Friday, January 28, 2011

Machinima of Ginger Alsop's Favourites from the January Round


A Ginger Alsop Machinima of some of her favourite works from the January round of the UWA 3D Open Art Challenge.

Features works by soror Nishi, Oberon Onmura, Gleman Jun, Suzanne Graves, kyra Roxan, Claudia222 Jewell, mcarp Mavendorf, Nino Vichan, Giovanna Cerise, Silene Christen, Loup Erin, Ginger Aslop and Alizarin Goldflake.

Click here to see them up close or any of the 74 works that make up the January round!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

People's Choice Voting Begins : UWA 3D Open Art Challenge (January)


The People's choice voting round for the January round of the UWA 3D Open Art Challenge is now underway

We have 74 amazing entries this month (click here to teleport to gallery). The awards ceremony is Sunday, Feb 6, at 6:00AM SLT, at the same location.

UWA 3D Open Art Challenge Artworks for January
1 Alizarin Goldflake Ophion's Egg
2 Alesia Barbosa Big Brother is Watching You
3 Alexxannder Firehawk Inside Jean
4 Anley Piers Where is the world
5 Anley Piers Planet Censored
6 Arrow Inglewood Symphony in the Barrel of a Gun
7 Artfox Daviau Easel
8 Asmita Duranjaya The New Paradise
9 Asmita Duranjaya Aquarium
10 Betty Tureaud X-Ray
11 Betty Tureaud Dream Box
12 Bloodfang Clawtooth artpeice 1 glass
13 ChapTer Kronfeld Cogito ergo sum
14 ChapTer Kronfeld Interaction
15 Cherry Manga Trap
16 Cherry Manga Harpy of Gluttony
17 claudia222 jewell strange plant ... uglyness and beauty
18 claudia222 jewell serpent chair vehicle
19 Corcosman Voom Urbanity
20 Dusty Canning Life
21 Eifachfilm Vacirca I have a dream
22 Fae Varriale Daughter of the Wind
23 Fae Varriale Beginning
24 Faery Sola Music Box
25 fiona Blaylock Camille Claudel and Rodin
26 fiona Blaylock Angelove
27 Gingered Alsop Liquidity
28 Gingered Alsop An Act of Madness?
29 Giovanna Cerise La fleur du mal
30 Giovanna Cerise Ice castle
31 Gleman Jun Ethereal Wave
32 Harter Fall Fluchtpunkte
33 Harter Fall Mitternachts-Glocke
34 Jesse Keyes Wheels and Earth
35 Jimmy Debruyere Butter in White
36 kyra Roxan Tryst
37 LavitaLoca Vita Invincible Summer
38 Louly Loon Faith
39 Louly Loon The Origin of the World
40 Loup Erin The Brainwasher
41 Loup Erin Television Rules The Nation
42 Luciella Lutrova magic marble
43 Martini Discovolante Polar Kiss
44 mcarp Mavendorf Clock
45 Miah Seetan Silver Phoenix
46 Miso Susanowa Commodity
47 Mochi Nyoki Mochi's Rainbow Step
48 Moeuhane Sandalwood Shivering Rock
49 Neon Hammerer Putrescible
50 Nickola Martynov Random Coxcomb
51 Nik Gandt Antini
52 Nik Gandt Triode Tube
53 Nino Vichan Surveillance
54 Nino Vichan La Nascita de Venere
55 Oberon Onmura Chroma (Loom)
56 octagons Yazimoto Best of the West
57 Oldoak Merlin Elephant scene
58 patrich Merlin Rainbow Bridge
59 Penelope Parx The sad one and the bondage one
60 RAG Randt Ascension Ship
61 Reezy Frequency Loaves and Fishes II
62 Saveme Oh Uwart
63 Scarp Godenot Sigh Of The Breast Forgotton
64 Selene Putzo Telstar
65 Silene Christen The Matrix
66 Silene Christen Garden of Chaos
67 soror Nishi Xmas Daisy Tree
68 spirit Radikal Captive Heart
69 spirit Radikal Respite
70 Suzanne Graves Choose Your Blossom
71 Takni Miklos Invisible Sphere
72 Takni Miklos & Yasmine Paneer fragmented venus
73 Ub Yifu Evolution 429 explained
74 Yasmine Paneer Black Venus

Now also receiving entries for the February round

Australia Day @ The Gallery


Australia day celebrated on the 26th of January!

Much thanks to Dusty Canning for the beautiful banner

74 Artworks in all for the January Round of the UWA 3D Open Art Challenge. Click here to Teleport

Announcements for the January Round will be from 6am slt, Sunday 6th Feb


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Machinima by Asmodea Damiano of Ginger Alsop's January Entry


Ginger Alsop's "Liquidity" has inspired a Machinima by Asmodea Damiano!

To see the actual piece or visit the other 60+ entries to the January Round of the UWA 3D Open Art Challenge, CLICK HERE\

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Art's 3D Warriors !

