Kids Connect

O, to be asleep instead of writing at 2:11 AM. O, alack this brain of mine.

The long and short, quickly: got back from Texas on Sunday. Four of us Share people went down to setup a Share jam at the Media Archaeology Festival at Aurora Picture Show. Went great, saw and met many wonderfully sweet people. Pics to come on the Share site.

The big news: my thesis has changed. A great opportunity fell in my lap; things folded together. I sat in on a net conference call two weeks ago and whiff-boom-bang! I’m suddenly co-organizing and teaching Kids Connect, a series of summer workshops for kids in theatrical and technological collaboration, sponsored by ZoomLab, the Waag Society and Polytechnic University. It brings together a lot of my interests and goals — it gelled quickly, a total no-brainer. One thing I brought to the table is the still relatively untapped potential for education and performance in Second Life and it’s that which is keeping me up brainstorming right now. What would make a compelling indigenous performance in Second Life? That is, one that is not virtual set dressing for a real life performance but a truly virtual performance that couldn’t be done in meatspace.

Wandering through SL, I’m struck again and again by how meatoid it is. Virtual human bodies walking on two legs and seeing with one eye. Houses with four walls as if there were a need for load-bearing members. It seems to me that an indigenous, exciting Second Life performance ought to be code-intensive (possibly generative), interactive, and transformative — literally body-changing — warping your avatar, multiplying and distributing its eyes and ears. Kaleidescopic eyes as big as houses. Think a live machinima of The Matrix: The Musical! with Vishnu as Neo, dance numbers choreographed by the mutant child of Busby Berkeley and Chris Cunningham). Hopefully this silly hyperbole sounds more exciting to you than listening to streaming audio while watching a jerky animation of a guy playing a guitar.

Not that I’m no longer into Real Life/Second Life performances, of course.

Maybe I can get to sleep now.

p.s.

Inworld I’m Dan Magpie and here’s a link to my land.