Friday, 24 February 2012

Busy Mode

The Resident you messaged is in 'unavailable mode' which means they have requested not to be disturbed…
Second Life Viewer, Feb/March 2012

I have been working on a film for a few months now - an experimental work using relatively straightforward concepts in what I hope will be an entirely new and exciting way. Certainly it will be a first in SL adult films and I am not aware of it being used yet in other machinima.
As an experimental piece (to practice using Adobe Audition and dynamic-linking for a University module), I do not expect it to be especially popular or “award winning”. I am perfectly fine with that. However, I do hope to “set the bar” for anyone who wants to follow-on and create something similar.
The problem is, I am getting nowhere quickly! I keep getting distracted on other projects, all enjoyable, but also all very time-consuming.
For example, I spent approximately six weeks chairing the judging panel for THE SEXIEST® machinima awards; blog-posts like Innsmouth or Bryn Oh will typically take up all my weekday evenings over a two week period. All this is on-top of my Uni studies and homework which, of course, takes priority.
Over Christmas I had three weeks holiday which I had originally intended to devote to this experimental film. As it happens, I actually spent one afternoon; the remainder of the time was spent on other productive but unplanned tasks.
It used to be that I would log into SL and dance on one monitor while working in Premiere Pro, After Effects or Photoshop in my second monitor. However, nowadays, the constant stream of IMs – from the very moment of logging in until I log out - makes that nigh impossible. They are all lovely IMs from lovely people but, it has to be said, are very distracting from a productive and creative point-of-view.
So….until this film is finished, I’ll be logging into SL less and will not be publishing any “in-depth” blog-posts. This is a shame because I find both activities immensely enjoyable and satisfying but if I don’t do this I fear the experimental film will never get completed.
As soon as the experimental film is complete, I’ll start work on my UWA5 entry. Problem is Bobo is still away on his world cruise and that ‘ole salty seaman is the star of the film!
We don’t know when he gets back but he is greatly missed at Lar’s.

Pixie xx

Thursday, 23 February 2012


I stumbled over this by accident while touring YouTube - Jon Gomm 'PassionFlower'
Stunning acoustic guitar technique.
It is far too good not to share.
Pixie xx

Monday, 20 February 2012

Love and War

Love and War’ is thought to be the world’s first animated short film opera.
Swedish Fredrik Emilson directed it and composed the music. The score is performed by the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Swedish Opera Chorus.

Love and War’ won the Los Angeles Film Festival ‘Best Animated/Experimental Short Film’ award with the jury panel saying of it “brilliant craftsmanship and epic scope” and “Emilson proves himself to be the Orson Welles of stop-motion opera cinema”.

The story itself is simple enough; one that we have all seen a hundred times before. However, the execution is superb in every respect from the opening scene to the closing credits. The dialog, original score, directing, editing and puppeteering are all terrific - not for a single frame does the quality drop.

This work was originally pointed out to me by an SL friend and reader of this blog who, I suspect, would rather remain anonymous! As we like to say in the University cafeteria, “Goggle is no longer your friend.”

Anyway, this friend purchased a gift token for me to download Love and War’ as a 1080p HD WMV file (825Mb). I watched full screen this morning while sipping sweet English tea and munching strawberry jam toast.

May I suggest you pour yourself a hot beverage, butter yourself a feel-good waffle-substitute and watch this wonderful fifteen minute film.

Pixie xx

Saturday, 18 February 2012

I Fell In Love One Afternoon...

I fell in love one afternoon
And wrote your name on a white balloon…
The Rabbicon Story, Bryn Oh

With the help of endowments from a number of patrons including British filmmaker Peter Greenaway, and a grant from the Canadian government, Bryn Oh is in the process of re-creating all three chapters of the ‘Rabbicorn Story’ on a resurrected ‘Immersiva’ region.
‘Immersiva’ is Bryn Oh’s Second Life studio. She will be using it for the purpose of creating a movie and real life exhibit of the Rabbicorn story.
(click to enlarge images)

For those unfamiliar with the story, the three individual machinima can be found here:
·        The Daughter of Gears (Part 1)
·        The Rabbicorn Story (Part 2)
·        Standby (Part 3)
The Rabbicorn story is a narrative expressed in poetry, images, speech and text. Byrn clearly understands her story, what she wants to say (via her characters) and how she wants to say it.

For me, Bryn’s work always has a feeling of desolation and abandonment. There is darkness there, a definite but undefined sadness.
When I look at the individual sculptures I sense the pain that many of us carry inside of ourselves – an emotional pain we attempt not to impose upon others because we intuitively understand that they themselves have a similar and equivalent pain.

We can never be quite sure of the type or degree of pain that our neighbour harbours; we can be only sure that such a pain surely exists.
How many of us in our quietest, most personal and most insecure moments feel as Munch’s ‘The Scream’?
Byrn’s work, for me, often expresses the as yet incomplete process of the “mechanicalisation” of the human spirit. By that I mean that we appear as a civilisation to be increasingly implementing processes which tend to robotise thinking and feeling – and in fact, in some cases. making them entirely redundant. We seem intent on having our human interactions and friend selections overseen by a series of computer algorithms and programming sub-procedures.

The phrase “Human Resource,” for example, is now a literal truth. Surprisingly this term has not yet captured and sanitised by the guardians of political correctness because, within this ubiquitous term comprising two innocuous words, lies a deep literal truth about how the corporate world views its employees – a “resource” which just happens to also be a human being, as opposed to a desk or chair or any other item of stationary. Within the methodologies and terminologies of the corporate world, the difference between a human resource and, say, a hole punch resource is largely one of functionality and expenditure.
Ironically, the term “human resource” has grown to be one of the most dehumanising words of the Western world.

Now, in some senses the most interesting thing about the above statements is that we have no idea if Bryn knowingly endowed her installation with these qualities or not. That is, those are my ideas and reflections that arose from interacting with Bryn’s work. They may or may not have been in Bryn’s mind as she was creating. Furthermore, short of actually asking her, we have no way of knowing.
We have touched on this subject before on this blog, when we explored the Innsmouth region. We noted then that once an artist releases their work to the wider public they relinquish control over the “meaning” of the work. Although the artists’ fans, academics and art dealers will always consider the artist to hold the “definitive meaning” behind the work, the simple fact is that anyone can project whatever meaning they wish onto the work. This may be a deliberate and conscious act or entirely involuntary and unconscious but, regardless, it is now wholly outside the control of the artist.

The result of this is that the artist will likely discover interpretations of their work that they had never previously considered. Some of these interpretations the artist will find interesting and instructive – others she may well find to be bizarre and bewildering!
In my experience most artists find this process of re-interpretation of their work to be at worse mildly entertaining and, at its very best, enlightening.

We have previously attempted to examine the dynamics at play when we considered the ‘Daytime Dreams’ region. There is a “union”, we suggested, between the subject and object of consciousness – the seer with the thing seen – which sometimes results in the generation of a third element - the creation of an entirely new idea or concept; one quite independent of the original artist, albeit obviously inspired and ignited by their work.
All aesthetic considerations aside, it might be that the primary importance of artistic installations such as The Rabbicorn Story is their ability to gently prod us into thinking for ourselves, to subtly nudge us into feeling emotion.
Regular readers of this humble blog will know that I am not overly optimistic about the long-term viability of our civilisation in its current form. Many different civilisations, nations and cultures have arisen, peaked and fallen over the last 4000 years. I have seen no evidence why our civilisation should prove any different.
However, this viewpoint is not rooted in the logic of “immanentizing the eschaton”; it isn’t something I actively *wish* or pray for; it isn’t motivated by any political or religious ideology. Rather it is a belief based on the observation that those who have not learnt the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them
But, even with this belief, I am most certainly optimistic about the future prospects of Life itself, and of the resilience and fortitude of DNA to star-seed distant corners of the cosmos. I just happen not be too species-concentric about it.
Entwined in the weft and warp of this admittedly gloomy forecast for the short and medium term is in fact a positive, hopeful and life-affirmative message. It establishes the idea that in the long term at least, élan vital, so-called by Henri Bergson in 1907, will prevail; that the process of evolution is fundementally creative and progressive.
And, again, I believe I can detect similar sentiments in Bryn’s Rabbicorn Story. I see ingrained in the narrative, in the textures and prims the idea of the vanquishing of dark forces; of prevailing against the odds.
As we advance through each stage of the tale, we come to realise that running parallel with the emotional-mechanical-artificiality of the human condition - represented by the gears, the cogs and other motorised components - there is actually a sense of the triumph of the spirit, a reunion with natural humanity, a reclaiming of human resources for ourselves.
In summary, what finally emerges from one afternoon at Bryn Oh’s installation, is Love...

Pixie xx

All ideas, concepts and artwork relating to the 'Rabbicorn Story' and  Immersiva  belong to Bryn Oh.
Photography in this post of Bryn Oh's original work is by Pixie Rain.
The opinions expressed in this post are Pixie Rain's alone and are not intended to represent Bryn Oh.
Bryn Oh and Pixie Rain are real avatars in a Virtual World on a lonely planet orbiting a really rather ordinary G-Type star. How cool is that!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Seynt Volantynys Day

For this was on Seynt Volantynys Day
Whan euery rabbit comyth there to cheese his mate

                                                          - Geoffrey Chaucer, 1382

Monday, 13 February 2012

2 Years In Second Life

Today is my 2nd Rez Day in Second Life.
To celebrate I brought myself a *KaS* Corset System Dress, a pair of *KaS* Ballet Boots and a *Beautiful Sin* Titanium Leashed Collar set.
The corset dress I first saw on this picture on Phillip Sidek’s flickr; the leash I saw on a really sexy girl at a club. I should add that I wear the unscripted version of the leash, it is simply a cool-looking item of jewellery to me and has no other connotation. The boots I saw when I went to buy the corset dress.
I set off to take some pictures on an Italian village themed region called Sol Aria.  It was very pretty but sadly crashed after only two photographs. I waited a while for it to return but it didn’t seem to.
In these two years there have been things that I am proud of film-wise – ‘Rapture’, ‘Showdown’ and ‘Sex With Strangers’ particularly.
I am also very proud of this blog; this is my first attempt at doing anything of this sort. Although the readership is quite low, it is a quality readership and I receive very supportive and complimentary messages about it. Thank you so much for reading and being here.
There are changes coming soon too with this blog, I think. I plan to migrate from Blogger to my own domain name on Word Press to avoid Google’s increasingly invasive dips into our privacy.
There is also one thing that is constantly troubling me in Second Life at the moment which I’ll expand on in the coming weeks if I can find the right way to say it. It is one of those “nice problem to have” type of dilemmas, rather than one that is very important in the grand scheme of things. But it is nevertheless distressing me on an almost daily basis.
Nothing I have done in Second Life in the last two years am I ashamed of.
It’s been good.
Pixie xx.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Dave Vellhi - Gentle Man & Friend

Lar, Marcy, Debbie & I are sad to announce that our very good friend Dave Vellhi passed away on Monday 6 February 2012 after a period of illness.
He died quietly in his sleep with his family at his bedside.
DaveV, or ‘Big Dave’ as many knew him by, was a regular at Old Lar’s House from its very earliest days. He was also a very popular DJ specialising in rock and a love of Elvis Presley.
He will be dearly missed.
Our sincere thoughts are with his RL family and with his SL friends. We share their hurt and sadness.

Friday, 10 February 2012

MachinimUWA V: Seek Wisdom

The MachinimaUWA V theme, rules and closing date have been released. And I have committed myself to entering this time.
The prize pool for UWA V stands at L$ 650,000 (approx. $3000USD). That is a serious level of commitment.
More details can be found here.
At the moment I have one film in early post-production and two others in planning. All three are progressing *so* slowly – I always seem to find I have something else that needs doing; some other priority. This blog is one example; my University studies another.
I have also found recently that most of my time in Second Life is spent answering IMs rather than actually creating.
Bobo and I have planned to make a UWA film called “Being Bobo Puddlegum”.
I suppose we are going to have to pull up our bootstraps and actually get some work done if we are going to finish before the deadline of 30 June.
Problem is, Bobo is gallivanting the oceans on a world cruise after winning 1st Prize in a competition to complete the following sentence in 10 words or less: 
I love Pixie Puddlegum even more than I love my fleshlight because…”.

Gawd, I miss that 'lil fella.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

The Streets of London: 1812 to 2012

I went in with quiet, timid step. God knows how infantile the memory may have been that was awakened in me at the sound of my mother’s voice in the old parlour when I set foot in the hall.
Today is the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens birth.
Dickens is justifiably credited with having created some of the most iconic characters in English literature. His works have never been out-of-print and many have been turned into movies and TV series’.
I think I must have laid in her arms and heard her singing to me when I was but a baby. The strain was new to me but it was so old that it filled my heart brimful like a friend come back from a long absence.

Although born in Portsmouth, he lived in various parts of London – Bloomsbury, Camden Town, Southwark – which I happen to know rather well. Many of his stories take place in or were inspired by these locations.
I believed from the solitary and thoughtful way in which my mother murmured her song that she was alone, and I went softly into the room. She was sitting by the fire, suckling an infant whose tiny hand she held against her neck.

When I think of Dickens’ London, it always brings to my mind the glorious sketches and engravings of William Hogarth (1697 – 1764). Both Dickens and Hogarth manage to convey some deep truth about the human condition disguised in the form of cartoonish caricatures.
Her eyes were looking down upon its face and she sat singing to it. I was so far right that she had no other companion. I spoke to her and she started and cried out.

And now, as I walk the streets of London, I sometimes cannot help wondering how far – as a civilisation – we have advanced in the last 200 years. Sure, we have energy efficient electric street lamps instead of gas lamps, and we have an organised Metropolitan Police Force instead of Peelers; we have clean water and a reliable sewerage system.
These are all essential fundamentals of any developed country.
But seeing me she called me her dear Davy, her own boy; and coming half way across the room to meet me, kneeled down upon the ground and kissed me, and laid my head down on her bosom near the little creature that was nestling there, and put its hand up to my lips.

But also, just as Dickens father was imprisoned in 1824 for his inability to pay off his debts, we continue to evolve a society where the majority are condemned to a life of debt slavery; where gross financial inequality is the norm; where only a handful gets to share in the wealth of the nation.
With such a rapid human population explosion over the last 50 years, this is simply an unsustainable condition.
I do not believe that the economic model of the last 200 years will successfully negotiate the next 200.
Politicians, bankers and others’ whom - by god, we do not trust - need take heed. Billions of people are looking for a new paradigm.

I wish I had died. I wish I had died then, with that feeling in my heart. I should have been more fit for heaven than I have ever been since.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

What You See Is What You Get

A Rabbit Man’s work is never done.
From the crack of dawn to the set of sun,
In unrewarded servitude
He labours to protect his beloved rabbits.
                                        Papageno in ‘The Magic Flute’ (1791)

I’ve had a lazy week this week.
After THE SEXIEST® Awards, I had granted myself one night off for some R&R. However, that “one night” has turned into six so far and may extend even further!
On Wednesday and Thursday, I visited an exhibit inspired by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s ‘The Magic Flute’.
This got me thinking about child prodigies – one of which Mozart undoubtedly was – and those so-called “brats” in Second Life.
Mozart has always fascinated me because running parallel with his wonderful creative energies was (some believe) an affliction which we now label as “Tourette’s Syndrome”.
He would often break out in explosions of the foulest language – even as a youngster of 9 or 10. As I wandered around the installation, I understood why Mozart behaved so, but I couldn't help but wonder what the “brats” excuse was!

Thanks to Naughty Nataly for the hysterical “tattooist” photograph. Easily the funniest thing I have seen all week!