera.

Miso Susanowa: That's our message... perhaps too ambitious ;)

Iono Allen: You see, I have got richer tonight :)

Miso Susanowa: Then our work as artists is a success and we thank you :)