Friday, October 29, 2010

After The Burn - What lessons learned?

So, Burn2 is over.

House of Cards had a wonderful group of visitors; over 700 uniques for the official Burn and still counting. As far as I could see, being at the Playa every day for 4+ hrs at a time, the Burn was quite well attended. Not too bad, when you consider the dearth of publicity for this event and the sometimes-incredible glue-lag engendered by second-class servers.

Here's the impressions I took away from this Burn:

1. The builds were consistently better and more interesting than the SLBirthday event, and much more consistent than the last Burning Life event. Perhaps this was due to most people having to pay for a plot, which I thought analagous to paying for studio space. I also saw people work a lot longer and harder on their builds.

2. Because of the smaller size of the event, people could actually take their time and investigate builds, rather than rush from place to place taking snapshots in order to "see it all." Rather than the "hey I got a build, let's have a party!" crowds who tend to hang out with their friends at one or two builds, I saw most people taking the time to tour most of the builds.

3. That a small, 32x32m plot with 351 prims could be turned into a huge area with a lot of interesting stuff by use of space, lighting, sound and texture and a build could be fascinating and interesting to many people without elaborate scripting or other tricks.

4. The lack of any kind of support from Linden Labs was to be expected, even though this event should have been on the Showcase pages. It was a nasty bit of sour grapes that LL, having been spurned by the Burn organization over issues of nannyism and the like, chose to turn a cold shoulder to this event and bury it. Their loss. However, giving us crappy, old servers for this event after making us pay for them instead of donating them smacks of Halliburtonesque rip-off and does nothing but harm to the happy-smoke and bullfud LL is streaming out lately.

5. I was sorely disappointed to see so little blog coverage for this event. True, the Burn org was somewhat to blame for this in not understanding the need to provide advance entrance and information to the press. Press and machinima makers need lead-time, and having a Press Day with somewhat confusing and involved procedures for getting a Pass only 3 days before the opening was kind of retarded.

I did expect to see at least the "Invited Artists" blogged a lot, along with such heavy hitters as Ub Yifu, soror Nishi, Bryn Oh, Wizard Gynoid and the rest. Last time I Googled (and then Binged, comparing search engine hits), there were perhaps 4 blogs doing any coverage past one or two builds. Shameful. In my quest to support newer and 'smaller' artists, I spent 3 10-hr days blogging and mapping most of the builds at the Burn because I felt that it was important that someone did it.

I do understand that because of the abrupt change in leadership and direction, things were a bit hazy and fuzzy for this event. The Burn org did have "tour lists" I was informed... three days later, after I'd spent my time mapping the Playa. I guess that's nice; would have been nicer if I knew about them in advance.


It's bothered me a lot lately that the very people who profess to love SL for its artistic community and are a part of that community are so... indifferent, it seems, to the need to do some basic PR. I don't know if it's the "we are artists, PR is beneath us" attitude that is prevalent not only in the virtual worlds but in RL, but it is the equivalent of painting in your bedroom and then whining when "no one values my art." If they don't know it's out there, they won't see it or think about it.


Here's the lesson of 'web 2.0', which is really a lesson we learned 30 years ago in punk, when we were blocked from distribution or publicity from the Major Dinosaurs, couldn't book big clubs because no one would book punk bands and crisscrossed the country and continents with cartrunksfull of 3.98USD singles (at a time when 45rpm singles sold for 0.99), mailings and hand-done posters and 'zines:

DIY - Do It Yourself

It's clear that LL does not have our interests at heart. It's clear that, given our own lack of speech and efforts to publicize and speak about our work in virtual worlds, stories about the lowest and most titillating facets of this new universe will be the most-repeated stories, coloring our efforts at legitimacy and respectability. If you leave it to them, all you're going to get are Prok-like stories ranting about the money-business of SL and stories about "omg furreh nun sex with kidz" and the like.

If you continue to rant at LL for 'yer doin' it wrong' or for focusing on a purely-Kmart-level of business concern, you're attached to the platform and platforms don't last. Unless you want to be a Word .doc or something (and even that format has been changed so many times, old versions of Word can't open new Word files and new versions can't open old files) you're going to be left behind.

