Intro to Networked Collaboration

SL Event(s)

The Pencil Factory Gallery Event: dec 9th

Had a RL event where I took 10 friends to the Gallery today: dec 12th

One of the guides in this Dec 9th SL Event at The Pencil Factory Gallery described some of the goals of the gallery as well as gave us information on the artist’s blog and website:
[18:17]  Fia Zapatero: …interested in exploring issues of creating value in virtual worlds…
[18:17]  Fia Zapatero: the relationship between online and offline worlds…
[18:18]  Fia Zapatero: and the potential for virtual worlds to serve as public spaces.
[18:18]  Fia Zapatero: The Pencil Factory is a gallery created by one artist- Angrybeth Shortbread
[18:19]  Fia Zapatero: her blog:
her website:

But I also recall our other guide discussing ‘telepresence’: how present your avatar feels in SL as being an important goal of the gallery viewing. I think they nailed it terms of creating value in a virtual world as well as using the virtual world as a public space. The gallery was very interactive and in many cases, such as the green space where the group created music or the room where we could push each other and objects around, we were directly interacting with each other. It was actually kind of frustrating to be in a group at the large typewriter because we ended up writing jibberish with everyone typing at the same time. As you can see, I felt really present.

I loved the floating cubes of dance music and the room designed to be a zen relaxation environment. And I actually created my own event… I took friends back to the gallery this evening after I got off work. I was in the bar which has internet connection and I was telling some friends about the experience. We decided to check it out… and a large group formed. (One of them created an Avatar on SL but was too new to get into the gallery.) We danced and meditated. Different folks played on the computer with my Avatar. The group got a big kick out of it and many said they wanted to go back as characters and go thru the gallery together within Second Life. I thought it was an excellent event the first time with the guides and the high level of telepresence but to have a second get together in RL where we were all participating in the gallery with just the one character was very interesting too and ended up being a great way for us to connect as a group and experience visual and virtual art in RL. I now want to create a music concert in SL and have it displayed locally on a large video screen at the bar I work at. I think that would be very interesting to have a concert without the musicians physically playing in RL but playing for people all over the world (as well as where they live) in SL. I also look forward to returning to The Pencil Factory!

December 12, 2008 Posted by | events | Leave a comment

Final Project – Mash up


Above is a link to the conversation Rohit and I had concerning our final project via Facebook Chat. This was just a day after Rohit had returned from Bangkok and he told me about his experience. It is very interesting and it also gave me a unique perspective looking at the photos he had uploaded onto Jumpcut. I felt very isolated and safe listening to his story and looking at the photos and i uploaded a video that expressed those feelings to me. It worked very well with music that Rohit downloaded… we added photos and tweaked the audio and placed words in the frames as well as splicing up the original video. I really like the ‘Ken Burns’ fade-outs and the way my video was spliced thru the photos in the end.  My computer is giving me problems with the sound but Rohit sais the audio works fine; the audio is a combination of added tracks by Rohit and audio by me off the pre-recorded videos… I really like the end result and I think it was fascinating to work on this project with Rohit, particularly to hear about his experience in the midst of a government crushing protest, but also to create art with someone thousands of miles away. I look forward to doing it again! Here’s a link to our film:

Hope y’all enjoy!

December 12, 2008 Posted by | collaboration, final, mashup | , , , | 2 Comments

SL Art Performance – Brooklyn is Watching

Last night, I participated in my first SL Art performance.  Josephine recorded the performance so it can be shown in an art space in Brooklyn at some time.  We were able to meet as a group in SL to practice beforehand.  It took a little effort to master the usage of the animations, but I must say that it was much easier than I originally anticipated.  I think in SL it is easy to be turned off or intimidated by the “foreignness” of the experience.  But once you jump in and open up yourself to the experience, I found that it is rewarding because you see what is possible in SL that is not in the real world and you can make meaningful connections with other people.

Interacting with my classmates as well as members of the grad class that I had not interacted with at all was definitely interesting.  It is interesting because there are some users that had voice activated and many that did not.  I enjoyed having the freedom to speak or to type as it further enriched the experience and felt that voice does allow a stronger personal connection.  I think that is probably because when you are listening you can sense emotions better that could be related to humor, shyness, or confidence.  During the actual event, there was no speaking and we did not focus on the musical aspect of the performance.

Motion and the visual were the most importance aspects of the performance.  The interplay of our avatars on screen made interesting patterns and the climax involved many additions to our bodies in the form of geometric conical structures or arches that exaggerated our motions in the virtual space.  Even without any major audio, there was a definite rhythm to the performance.  It helped that there was a leader (in this case Josephine) that could coordinate our actions within some general guidelines.  If it was totally free form, I think it would be too chaotic and more difficult to appreciate as a performance.  There was definite freedom to move through the space positioning your avatar next to above and below others doing dance moves that would be very difficult or impossible in real life (at least for me!).  As programs get more sophisticated and you get more skilled at controlling your avatar, I can foresee that you could really “freestyle” and present an intricate and unique dance performance.  In fact there must be some users of SL that already do this.

Overall, I think it would be interesting to hear comments from the viewers in the real world of the event.  Of what they took away from it.  On a minor technical note, I was unable to “fall asleep” at the end of performance as was planned due to a glitch in SL.  I think that this then also becomes part of the overall experience and the performance.  I’ll post some snapshots from our practice stage when I get a chance later!

SL Group Practice before actual performance

SL Group Practice before actual performance

December 12, 2008 Posted by | collaboration, culture, events, remix, social networking, virtual worlds | 2 Comments