Monday, February 22, 2010

An Adventure With Captain Callidus

Just to show people I am not always boringly working, here is an adventure with Captain Callidus Waydelich, of whom I am pixie niece and apprentice pirate lass to:

Callidus Waydelich: Ohhhhhhh
Callidus Waydelich: Th' Cape Cod girls, they have no combs
Callidus Waydelich: They comb thar hair with catfish bones!
Callidus Waydelich: Cape Cod boys, they have no sleds,
Callidus Waydelich: They slide down dunes o' catfish heads!
Miso Susanowa: *sniffs uncle's breath*
Callidus Waydelich: Cape Cod doctors, they have no pills,
Miso Susanowa: *avoids wildly-swinging rum bottle*
Callidus Waydelich: They give thar patients catfish gills!
Callidus Waydelich falls over
Callidus Waydelich: zzzzz
Miso Susanowa: *covers with blanket, takes away rum bottle gingerly*
Miso Susanowa: *builds a small fire*
Miso Susanowa: *sits on a rock wittling arrowheads*
Callidus Waydelich: THE RUM !
Miso Susanowa: *pushes back down* its empty, sir
Callidus Waydelich gets up and kicks some sand around looking for something
Callidus Waydelich: Why is the rum gone!
Miso Susanowa: because you appear, i mean smell, to have drunk it sir
Callidus Waydelich: :o
Callidus Waydelich: But why is the rum gone?
Miso Susanowa: because you did not steal enough, sir
Callidus Waydelich facepalms
Callidus Waydelich: I'll make a note of it in the log
Miso Susanowa: the Captain's Log *nods*
Miso Susanowa: *hands small chisel and hammer*
Callidus Waydelich: Thank you.
Miso Susanowa: yw
Miso Susanowa: you can use that log there
Miso Susanowa: i was going to toss it in the fire
Miso Susanowa: but i think it would make an admirable Captain's Log
Callidus Waydelich: Yo ho yo ho, a pirate's life for us.
Miso Susanowa: yar har!
Miso Susanowa: *gets up and dances around the fire*
Callidus Waydelich: I LOVE THIS SONG!
Miso Susanowa: do what yer want cause a pirate is free! bein a pirate is alright to be!
Callidus Waydelich: Really bad eggs!@
Callidus Waydelich falls over
Miso Susanowa: you're a pirate, fiddle dee dee! you are a pirate!
Callidus Waydelich: Harhar!
Miso Susanowa: *observes*
Callidus Waydelich: I've gotten hold of a spray can
Callidus Waydelich: And I've arrived on The Green
Miso Susanowa: the Green?
Callidus Waydelich: Yes, The Green
Callidus Waydelich: very green there
Miso Susanowa: ok
Miso Susanowa: now
Miso Susanowa: i'd suggest a thin wedge putter sir
Miso Susanowa: it looks to be about.... 8 yards
Miso Susanowa: not too bad of a lie
Callidus Waydelich: hair enough
Callidus Waydelich: fair
Miso Susanowa: but the grass is roughed in the uphill sir
Miso Susanowa: so that will pull your stroke
Callidus Waydelich: Hairfair?
Miso Susanowa: i shall hold the flag, sir
Miso Susanowa: the hair fair i believe was several months ago, sir
Callidus Waydelich: !
Callidus Waydelich: DO NOT WANT!
Callidus Waydelich drives the ball all the way to ElvenGlen
Miso Susanowa: oh, good show sir! A nice knock off the head of several of the Council
Callidus Waydelich: I wondered where that ball went
Miso Susanowa: it appears to be lodged in an owl's nest, sir
Miso Susanowa: a difficult lie indeed
Miso Susanowa: i'd suggest a wood
Callidus Waydelich shinnys up a tree to get the ball
Miso Susanowa: *looks the other way, whistling*
Callidus Waydelich: BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES!
Callidus Waydelich runs for his life
Callidus Waydelich: Those were not owls!
Miso Susanowa: oh.... *looks down* i wondered why they had stripes
Miso Susanowa: i just thought perhaps they were very sporty tiny owls
Miso Susanowa: owL, sir, owL. there's an L there
Miso Susanowa: owl owl owl owl
Miso Susanowa: like that
Callidus Waydelich runs through the campfire smoke
Miso Susanowa: yes, that might work
Miso Susanowa: i'd suggest an Adidas, sir
Callidus Waydelich: Bees.
Miso Susanowa: perhaps with the speed sole
Callidus Waydelich: Why does it have to be bees.
Miso Susanowa: because elephants cannot climb trees, sir
Miso Susanowa: everyone knows that
Callidus Waydelich: Obviously they can
Callidus Waydelich: The riddles have it that they paint their toenails red to hide in cherry trees, you see.
Miso Susanowa: that's ridiculous. Elephants do not get pedicures.
Miso Susanowa: at least the boy elephants don't
Callidus Waydelich: Oh.
Miso Susanowa: *dabs mud and calamine lotion on welts*
Miso Susanowa: you really should have used the wood, sir
Callidus Waydelich: ow