The Science Network is carrying a story on the UWA Second Life presence. Talks a little bit about all the arts and machinima activities, and does feature the winning machinima created by Laurina Hawks and Bradley Dorchester!

Also refers Patch Thibau'd winning architectural build from the UWA 3D Art & Design Challenge.

And since I'm too self conscious to sing about the next thing in lights as I am more deeply involved than usual (and doesnt really have too much to do with UWA), I am thankful to Apmel Goosson for running a little piece on it. Hope to see you there this weekend

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Yesikita Coppola machinima of the December Winners - UWA 3D Open Art Challenge


Thanks to Yesikita Coppola (Official Machinimatographer - UWA 3D Open Art Challenge) we have once more a presentation of the winners of the December Round of the challenge.

Yesikita's words as follows:

Winners of the December round of the UWA 3D Open Art Challenge.
Enjoy these fourteen 3D artworks exhibited in one of the Sims of the University of Western Australia in Second Life (3D Virtual World)- Click Here to Teleport

Il pleut sur mon coeur comme il pleut sur la ville. "It rains in my heart, as it rains in the town" by Cherry Manga
Travel in the Shadow of Technology by Anley Piers
Paranormal Frottage by Misprint Thursday
The Illusionist by Gleman Jun
Light Tower by Betty Tureaud
Miss N by Suzanne Graves
Painterarium by Trill Zapatero
Turning the Tide by Nish Mip
Stage 4 by Sabrina Nightfire
Mirror, Mirror by Blue Tsuki
Snakes by Takni Miklos
Creating the Wake of Your Dreams by Ginger Alsop
Fallen Angel by Cherry Manga
Ganesha by Pumpkin Tripsa

Filmed and Edited by Yesikita Coppola
Special guest appearance: Iono Allen
Pictures by FreeWee Ling
Music: Inward by Hands Upon Black Earth
Album - The True Harvest

Report on UWA in the Artist's Chronicle (RL Publication)


Very happy to report that the prestigious WA Artist's Chronicle is carrying a story on the UWA Second Life activities (art in particular) as its lead story for the Jan/Feb 2011 issue, and features on the cover page (as above).

As previously announced, Lyn DiCiero, the Editor has kindly agreed to sit on the main panel for the UWA 3D Open Art Challenge. It is pleasing that digital / virtual art features prominently in the Editorial!

I would like to thank Ginger Alsop, Eliza Wierwight Trill Zapatero, Abraxas McAndrews and Lentelies Anatine who dropped in at short notice for an impromptu discussion with myself and the Editor (who was with me in RL).

Course the 3rd paragraph of the story should read, "Behind the UWA Second Life presence..."

Betty Tureau's 'Light Tower' features on the cover. Kudos Betty, and on page 6, one can clearly make out the works of Penelope Parx, Tensai Hilra, Takni MIklos and Davina Glitter


Friday, January 14, 2011

A Pia Klaar Machinima of the December Round, UWA 3D Open Art Challenge


We are thrilled to announce another Machinima of the December Round of the UWA 3D Open Art Challenge, by Pia Klaar, featuring the works of Misprint Thursday, Anley Piers, Nish Mip, Gleman Jun, Miso Susanowa, Tani Thor, Suzanne Graves, Cherry Manga & Ginger Alsop.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Better late than never: Sayumi’s last reflections on the December round

I would like to round off my commentary on the December round of the UWA 3D Art Competition somewhat belatedly by making a few remarks about several random pieces which I photographed with the intention of writing about, but never quite got to. I am sorry if this is distracting at all from the rapid cumulation of January works, as that is not my intention. I have had a tough few days in two worlds since Sunday, and even now I am not much in a frame of mind to write, but perhaps it will be therapeutic.

Perhaps the piece which I spent the most time with apart from the addictive Falling Cubes / Light Tower was, surprisingly perhaps because of its simplicity in regard to viewer interaction, Blue Tsuki’s mirror mirror. I sneaked onto the platform during quiet periods many times during the month to simply kneel on the chair and be entranced by the continual flutter of gold just in front of my eyes as I reached towards the tantalising flurry of… leaves… butterflies… hands… Just what was it that I was gazing at with such reverie? Fortunately the velvet of the chair was soft to my knees, the old wooden back rail smooth and comforting in my hands as I steadied myself, the chair teetering precariously and yet I felt secure, the entrancing mirror holding me against the force of gravity itself. Then, I had to remind myself that this is a mirror… somehow, I was looking at a reflection of myself… I am not vain enough to chant the old lines which must have inspired Tsuki-san and expect the time-worn response, “You… are the fairest of them all”. But what is Tsuki-san’s purpose here but, perhaps, to give each viewer that very experience. As we gaze into the mirror, entranced by the fluttering gold, are we permitted to think that the mirror is revealing the true beauty in each one of us, no matter who it may be, whatever aged crone, grotesque other-world monster or barbaric blood-stained warrior might tarry to perch there a moment. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and as we behold ourselves on this magical chair, reflected ever in this wondrous mirror, we may behold the best of ourselves. No need for us to send for the woodcutter to take a young princess into the forest for an awful fate – this mirror, mirror on the wall will declare even the most wicked queen to be the fairest in the land.