Likewise, the political infighting between "what grid is da best grid?" is just so much more high-school factionalism and serves only to dilute the efforts and strengths of a community. Wake up and smell the future. There were some small politics between, say, the Punks, the New Romantics, the Jazzpunks, the Artpunks and the rest, but at heart we all pulled together because we had an identity as a community of musicians and artists, and we supported each other's efforts as a unified front. We did it good enough to get the Majors to beg for a signing by Talking Heads, B-52s, Gang of Four, Ramones, Duran Duran and the rest. Everyone had their own leitmotif and area of exploration, but we all knew we were part of something worthwhile.

You're part of a network. The network is not the machinery or the platform. The network is people. We make our own network; we don't depend on LL or any outside force.

Don't wait on LL, or Time-Warner, or a label or a magazine to do your job for you; to 'discover' you; to court you for your amazingly creative efforts, to bring some interest to your work, to legitimize you. Do it yourself.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Monetizing My Blog +LOLcat Forebear

Ok, time to get with this Web 2.0 thing and get on the train. Bowing to pressure, I have decided to monetize my blog.

Yes... henceforth from this day, I declare this blog to be worth one mil... no, wait, umm... 10 million dollars. The value of this blog is 10 million dollars US.


Having monetized my blog now in this initial public offering (IPO), I can relax, sit back and let the manteca roll in. I'll just hire me a team of mercenary Korean clickers to waft my blog to the top of the heap while I giggle over my Paypal balance and start ordering the things I want, like a vacation in the Seyshelles. A new bikini. Caps for my teeth. A cool car like a Ford Falcon.

I struggled for a long time with this decision. I know some people will say that I'm selling out. Well,
let them! Soon I will be able to buy their houses and burn them down! Of course, me being me, I will let them escape in time. But that's to be my only concession. I mean this.

I will still try to be me; just me
with a lot more loose ca$h lying around. In fact, if you are nice to me, I may invite you over to my house to roll around in a huge cash pile on my bed or let you tag along on that vacation to the Seychelles.

I worked long and hard, in fact most of my life, for this. You can't say I'm being selfish. You can't say that I've given up my dreams. Maybe you just never knew my real dreams, because most of those dreams require
huge gorilla-choking wads of ca$h. So I am really only pursuing the dreams I have cherished from childhood.

Ok, guys, I'm ready now. I'm open to accepting all the delicious cornocopia of prosperity. Send your deal-guys. I'm willing to make a generous allowance in your franchise options if you make it snappy. Film rights should be discussed with my agent, who will contact the board of directors and given some time to think about a definitive direction they'll get back to you with an opinion on that.


Two art-related stuffs:

- recent interest in Louis Daguerre's 1838 Daguerreotype of Paris
, purporting to be the oldest photograph of a human being. The Atlantic article also has a handy link to Abelardo Morell's modern camera obscura experiments.

- one of the earliest ancestors of the revered LOLcat has been located.

That is all *checks Paypal balance*

Sunday, October 24, 2010


The Crystal Lotus Temple crashes & burns


Burn2 is officially over... but the builds aren't! If you haven't had a chance to see the magnificent works that have graced this Burn, you have another (less-laggy) week to do it! So refer to the last post, get yer Map and Fire Pony and haz moar fun through Oct. 30!

And thanks from myself and Xenophile to the over-650 unique visitors we had at the House of Cards over the Burn! w00t!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Playa Map - Burn2 Artists ***way updated 10/20***

Black Rock Playa - Map of Artists

Map on Flickr also

After a really fun day hanging at my build [see below], I walked around charting some of the builds I've been privileged to see going up, checking what had been added during my own intensive buildweek and also seeing some I hadn't gotten to or noticed.

I made this map for my own convenience and thought I'd offer it here for any who'd want it. Freely downloadable, creative commons license, etc. Click the small inpage photo for a large size map. Disclaimer: this is not an official Burn2 map! [added by the virtual law firm Dewey, Cheetum & Howe]

I know there will be a ton of blogging about certain builds (AM Radio, Ub Yifu, Bryn Oh, Betty Tureaud, Maya Paris, Soror Nishi, Wizard Gynoid, Stilt Bitches, Maryva Mayo, Madcow Cosmos/Lorin Tone) so rather than be redundant, I thought I'd mention a few out-of-the-way places that interested/involved me. There are also other builds tucked away between things here; this map is mostly an orienteering guide.

