A very nice photographer from CNET came to Share on Sunday and snapped some pictures of us nerds doing our thing. The back of my head looks hot in several of them.

Last night Emily and I got back from three days in Bremen, Germany, where I was invited to perform at the MENSCHMEERMEDIEN (man, mirror, medium) festival at the Nordwolle fin-de-siecle wool mill. We had a wonderful time and wonderful hosts. Thanks for the invite, Martin! The whole experience went something like:

Monday: Receive invitation via Share discussion list. Accept.
Tuesday: Martin tries to book ticket.
Wednesday: ticket falls through. Dan books incredibly cheap ticket on Emirates. Wednesday afternoon: Emily decides to come and books incredibly cheap ticket on Emirates. Thursday: leave for Hamburg.
Friday: arrive in Bremen. Eat bratwurst and tour the city with alternate historians.
Saturday: perform at massive old Victorian factory. Eat bratwurst. Party all night with splendid Germans.
Sunday morning: conclude party with Turkish/Sri Lankan falafel.
Sunday: act like tourists. Bratwurst. Completely fail to throw up out of one’s nostrils (note: this did not happen).
Monday: return to New York. No bratwurst. 🙁

I played with Axel Himmelmann, who makes excellent music and looks a lot like me. Emily shot some great pics and video of Axel and me performing. You can watch one of them above and the rest on the Internet Archive.

I’m off to Budapest today to teach workshops and host a Share jam in the Ultrahang Festival. 🙂 Wish me luck!

Thursday was the end of my five-week project at the Institute for the Future of the Book, helping them get ready for the next big alpha release of Sophie. It was a pleasure working with them and I hope to do so again. If you haven’t heard, check out the call for visualizations of Gamer Theory 2.0, which I’m happy to say I had a hand in formulating. It looks like we’ll be seeing some really nifty visualizations in the next couple weeks.

One of the new features in the latest version of Second Life is flexible prims — basically, now objects can bend — so I searched the Second Life fora to see what people are doing with them. The new version’s only been out for a week and a half and already there are some beautiful new flexible objects — some guy flew by me yesterday with a fantastic cape. 😀 nand Nerd had posted about his work so I went to check it out (visit his work, see some videos). nand showed me how it worked and lent me one of his objects for us to display on the Kids Connect island. Thanks to his and other residents’ generosity, we’ll have some great work to show our students the potential for creative building and scripting in SL. Check out the youTube videos linked above: I have a feeling Second Life is going to look a lot more organic pretty soon.

If all goes well, Eric, Anton and I will be doing some live machinima at Share tomorrow night. The plan is very lo-tech: Eric and I will move and look around Second Life at interesting things (nand’s work and others as well as the glitchy goodness you can find by zooming in very closely to things). Our fullscreen outputs will go to a Radio Shack video switcher, the output of which will go into a capture device into Anton’s machine, where he’ll manipulate it with vade, sending his output to Share’s screens and our live stream at share.dj. Check the left-hand side of the Share page around 8 pm EST tomorrow or watch the stream on my land in SL.

Some things I’m planning to get or build or get built in Second Life, in no particular order, some of them for Kids Connect and some not:

  • very easy-to-use picture and video viewers so the kids can just upload some images — or link to some video files — and chuck them onto an object to be shown immediately.
  • an area densely filled with pretty things to be used in a live visual performance, whether by inworld snapshots or just going fullscreen and closing all the onscreen windows
  • a (probably blog-based) system that will take emailed snapshots and pull them into a live visual performance. This one’s specifically for use at SHARE. Example of how this would go:
    • SL Residents read about SHARE and the SHARE SL project on my land
    • on a Sunday night, they login to SL, go to their favorite places and take snapshots, emailing them to secondlife at share dot dj OR a Flickr post-by-email address.
    • Visualist(s) at SHARE runs a Max/MSP/Jitter patch that grabs these snapshots (from email or RSS — this might be easiest to demo by using a feedreader like NetNewsWire that can auto-download images to a specific folder that Max can poll) and incorporates them into their visual performance.
  • a few buildings that are conducive to group meetings and classes
  • a dark building with winding corridors that lead the visitor to various rooms with video art/live visual displays

I would love to get help with these — I’m a novice with Linden Scripting Language and I don’t want to spend time and effort making something that someone’s already made much better. If you know some good builders and coders in SL, please let them know about Kids Connect and Share. They can get some info on my land inworld.