Today, I heard the first sample of the audio work which will form the backdrop for my installation. It's really exciting to hear it at last, and it has set off lots of thoughts in my head about the colours and shapes to use in the projection, the scents to use, and finally, the name of the work!
I also met with the technicians of the theatre where it is going to be installed/performed, to discuss my plans for the main space and the entrance that the audience will use - it sounds like it is all possible, which is fantastic - but I've booked two days in the space so that we can set up and tweak all of the elements before it is opened to the public.
Today, I am having a break from Second Life to catch up with some admin, and to work on a paper which I am hoping to deliver next week. I took the opportunity to take some photographs of the bubbles suspended in a bottle of hand gel and play with colours and levels.
Today I am hunting for a suitable device/gadget to put on the land I am using, which will track visiting avatars (both whether they teleport to the location or fly in from elsewhere), and send me an email or similar with details of arrival and departure times.
I have also experimented with object textures, modified one of the other artworks, altered the region's environmental settings, and finished setting up my 'base camp' for the next couple of months while I am working in the space.
After a weekend away from the sim, I returned today to test out a couple of ways of tracking visitors - the first being a simple script to count daily visitors to the space, and the second being a product purchased from the Second Life Marketplace to provide more information and an emailed report - so that I can refer to this information later once the sim is no longer there.
I have also taken the opportunity to move a few of the exhibits around, create some lights and shadows, and test a second script for creating a fog/smoke effect - which I may consider using instead of (or together with) the script which I amended last week, and to continue my experiments with particle effects and engaging with the space itself.
Today's session started with documenting the space as it currently stands, and creating a colourful platform of circles to survey the landscape and the beautiful sea view beyond.
Next, I undertook some virtual research, taking a trip to Second Life's 'Particle Laboratory', after which I experimented with different particle effects and parameters within the scripts to create some really interesting effects in my studio area. I have now created a large foggy area with coloured shapes in the installation area, to mimic how I hope my real life installation in January will look. Over the next few weeks I hope to be able to add an audio element to this area.
I also tried out the game clip recorder which is native to my computer's operating system to record real-time exploration through the different areas of the sim.
Today has been a day of trying things out, and changing my plans when things didn't work out quite the way that I had hoped. For example, I tried to set up a screen to beam a video from my Vimeo channel onto the island, which didn't work - however, I have managed to create some objects which look like projected images, which I am very happy about. I also took the opportunity to search out and work with Linden Scripting Language (LSL), creating a greeter and notecard giver, and modifying a particle projection script.
I have been experimenting to see if I can create the illusion of different material properties too, such as clear, coloured plastic boxes and bubbles, and also recreated one of my pastel sketches as a sculpture, and begun to look at how I can represent other works from my PhD practice.
Today I have been terraforming, landscaping, and working on the welcome area, including creating some teleporters to reach the three main sections of the sim. I have also created a few additional works which I have hidden around the sim for visitors to find and engage with.
At the end of the second day of my Second Life residency, I have created a gallery space. I have taken full advantage of the unique physical properties available within the world to hang photographs in mid air and create transparent images which can be walked through, and have also experimented with the different lighting effects within individual objects to create a glowing, unreal, dreamlike space. I've also attempted my first SL sculptures entitled 'One' and 'Together'. The placing of the works in the space and the unmodified textures on the reverse of the images is a nod to Robert Morris and his plywood sculptures.
I now have full ownership of the sim in Second Life, which will be my virtual home for the next three months. Access to the space can be gained here. As you can see there isn't much here at the moment but over the next few weeks will gradually develop. At the moment I am building four separate areas and working on the first, gallery style, 'zone'.
Today, I am sketching out ideas for my Second Life residency which commences on Sunday. So far, I have rough plans for four distinct areas: a welcome/entrance space; a gallery of images; a 'lab' exploring my experiments to date and how they can be further developed in the space; and finally an exhibition/installation space where I hope to recreate (or re-imagine) the installation which I am developing in real life.
Artist and researcher, exploring audience, artwork and environment, and nearing completion of PhD into immersive practice and multisensory engagement.