Blue Tsuki mirror mirror

As an Australian at this time, I hesitate to tackle anything addressing the subject of rain, since much of our country is experiencing the most awful rain, flooding and loss of life from those events than has been seen for decades… notwithstanding that the part where UWA is located continues in interminable drought. But Cherry Manga’s Il pleut sur mon coeur comme il pleut sur la ville seized my attention the moment I saw it, and the fact that it ended up taking out the major prize was no surprise to me. This work is very personal for me just now… I have a massive cold front coursing through my heart, bringing torrential downpours of tears at times (eased to scattered showers, I must say, by some caring friends). This was not so when I first saw this work, but my writing about it now makes it so extremely real. The title of the work suggests that Ms Manga has in mind for us to think firstly of a real rainstorm in town, but it is a metaphor. (I’m pretty good at stating the obvious!) The deepest blackness of the rain, the continual chilling, penetrating deluge, happens in our hearts, pouring in a torrent from the dark clouds of our windswept emotions. The viewer may take some time, as I did, for it to dawn into one’s consciousness that the rain is falling only from under the umbrellas… that those which are meant to shelter us from the storm are in fact the least protection, and the source of our drenching. This is a chilling and awful message, though again one which is all too real for me. And the tree also weeps great tears… for these are not mere raindrops which fall, but surely here I see a symbol of those friends of whom I spoke, steady and reassuring brightness in a dark landscape, and yet weeping with me for my sorrow. Ms Manga did this work for me personally and for this moment in time… or so it seems, though of course a truly wonderful artwork has the capacity to speak with many voices to many contexts.

Cherry Manga Il pleut sur mon coeur comme il pleut sur la ville

Whether one sees the Bible as a religious work or simply a great work of literature, a knowledge of it is essential to understanding great swathes of Western art and literature. ChapTer Kronfeld’s Last Supper Defiguratives takes one of the great events of the Bible – if you don’t know which one, go here (where there is also a picture of one of the most well known artistic renderings of this subject) – and gives an apparently quite orthodox interpretation in a very novel medium. I am struggling to determine the significance of Jesus Christ and his twelve disciples represented as nails, but the key figures in the drama are immediately identifiable. Jesus, in Christian teaching the perfect son of God and the only straight nail in that upper room, shines in royal and divine gold at the centre of the rough wooden table, while his struggling disciples sit at this last supper with him, bent and bowed by the solemnity of the occasion and by the weight of their own sins and frailties. Judas Iscariot, the betrayer, stumbles from the room to do his filthy work, the noose with which he will later hang himself already trailing from his neck. The fact that Judas is represented as the only black nail must not be interpreted in racial terms – there is no tradition that Judas was physically black and I have no thought that the artist is suggesting this; the black colour here is used simply to define the evil in Judas’s treacherous actions. Now, Kronfeld has purposely used the term ‘defigurative’ to describe his work, and unless this is an artistic term* it would appear to be synonymous with the verb to disfigure. If this is the artist’s intention, we must note again the bent and misshapen form of all of the disciples, Jesus alone being not disfigured, and so I, perhaps superficially, am led to the conclusion that Kronfeld intends an orthodox view of the Last Supper in his work. From his artist notes, Kronfeld is firstly a painter, so it is wonderful to see his skills in 3D art displayed in this work. In his notes, also, the artist calls for “the soul” to be engaged in the artistic process, and one senses that the Last Supper is not merely a literary story for him.

*Note also the use of the term in regard to an understanding of modern dance, as discussed here.

ChapTer Kronfeld Last Supper Defiguratives (detail, Judas and Jesus)

Sabrinaa Nightfire’s Stage 4 deals with so serious a subject that I am hesitant to offer an appreciation of it, but I have had both recent and current experience of people I know well being diagnosed and, in more than one case, being taken away by the awful illness of cancer. The artist does not say so in her notes, but I am not surprised to read in Jayjay’s commentary her own words that confirm what one suspects – this is drawn from the artist’s personal experience. The picture is somber and terrifying. The full range of physical symptoms, anger, frustration, fear and despair are conveyed dramatically in the word-bites chosen, and represented in angry red. The sufferer has Stage 4 of the cancer, one assumes one of the final stages; but the stage-motif goes deeper, as seen by the plinth-like formation of the work. The cancer patient is a performer, very vulnerable and seemingly alone, a solo act on the stage of life observed, too often at a discreet distance, by so many. This work is a cry for us to get on the stage ourselves, to join the soloist, to enter their drama and their suffering, to cry with them, to live with them and make their performance at least a duet if not a full, amazing opera chorus complete with curtain call and thunderous applause from a sympathetic and engaged audience. We all pray and hope that we will never be diagnosed with cancer, but if we are may it be that we are joined on stage by those who love us. And in conclusion to this piece, my main thought is of course to wish Sabrinaa all that she needs and hopes for as she likely continues to face her illness in the first world. This has to be one of the bravest artworks we are likely to ever see entered.

Sabrinaa Nightfire Stage 4

I have photos for several other works but I have to end somewhere. I would have loved to write about them all! Attention is already and rightly on the entries for January, and I would encourage every artist who has inspiraciĆ³n (it looks so much nicer in Yesikita’s native Spanish!) to get to work, twirl those prims, write those scripts... (I have no idea about much of that, though I did make a simple window frame the other day!) ... and get it in by 25th January. For myself, I am not likely to write much here for the January round, as one of the busiest times in my working year is about to begin in another universe, so I want to thank those who have encouraged me and bothered to read my thoughts, and to Jayjay and my fellow UWAers for affording me the space. I do hope to continue to write here again soon, and I also have my own blog where I have a multitude of things I would like to say also. It was wonderful, by the way, to attend the celebration party for Betty Tureaud’s installation at the Virtlantis sim this morning, and don’t forget to get along to tour that immense work when you have a little time.

I must add a footnote that the first three paragraphs of this post were written over 24 hours before I posted, and that my mood had changed hugely by the time I posted; but my reading of the first two works still stand as how I was reading them at the time of writing. An interesting exercise, perhaps, in how our view of a work will be critically impacted by our own life circumstances, and may change as those circumstances change.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Machinima of a January Submission (Liquidity)


The January round is in full swing for receiving of works (closing date 25th January), and already we have a Machinima of one of the submitted works.

A beautiful work by PhiDesigns of Ginger Alsop's 'Liquidity'

Click here for location of Art receiver for January submissions

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Cheri Cherry Lady - December Winners of the UWA 3D Open Art Challenge


Cherry Manga's December Winner

Bringing back memories of Buddy Holly, Cherry Manga's IL PLEUT SUR MON COEUR COMME IL PLEUT SUR LA VILLE (It's raining in my heart, as it's raining in the town) took the top prize (L$10,000) for the December round of the UWA 3D Open Art Challenge. Serendipity or synchronicity (depending on how you look at it from) struck, with her great friend Anley Piers' work, TRAVEL IN THE SHADOW OF TECHNOLOGY taking 2nd prize (and also the Summerland Special Prize). There was also a 3-way tie for 3rd place as the panel could not separate PARANORMAL FROTTAGE (Misprint Thursday), THE ILLUSIONIST (Gleman Jun) and LIGHT TOWER (Betty Tureaud).

Cherry (whose other work, FALLEN ANGEL, also took the BOSL Prize) was overwhelmed, "I could not imagine to win the first prize, there were such amazing entries this month, that I could not think that my work compared to those. Thank you so much for appreciating the poetry I tried to give in this work."

Travel in the Shadow of Technology - Anley Piers

Anley chimed in, "I'm so happy for Cherry, for myself. We have shared our work over the past few months and I am even more pleased with our cooperation today. We're a good team, we have proof now!"

Defending Grand Champion, Nish Mip's work, TURNING THE TIDE once again struck a chord, as it gained direct entry to the Grande Finale round by virtue of winning more than one of the Group Awards, taking both the SL Art Prize and the Pirats Prize. "I'm just so excited that my piece was liked so much. It means a lot to me and I'm soooo happy. I hope the environmental message from this was taken on board and wow just great thanks".

Turning the Tide - Nish Mip

The message was definitely not lost, as demonstrated by the comments of the Pirats panel in awarding the prize, "Initially we were captured visually by her work. Next it was the message of the work, great optimism in an apocalyptic world, urging us all to become aware of our role in response to changes in our environment."

A veteran of the UWA Challenges, Sabrina Nightfire's very personal and emotive work, STAGE 4, took the Odyssey Prize. We know this piece inspires everyone to fight hard to bravely face and overcome the numerous challenges life throws at us. "I am so glad to share this piece with others. It really shows how I have felt for the past year. I am so happy that it touches others."

Stage 4 - Sabrinaa Nightfire

The Odyssey panel commented "We were moved by this very powerful piece. It has everything - cleverly incorporating interactivity and participation while communicating something genuine and important. It is a piece that shares something special and that stays with you. "

Aside from the shared 3rd prize, Misprint's work, which also inspired two Machinima (by Yesikita Coppola & Apmel Goosson - links below) also took the Nordan Art Prize, "Thank you UWA for the opportunity and recognition for so much fine virtual art. It is an honor to have won 2 prize categories amidst such great work. I look forward to continued participation!"

Paranormal Frottage - Misprint Thursday

68 entries were received for the December round of this Challenge which represents a grand collaboration between major art houses and groups in Second Life. These include The University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA) led by Dr Carmen Fies, SL Art, led by Gleman Jun & Sunset Quinnel, CARP led by Josina Burgess & Velazquez Bonetto, Pirats Art Network led by Merlina Rokocoko & Newbab Zsigmond, Odyssey led by Fau Ferdinand & Lizsolo Mathilde, Show & Tell @ Avaria led by Florenze Kerensky & Barney Boomslang, BOSL led by Frolic Mills & Giela Delpaso, Nordan Art led by Flora Nordenskiold and Apmel Goosson & UWA with Professor Ted Snell, Chair of the Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council as Chair of the UWA judging panel.

The second month of this year long L$1,000,000 challenge, saw an expansion of the countries represented in the various UWA events, spanning 6 of the 7 continents of the world. Artists, Builders & Machinimatographers from across the globe are represented including Russia, Venezuela, Belgium, Mexico, Wales, Canada, the USA, the UK, Uruguay, Scotland,England, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, France, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Denmark, Holland, Ireland, Portugal, Austria, Cuba, Serbia, Tunisia, Germany, Japan, New Zealand and Australia.

A new dimension was added to the People's Choice Award, as GeeJAnn Blackadder redesigned the voting system, resulting in a huge increase in participation in the People's Choice awards. In a close contest, Betty Tureaud's LIGHT TOWER took the top honours over Nish Mip's TURNING THE TIDE. The works of ChapTer Kronfeld, Faery Sola, Trill Zapatero, Anley Piers, Cherry Manga, Tensai Hilra, followmeimthe Piedpiper, Pumpkin Tripsa, Blue Tsuki and Aloisio Congrejo all featured strongly in the People's Choice.

Other winners include MISS N by Susan Graves (Best Non-Scripted), PAINTERARIUM by Trill Zapatero (UTSA Prize), MIRROR, MIRROR by Blue Tsuki (Show & Tell @ Avaria Prize), SNAKES by Takni Miklos (Carp Prize), CREATING THE WAKE OF YOUR DREAMS by Ginger Alsop (Carp Joint 2nd Prize) THE ILLUSIONIST by Gleman Jun (Carp Joint 2nd Prize), and GANESHA by Pumpkin Tripsa (Curator's Choice Prize).

FreeWee Ling in describing the Curator's Choice selection explained, "The work of this month's Curator's Choice winner is well known across SL. I have come across his work many times in disparate contexts. And in all probability, so have you. He was a winner of the 2007 Second Life Sculpted Prim Contest, which SL used to showcase the possibilities of the then-new sculpty technology. As JayJay can testify, when I saw his entry this month I was transfixed by its beauty and technical execution. The attention to detail is extraordinary. I encourage everyone to examine his work and to find inspiration in it as I have."

The December round inspired a number of spontaneous Machinima relating to the works on display which is a pleasing development. These include:

'Spin Cycle' by NicoleX Moonwall and 'Impromptu Performance Art' by Nina Camplin as to Fuschia Nightfire's 'Forbidden Fruit'

'Covered in Black' by Yesikita Coppola and'Paranormal Frottage' by Apmel Goosson of Misprint Thursday's work of the same name

Ginger Alsop favourites from the December round

The UWA blog has also almost been turned on its head (for the good), with the introduction of 2 amazing guest bloggers in the prolific Sayumi Tsunenaga and art historian Rowan Derryth (

On other fronts, the UWA Virtlantis SIM, has been transformed into a space for the display of FULL SIM art, the first month of which features Betty Tureaud's ART PLANET (click to Teleport). Betty's exhibition will be on display across all of January and this will be followed by Blue Tsuki in February, Anley Piers & Cherry Manga in March, soror Nishi in April and Wizard Gynoid in May.

Jayjay Zifanwe (Jay Jay Jegathesan - Manager, School of Physics @ UWA) has been invited speak on Second Life and the use of Virtual worlds in education at the 4th Australian Higher Education Congress (7th-9th March 2011) in Sydney, where numerous Vice Chancellors of Australian Universities are also speaking. Programme is as linked, and Jayjay's presentation will close out the congress on the final day

The January round of the UWA 3D Open Art Challenge is officially open for receiving. Artwork entry receiver is located here


1st Prize: ($L10,000)
IL PLEUT SUR MON COEUR COMME IL PLEUT SUR LA VILLE ("It rains in my heart, as it rains in the town") by Cherry Manga

2nd Prize: (L$7,500)

3rd Prize: JOINT (L$1,700 each)
PARANORMAL FROTTAGE by Misprint Thursday


LIGHT TOWER by Betty Tureaud

Best Non-Scripted Entry: (L$5,000)
MISS N by Suzanne Graves

UTSA Prize: (L$5,000)
PAINTERARIUM by Trill Zapatero

SL Art Prize: (L$5,000)

