+ Art and Virtual Reality

Why Virtual Reality is good for the Art

Virtual reality is an extraordinary way to involve people in any type of project. Music and art are no exception.
As far as music is concerned, the most illustrious example of virtual reality application is definitely Bjork. The Icelandic singer has confirmed her interest in new technologies with the video related to the song Notget, last track of the album Vulnicura.

The use of VR has also been a success in the arts. In fact, the Orwell Vr, a Milan company that deals with computer graphics and virtual reality, on the occasion of Klimt Experience, organized by Crossmedia Group, has developed KlimtVRExperience. It is a game-puzzle that the player, wearing Oculus glasses Samsung Gear VR, can complete by collecting objects in the virtual path within the frameworks.
It is an experience that allows the observer to immerse himself entirely in the art of Gustav Klimt and has had a remarkable success. Hosted by the deconsecrated church of Santo Stefano al Ponte in Florence and then by the Royal Palace of Caserta, it has reached an unexpected number of visitors. In particular, after only one month of opening, in December 2016, the exhibition had already reached 16,000 admissions.
The attractive aspect of this exhibition/experience was undoubtedly the involvement of the public who had to compose a puzzle game during the “visit” to the gallery, wearing the Oculus. This aspect was evident by comparing the Klimt Experience with other artistic events that used VR but did not involve the viewer as it happens in the “experience.”

Another exciting aspect is that, through VR, young people are more attracted to art galleries. A traditional art gallery mainly attracts a mature audience, VR involves young people making them entertain even in learning the art.
I think people are attracted to the VR used in the arts for three reasons. VR allows:

  • to hear
  • to see
  • to modify and/or interact with the surrounding environment.

The artistic exhibition no longer takes place following the traditional rules, that is, the artist exposes, and the visitor observes, but the visitor becomes an active part of the art exhibition which, more correctly, is defined as “experience.”
We think, for example, at The Renwick Gallery, an institution part of the Smithsonian in Washington D.C., which hosted an exhibition from 2015 to 2016 that took place on the screens of the observer’s mobile devices.

Moreover, from the artist’s side, he is no longer limited by the 2 dimensions, but his creativity is able to “embrace” the 3 dimensions, guaranteeing an expressiveness and freedom of creation never seen before.

The museum has launched an immersive app of 360-degree artistic virtual reality called “Renwick Gallery WONDER 360” which allowed the viewer to explore his exhibition entitled “WONDER” in 3D, involving nine contemporary artists. The names of the artists were Jennifer Angus, Chakaia Booker, Gabriel Dawe, Tara Donovan, Patrick Dougherty, Janet Echelman, John Grade, Maya Lin and Leo Villareal. They have created a specific site that hosted a virtual reality experience built with unusual materials, and that was accessible to any observer, even geographically distant.

Through VR the limits of space and time are exceeded, and anyone is able to enjoy a 3D artistic experience without any kind of difficulty.
Moreover, from the artist’s side, he is no longer limited by the 2 dimensions, but his creativity is able to “embrace” the 3 dimensions, guaranteeing an expressiveness and freedom of creation never seen before.
In conclusion, I believe that the reasons for the success of VR applied to art are essential both for the artist and the observer. A more significant creative space for the artist and direct artistic experience for the observer. These ingredients are and will be winners in attracting the masses to art galleries, while in the past the interest in art was the prerogative of a few.

+ Facebook, the storm on data theft and the collapse on the stock exchange: a turning point for the Social Netwok?

Facebook, the storm on data theft and the collapse on the stock exchange: a turning point for the Social Netwok?

The scandal that has overwhelmed Facebook in recent days is known to all: the colossus of Mark Zuckerberg is accused of having kept the users in the dark about what happened. Information on over 50 million people gathered through an app from company research – Global Science Research (Gsr) – and sold to controversial Cambridge Analytica, a company that worked for Donald Trump’s campaign. Not only that, that information would also be used to influence the Brexit vote.
Mark Zuckerberg admits his faults and defends himself by saying that Facebook is a new and unprecedented creation, so understanding accurately all the implications that a Social Network with such a diffusion (2 billion people are registered) may have is not so immediate.
While Zuckerberg’s considerations are right, on the other some elements make one think of a lack of attention to the security of personal data on the Social platform. First place, Global Science Research (GSR) has denied that the purposes of data collection were for research and to have ever told Facebook such a thing.
Thus, this statement would presume that Facebook knew what was happening and that the transfer of personal data may have been intentional.