Callidus Waydelich uses a credit card to flick stingers out of his skin
Callidus Waydelich: Bees don't like me, apparently.
Miso Susanowa: perhaps if you smeared yourself with honey...
Callidus Waydelich: Oh bother
Miso Susanowa: giggles
Miso Susanowa: perhaps this will help sir...
Miso Susanowa: *reaches into small pouch and withdraws a tiny dram bottle*
Miso Susanowa: *it sparkles a dark caramel color...*
Miso Susanowa: *opens the stopper*
Miso Susanowa: * a smell of the finest rum wafts out*
Miso Susanowa: *smiles and hands to the Captain*
Callidus Waydelich: I smell...
Callidus Waydelich: Er, I smell?
Callidus Waydelich: No no, I smell....rum!
Miso Susanowa: a bite of the dog that haired you, sir :)
Callidus Waydelich gulps it down
Miso Susanowa: tsk tsk
Miso Susanowa: now its gone
Miso Susanowa: SAvor sir, SAVOR
Callidus Waydelich burps
Callidus Waydelich: scuse me
Callidus Waydelich tries to get up
Callidus Waydelich: Ow ow ow!
Callidus Waydelich: Geez, those bees got everywhere
Miso Susanowa: *hands mud* i aint touching it
Callidus Waydelich: Oh, right
Callidus Waydelich: well, that was unpleasant
Miso Susanowa: oh... i liked the part with the elf head bonking sir! ^_^
Callidus Waydelich: Harhar!
Miso Susanowa: yar :)
Miso Susanowa: *hands perfectly toasted hot dog bun*
Miso Susanowa: hot dog or polish sausage, sir?
Callidus Waydelich: Polish sausage, please
Miso Susanowa: my choice also :)
Miso Susanowa: *forks one into the bun*
Miso Susanowa: stone ground mustard, sir?
Callidus Waydelich: Oh, I'd be delighted
Callidus Waydelich: Sorry, I'm gonna say I was afk when I was just neck-deep in espionage findings
Miso Susanowa: ah!
Miso Susanowa: espionage sir?!??!?! *slips on fake mustache*
Callidus Waydelich: Sayy
Callidus Waydelich: have you seen Miso?
Callidus Waydelich: Was here a second ago
Miso Susanowa: *does an amazing maria ouspenskaya impression* cross my palm weeth silver
Callidus Waydelich: hummm
Callidus Waydelich: nice try, but I always see the goods before showing the money, honey
Miso Susanowa: i see... in your future... elves.
Callidus Waydelich: !
Callidus Waydelich dumps a sack of gold on the table
Callidus Waydelich: go on
Miso Susanowa: i see... in the past... you had trouble with bees.
Callidus Waydelich: ooh
Miso Susanowa: this line here... on your shirt, dribbling down to your boots...
Miso Susanowa: it tells me you are a lover of rum...
Callidus Waydelich: ooh
Callidus Waydelich: yum, rum
Miso Susanowa: and that is all you get for such a pitiful pittance, sir *grabs bag of gold and secretes it inside jerkin*
Callidus Waydelich: !
Callidus Waydelich drops an even larger gold sack
Miso Susanowa: ahhh!
Miso Susanowa: *takes his palm*
Callidus Waydelich: The vision getting clearer now?
Miso Susanowa: i see... you are a generous man... though somewhat foolhardy...
Callidus Waydelich: yes?
Miso Susanowa: and that you have, in the past, had many strange adventures
Callidus Waydelich: yes, yes I have
Miso Susanowa: yes.... i see... long voyages...
Miso Susanowa: and many encounters of a wild and strange nature!
Callidus Waydelich hopes she doesn't see the huge treasure stashes from each voyage
Miso Susanowa: No, no... nothing like that...
Miso Susanowa: *scribbling below table*
Callidus Waydelich: Wait, how did you know what I was thinking?
Callidus Waydelich: What about piskies?
Callidus Waydelich: Do they figure in what lies ahead?
Miso Susanowa: of course si.. i mean um sir.
Miso Susanowa: piskies will guide you
Callidus Waydelich: Good!
Miso Susanowa: *mustache slips*
Callidus Waydelich looks at the cards on the table
Miso Susanowa: oops
Miso Susanowa: *tries to push it up*
Miso Susanowa: *passes hand over forehead* the spirits... grow weak
Miso Susanowa: i must depart
Miso Susanowa: *hastily gathers up cards*
Callidus Waydelich: hmmm, Sammy shark, Ollie Octopus, Tina Tuna?
Miso Susanowa: *grabs bag of gold*
Miso Susanowa: *slips out between door blanket*
Miso Susanowa: *starts running, laughing*
Callidus Waydelich: Wait, that's the go fish deck the stowaways had on my ship
Callidus Waydelich: ARGH!
Callidus Waydelich: CONFOUNDING PISKIES!
Miso Susanowa: gigglegigglegiggle
Callidus Waydelich trips over a lawn elf
Callidus Waydelich: AUGH!
Miso Susanowa: GIGGLE
Callidus Waydelich: Hey, that mustached piskie was right!
Callidus Waydelich shrugs
Miso Susanowa: *sits up in a tree, munching a polish dog, watching merrily*

