Intro to Networked Collaboration

BiW Dance event review

As a final Second LIfe event opportunity, Josephine arranged the dance performance event for the Brooklyn is Watching site.  We were to meet in the Theatre on Funk Soup Island to rehearse and then go to the BiW site for the performance.  A decent number of participants showed up for the event and Josephine began to explain the process and to distribute the dance moves and explain how to use them.  It took much longer than expected to get everyone informed and dancing so we should plan for that if we do this again. I also had to take a few minutes to change my appearance since we were all supposed to wear dark colors to appear more uniform and to allow the shapes we wore for the second part of the performance to take center stage. 

Part of the reason I think it took awhile to get going was that so many of us are so new at SL.. it took a lot of time to figure out how to use the gestures to dance and also how to wear the shapes and then drop them in the space.

Once we had finished the rehearsal we teleported to the BiW space. There were other people there doing other things and it was strange at times to hear them talking in the background. Our group settled on to the large green lawn area to begin the performance. We each went through a series of the gestures and danced around for awhile until we got the signal from Josephine to begin wearing our shapes.  We continued to dance, adding layers of shapes.  This part of the performance seemed to last while. I kept looking for Josephine to make sure I hadn’t missed the cue for the next section.  Once we received the cue we began to drop our shapes and go back to just the gestures for a few minutes until we ended the piece by all going to sleep and then teleporting away from the space and leaving our shapes behind.  

I had a lot of fun with the dance performance piece as I think others did as well and will be glad to participate again next semester. I thought it was great to interact with my classmates and to meet some of the grad students as well.  Interestingly, since I had been to the pencil factory event and had interacted with with some of the other student’s avatars previously, I felt pretty comfortable with them and didn’t really feel that bit of awkwardness that I felt at the Pencil Factory. Through these two experiences I have found that voice chat is so much easier than typing in SL and it allows for more casual interaction.  

As far as the dance gestures go, I would have liked to have been able to string some together in order to keep moving as some of the gestures were really short and my avatar would complete them before I could type the next move!  Overall, I really enjoyed participating in this piece and look forward to the next time. Check out my pictures on our Flickr photo stream.

December 18, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

JAYCUT ASSIGNMENT: FOOD CRISIS IN NEW YORK CITY

Brett, Nancy and I worked on a very current and serious issue on the impending Food Crisis in New York. Brett has been working very hard on data maps that indicate the serious lack of enough health food and grocery stores in New York. So when we teamed together to work on our Jumpcut (now Jaycut) assignment, we decided to showcase these maps.

We began our meetings in Second Life which proved to be better than conference -calling on Skype. After a few meetings, we had a basic outline for our film. Brett took the lead on putting the maps together and shooting interviews, Nancy began to work on shooting some photographs and footage, while I worked on blocking out the sequence of the film and creating a script.

So here is our finished Video on the Food Crisis and the Maps: http://jaycut.com/video/305031/preview

And a special note from Nancy on the making of the film:

Creating Food Crisis in NYC Networked Collaboration Project

Kavya, Brett and I (Nancy) decided to make our mashup a movie based on a data mapping project he’s associated with in New School Food Studies program, PIIM (Parsons Institute for Information Mapping) and his consulting firm called Indigo which is using data in the form of graphical maps to describe the food crisis in NYC.
We tried our initial meeting in Skype but had trouble getting sound to work with everyone.  The first time Brett and I met we tried to Skype but his audio wasn’t working so he called me on the cell and we used Skype for the video.  Our first team meeting was in Second Life and we met at Funksoup Island.
We’ve used a method that Kavya described well as “divide and conquer.”  After discussing what the message of the movie would be Brett uploaded sample movies of actual data maps PIIM had produced.  Kavya sketched out a script based on the info on the maps.
Our intention was to use Jumpcut as assigned, but I couldn’t get the movies uploaded successfully. Kavya suggested Jaycut, which worked well.  Brett uploaded the data clips and a movie of an interview he did, I included a movie I took on the Manhattan Bridge using a regular digital camera, Kavya and Nancy uploaded pictures that were relevant to the story, and I pieced together the movie.  We would email each other to make comments and suggestions as the movie was assembled. I also added narration to the map clips to make them easier to understand.  The narration was recorded with Windows Sound Recorder.  The titles were added using Windows Movie Maker.  There were other quirks in Jaycut that I worked around with Movie Maker.  All these apps are free, by the way.
The background music came from mobygratis.com, Moby’s free music resource.  The music are the tracks “Silver” for the opening and “Morning Span” for the closing frames.  Moby offers free music for filmmakers. You just have to request a license.
This was a very interesting process especially trying to coordinate our meeting times since Brett and I work full-time during the day and Kavya had evening classes. We either met in the evenings on Saturday or Sunday or would make online lunch dates.  I also learned how important it is to begin planning early so that we could have all our components together in a timely manner (not one of my strong suits).

December 18, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment