Thursday, December 21, 2006

Gazira Babeli Joins Second Front (includes a bonus posting)...

BREAKING NEWS: Gazira Babeli has just joined Second Front!

Here I am with Great Escape and Gazira Babeli during a performance-technique training session. Upon arriving at this Imperial arena located on Treasure Island, we noticed that someone left a cache of loaded nukes behind. Now, this was indeed a treasure worth coveting - we can have an arms race with competing performance art groups in Second! We have been fostering a conspiracy theory that Man Michinaga may have left these nukes as a present to us - maybe they were there to help us train? Anyhow, Gazira joined Second Front literally minutes after GE and myself first happened upon this radioactive stache and were working on practicing our coordinated jump moves. Gazira wasted no time and got to business right away by giving us her "stuff" for our individual inventories (sorry, the contents are classified) and began to train us in what she has learned herself via her solo performance experience...

Here is a better angle of what the nukes actually looked like in all their sublime glory. Also, you will notice that Great Escape and yours truly finally figured out how to jump onto some platforms! We could sure use the practice....sigh!

Ok then, I will disclose one of the many top-secret items from Gazira's donated box of "stuff". This declassified item is merely a large wooden training cube that Great Escape is learning to levitate with his mind. Great Escape felt that he was being trained by Yoda! I had to add at this point that I felt increasingly inferior in this training session... If he was training to be Luke Skywalker, then I was feeling more and more like his R2D2...sigh!

After some hard work on the training grounds, Gazira entertained us with her unique guitar playing ;-)

Here is a pic of yours truly hanging out somewhere in outerspace with my co-member Great Escape and Sugar Seville who might be designing and/or building some sculpture for Second Front in the near future.

Speaking of designers and builders, here I am posing with my friend Mirfak Ock and her pet penguin! Along with Gazira Babeli, Mirfak Ock is also from Italy.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Back to the Future II

Hey Bloggers,
I am in full-on catch-up mode for my blog right now..I have attended so many events and met so many kewl people that I have barely had any refreshing pauses to contemplate this recent history for my blog! This blog was started yesterday on December 19 and was not completed until December 27, 2006. I am actually intentionally placing the post a little bit in the past to make way for some of the more recent events....

If you want news, videos and pix relating to the performance art group, Second Front then just check out our dedicated blog.

For this particular posting, I resorted to the structural compromise of using a not-necessarily-linear summary of the event highlights for this time period as I have had absolutely no time to expand on these captions in any detail without missing more opportunities in Second Life I an addict or what? ;-)

From Left-Right: Evangeline Moody, xox Voyager, Wirxli Flimflam and Mitena Biziou.

This event just happened today (the 20th). I first met up with xox Voyager and then she invited the other members Evangeline Moody and Mitena Biziou over to hang out with me and the Italian designer, Mirfak Ock... Well, I invited them back to Man Michinaga's Arts Center and then they decided to join me in Man's penthouse! Well, all I had to do is play the piano for a bit and then lure them to Man's bed to conduct some "business" between LIVE 2007 and their group...heheheh! And yes, this is usually how I conduct business as the Director of Avatar Performance Art ;-) ;-)

...after Evangeline Moody left, xox Voyager was busy fixing her hair! I guess she wants to be a performance artist too! LOL! I guess green will become the official colour of her new Cyberpowwow? Heh heh! What is that unrendered box over her head? A budget halo? HA HA!


So, it was on this day (whichever day it was now...sigh!) that I finally got to meet Gazira Babeli. Seated at the table next to us is Dell Wilberg (SLatenight Magazine Co-Founder and Designer) and Sugar Seville. It was Dell who brought Sugar and myself to this swanky restaurant at NBC and within minutes, Gazira appeared to share her pizza with us.

Hmmmm... do we want sugar on our pizza or do we want pizza on our Sugar? ;-)

I have never seen tomato sauce spray like this before!

To all you performance artists and historians out there, does this piece look familiar? I hope so! The only real difference between the original Burden performance and this Great Burden performance (other than being in Second Life) was that the gallery we chose (Lichty-Michinaga Arts Center) had a view and that there was a considerable height difference between myself and Great Escape! That is probably why my aim does not appear to be dead on. My shotgun was actually trained on GE's right-arm in order to better emulate the original performative wound. So, after all this posing, guess what? The gun did not work! ARRRGGGH! We even went into the risky kill-zones to try it out and I was not able to fire the gun! Not only that, the video-capture software did not work either so there is no decent video clip of the event (with audio, anyway).

SECOND FRONT MAY HAVE FOUND A NEW PR AGENT - LILLYELISKA KRALAMOC:LillyEliska Kralamoc is a promoter who works for Crucial Creations. She seems very interested in promoting Second Front as she has never seen a group as unique as us (or so she said)... Hmmm...we are definitely open to the possibility. She has been very enthusiastic and has even attended our first group promo portrait :-)

Well, Tran Spire and myself decided to check out the new IBM complex and sure enough, there was a meeting assembly of execs taking place in the main theater. They asked us if we were there for "the meeting" and of course we said yes :-) Tran Spire offered to take down the meeting minutes (even though there was a chat-history within the interface for that) and I offered to consult the execs on various non-IBM related topics ;-) We then proceeded to offer the employees some free helicopters and other goodies (after showing them how they worked...heh heh).

One IBM employee in particular was very kewl and his name was Bluebone Scaggs. He is in the far left of this above picture and dressed entirely in blue (blue jeans even, heheh). He works for the Blue Gene Supercomputer facility. I hope he is able to render Second Life alot better on his machine than on my PC! He offered me a special blue martini...yum! I brought it all the way with me to the SLatenight Xmas party (scroll down the blog to read the details of that party)

Eventually, we teleported Man Michinaga to join us. He had his own helicopter handy too so our little shimmy must have reminded of them of a laser-light show by Deep Blue Purple at the! All we need to complete the picture is a cameo by Kasparov the Friendly Ghost-in-the-machine....heh heh!

TRAN SPIRE AND WIRXLI FLIMFLAM WORKING AT THE AMERICAN APPAREL STORE:Well, I figured that Tran Spire's new electro-clash look made him resemble a retail clerk at American Apparel so I persuaded him to check out the American Apparel store itself to see if the venue would indeed be a good aesthetic fit for him. Turns out, I also accidentally persuaded myself to work behind the counter. This would not nearly be so humiliating if it was not for the fact that since we were not officially employees of AA, we actually had to work without pay. Performance artists are notoriously pathetic at earning any sort of money - even when they try and live a "normal" money-earning life and work in the retail business..... ;-)

Left-Right: Tran Spire, Wirxli Flimflam (myself), Lizsolo Mathilde (wearing the box of Bud, Athena Maeterlinck (an audience member) and Man Michinaga.
Well, to get the best sense of what we were up to, visit the Second Front blog posting about this event. To summarize, Second Front was rehearsing for two our upcoming performance events simultaneously...I think you can see that we did a rather seamless yet surreal job of blending two themes together and thereby cutting down our scheduled time in the Danger Room by half ;-)

Left-Right: Lizsolo Mathilde, Wirxli Flimflam (myself - in the Professor X wheelchair), Tran Spire, and Tea Chenille wearing the surveillence spotlight directly in front of me. Note the box of wind-chimes that was playing its soothing loop on the left hand side of this pic. As for Tea, I think she has finally "seen the light"!

Left-Right: Tran Spire (chopper), Wirxli Flimflam (myself - chopper), Tea Chenille (wearing the spotlight) and Man Michinaga (far-right - chopper).

Left-Right: Wirxli Flimflam (myself - wheelchair), Tran Spire, Man Michinaga (still in his choppper) and Lizsolo Mathilde (who has assumed a new avatar form but still has that box o' Bud on her head). Now, do we detect some unintentional product placement with this performance rehearsal? Geez, performance artists really know how to sell-out without reaping any of the!

This arts collective does not focus on performances per se but it probably the closest thing to our current "competition" so I thought I would have a closer look at their collective space. Now it is your turn to have a closer look...can you see me in this pic amongst the gamebot monuments? lol!

...and here is an even closer look. I am trying my hardest to be on the top of the totem pole, as it were....tee hee!

Well after weeks of waiting, I finally got to meet the Second life's premiere art critic, Lythe Witte. I teleported her onto Athena Maeterlinck's snazzy spaceship which doubles as her mobile home. Great Escape was also in attendence during this meeting. As you can see, I was thrilled to finally meet the art-critic of my dreams! Lythe writes for Slatenight magazine and eventually invited me to attend their official Xmas party... here I am at the Slatenight Xmas party! It was a very fun and active event! I got to meet a whole bunch of people! Lythe dressed up for the occasion by wearing a very fetching pair of stockings! I also met Zingg Akami (wearing the Santa hat) who manages a Dutch travel agency in Second Life. If you zoom closer at this pic by clicking on it, you will notice that Lythe officially hyped me to the Slatenight staff as a "great artist"...whoa! I have only been here about a month so I had better start living up to these expectations!

On the right hand side wearing the white gown with her backside facing the camera is the editor of Slatenight named Anya Ixchel. She also runs her own blog. You will also notice from this pic that as fun as the Slatenight Xmas party was, the room took forever to render...

One of the very cool things about this party was that the wallpaper was being rendered in near-realtime. So, the recent history of the event would be "immortalized" in the wall paper design. As you can see, I contributed directly to Slatenight's history that night. You could say I was "Dancing with myself"...heh heh! The avatar on the wall with the tiger-esque face is Kain Scalia who is a classical music critic in Second Life (as far as I was able to gather). If you will look carefully, you will also notice that I was still drinking from that fantastic martini that Bluebone Scaggs managed to score for me from the Blue Gene facility at wonder I was getting tipsy and had difficulty flying!

Normally I would post my pictures in a linear sequence showing every experience I had that night at Slatenight in the most excruciating detail but since I am so far behind in my blogging, I have decided to be more selective with the history I choose to display. It was at this point that I met the Slatenight editor Dell Wilberg and he took a few of us on this insane sleigh was so insane that I feel nauseated just looking at stills from that flight so instead I am showing you the after-party in the ice-palace where Dell gave me my trademark mug of hot cocoa...It is not pictured in this pic but you can see Zingg Akami having a sip...Kain Scalia was also there and streamed in some Xmas Opera muzak....ahhhhh....Xmas! Well, this pic made one of the issues of the Slatenight special animated Xmas issue for 2006!

Ok, well here I am in "Canada". Not sure what I am doing across the border since I am obviously the most patriotic of Americans.....heheheheheh! ;-)

Left-Right: Tran Spire (far left), Illiana Quintus (bat), Man Michinaga and JC Freemont. On the video screen: John Craig Freeman. In front of Screen: Wirxli Flimflam.
Well, this screenshot captures a very important development in Second Life. Not only was this the archive video for Upgrade Boston's premiere showing in Second Life, it is also displayed as a proof-of-concept live video-conferencing in Second Life...whoa! I am posing beside JC Fremont's RL self who is being streamed live! JC's own SL avatar is weird is that????

Left-Right: Wirxli Flimflam, Man Michinaga and Mirfak Ock. ...and here is a sneak preview of the opening video for the official Upgrade in Second Life itself! Man Michinaga and JC Freemont are organizing the whole thing and I hope I can take part - maybe even deliver one of the first lectures and/or artist talks! This very first Upgrade in SL will take place here in the Lichty-Michinaga Arts Center.

..speaking of Mirfak Ock (one of my fave Italians in SL), here she is helping me light my first ciggie in Second Life...I do not smoke in my first life but that should not stop me from starting a new habit in my Second Life, right? Right? I mean everyone else smokes in Second Life...right? Besides, tobacco is much cheaper in Second Life and therefore the cigarattes are much larger than the usual smoke :-)


Here is a pic that used to be recent. It was taken last week. On the week we have...uhhh.. Chiu(?) I think that was the name...and then beside me is the co-founder of this Spaced Creative collective named Sugar Seville and beside her is Mirfak Ock again (yaaaaay!)! Have I actually caught up to writing all the captions for this blog? Wooo hoooooo! Now I just have about 100 new pix to upload...sigh!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Second Front Shopping Day...

Well, today was quite a fun day as a few members of Second Front decided to go shopping at the Gnubie Store to fetch some props for our upcoming performances (including performances that have not been booked in our performance calendar yet). For more details about this event, check out Second Front's official blog...

Tran Spire (guy with the amazing Turquoise hair and '80s zoot-zoot) arrived first and sent me a teleport. Tran is not pictured in my first pic for this post though - you will need to scroll down a bit to see him. The avatar who is pictured here is known as "LoosyMoosy Ah". She had a very kewl avatar and looked edgy so I figure she might be an artist of some kind so I approached her nearby the Tin Soldier and the Jalopy that I had just acquired clones of earlier... She was very blunt saying things like "do you have any property for my house?" or "I need a roomie! Will you be my roomie?" Thinking her antics may have been part of a performance piece, I mentioned Great Escape's property and told her that if she was willing to allow Second Front exclusive rights to furnish her place with performance residue, than maybe Great Escape would be into the idea of having her stay there - Second Front's resident-in-residence could be her title or something ;-)

Here is a close-up of "LoosyMoosy Ah"... She seemed interested in my proposal but also exponentially more desperate... hmmm...some alarm bells were ringing and they were not the stash of assorted wind-chimes that I had just purchased! Well, I invited Tran over to see if I could get a second opinion on my offer and whether this avatar was really willing to sacrifice her artistic integrity for a guarantee of a plot... anyways, Tran arrived on the scene and asked her some questions about her intentions to own a house on freebie property and then she started to act REALLY strange! She said something like, "well wait, I am a guy you know!" Tran and myself ultimately did not care what gender "she" was supposed to be
but then she insisted... "no wait! I will show you what I mean!"....

She then transformed into the guy she always wanted to be...hmmm..maybe "she" felt that being a guy now would persuade us even more to give up a plot of art-collective land? Heh heh..I wonder which avatar is mean to resemble the RL persona more? One will never know.... I gotta admit though, this red-haired "dude" was beginning to look far more patriotic than myself! I was now starting to get envious....this "guy" will even wear a suit like Evel Knievel to get noticed ;-) I guess any stunt is necessary if the risk (of getting a freebie land plot) is worthy enough!

Once Loosy/Moosy accepted my friendship, I thought maybe for second that this avatar was for "real" but then he/she bolted from the scene to send a plot-request to Great Escape later on in the day...GE's weirdo-radar went on high alert so he asked me for my advice and I just told him to trust his instinct with this guy/gal...maybe for artistic reasons, it is still good to give this avatar a chance at sarcrificing a prim or two for the sake of Art. Anyways, LoosyMoosy left the space for awhile and Tran's computer crashed so I was left to is a great example of the passers-by one can galk at...One of these dudes had this massive needle attach to his arm and his title seemed to indicate he was part of an AIDS prevention group in Second Life but whoa! This guy could be an artist, if he wanted to! There was more needle here than the damage could ever do, if you know what I mean! ;-) The other punker seemed to be French...I suspect from Montreal but I am not 100% on this factoid.

Here is a better angle of that avatar with the massive needle in his arm...

Anyways, I started to get weirded out a bit (yes even me, the performance artist...sigh!) so I noticed that JC Fremont's pal Rain Coalcliff was online...So I sent her a 'port and we had a great chat for quite some time! I learned some ALT-news relating to Rain Coalcliff that I will keep classified but it sure made me think twice about who was who ;-) Here is a pic of Rain Coalcliff who had literally arrived so quickly and dramatically (Omen style) that she did not have enough time to dry her you can see, it looks gray but that is not due to age....quite the reverse, really!

Her hair was rendering and the aging process was returning her hair to its original about that for the weirdness of linear time in cyberspace! Well, there were several nOObs here today...maybe they heard about the nOObie store...heh heh! One nOOB asked if anyone here looked "normal"..I was not sure what he meant since we all look truly "normal" in here....Anyways, he seemd nice enough and not like some of those other dudes and dudettes who tried to flirt with (primarily) Rain Coalcliff...Through IM, I advised her to "play dead"!

So much later in the day, I returned from the abyss of RL to hang out with JC Fremont and Rain Coalcliff again and this time, back at JC's HQ (see previous posts below for the history of hanging out with both of them)...they were doing a kewl dance routine to some MP3 that JC posted...the phone rang at that time so I screened the call and had a blast grooving unctonrollably to the answering machine message! Anyways, I took this opportunity to take a pic of the 3 of us where I could show off my nice new gold pentagram which I bought at the Gnubie Store!

Well, please scroll down for more pix, text and embedded video...

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Spontaneous Info Session with JC Fremont and Smokie Mountain...

Left to right: Man Michinaga, JC Fremont, myself and Rockie Mountain in Virtual Kamloops... Well, I am back from my weekend RL venture to my hometown, and while there, I met up with some members of Second Front (Man Michinaga and Tran Spire) and we were invited to meet up with JC Fremont and his little purple friend, Smokie Mountain. I thought at first the name was Rockie and not Smokie...heheh! Fremont is the guy who is creating the "Borders" installation at Ars Virtua. Second Front has been invited to create a peformance based on his can read all about it on the official Second Front blog...Smokie Mountain was such a pleasant little fellow that I might know of a special friend who might be interested in collaborating with him/her...we sure seemed to hit it off today..that is for sure!