The consequences

Regardless of whether the transfer of personal data was intentional or not by Facebook, it is sure that the storm has unleashed on the most famous Social Network in the world to the point of causing a collapse on the stock exchange and the resignation of the security officer, Alex Stamos.

Also, many are asking for the cancellation of their profile, and among the ordinary users, there are also names of giants from Elon Musk, who had deleted the account of Tesla and Space X.

Remarks

Honestly, I’m struggling to understand the amazement that surrounds Facebook in recent days due to data theft.
First of all, because a Social Network is vulnerable and we see it every day if we follow the news events carefully. Secondly, because it is difficult to see in Mark Zuckerberg a philanthropist disinterested in money and profit.
The transfer of personal data is a scourge with which our society has to deal: even when we buy a telephone sim we must be careful that browsing, accidentally, click on some aggressive advertising that does not allow us to go out or, even worse, active some paid service. Moreover, we often receive phone calls from unknown people who offer us some service or purchase in general. Who gave them our number? And in exchange for what?
These are distinct questions to which, perhaps for the haste and the daily affairs, we pay little attention.
Facebook is interested in our personal data, and this is a fact. One of the primary rules of the community is that the profile must be of a real person, the name must be that of our identity card or, at least, indicate the nickname with which we are usually called every day in our environment.
In fact, if we want to create a profile for an invented character, we must refer to the creation of the Pages, but our profile that manages the page must have a real name and surname. This is a problem that players in virtual environments know well, such as Second Life®, Imvu®, Sine Space®, High Fidelity® and many others.

facebook

Why is it difficult to unsubscribe from Facebook even if we know the risks we run?

The first reason is that we believe that if we delete ourselves from Facebook, we will lose the friends with whom we are used to staying in touch through this Social Network.
In reality, there are many ways to keep in touch, including Whatsapp and the old but always current way: see yourself in person.
Another reason that makes it difficult to leave the most potent Social Network in the world is that we fear that we will no longer be contacted by the man or woman we like. Even this is not a real reason, anyone with a genuine interest in us will certainly not stop at our absence on the web.
Another reason that makes it difficult to leave Facebook is that, through the Social Network, you receive many compliments by posting our best photos, your sentences to effect and so on. In reality, character and personality are “jewels” that show themselves in real life and, above all, in everyday life.
Finally, we will no longer be able to share our moments of the day with friends, and we could lose contact with people who are far from us. In reality, we will always be able to tell our day to the people who are close to us in everyday life and, if we lose distant contacts, maybe it is because … they are to be forgotten.

The dependence on Facebook and the loss of our life

Facebook is addictive even if, not being as immediate as in drugs, often goes unnoticed. In reality, women spend an average of 81 minutes a day on Facebook while men are 64.
Facebook feeds narcissism, social envy and is a danger to privacy.
Even at best, our images and our contents are at the complete disposal of marketing companies who are willing to pay large amounts to acquire this information. This fact should, at least, make us uncomfortable.

Conclusion

I believe that these recent events that affect Facebook can help us to make that decision that we know is the best for our lives, especially if we have a tendency to “fall” into the trap of one of the behaviors described above.
Personally, I use Facebook for the promotion of the blog, I would not think to put real photos or go looking for compliments in the virtual to feel better.

So, let’s consider Facebook for what it is: an instrument. If we can use it to our advantage, it can not hurt, but if it is Facebook that manages our lives, then we should consider the idea of closing the account.