[ you might try Honor McMillan's blog posts for some great Burn coverage, and Kara's Korner has LMs for some of the Big Names ]

Starting from North and in rows of west-to-east:

In the Northwest corner pocket, Neeks Karu's Fallen is a haunting post-apocalyptic garden with beautiful stained-glass textures.

West of the Crystal Temple you'll come upon Nawlin Streeter's Metropolis, a beautiful build based on frames from the film Metropolis. Love the intricate textures!

East of the Crystal Temple, looking for Lorin's build (way off track of course), I somehow wandered into Lorin himself lending a sound-hand to Vian Magic's Catal-Hayuk, a recreation of what is most probably the first "city" on Earth. It's a historic build and a cool place to slow down and ponder the ages and changes of people in society. PS - Vian has included goats, like Soror did... goat consciousness rising?

* * * * * * * * * *

Drop one row down (pretend you are playing Space Invaders or Galaga):

At the western edge of the ocean you'll see (and hear) Sledge Roffo and Jewel MacMoragh's wondrous Here Comes The Sun, where you can influence the color schema and sounds emanating from the build. My personal favorite (being sound-biased); I stood listening to it for at least an hour.

East of that is The Phoenix Temple by Toady Nakamura, Cacia Escape, Flea Bussy and Ryan Snook, with awesome Burn artwork by Skycat Ranger; a highly-interactive build that bursts spectacularly into flame each Linden Night and is rebuilt in the morning (see notes in the build for times).

Next you'll find Liz Gealach's Concrete Soldiers, a thought-provoking build with some beautiful poetry. There are timed events in here so give it at least 2 minutes inside to see it all happen.

Behind Liz is The Dove Rhodes' Garden of Burning Love, which features some really neat architecture and some beautiful and romantic water-lily dance pools.

Cross the center line and head west and you'll see Huntress Catteneo's Behemoth - a way-cool self-contained (have a look at the enclosed roof garden on top) ecological vehicle that George Lucas might have studied for some tips. There is also a great tie-in book available there with an intriguing storyline in a collection of "letters" so look for that for a wider perspective on the build.

* * * * * * * * * *

Down a row, you'll find Loki Eliot's Professor Lidden's Lab, an interesting build. You will need Viewer 2.0 to make the most of it although it is still some fine building and beautiful texturing without it.

Next to it is Inner Child Camp by Marianne McCann, Pygar Bu, Robin Howe and a host of other kids. The world's most incredible cardboard fort-city! But don't go in if you're a Big 'cause you won't fit in the passageways and will get stuck and have to get a kid to pull you out and you'll be all embarrassed 'n stuff.

* * * * * * * * * *

Dropping one row again, at the western edge you'll find Mikati Slade and Emily Lang's whimsical Pop Atomic, a craftily-done nod to our 8-bit ancestors and perhaps a wink at the gamesmanship of war.

... and at the eastern edge is Kev Sweetwater's Hey I Didn't Know What To Call It build. Reminiscent of an asian pagoda or temple and scattered with comfy chairs and seating to hang out and have a relax, it also is perfectly positioned for a group viewing of the Man and soror's goat-bean recycling melon-tree.

* * * * * * * * * *

Down a row and you'll come upon The Written Word - a camp made of poetry and text done by a ton of writers, a very cool and unusual sort of build.

Head moar east, young Burner, and enter Nish Mip's City of Robots. It's a fun, hyper and mesmerizing build and Nish has events happening often (as well as more free stuff than you can carry home on the back of three donkeys). So get yer Bender on.

Even moar easter, you will hear the dulcet tones of Raven Haalan's Belltower of Privilege, a stunningly-beautiful staircase of light and sound based on a transcendental vision in the desert. Raven is generous enough to give you a (much more room-friendly) copy of his build for your own.

* * * * * * * * * *
Down another row:

House of Cards
(see previous post)

Ants at a picnic? That's what The Aeonia Artist Group's Ant Vegas is about; ants watching tv, ants hanging out playing saxaphones, ants chairdancing, ants worshipping the Great Ant... a sly commentary on society. I do so love that mammymammymammy song! (btw, the Ants have several sites so keep on the lookout for the other installations/infestations)

Right here also is Dale Innes' Ten Thousand Things Camp, which features a peep show (not that kind!) on an installation of Dale's incredible and mesmerizing Thingmaker.