Odyssey Prize: (L$5,000)
STAGE 4 by Sabrina Nightfire

Pirats Prize: (L$5,000)

Show & Tell @ Avaria Prize: (L$5,000)
MIRROR, MIRROR by Blue Tsuki

CARP Prize: (L$5,000)
SNAKES by Takni Miklos

CARP Joint 2nd Prize: (L$2,500 each)


BOSL Prize: (L$5,000)
FALLEN ANGEL by Cherry Manga

Nordan Art Prize: (L$5,000)
PARANORMAL FROTTAGE by Misprint Thursday

People's Choice Award - First Place (L$2,500) :
LIGHT TOWER by Betty Tureaud

People's Choice Award: Second Place (L$1,000) :

Curator's Choice Award (L$5,000):
GANESHA by Pumpkin Tripsa

Summerland Special Award (L$2,500)

Two works of colour and motion: guest blogger Sayumi Tsunenaga feels the impact of some entries

I have really enjoyed this month spending time playing with two large scale entries in the competition which involve the constant movement of brightly-coloured components in endless patterns, sometimes random and at other times following precise mathematical patterns.

Betty Tureaud’s Falling Cubes has given me endless amusement not so much watching it but getting right in amongst it and allowing it to batter and buffet me in ways which make me very glad that the bio-engineers of this world have given us the option to switch off our nervous system so that we do not feel pain when we choose not to. Being smashed around by Betty’s cubes makes you very much aware of how solid they are despite their initially jelly-like appearance (‘jello’ if you come from the Western Hemisphere, or parts of it anyway!) As soon as I saw it I was desperate to get right in there and see what would happen to me, and it took me a few moments (I’m not very bright with spatial awareness stuff, hee hee!) to work out that one needs to fly up to the top of the transparent tube in which this version of the work has been enclosed and then drop down inside. For a few seconds you will totter around unsteadily on a tangled pile of cubes, broken apart by the impact of the sudden stop at the bottom of their fall. But then the really exciting part begins, when you are smashed from above by 27 more (simple geometry and arithmetic I can do!) cubes as they break apart on your head! From there it’s a short journey to the bottom as you descend with the cubes melting beneath you, and then you stagger around in the crevices between the cubes while more pound down upon you from above. To really appreciate the fun of this work, bring a friend or two and try to hold hands among the cubes.

Three view of Betty Tureaud's Falling Cubes (UWA competition version)

Betty had another version of Falling Cubes on display at ArtNation, which was not enclosed, so the cubes bounced and spilled across the floor as they fell. This version also was ideal for positioning yourself just below the point where the cubes materialized, and watching as they broke apart on your head, cascading randomly to scatter more widely on the floor below. This is interactive art at its best, art as sheer torment for the body and highly coloured adrenalin-pumping excitement for the brain. You can get beaten up by more of Betty’s work in some parts of her new installation in the former Virtlantis sim. [I had originally said that I would post the SLURL for the ArtNation version, but it had been cleared away even before my post went to press; so unless Betty shows it somewhere else, readers will have to rely on my photo below to get the idea]
Betty Tureaud Falling Cubes (alternate version)

Located not far from Falling Cubes I came across the other formation of endlessly moving coloured shapes. Takni Miklos’s Snakes, comprising a multitude of whirling rectangular prisms of varying thickness, offers the viewer the opportunity to choose from two patterns of motion ('fuzzy' and 'focused'), and also collapsed and unimposing stillness. I tried to interfere with the work as I had with Falling Cubes, but the artist in this case has, perhaps wisely, denied the viewer that right, apart from through the coloured control cube on the ground. I had wondered if I might cause the prisms to scatter and watch them reform. No matter! The intrigue with Snakes is in determining the pattern and indeed the overall shape of what one is seeing. Whether viewed from the ground or from flight above the sculpture, the eye is never sure just what it is seeing – what are the patterns of colour and motion. In the end, this non-mathematically inclined viewer decided to simply relax and enjoy the show, and although at one point the work provided an interesting backdrop to a conversation on a completely different subject, its motion and, in the end to an extent at least, predictability, gave me some assurance that there are some features of another metaverse which can be depended upon even if they are constantly changing, which has provided a metaphor for my recent Second Life.

Takni Miklos - Snakes (fuzzy mode)

Viewing her works this month did provide Betty Tureaud with an opportunity to try to explain to me some of the building principles and especially the physics and mathematics of works such as hers. She was a patient teacher and I did follow her to an extent; but eventually she realized that although my eyes were still open I was in danger of falling into an irretrievable coma from brain strain, so she changed the subject and sweetly taught me how to make a bouncing rubber ball instead. So I’m a step ahead of a plywood box after two years in this wonderful, kaleidoscopic, colourful Second Life!

