Monday, January 5, 2009

Been Busy!

OK, I've been away from the blog for way too long, but if you notice the previous post, you will see that I bought a big piece of land in SL adjoining my original parcel, and so of course I have been very busy!  I have been spending a lot of time inworld, immersing myself in the place and experience as if I had travelled someplace for my sabbatical year.  I am living and working there.

Here are some things I have been doing, in no particular order, certainly not of importance:

1) Building an EduGolf Course for students to learn essential skills for being a student in SL
2) Making weird sphere sculptures that as often as not make me crash when I work on them
3) Experimenting with different kinds of video screens
4) Making some wonderful, very talented and creative friends and spending time with them
5) Meeting their friends
6) Making machinima single-handedly
7) Making machinima with others (as of yesterday)
8) Finding that having experiences in a virtual world is absolutely fascinating and constantly.  I am taking the approach that the Australian aborigines do to dreaming: it is another kind of experience that you can have in a different realm, no better or worse than everyday life.  
9) Spending more time changing my virtual clothes than I used to!  It is fun after all.
10) Discovering that I am a terrible driver in SL, but I do it anyway. 
11) Trying to adjust to how much and fast things change inworld--one day your neighbor has a big house, and the next day it is just gone.  The landscape changes, buildings suddenly appear, land changes hands, people look different in the blink of an eye, and so much that you can count on in RL is mutable and unstable.  It is beautiful and poignant and unsettling.  I am trying to flow with it.
12) Slowly, cautiously doing some scripting
13) Put a camera script in a diamond earring stud and wore it around--fun and fashionable!  I asked my artist friend Maya for help and just before she told me (in IM) to make a box for it before I started to edit the earring because otherwise I would lose it on the ground, I lost it on the ground!  Fortunately it is a huge diamond stud.  Every one should be so lucky; such diamonds really are a girl's best friend.
14) Gave L1 a makeover--new hairstyle, including a fair approximation of my silver streak.
15) Got a tour of the fantastic Virtual Harlem, where Bryan Mnemonic is breaking new ground teaching his students about the Harlem Renaissance and other topics in American literature and culture.
16) Been putting buildings in the sky, thanks to my neighbor's influence in showing me how nice things can be up there.  So I have a SkyOffice for students to come to, with a big video screen (where I have been filming lectures, too), an Art Deco house that can become a hangout for the increasing party of real world friends interested in SL but who don't know where to go, and another building that I think will be a gallery space.
17) Had a fantastic conversation with two talented folks from Mass Art who are doing fascinating things in SL--my teacher from the summer, the ever-fabulous Nettrice, and Vu Sosa, who is a professor at MassArt and getting ready to teach some parts of her classes in SL.  Her island, 4dmap, is an ongoing installation and an inspiration.  So I actually did what I wrote about in the description of my land when I first bought it: used it as place for conversation about the possibilities virtual worlds and digital media.
18) Getting ready to interview Ray Kurzweil on the big stage at the Berklee Performance Center as part of the annual BTOT (Berklee Teachers on Teaching) conference next week.  He is interested in virtual worlds, so I hope that is a topic that we can explore.
19) Thinking about how the camera feature creates a totally new kind of subjectivity.
20) Playing with a pet wolf.
21) Celebrating New Year's Eve.

See, that is a lot.  And there is even more.

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