* * * * * * * * * *

Down south of the House of Cards in the corner pocket is a fun little build, Eisie Etchegaray, sohma Dix and Jupiter Vale's West Nest of Baba Yaga featuring a giant bird which you can climb into and sit for an entrancing and restful moment.

Catty-corner from there is Ultraviolet Alter's O Temporalis, a gorgeous build of translucency and color (esp. at midnight) and worth climbing to the top, as it offers an excellent viewing platform for this side of the Playa.

Right next door is Xaan Allen's City of Fire, another interesting build which has a fabulous color/light/shadow thing going on. If you're lucky you'll meet Xaan there in his incredible Fire Wood Dryad avatar.


Our build - House of Cards (see previous post) - was heavily-visited despite the incredible opening-day lag; we had over 200 visitors in 24 hours (yip!) and a great time talking to oldschoolers who reminisced about Q-modem, BBSes, their first virtual worlds and what it all means to us as netizens.

So get on out to the Burn, ongoing through Oct. 24th. Haz moar fun!

... and oh yeah, someone thought I should mention that a lot of the standing sculptures in the tent at Center Camp are mine ^_^

Monday, October 11, 2010

House of Cards @ Burn2

House of Cards
The History of Social Networking Considered As A House of Cards

Burn2 - Oct. 16 - 24, 2010

Miso Susanowa
: Concept, prim pushing, texture monkey, sound maven
Xenophile Neurocam: Electrical Engineering & Death Rays, AT Command Set
Trill Zapatero: Art Support, sonic review & testing, gift items


The theme and inspiration of this build is based on personal experience in the growth stages of the social networking scene leading up to Second Life and the present virtual worlds.

Beginning with the earliest BBS and MUD environments, through the VRML and 2D progenitors of the mid-90s to the current VWs, the birth and growth of virtual worlds and communities is imagined as a tenuous structure: a house of cards.

An Avatar has climbed these shaky and transitive platforms and is reaching for the future hypergrid/worlds.


The House's structure echoes the M-machine's transformation into the demon Moloch in the Fritz Lang film 'Metropolis', whose society is divided into two classes: one of planners/management and one of workers. The Avatar leaping free of the House is Maria.

The architectural inspiration for this piece derives not only from the Tower of Babel in the film but also the Los Angeles California Temple on Santa Monica Boulevard. The second largest Mormon Church in the US and a well-known landmark for Angelenos, it is topped with a 15-foot floodlighted statue of the Angel Moroni which is visible for miles.

The House is both a fond homage to the long path I have taken [along with the Net] in this growth towards the future, and a warning that such technology and such worlds need not only our honest and heartfelt critique but also our enthusiastic wonder and love to survive and grow.

[This installation uses extensive sound as an integral part of the experience and theme, so please have your SOUNDS channel enabled]



All of the worlds shown here are my own personal experience in the growth of social networking. For those who do not know this history, or those who wish to remember or reminisce, the following Floor Keys might be useful:

1st Storey - Iron Age [The hardware-based stirrings of the net]

telnet, Kermit protocol, VT-100 terminal emulation, the Hayes AT command set for modems, ASCII art, TCP/IP, Windows 3.1 on 5 1/4" floppy disks, ProComm Plus, Trumpet Winsock, Usenet, ANSI, PINE, Galacticomm, WWIV Mustang and various BBS boards, tinyMUD, Compuserve, Prodigy, AOL and The WELL (Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link).

2nd Storey - Steam Age [The laying of the railroad tracks]

Black Sun, Alphaworld, Cybertown, Cityspace, Maze Wars, Habbo, Habitat, ICQ, The Palace, Virtual Places, Beverly Hills Internet (Geocities), BarbieGirls, The Sims Online

3rd Storey - Industrial Age [The present (mostly)]

Second Life, Inworldz, Blue Mars, Meta7, Hipihi, There, Entropia, EVE Online, Metaplace, Everquest, Star Wars Galaxy, vSide, Moove, Neverwinter Nights, Frenzoo, Sony HOME, Vivaty, IMVU, SpotOn3D, Twinity, OSgrid.


Featuring an original 18-track [mixed down from 43] 6-positional soundtrack based on the sounds of computers, modems, teletype machines and telephones.

You might hear the ghosts of services past; if you look hard, you might find The Walrus and some Lindens (or hear them).

The quotation on the top Hypergrid is from Stephen King's 'The Dark Tower' - it is Jake Chalmers speaking to Roland Deschain of Gilead.


