SL11B: Monkey Mind: a movie.

A movie about the Emphatic Eccentrica build as the Eleventh birthday of second life. The EE team consisted of Almut Brunswick, Ohmy Shalala, Veleda Lorakeet, Laughton McCry, Merit Coba and Tau.

 

 

 

 

SL11B: Monkey Mind-4 Ohmy Shalala

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Ohmy Shalala

You will not be surprised that with a lighthearted name the art of Ohmy Shalala would be lighthearted. And visually it certainly has a lighthearted look, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t  any substance behind it.  What I have seen of Ohmy’s art has usually bright colors, which associates it with candy or a fantasy land or fairy like,  lighthearted so to speak.  But it thought I ask her what her idea was behind the art expression she made at Monkey Mind. Now  to be honest, I am not much for asking interpretations and explanations because I rather have people explore things in their own way and make up their own mind, but someone – I forgot who – once said that people also require guidance. They beg for meaning and context.  It might have been Jim Jarmusch who said that in a documentary  Behind Jarmusch about the making of  his movie Limits of Control.

The art expression tries to capture the the influence of our unknown unseen past on our selves and on what we will become and not just in an individual context, but in the wider context of family and nations and humanity.  And so Second Life is influenced by unknown and unseen pasts and changed. The past in the art exhibition is expressed in the black and white image and the mask express the many changes of the selves. It reminded me of something else Jarmusch mentions in the documentary. That we are intrigued by that which we don’t know. Unexplored lands, unseen movies, books we haven’t read, people we haven’t met. The unknown is a bit like a carrot that entices the donkey to move forward and drag a cart with it.

The cornfield is a reference to Second Life legendary Corn Field a place cut of from Second Life where naught avatars were banished to.

Next to her art expression Ohmy also used the Monkey Head to make her own version of the Monkey Mind and she made a version of the Futuravi.  The latter I will try and make a picture of.

 

 

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The unseen past and the many changes.


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The extent of control.

 

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Monkey Mind
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Ohmy Shalala. Variance 1

 

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Ohmy Shalala. Variance 2

 

 

SL11B: Monkey Mind -3: Veleda Lorakeet

The other day I asked Veleda what inspired her  to make the talking and moving robot heads for our Monkey Mind build at SL11B(Seconds Life’s 11th birthday) and she said it something along the lines of that is seemed like a fun idea. And here you thought I would write down some overarching philosophical artistic expression. I could make one up of course.. but let’s leave it at this.

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Data Towers

It is interesting to see that the builds is actually never quite finished. When Veleda was done with her heads, she added a core to the build, which is funny as I was doing the same. But my idea went along other line’s and it ended up as an arty thingy you can walk through. It is called data towers and the idea I had was to have the data stream upwards towards the central processing unit. But this is not a post about me, but a post about Veleda’s contribution.

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Robot heads

 

Veleda made these robot heads who say Monkey Mind in binary. The name Monkey Mind is a Buddhist  concept, meaning “unsettled; restless; capricious; whimsical; fanciful; inconstant; confused; indecisive; uncontrollable” .  This made me think of the movie Koyaanisqatsi. In the hopi language, the word Koyaanisqatsi means “unbalanced life”. Seems something philosophical filtered into the build after all, ey.
The robot heads are scripted to travel around the exhbition along piplelines of the same color as the eyes. Eventually they end you up at the top level.  Veleda showed me the formula that makes the heads go. If I can find it I’ll post it here someplace. It’s quite mind-boggling. For me that is (not for Taubie).

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Robot heads at the ready
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Lift off!
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Robot heads on the move

 

 

 

Next to the robot heads Veleda made a central core unit to which Almut added this warped binary texture.

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Robot heads and core.

 

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Into the core…looking down on the data pool.

 

The core revolves with the various parts having different speed. Will look better on the movie I am trying to make.

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The end..

And once you are done, you end up in the monkey house. If you take the blue head I think. Otherwise you end up next door.

SL11B : Monkey Mind -2 – Merit Coba

This post about Monkey Mind goes a little bit deeper into the details of our build at SL11B.
The idea behind Monkey Mind was to create a framework in the shape of a computer that would contain the various expressions of the contributing artists. Since artists tend to have their own shenanigans(:)), a project like this, that starts almost at the spur of the moment will somewhat lack overall consistency. While I am writing this down I realize that it might be nice to ask each participant their views on their own contributions, so I will have to add those later, if any.
I am always a bit in doubt of providing explanations. Personally I rather have people make up their own mind instead of having artists spell out what they meant to convey. But then again, how else would we know if what we want to state actually is perceived in that way?
Enough words, let’s provide some pictures and they will be mostly about my contribution as to give me time to ask the others about theirs.

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Some time ago I went on holiday to Barcelona. Barcelona has an excellent subway system which, besides providing a fast way to travel around the city, also provides some coolness for the intrepid tourist who braves the heat of the day. Even in May the temperatures rose above the thirty degrees centrigrade(that is into the eighties for you Fahrenheit users). In Barcelona people aren’t much different from people in other cities and during their travels they chase away their boredom by plugging themselves in. Walkman’s, handhelds and various other electronic devices isolate them from their surroundings and transport them into another world . One of the mind. For some people this might be a deplorable experience, I don’t see it as such.  People might not talk to the person sitting next to them, but then again they might be talking to someone at the other side of the world. There is a certain liberty in that you can now choose with whom to communicate and befriend, which might be a good thing, but at the other end, you probably stick with people you feel comfortable with and thus avoiding people who might be different and give you new insights. It opens the eyes and closes them.

This concept inspired me to make the futuravi. Which is this guy/girl.

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The futuravi contains two aspects. It is connected to the rest of the world by various devices that opens it’s eyes and ears to a world of the mind.  Incidentally there are lines in the song Jumbo by Underworld that refer to this(the song by the way expresses a great deal of the concept.) So let me quote some lines:

you pick up the phone  and i’m imagining you.”

“the telephone breath between us
there are no borders between us
only these wires”

The futuravi pushes the idea a bit further because, as in the song, you can imagine the other. That is, you as an outsider can change the way someone looks. This might be a technological possibility of the future. Since our world becomes virtual it is technologically possible for you as viewer to determine the looks of the person you are watching. You might see the one you are talking to as a dragon, while the person sees himself as a human.

To capture this aspect I made this connector-device which allows an other person to change your looks.

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This is a pictural instruction I made so that people would follow it regardless of the language they speak. The futuravi jumps on the connector.

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There is a console connected to the device.

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People can use this connector device to change the looks.

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This is the texture I made for an elevator that we didn’t add to the build.

Here is a link to the song Jumbo by Underworld.

 

SL11B: Monkey Mind -1



So I haven’t been posting much to this blog of late because we were busy with SL11B.

So what is SL11B?

SL11B is the name given for the celebrations organized around the 11th  birthday of Second Life and it  runs from the 22nd of June till the 5th of July of this year.  The celebrations are held at a group of connected places(called sims from simulators) where people of different backgrounds  exhibit their enthusiasms.  As such one can find art exhibits next to stands promoting books, people reciting poetry or showing off the latest of fashions or promoting understanding for things like gender dysforia and disability, so basically everything that  you can do or make in Second Life. Except for the things we don’t want to know about, such as porn. No worries there mate, for there are festivals for that to.

As is usual we always got in a bit late so we had to make up for lost time by working extra hard. It wasn’t different during SL8B, SL9B or SL10B.  In addition I was actually not counting on Emphatic Eccentricia(EE) doing something this year, so I organized my own exhibit, which is called The Box and inspired by Schroedinger’s cat.  But EE did something this year, so I joined in that one as well. So this post is about the Emphatic Eccentricia exhibit which is called Monkey Mind.

Now let’s look at some pictures.

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Monkey Mind – Initial design

This was the first design which was mostly made by Almut Brunswick who took care of the infrastructure. We put my Monkey Head on it, for reason I do not quite know. It was an moment of inspiration, but I can’t actually recall who came up with it.
The idea behind the built is that it was inspired by the SL11B theme: the empires of the future are empires of the mind. The general idea is that the building represents a computer.

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Monkey Mind – Improved design

This one is a later design in which Veleda Lorakeet add these pipelines which represents data transfer.

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Monkey Mind – SL11B design

The initial build on the SL11B ground. It was considered to be too tall so….

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Monkey Mind – SL11B 2nd design

This is the almost final built.  Note the rerouting of the vel’s pipelines. Ohmy Shalala changed the monkey head by replacing the head with brains  and Almut replaced most of the primary objects (called prims) of the infrastructure with mesh. Mesh items are far better looking and take up less space than prims. The ground floor was replaced by and now has a hole with digital texture in it.

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Monkey Mind – SL11B final design

This is the final design. Veleda added a core to the system and various other items have been added. In the next post some more details.

Monkey Mind can be found here:  http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/SL11B%20Enchant/140/31/22

 

Added one more because Almut said she like to see it with the surrounding buildings.

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Monkey Mind -Raw-Final

Another one. with a more normal light setting.

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