+ ClaryC Faces Nitroglobus Roof Art Gallery

“Faces” by Clarissa Congrejo @Nitroglobus Roof Art Gallery

The Nitroglobus Roof Art Gallery is hosting in these days the images of Clarissa Congrejo, a photographer known in Second Life® for years.
The images of Clarissa have a significant following on Flickr and are commented on and added to favorites by hundreds of users.
Clarissa, born as a photographer, has subsequently developed the passion for creating poses, useful for photographers themselves.

ClaryC_Faces @Nitroglobus

Speaking of Clarissa’s photographic style, she loves (male and female) close-ups. In the shot, Clary investigates “the intimacy” of the avatar, his mood, his overall mood.
Giving life to a close-up in which, the real person behind the avatar can find himself, is a non-trivial enterprise.
Those with a little experience of virtual worlds know well how there is a mysterious connection between the avatar and the person behind the avatar itself.
The moods, emotions, and feelings are transmitted to the avatar, influencing in some way his appearance.
In a “virtual photo shoot,” even the emotions of a person can be transmitted and shared.

ClaryC_Faces @Nitroglobus

In the introductory notecard to herself, Clary writes:

Let me introduce myself to you: I was born and raised in Greece, I am married and currently living in Germany.
I initially studied Accountancy, however, designing has always been a fascination. So, I dropped Accountancy and started working for a newspaper and a magazine.

I joined Second Life in May 2007. At that time I had no idea what SL was and it took me some time to realize what was going on.
During these 10 years in SL, I made a lot of friends, I was a builder, a landscaper, a rental manager but what captured me most was exploring places, as well as personalities, AND of course photography.

In 2010 I left SL for a period of 4 years and returned after my RL move to Germany. One of the reasons for my return to SL was me missing the expression of design and creativity.
Since my return to SL, I’m making close ups. I love to turn my camera in all directions when I do a shooting, usually, I make over 50 snaps, even though in the end I will be happy with just the first one. I am a perfectionist and my challenge is to put feelings and emotions into an SL face.

I do not have a specific style when I edit a photo.
Let me explain my ‘working method’: I open a photo in Photoshop and just click click click, go back delete, click until my eyes are satisfied with the result. If you ask me how I did this… my answer will be I have no idea, because I never remember the way I edited.

Over the last 7 months, I started making poses as well. My brand is called CKEY Poses.

ClaryC_Faces @Nitroglobus

Speaking more specifically about the photo gallery hosted at Nitroglobus, Clary says:

Faces….there are many, but only one represents us.
It is an amazing thing how a face can put so many emotions in your head. I personally believe that making close ups is one of the most difficult arts in photography, both in Real and Second Life, because you have to combine a strong image with the right feelings and emotions it will evoke to the viewers of this image.

Somewhere on the Internet I found the following quote, which I wanna share with you:

‘Japanese say that we have 3 faces.
The First face, you show to the world
The Second face you show to your close friends and family
The Third face you will never show to anyone. It is the most true reflection of who you really are’

I would like to thank all the persons who’s photos are shown here on the walls of Nitroglobus for their patience when posing for me.
Love you all girls and guys.

To the visitors: I hope you will enjoy this exhibition.

ClaryC_Faces @Nitroglobus

Here are all the useful references to explore the photography of this excellent Greek artist.

References

Nitroglobus Roof Art Gallery

Clarissa Congrejo Flickr

CK Pose

+ Skip Staheli_Paris Metro in Second Life®

Skip Staheli @Paris Metro Art Gallery in Second Life®

Skip Staheli is a legend in the world of photography in Second Life®.
Like many photographers of the Linden Lab® virtual environment, it begins for fun, taking advantage of his graphic skills to explore the possibilities that virtual photography has to offer.
From the very beginning, he is in high demand, at first from friends and friends of friends, then from designers for advertising purposes. The result is a real career as a virtual photographer that makes him every day very busy in image processing.

Skip Staheli_Paris Metro_001

The Paris Metro Art Gallery is hosting a series of various images of the artist, and in particular, those placed on the ground floor, are relevant to the winter season.
Skip likes to talk about himself, narrate his beginnings and how even today it seems incredible the success achieved with the art of virtual photography.
Personally, I follow this artist for some time, because his way of transmitting passion and love affects me.