Many thanks for encouragement, help and support: Doc Gascoigne, Kev Sweetwater, Brigit Ranger, Trill Zapatero, Eddey Enzo, Ronon Carver, Raven Haalan

Working with Xeno was one of the best collaborative experiences I have had in Second Life - very creative, positive, enthusiastic through all the changes; we made our House much more, and much better than originally planned thanks to his involvement.

BURN2 OCT. 16-24, 2010

Hey, I'm an iPhone App!

Stupid Post #23

Talia Tokugawa's blog, I found out that I am an iPhone app:

"such as a foursquare/gomiso style application"

... so I google around a bit and find this:

Miso : unfortunately it looks like some television app -_-

so can I sue for copyright infringement?!?!?!

Maybe they will buy out my Blogspot url... be nice to me, I might be rollin' in teh spacebux soon!

"Wendy, call my attorney, stat!!!"

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Apollo Manga's Burn2 Preview Machinima

Apollo Manga has done a great machinima previewing some of the more spectacular Burn2 builds.You can find it here:

Featuring the work of:

Edanna Spiritweaver
Caro Fayray
Kere Delcon
Nish Mip
Loki Elliot
Elenora Scribe
Aamira Aeon
JeanBaptiste Eilde
Moeuhane Sandalwood
Ub Yifu
Xaan Allen
Ultraviolet Alter

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Burn2 Press/Blogger Day

Burn2 Press and Blogger Day

On Oct 13, the Burn2 sims will open up to bloggers and the press for unrestricted touring and photography. To access the sims on Oct 13, you must ask for a press / blogger pass. If you’re a blogger or member of the press, send an email to communications (at) with your avatar name and a URL to your blog or publication.

There will also be a meet and greet blogger PARTY 3pm-5pm SLT at Center Camp (DJ’d by Sporty Tone) where you can talk to burners and volunteer leads, dance, hang out and have fun.

Burn2 greeters and guides will be available from 1-3pm to show you around. During the rest of the day, many of our other volunteers will be available - just ask in Burn2 Access group chat for assistance.

You can also check out the playa map inworld or on the website.

I'd be happy to set up a tour of House of Cards, my build with Xenophile Neurocam, if anyone is interested.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Mea culpa, sumimasen; I have teh dumb

I Drafted my last post; prolly won't post it again.

It was for-sure snarky, way over-the-top, and...

It's not rilly my business, these politics. The people who need to hear these things aren't listening; the people who know these things know them. Blame it on Bloggin' Fever, or the seasonal plague I am currently hacking my way through. Either way, 'nuff's enough, as Stan Lee sez.

We now return you to our irregularly-scheduled art stuff & teh funs.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sintel - see where machinima is headed

There have been trailers... teaser clips... artwork... stills for the last 18 months.

Now, see the 15-minute short film on YouTube; watch it in HD if you can.

No Hollywood studio was involved in the making of this film. It was realized in the studio of the Amsterdam Blender Institute by an international team of artists working collaboratively using Blender and a suite of completely free and open source software.

The Blender Foundation's budget for this was about 30,000 Euro a minute. A typical Hollywood film has a budget of a million euro a minute or more. A lot of the later parts of the film were pre-financed by advance dvd sales and donations from the general public.

[ This is a proof-of-concept and tools/process demonstration. Before you let that put you off... consider what Pixar was able to do with basically the same thing 10 years ago ]

They're going to be distributing not just the movie, but everything you need to re-create the movie (or a derivative work).

Yes, they will need writers. They will need directors. They will need musicians and seiyuu (voice actors) (although having watched plenty of animation and anime, I have to hand big kudos to the voice actors in this film- excellent emoting) and sound people.

... but they won't need megacorp cartels anymore or their stranglehold on the entertainment industry to produce Hollywood-quality films.

Van Gogh had to make his own paint because he was so poor he couldn't afford to buy it. Blender is Van Gogh's paint.

Find out about this amazing film and project:

Friday, October 1, 2010

M$ Rumor lolz

I did start a JOKE RUMOR about "MS" buying Second Life.
But I am Miso Susanowa... MS!
They must have thought I meant MICROSOFT!!!
Thank you!
I'm SORRY!!!!!

Troll (Internet)

That is all...

ps: someone pls post this link to SaveMe. It will save a lot of verbal fluffing.*^-^*