Well, please scroll down for more postings....

Friday, December 08, 2006

Networking Bonanza!

Hey there Second Lifers, Bloggers, Artists and Others!

Today has been extremely busy! When it rains, it pours, I guess! It could not come at a busier time as I my RL avatar (yes, the biological one) has to catch a ferry to my hometown tonight for the weekend! I might not get back to Second Life nor blogging until Sunday...we'll see... Well, here in a very brief summary is what happened just a few hours ago...

I met up with Tran Spire at the Atelier Michinaga (see the posting underneath this one) and he decided to edit his appearance so he could look like a retail clerk for American Apparel! heheheheheh! Anyways, I then saw the Ars Virtua curator online (Rubaiyat Shatner) and so I invited him to check out Man Michinaga's space.

The 3 of us were chatting about performance possibilities for a few minutes and then Xox Voyager dropped in to say hi. She is curating a new Aboriginal Territory for performance artists in Second Life. Anyways, I asked her a few questions about that project and then we all followed Shatner back to Ars Virtua to meet JC Fremont and Rain Coalcliff for the first time...

...well, you can read all about that meeting by going to this particular posting on the Second Front blog. In the meantime, have a closer look at Tran Spire by clicking on this pic....he has switched gender (I think...tee hee!)

Ok, I am off to pack for my RL excursion to my hometown. I will try to blog again on Sunday if possible.


Wirxli Flimflam
p.s. scroll down for more juicy details, pix and embedded videos...

A sneak-preview of Atelier Michinaga...

Hey Second Lifers and Avatar Performance Art Fans,

It looks like my fellow comrade in Second Front, Man Michinaga has not only got himself a new flaming avatar with matching Matrix-style shades, he has also just bought an exclusive lake-view property and has started a brand new art-making space called Atelier Michinaga!

The Man himself told me that Second Front will be allowed to use the Atelier to rehearse our performance art ideas to our heart's content! So, I guess he will be blogging about it on our official blog soon enough! Here are some pictures of this hallowed, yet soon to be plowed ground...

Within the space of a few hours, Man Michinaga had already propped up this new sign and changed the name formally from "Atelier Michinaga" to the "Michinaga-Lichty Arts Center." Nice sign, eh? It is great to see our Second Front performance art collective being featured on this snazzy sign :-)

I should also mention that within the space of a few seconds from re-entering Michinaga's new arts center, I was almost immediately solicited by a Real Estate agent named Seth Kilda. My word! What an awesome looking avatar! He asked me if I was (from the) "UK" and I said well I have dual! He seemed nice enough and his small-talk was pleasant. Once he found out that I knew the owner of the property we were speaking on, he said, "you know Man? Yeah, he is a cool guy." Well, as soon as he found out I was not interested in buying any land at this time he politely said goodbye and trotted off to another plot of land...his formal excuse was that his RL (Real Life) was calling! It was kind of like saying he had a dentist's appointment or something ;-)

..and here was what Michinaga's art center looked like in the very early morning....

As you can see from this intro pic, his walls are very modernist and transparent...the only demarcation is the Atelier's title! I guess "truth to materials" does indeed apply to cyberspace environments ;-) He mentioned that he wanted to add some Po-Mo buildings and I was wondering if he was toying with the idea of hiring a deconstruction crew!

Here is a pic of Man Michinaga typing me a message. I am not sure why I took this pic...hmmm..maybe I was hoping to get a close-up of his flaming profile.

It has just occurred to me that Michinaga only starts turning into a flamer when he is building realtime objects in his virtual space. This looks like quite an impressive sculpture since it is only supposed to be a beta version (for more references to beta versions, scroll down to the next posting below)... He began to tilt this structure skywards and about mid-way up, it started to resemble the archetypal vortex form of a tornado. The tornado happens to be my personal herald!

...and here is the "tornado" now completely solid and it looks more like a sculpture Brancusi would make after listening to Stairway to Heaven on loop! Well, here we are standing on it like it was made of fibreglass... I think we can give Michinaga's first realtime virtual sculpture credit for literally becoming a "proof of concept"!

Please scroll down to view the rest of the screenshots and embedded videos...