Winners Announcements & Party - December Round: UWA 3D Open Art Challenge


Winners announcements and party for the December round of the UWA 3D Open Art Challenge will be from 6am slt Sunday 9th Jan at the landmark linked below (under 5 hours from time of this post)

More than L$70,000 will be awarded, including The University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA), SL Art, CARP, Pirats Art Network, Odyssey, Show & Tell @ Avaria, BOSL, Nordan Art & UWA Prizes


We're officially accepting artworks for the January round which will start going up in 24 hours!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Betty Tureaud: Full SIM Artwork - The Art Planet, January 2011


UWA will be hosting a series of Full Sim art shows across the next few months, on the UWA Virtlantis SIM.

Betty Tureaud - January
Blue Tsuki - February
Anley Piers & Cherry Manga - March
soror Nishi - April
Wizard Gynoid - May

We are happy to announce the opening of the first of these full sim installations which will be open across the month of January.

Betty Tureaud's ART PLANET

In her words, "My art instalation is made like a oil painting that evolves during the work. I use trasparent color surfaces as flip themselves whichever direction you look. It allows you even to create your own paintings just turn and you see a new one. It is you who decides what colors and patterns, your picture will serve"

Click HERE to teleport to the starting point of the installation, where you can retrieve the full set of links.

I believe this is the first full sim artwork she has put on. Congratulations Betty!


Friday, January 7, 2011

Rowan's Reflections: December Brings Supernatural Encounters

Rubbing up to Misprint Thursday's 'Paranormal Frottage'

I've been sorely amiss: I completely missed the opening round of the new UWA challenge, and for that I am ashamed. And I can see now, that it was truly my loss - everyone has really upped their game for this second year, and I'll have to make sure to keep up.

Cherry Manga's 'Fallen Angel'
And if the art wasn't enough to seduce me, Jayjay has invited me along to share some of my rambling thoughts with you here on the blog, which I am pleased to do (and thanks to Sayumi for the warm welcome!). These little snapshots will be much briefer than my Ekphrasis tomes over on the Prim Perfect blog, I promise!

Wandering the UWA is like visiting the V&A, or the Met, or one of my other favourite large museums: I have to take it in segments. Not just for the lagtastic factor, but because there is so much to see, and I like to soak it all up. But the past couple nights, I couldn't help but noticing that not only is everything looking very sharp, but there were more than a few pieces which had a decidedly spiritual, even supernatural aspect to them. Last night, for example, I found myself in deep contemplation of Cherry Manga's Fallen Angel for it's sheer beauty and stunning display of skill. I've enjoyed her work over at Mysterious Wave (alongside that of last month's winner Anley Piers, who currently has a fantastic exhibit up at Pirats SAS La Rochelle).

I was also quite mesmerized by Pumpkin Tripsa's Ganesha. I have to admit, I'm not a huge fan of prim 'sculptie' sculptures of physical bodies (whether animal or humanoid). I find they often look amateurish, rather like generic icons on crosswalk lights. Tripsa, however, has mastered prim-working, and his Ganesha looks like it was modeled and cast as a bronze might. He's even got proper shadows on the surface of the Hindu god (a personal favourite in any case).

Pumpkin Tripsa's 'Ganesha'

And as the patron of arts and sciences he is well-placed in the open plan gallery (which has been brilliantly curated by FreeWee Ling, I hasten to add). Ganesha rests his gaze upon the sparking and jumping arachnid Sayumi also enjoyed (see previous post), masterminded by the mad genius Tensai Hilra.

Tensai Hilra's 'Bennie'
I say 'mad genius' because her art lies not in just the creation, but destruction of her work. I've had the pleasure of watching Tensai's glee as she detonated her creations, from her amazing RFL build 'Alice' to the volcanic Mount St. Helen's which sits at the centre of Steelhead, the 19th century Pacific Northwest region full of Steampunk goodness that she co-owns and governs with her partner TotalLunar Eclipse.

How Tensai cleaned up her Award-winning RFL build 'Alice'
As I watch the beautiful but threatening steam-powered spider in action, I also cannot help but imagine it being rendered to bits - and secretly hope Tensai might plan to explode her lovely creature, and that I might be invited to watch!

But tonight it is a different sort of destruction which has me enthralled. Misprint Thursday offers us a trial by fire in her compelling multi-media installation Paranormal Frottage (and the title alone is enough to draw me in). It's the kind of installation I adore, and would love to see in a gallery, at the same time I recognize the unique properties of the virtual which make it possible. In case you miss the sign, set to midnight and turn your media stream on before you go in - but DO grab the notecard, and wear the object it provides. As the title suggests, this room is a metaphysical immersion, where the shifting light - flickering flames - emanating from Misprint's hazy drawings and film ethereally rub against as you pass through space.