In fact, most of his photos are portraits of women and scenarios of couple’s passion.

Skip Staheli_Paris Metro_006

He, in the introductory notecard of the exhibition, describes himself using these words:

I am Skip, from the Netherlands.. love to make pictures in Second Life…and started in august 2008 my photostudio in SL.. Photo Studio PURPLE COWS…., never thought it would be THIS busy! Wow.. Im still surprised about the succes and the fact that SL people really seem to love to have their pictures done in SL. And that they sometimes pick ME to do that.. did u looked around and saw all this huge talents here on SL and flickr.. its amazing!

First I started for fun making pics for friends and myself, but soon I got asked to make pics for friends of friends..and their friends etc 😉
So I deceided to begin my own studio. I was really crazy busy, right from the beginning… And it simply never stopped.. I Create also a lot for designers in SL, and also covers for magazines etc… Its all so fun to do!

a bit about the technics.. I mostly always shoot on green screen in my studio, cause I like to create the enviroment and theme etc in PS… I love to blend rl and sl textures…mixing all the time… I (still) dont see myself as a pro at all or a superb artist…. Im still and always learning and am always playing and trying stuff..It’s never good enough, always room for improvement…Most of the time I really do not know how I made a piece at the end lol… I just mess around. So dont ask me to make the same piece again.. I simply cant, seriously!

For my SL work I use now PS CS6 and plugins like FilterForge and Alien Skin, Nik Collection, Painter also adobe lightroom … I would be nowhere without my Wacom drawing tablet.. a lot of my work I draw by hand. In RL I follow since 5 years art classes, and I draw with pencils and charcoal.. If I wouldnt have found out, through SL, how much fun and heart drawing is for me, I probably would also never learned about this creative side of me…

The images of Skip Staheli are highlighted in a structure explicitly created for artistic performances and created by Ayiki Takakura. The fabric is even more interesting because it is not mesh although full of details.

Skip Staheli_Paris Metro_002

Just a few days to visit the exhibition.

References

Paris Metro Art Gallery

+

Cajsa’s Choices: How Azaiya Aeon Shoots Her Fantastic SL Photos

Azaiya Aeon’s plan for an SL screenshot was posted to Plurk seeking volunteers. Cajsa Lilliehook covers the best in virtual world screenshot art and digital painting I am always interested in how people go about shooting their Second Life-based photos….

Source: Cajsa’s Choices: How Azaiya Aeon Shoots Her Fantastic SL Photos

+

Cajsa’s Choices: The Sexy, Neo-Noir Second Life Imagery of Tyler Oysternatz

Cajsa Lilliehook covers the best in virtual world screenshot art and digital painting There you are, happily scrolling through Flickr photos of lovely landscapes, kawaii fashionistas, and vendor pics and suddenly there is this brooding, enigmatic photo.

Source: Cajsa’s Choices: The Sexy, Neo-Noir Second Life Imagery of Tyler Oysternatz

+ Vivo e cammino capovolto by Mistero Hifeng

“Vivo e Cammino capovolto”… Mistero Hifeng and his art in Second Life®

Tonight we talk about Mistero Hifeng, and as I publish my posts also in the forum of ArtByte dedicated to the artists of the virtual world, it is appropriate that I introduce him.
Mistero Hifeng has been decorating the Second Life® sims for years with his sweet and exciting art.

He is defined by many as a romantic Italian artist, capable of transforming pixels into emotions.

In this post, I would like to share my experience on his renewed sim compared to the last time I visited it.
I shot a video letting me inspire it by his statues and the atmosphere that the sim suggested to me at the time.

Mistero has given me some of the beautiful artworks that I used to decorate Santa Maria dell’Isola di Tropea (I publicly thank him for this).

For more info about him, my ECLIPSE Magazine’s article here:

Good vision!

Machinima

References

Vivo e cammino capovolto

+ Mike Cabaniss, ArtByte

Artbyte, how support artists around the world and how also SL artists can advantage by this cryptocurrency

In my previous article, I introduced ArtByte and explained how it works and can be useful for Second Life® artists.