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Crossover/Collaboration #2 - Lil Eizenstein

Lil Eizenstein SL

The second piece of my RL/SL collaboration with Australian artist Len Zuks is done - Lil Eizenstein SL. This was actually the first piece done for Len as an "audition" piece to bring him into the possibilities of the metaverse and specifically Second Life. I roughed up a quick mockup of his physical sculpture and he gave the ok to do two others: Megabyte and Klein Bottle.

I revisited Lil Eizenstein and made quite a few adjustments to the rough, owing to much better photos of the physical piece and textured with the metals I used from dtetailed photos of Len's own physical work. In giving Lil Eizenstein a Second Life, I added a particle emitter with the E=MC2 equasion which Einstein is justly famous. I also added a facsimile of the first page of his 1915 paper on General Relativity and had that reflect in his spectacles. In the back of his head is a rotating black hole.

On spending more time with the piece and researching Einstein, I began to notice the iconification of the Professor; the carving and commodification of one of the world's greatest thinkers into an easily-packaged yet bland and thin image, even to the cartoonification of him and his ideas (the photo of him with his tongue sticking out).

This cartoon and one-dimensional image of Einstein is at odds with the reality of the young, dynamic thinker who had women "swarming around him like butterflys" and of whom Marilyn Monroe said, "Einstein is my idea of a sexy man." Likewise, "E=MC2" is standard fodder for schoolchildren and a handly little quip, yet this view ignores or bypasses Einstein's later impassioned speeches warning of the consequences of the use to which his theorums had been put and pleading for a more enlightened world and for world peace.

Therefore, inside Lil Eizenstein SL (but very difficult to cam into) is an image of the young, dynamic Einstein. I also turned the base of Len's work into a rotating dome of the heavens, the splendour of the universe upon which Lil Eizenstein sits perched and from whence Einstein felt the wonder which fueled his conceptions.

The dome is also the top of a mushroom cloud... the terrible material use to which Einstein's theories led and which he later (along with Robert Oppenheimer, Niels Bohr and many of the physicists of his day) condemned. So to this work I added snippets of Einstein's famous 1945 Voice of America speech pleading for world peace (reproduced below) which play at random intervals.

When touched, Lil Eizenstein SL presents the avatar with a copy of the first page of the Theory of General Relativity in Einstein's own handwriting, a graphic of Einstein in front of a mushroom cloud with the text of his 1945 speech and copies of photographs of Len Zuks' physical piece, Lil Eizenstein.

Once again, I am very grateful to both Len Zuks for the opportunity to work with his pieces and to Jayjay Zifanwe of the University of Western Australia In SL for facilitating this very interesting collaboration.

Flickr photo set

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Today, the physicists who participate in watching the most formidable and dangerous weapon of all time... cannot desist from warning and warning again: we cannot and should not slacken in our efforts to make the nations of the world and especially their governments aware of the unspeakable disaster they are certain to provoke unless they change their attitude towards each other and towards the task of shaping the future...

Large parts of the world are faced with starvation, while others are living in abundance. The nations were promised liberation and justice, but we have witnessed and are witnessing, even now, the sad spectacle of liberating armies firing into populations who want their independence and social equality, and supporting in those countries by force of arms, such parties and personalities as appear to be most suited to serve vested interests. Territorial questions and arguments of power, obsolete though they are, still prevail over the essential demands of common welfare and justice."

Albert Einstein
Voice of America Broadcast, 1945

Einstein site @ The American Institute for Physics

Monday, February 8, 2010


The first collaboration between RL artist Len Zuks and myself is finally done! It has been very exciting to work with Len on bringing his Megabyte sculpture into the digital realm. It is a beautiful, evocative piece and was very fun to work with in bringing it to the multiverse.