Haunting images infuse Misprint Thursday's 'Paranormal Frottage'
This 'frottage' is also provided through the haunting music, the lyrics written and sung by the artist herself. The song is enthralling - a melancholic melody with motifs of fire and winter, truly a December song (the Sagittarius in me loves it). I was lucky (silly) enough to still be wearing my ice skates, and have been floating-dancing around the room for far too long already.

Don't miss the December round of the UWA, it will feed your mind, and in many cases, soul.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Engineering as Art: Sayumi contemplates selected pieces from the December round

Dutch artist and ‘kinetic sculptor’ Theo Jansen has infamously been quoted (and see also here) as saying that “the walls between art and engineering exist only in our minds”, and this quote came to mind when I viewed several of the works presented for the December round of the competition. Although at first glance these pieces may seem to depict engineering wonders from the past or an imagined future or alternative universe, it brings me to consider the sometimes arbitrary way in which we may classify the products of human ingenuity and imagination. I am sure that some purists would rightly leap to query my qualifications (I have none!! There, I said it first, hee hee!) to become even slightly philosophical about the art world. But let me be a fool who rushes in where angels fear to tread…

In this category I firstly came across Crampton locomotive by the delightfully-named followmeimthe Piedpiper. This work reproduces at full size a class of British steam locomotive from the mid-19th century. As a non-specialist and someone who has no first-hand knowledge of steam engines despite living near what I am told is a wonderful tourist steam railway, I always tend to think of steam engines as grimy black industrial things from another era; but the Piedpiper’s work reveals the Crampton engineers as people who cared to add colour and style to their work. The combination of green paintwork, polished brass and shiny steel presents us with an aesthetically pleasing result visually while no doubt retaining essential functionality. I was at first disappointed not to be able to board the locomotive because the pose was set for the owner only; but this only impelled me to investigate more closely and discover that I could fly away to an SL railway yard and obtain my very own simple steam locomotive completely free courtesy of the Virtual Railway Consortium. I don’t usually play trains and I never had a brother who did, but I am sure I will return to play with mine again some day soon.

followmeimthe Piedpiper - Crampton locomotive

Sayumi plays trains at the Virtual Railway Company (and you can too!)

The second piece is one for which I have a special affection simply because it was created by my fellow Western Australian, Dusty Canning (there, I had to declare my personal bias, even though I have actually met Dusty only once!). With her Jindivik – the Hunted One (the subtitle providing a translation of the Aboriginal name) we have moved forward from the 19th century into the mid-20th, and to the parched plains of the Woomera rocket range in South Australia, where one of Dusty’s first world relatives was involved in developing and testing this pilotless aircraft. I have to admit that the Royal Australian Air Force logo with its Qantas-like kangaroo brought a patriotic lump to my throat to see it in SL, but the sleek lines and (girl’s view here!) pretty orange colour of the paintwork reveal again that aesthetics and practical application do combine. The orange paint may look good, but in useful terms it also made the aircraft an easy target, since it was designed to be attacked by practice missiles! Dusty has given us two Jindiviks, one on the ground for our close inspection and the other circling overhead. Artistically, one also finds a piece of Australian Aboriginal artwork in a classic white clay and ochre medium, on the verso of the placard.

Dusty Canning - Jindivik - the Hunted One

Finally, on one of my occasional ‘pink’ days (I have far more pink in my wardrobe than can possibly be good for me!) I approached a threatening column of black smoke rising continuously from the benignly-named Bennie by Tensai Hilra. I was unable to access artists’ notes for this piece, so I was left to let my own imagination wander freely. And wander it did! Insect-like, imposing and dominating, Bennie towered above me, his hollow, expressionless gaze and huge mandibular jaws creating a terror which may have been felt by some undiscovered race of moth-people on a far-flung planet of the Andromeda galaxy as he advanced upon their simple cocoon village. Hilra has used the natural form of the arachnidae to inspire this engineering marvel whose sole purpose must surely be to trample, tear and destroy. One wonders at the power source which would provide the energy for Bennie’s marauding, the thick black smoke making the viewer wonder if any progress at all has been made since Crampton’s steam locomotive, and whether, in Bennie’s alternative metaverse perhaps some undeclared catastrophe has forced the engineers back to the simple energy sources of a former era. Only the luminous green glow from his feet suggests that I may be wrong. Emotionally this work returned me to the fear of Spirit Radikal’s Owned, though without the sense that I would be ravaged before being dismembered; I am not fond of spiders at the best of times, and Hilra has done his work well in ensuring that the arachnophobe will not die calmly at the jaws of his creation.

Tensai Hilra - Bennie

And so each of these works has drawn from me an emotional response, not only of admiration for the creative skill involved, but in approaching the finished work and sensing something of the artist’s world and purpose in presenting the piece. Engineering does indeed overlap with the world of art, and although the pieces I have discussed here are a far cry from Theo Jansen’s strange beach creatures I somehow believe that he would endorse the way I have understood them.