In this article, I will explain in detail the real possibilities for an SL® artist to have an economic help to promote his activity within the game and, why not, also in Real Life.
The first aspect to be clarified is this:

the ArtByte foundation finances artists, digital money is the tool through which they are financed.

Thus, each artist receives financial aid from the ArtByte Foundation, which pays them in artbyte money (ABY). The ABY coin is a digital currency just like lindens, the only difference is that lindens are expendable directly within the game, artbytes must be converted.
I hope Linden Lab takes an example from High Fidelity and gives the opportunity to spend the digital currency in the game. As long as this is not possible, it will be necessary to convert artbytes into euros or, directly into lindens.
In a subsequent article, I will explain how to proceed with this type of conversion, in this post I would like to illustrate what ArtByte can do for an SL® artist in the simplest way possible.

Ok, ArtByte is a foundation that helps artists, but why does it do it and how does it do it?

Mike Cabaniss, the founder of ArtByte, is an IT expert and passionate about photography. In 2013, on the occasion of a stay in New York, he discovered numerous valuable artists who, however, had little time available to enhance their creativity and, therefore, were forced to perform one or more part-time jobs to live. They were artists of various kinds, painters, dancers, photographers, writers, etc.
The admiration for valued artists pushed Mike to give life to the ArtByte Foundation which aims to finance the artists. Every service offered by ArtByte is, in fact, free for all artists and always will be.
Naturally, within the ArtByte community, there are both artists and people interested in creating digital money (the process called mining). In this article, I will not talk about mining.
The focus of this post is, in fact, on how artists can get donations and support through ArtByte. So, if someone is interested in how to earn through the digital currency, should read specific articles on the subject, here I deal exclusively with donations.
Having clarified this aspect, we can summarize how donation occurs with a simple statement like this:

Artbyte Foundation → pays artbytes (ABY) to the artist’s Artbyte account.

Subsequently, the artist converts the artbytes into Euro (if he wants to spend the donation in RL) or in Lindens (if he prefers to spend the liberality in SL®).
That’s all.
Simple? Yes, if the artist becomes familiar with these two steps. I think that having some extra money can be an excellent incentive to learn two little steps. 🙂

Open an ArtByte account and receive a donation from the Foundation

Ok, it’s not exactly that simple, in the sense that you have to be one of the artists chosen by the Foundation. 🙂
In case you are (congratulations), it is enough for you opening an account ArtByte (it’s like opening a PayPal account, just to understand).
Warning: opening an ArtByte account does not mean you have to do mining or connect your PC to the ArtByte Network to create digital currency! (many confuse these two aspects). It only means that you open an account to have a wallet on which to credit the donation. That’s all.
To know how to open the account and have your wallet, read my article here.
Congratulations, now you know enough to open your wallet and receive donations through ArtByte.
If this is all you wanted to know, you can end the reading here; if, however, you want to know more about ArtByte, read on.

Which artists does ArtByte support and how does it do it?

ArtByte supports different types of artists, inserting in this category an extensive series of people who make creativity their work: musicians, painters, sculptors, actors, filmmakers, directors, publishers, producers, dancers, writers, photographers, designers, models, etc.
The primary “goal” of ArtByte is that it integrates digital currency technology on its social platforms through 5 different channels:
• Ability to make donations in ArtByte through Social Media such as Twitter and Reddit;
• Support through the publication of its contents on more than 140,000 Social Media;
Grants, awards, and showcases directly from the ArtByte Foundation;
Earnings through the “mining” of ArtByte;
Sale of their art through the ArtByte website: musicians already can sell their musical pieces, soon the possibility will be implemented for artists to sell their works (images, etc.);

In 2017 the investment in ABY has far exceeded that of the most famous digital coins, such as Bitcoin, LiteCoin, and Ethereum: what is the secret of this success?