Len Zuks is an amazing artist with international recognition. Please check out his website (link below) because there's just so much to tell you about the man and his work that I cannot do justice to it here, merely talk about my own experience in working with him. I am truly honored and grateful for the opportunity to work with such a talent.

Through the efforts of Jayjay Zifanwe, the moving force behind the UWA 3D Art & Design Challenge and most-awesome promoter of the arts in Second Life, I was introduced to Len and asked if I would be willing to work with him on translating some of his work into the digital realm. One piece was done as a test model and was pleasing enough for me to get the green light on two other pieces.

The first of these is SL Megabyte - a reimagining of Len's work through the lens of SL. Here is what Len had to say today in Second Life on viewing the piece:

'The original sculpture was freestanding, tangible and real. With Miso's collaboration, we have given this sculpture an internal life which is real but cannot be replicated in reality'

I'd like to detail my process a little bit here and offer my thoughts on this most fun and exciting collaboration...

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

When I began Megabyte, I started from the point I had with his first test piece, Lil Eizenstein - to reproduce the work in digital form. I had Jayjay take a series of angled photos and closeups of the piece and send them to me.

I began trying to replicate Megabyte with many sculpted forms, seeking to duplicate the shapes... and quickly ran into a wall. Without extensive 3D modeling (Blender or 3D Max or the like) I wouldn't be able to be exact, and it wasn't guaranteed even then, owing to the problems with replicating such a shape, viewed only from photographs.

I sat with him for awhile, clumsily finished and awkwardly placed, through the holiday uproar and just let the sculpture work on my awareness from the peripheral. My breakthrough came when I realized I did not want to replicate Megabyte; I wanted to give him the life that only SL can!

Now things went much better. I junked the sculpted forms and started using regular prims. Using textures made from the photographs of Len's own work, the feel of his metals and the taste of his texturing, I started to let Megabyte live on his own. Certain things were shifted, or gently modified to fit in with the constraints of building inworld. Other things, like the wiggling ears & tail and the rolling eyes which follow you around, are features of everyday Second Life experience and worked in naturally.

The really fun part was several conversations I had with Len inworld through Jayjay's avatar, Len taking over the mic to speak to me directly as we dialogued about the piece. One thing Len said, about an "internal life" got me off onto the thought train of:

a megabyte... is a large amount of information. Inside a megabyte are many pieces of data... a hippo is a large animal... dna contains a large amount of information... memory is an internal life... an internal life encompasses the environment around it...

This got me started on the interior. Inside Megabyte, I envisioned his life, which was lived in the savannah... and so the concept was born: inside him would be a river, running through the savannah and down to a pool where two hippos play. The river represents his home, his life and the DNA connection.

Along the banks of the river I wanted to put animals. I was reminded two of my favorite pasttimes as a child: playing with plastic animals and the numerous fake Fabergé eggs I made - spending hours cutting pictures out of magazines, glueing them on cardboard stands and carefully placing them inside hollowed-out eggshells with a tweezers (I made these from age 7 or so well into my late teens as gifts for Easter and Christmas). Now I was having fun! I added some animals and an African djembe drum.

As usual in most of my pieces, I wanted sound - a large part of my work in Second Life and one of the things SL excels at: whimsical reality. I began with hippo vocalizations, which play at random. Hippos make weird noises! I added animal sounds to all the animals with one exception - the giraffe. It seems giraffes make... leaf-eating noises. Crunchcrunch -_- So instead I put in a small joke (also a feature in many of my works) - the "sound of a dying giraffe." I also added a touch-start loop of a tribal beat-and-clap pattern to the djembe.

A small opening was left in the roof of his mouth to show a sliver of the inside sky and to clue observers that there was an interior to SL Megabyte. A little bit of clever camming will place the observer inside him to view a panorama of the savannah - a long river winding its' way through to a pool at one end where hippos cavort. Along the river animals stand; touching them will play the animal's sound. The drum allows the viewer to start a looping beat and then play with the animal sounds while the hippo sounds play randomly.

So now, like all of us who come here, Megabyte has been given a Second Life of his own!

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

A very satisfying, exciting and stimulating project. Both of us are pleased at the results, as is Jayjay, who has told me that SL Megabyte may have a permanent home on the UWA in SL campus as an example of a physical/digital collaboration with one of Australia's finest artists. W00t!


Sunday, February 7, 2010

UWA 3D Art & Design Challenge

The UWA 3D Art and Design Challenge, which I have blogged about before, has again honored me with an Honorable Mention for Immersion for 'City (Los Angeles)' about which I have also blogged before lol ^_^ TY Jayjay and judges... i know i should say more but i have a much better blog to do :)