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March 26, 2008
Video From Node Zero Art Gallery Spot Draves (a.k.a. Sp0t Schism) Opening and Interview - Part 2

(Click on picture to play movie.)

The Node Zero Gallery opening on March 13th went great!

"Sheep Vortex" is an interactive art installation created by Spot and artist/SL programmer Somatika Xao.

Here's a little video I made of the night's events.

Teleport Now to Sheep Vortex

Music by Nine Inch Nails under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike license that the whole album is released under!

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Spot said he was "pleased and gratified by the experience."

Here's another installment from my interview with him (below).

Lisa: Now, when it sort of gets wispy for a minute, before it settles in on its next thing...

Spot: That's a "transition."

Lisa: What's going on when that happens?

Spot: Well, it's doing interpolation in this genetic space, and it uses cubic splines, so that everything stays smooth. The reason it gets maybe fuzzy or wispy is that it's kind of like noise or dissonence, kind of, in music. It's like, when everything is out of tune. It's like, highly structured geometry - like triangles and squares with sharp, straight lines - would be the equivalent of like pure tones, like sin waves, or a flute. You know, the visual equivalent of a flute sound in the metphor I'm trying to give - a line or a curve or a circle.

Lisa: So is that during the interpolation phase, because it's trying to figure out what it's doing?

Spot: Yeah because to go from one harmony to another harmony you have to go through chaos and disharmony, because you're going from one domain of organization to another domain of organization, and in between, you're disorganized. So that's the principle.

Lisa: This metaphor of virtual worlds in virtual worlds is one that comes up a lot lately. Are you saying that when somebody votes on a picture, that that information is stored somehow in this format, and then tallied up? Is that how that works? I'm trying to understand what information is expressed in the XML.

Spot: The XML controls the shapes, and the colors, and the motions. The votes don't get stored in there. The votes get transmitted to the server, and tallied up.

Lisa: The shapes -- like the way a vector-based format, like SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) works?

Spot: Nope. Are you asking about the renderer and the way the visual language works?

Lisa: Yep.

Spot: It's based on...what you're sort of seeing is the interference pattern between geometric transformations of the plane. So, you can imagine like, one map of the plane to a plane might be something like "rotation," ok. That's one transformation of a plane. Another transformation of the plane is like "scale," "rotate" and "translate," are the three basic linear ones. But there's also, non-linear transformations, like you know, you can imagine "bending" or "warping" the plane. So there are a zillion transformations of the plane.

Lisa: So that's what is expressed?

Spot: Yes. The XML is a list of transformations of the plane. And then, what the renderer does -- See, in order to actually turn the genetic code, the "genotype," into the "phenotype," you actually have to solve the equation. Just like, the only way to find out who a child is going to turn into, you have to let them grow up. It takes time, right. So, in order to draw the image, you have to do all these iterations, and so you generate billions of particles that move according to the transformations, and then the "interference"-- what you see as the particles move - the results make the pictures.

Lisa: So, particle systems are another thing that you hear a lot about in Second Life.

Spot: Right. This is like a custom particle system. One that generates so many particles, that everything you see, when you see a line here, it's not a line, it's particles that happened to have combined and ganged up to form a line. And so these particles are like intelligent dust, can reconfigure themselves into any of the shapes that you see, just by changing the rules that they're all following.

Posted by Lisa at 01:34 AM
March 05, 2008
Jenifer Fox (Jeni Voom) - Q and A From Strengths Island in Second Life - Part 1

Saturday, March 1, launched the kickoff event for Strengths Island, a groundbreaking interactive educational Second Life environment created by The Wishfarmers, based on author Jennifer Fox's curriculum.

Saturday's event featured a lively discussion between Jenifer, author of the book "Your Child's Strengths," and the attending teachers and educators.

Here's a clip of the very beginning of the event that will give you a little more information about the Strengths Movement in general.

Next, we'll go over some of Strengths Island's specific features.

Video:   MOV   Audio:   WAV     OGG   MP3

Jenifer Fox (Jeni Voom) Explains The Strengths Movement

Transcription of Jenifer Fox in this clip:

"Virtual Worlds are really something that kids are starting to get turned on to. So if we want to change kids' lives, one of the places to begin is by going where they go, and they go here. Although they're not on this particular island, this is really a test case for their parents, and for educators."

"I created the Island so that educators, parents, and anyone else that wants to, can come here and figure out what their strengths are."

"So I've been working with The Wishfarmers, and they've done a fabulous job at helping me brainstorm about ways that this island could become interactive."

"It goes with the Strengths Movement website, where people can join up into the StrengthsNet, which is an IntroNetworks site where you're able to connect with other people, organizations, schools, parents, college students, anyone around the world, who wants to talk about developing strengths."

"Let me say this, that developing strengths really just isn't about feeling good about yourself. It's really about finding the part about you that will help you make the biggest contribution."

"So I think that there's a real political piece to this, in that, there are a lot of options for people, and there are a lot of things people can do and become involved in, and, once you figure out what your strengths are, then you really have a responsibility to contribute. So that's what this movement's about."

Sign up for Second Life. Then come check out "Strengths Island." (Teleport Now)

Posted by Lisa at 12:26 AM
October 07, 2007
Flying Around And Exploring the Long Now's Alice In Wonderland Exhibit In Second Life

So I've been sitting on these second life movies for months now and I just have to start putting them up!

Here's one from July, that I actually edited when I was in Vancouver, of me flying around for a while, ending up at the Long Now Foundation's Alice Wonderland Exhibit, and walking around a bit.

The music's cool because it's a Dr. GoldKlang remix of my acapella track on cc mixter that rocks too... (And it mixes me with death metal vocals, which I totally dig :-)

This whole thing is now available under an Attribution Non-Commercial 2.5 License...(per the cc mixter song's terms)

ok it's late...but I just *could not believe that i spent like days working on this thing and then just, didn't put it up. (Except on Facebook. And that doesn't count...walled garden and such :-)

ok hope ya like it...

Posted by Lisa at 11:02 PM
July 31, 2007
Now For A Little Relaxation In Second Life

So now that the grid's back up, I thought you might like this little movie I made of me on a mediation ball located somewhere high over my land.

I tried to go back and find it later but I couldn't. I only found it because Losta Hax teleported me over there after he had parachuted down to it from some higher location.

That's just the very first few seconds of Hepepe's Lisa and Me as the soundtrack.

Posted by Lisa at 11:57 AM