Mike explains that one of the reasons may be that ArtByte aims to create a community of real users, people who interact with each other, participating in the various occasions sharing their opinions.
Personally, I think the tool of the Forum that I tried first is very valid: it is indeed a charming and very active community.
Besides, ArtByte currently supports more than 25,000 artists and promotes a weekly contest that allows the winner to pocket 5,000 artbytes.

What are the goals of ArtByte for 2018?

The primary objectives of ArtByte are summarized in this exhaustive interview with Mike that you can read here.
One of these and that, I think, is very interesting is the implementation of virtual reality in the 3D Gallery of ArtByte … Wow. I hope they will soon be able to do this project because it would be great to be able to visit the various 3D galleries.

Finally … the Forum

Mike has created a unique forum section for SL® artists. Being the community of ArtByte very active and engaging, my advice is to put your events, artworks, posts, etc. in this section dedicated to us! Go to the part of the Forum devoted to SL® artists.

Conclusion

ArtByte is an extraordinary tool for growing as an artist. The “craft” of the creative too often is not remunerated by forcing the artist himself to carry out different jobs to maintain himself.
Through ArtByte we have the opportunity to be helped both economically and in the dissemination of our content, being able to count on a broad and robust community … which is the “secret” of ArtByte’s success.

Photo Article: Mike Cabaniss

+ Giovanna Cerise

“From the worlds to the world” by Giovanna Cerise in Second Life®

At this moment I am visiting the latest artistic installation by Giovanna Cerise, a critical expression of post-modern society and its depersonalization.
What is meant by post-modern and how did post-modernism influence art, philosophy, and literature?

“Postmodern” is a term used to connote the anthropological and cultural condition resulting from the crisis and to the alleged decline of modernity in the societies of mature capitalism, which has come into being since the 1960s in a phase characterized by the global dimensions of the economy and financial markets, from the aggressiveness of advertising messages, from the invasion of television, from the uninterrupted flow of information on the telematic networks. In connection with these phenomena, and in contrast with the utopian character, with the search for the new and the avant-garde typical of modernist ideology, the cultural condition p. it is characterized above all by a disenchanted re-reading of history, definitively subtracted from all finalism, and by the abandonment of the great projects elaborated starting from the Enlightenment and taken from modernity, giving rise, on the creative side, more than to a new style, a sort of aesthetics of the quotation and reuse, ironic and open-minded, of the repertoire of forms of the past, in which every residual distinction between the ‘high’ products of culture and those of mass culture is abolished.

Enciclopedia Treccani

On the occasion of this art installation, Giovanna’s art is as cold and geometric as the world we inhabit. An aseptic reality, made of pixels, as depersonalized as cruel.

From the worlds to the world by Giovanna Cerise

The first part of the installation represents nature, which I deliberately write with the minuscule “n.”
Nature now deprived of its identity and its old value. The man plagiarized her, he wanted her submissive to his power, thinking of chasing the wealth and the dominion of the other obsessively.

The central part of the artistic installation sketches a human form, with a curved back and a face that looks downwards towards the ground. It is a woman, also made of pixels, as well as the world around it. A woman without dignity, without identity … without a soul.
A woman without, a humanity without … sense.

From the worlds to the world by Giovanna Cerise

The final part of the installation represents the world as we know it today: cold, geometric, opportunistic, ruthless and chaotic.

Thanks to Giovanna for this installation that makes us reflect on the reality in which we live today.
The artist has put us in front of reality for what it is, in all its (cold) senselessness.

References

Diotima – Ocho & Cultura

+ Van Gogh

WATCH: Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” Recreated in SL in This Machinima Classic

I agree this is one of the best machinima ever made in Second Life®.
I remember that the first person who showed me this video was Solkide Auer and I was impressed by the author’s ability to create a painting by Van Gogh through simple prims (at that time there was no mesh, the author recorded this video in 2007).
Machinima Author: Robbie Dingo

Created in 2007 and still among the very best Second Life machinimas ever made, you should definitely watch it now if you’ve never seen it before — and if you did a decade ago, absolutely worth watching again, and passing…

Source: WATCH: Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” Recreated in SL in This Machinima Classic