Cyberloom’s Sunday Threads

Cyberloom’s Sunday Threads are links to just a few of the most thought provoking articles, essays and blog posts I encountered over the previous week. This week’s threads are accompanied by photos from the Art Breaker Exhibition (extended until November 4th) at Claus Ulriza’s Pop Art Labs in Second Life. The pictures here show Bryn Oh‘s Desk Top Computer exhibit.

This week’s threads:

Somatic Cognition, a new frontier of human potential: On the Threshold of the Avatar Era by Jaron Lanier for the Wall Street Journal.

“No one knows how big a deal avatar-directed cognition will be. Will students routinely dance to learn chemistry in the future? Quite possibly. A student might also become a triangle to learn trigonometry, or a strand of DNA to learn about biology. Will professional nanotechnology engineers become molecular structures in order to refine them? Once again, it seems quite possible.” (Jaron Lanier)

Computer screen and keyboard by Bryn Oh
Computer screen and keyboard by Bryn Oh

Kevin Kelly: Technology is as great a force as nature by Tim Adams for the Observer.

‘Digital prophet’ Kevin Kelly says we are experiencing the most significant period in human history since the invention of language. (Tim Adams)

“The point of technology, I would say, is to create structures that organics cannot. What life is trying to do is to discover all the possible ways to evolve. What we are seeing is that there are possibly minds in the universe that biology cannot get to, but technology might be able to get there. We are making minds that biology can’t make. The long-term trend will be to make as many different kinds of mind as possible, because only in that way can we comprehend the universe.” (Kevin Kelly)

(This reminded me of an earlier post I wrote where I was trying to say that the internet has become so vast it has become a force of nature itself. See The Internet: Is it raw power for Cyberloom’s pontifications!)

Glow from Bryn Oh computer screen
Glow from Bryn Oh computer screen

Harold Jarche: Network Learning: Working Smarter Life in Perpetual Beta

… The amount of information flowing through the Internet today is measured in exabytes, or billions of gigabytes. We now create as much data in days as it took us centuries to create in the past.

This information overload has a direct impact on workplace learning. Workers have access to more information than ever before, but often don’t know if it’s the right information or if it’s current. In the industrial workplace, our training programs could prepare us for years of work, but much of what we learn today will be outdated in months or even weeks.

We need to re-think workplace learning for a networked society. Our organizational structures are becoming more decentralized, with individual access to almost unlimited information, distributed work teams, and digital media that can be copied and manipulated infinitely. In the interconnected workplace, who we know and how we find information are becoming more important than what we know.

Bryn Oh keyboard
Bryn Oh keyboard

I will end this post with this quote (by Herbert Simon) which Jarche uses to open his article:

“In the period ahead of us, more important than advances in computer design will be the advances we can make in our understanding of human information processing – of thinking, problem solving, and decision making…” ~ Herbert Simon, Economics Nobel-prize winner (1968)

 


Homage to Steampunk and Bryn Oh

Steam wyrmling and Bryn Oh's mayfly sculpture
Steam wyrmling and Bryn Oh's mayfly sculpture

Bryn Oh’s Robo Insects are on display in virtual Vienna’s Natural History Museum in Second Life. Cyberloom went to pay homage with avatar dressed as a steampunk dragon and soon began to feel ‘at one’ with the virtual sculptures. Then, after communing with the ‘Mayfly’ exhibit (above) started to think the Robo-Insects needed to be set free… liberated into the thin virtual air of Second Life. However, dear reader, reason prevailed and Cyberloom switched avatars to view the rest of the exhibition as a more ordinary avatar (wearing steampunk clothing) and somewhat less prone to the emotional over reactions of steam dragons and steampunk robots.

Closeup of rhinobot sculpture
Close-up of rhinobot sculpture
Cyberloom inspects Bryn Oh's jellytronics
Cyberloom inspects Bryn Oh's jellytronics
Closeup: Bryn Ph's steamclock
Closeup: Bryn Oh's steamclock
Inspecting the Retelevise
Inspecting the Retelevise

Beautiful steam wyrmling (or dragon) created by Daryth Kennedy and available from the Isle of Wyrms in Second Life.

ColeMarie sings to Immersiva

I went to visit Bryn Oh’s Immersiva the other night and discovered ColeMarie Soleil was there! She was singing live with her avatar perched atop a giant rusty bird suspended high in the sky.

Cole Marie singing live in Immersiva while balancing with her audience upon a giant rusty bird
Cole Marie with her audience balancing upon Bryn Oh's art
Immersiva Faerie ColeMarie Soleil (& Golink Koba)
Immersiva Faerie ColeMarie Soleil (& Golink Koba)
Kevlar Keen's fabulous avatar
There were some pretty amazing looking avatars gathered round ColeMarie including this one by Kevlar Keen.

Secrets and Plasma with Bryn Oh

Selected guests preparing for the immersive trip
Honored guests gathering for Bryn Oh's '4Jetpacks4' immersive adventure. We all checked each other out as we waited for Bryn to transport us off to the performance area. It was like an opening scene to an Agatha Christie novel... who was going to be murdered? Who was the assassin? Or as Dirk Talamasca said 'We are just having smokes and boozing it up in the lobby.'
Glyph Graves presents his jellyfish amoeba monster
We finally arrive at the Research Centre for the Study of Interplanetary Organisms. Glyph Graves, one of the mad scientists, presented findings following his intensive 'exploration into the forefront of Organic Transmutation'.
Glyph's amoeba watches and waits....
Glyph explains that he has melded a Paramecium and a common, everyday coelenterate respectively (otherwise known as a single cell organism and a jellyfish). The result is what he describes as a friendly, placid and strangely attractive specimen that 'may even provide a suitable replacement for the household pet'...
Dusty Linden amoeba napped
The gelatinous 'pet' suddenly sucked Dusty Linden into its squidgy self via aggressive osmosis. Glyph shouted 'ummm don't be alarmed... its just mistaken you for its offspring... they seem to carry them around much like a kangaroo... it should realize its mistake shortly....' Sure enough, Dusty was squirted back out, yet she managed to retain her poise admirably (despite being covered in pastel colored, salt flavored goop).
Nonnatus and her creation
Nonnatus Korhonnen (seen here as none other than Gattina Dumpling) then presented creatures that existed eons ago in 'pre-nonnatus history'. Somehow, Nonnatus had managed to retrieve two small seed fragments from 'the oceans of infinite combinatorial possibilities'. With the help of an 'entirely artificial pulsating red mass' Nonnatus was able to coax fresh new organisms to be brought to life!
Nonnatus' creations
Nonnatus' creatures rising from the artificial ocean of endless possibilities. 'This mass sustains the whole system, yet I had to create it from scratch. It is a vital part of the whole, it was not until after I had completed it that the system became completely self sustaining. I can only wonder what held its place before my time.' (Nonnatus Kerhonen March 13. 2009)
Bryn summoning the rain sprite
Bryn Oh then began summoning a Rain Pixie which she described as ' The cutest little thing you have ever seen!' Unfortunately, I am not at liberty to reveal the cute little rain pixie, or the grand finale with the species that stands 8 stories high and can read minds! I am bound by complex laws of Organic Transmutation and Immersive Secrecy, plus I fear reprisals from Glyph Grave's pet... (I don't have the family connections of Dusty Linden after all).

Only 10 avatars can take the Bryn Oh’s tour of the Research Centre for the Study of Interplanetary Organisms at one time (more avatars generate too much lag). However, there is a chance to win a visit, and see the cute Rain Pixie, and the 8 stories high mind reader for yourself!  Visit Bryn Oh’s blog post ‘4Jetpacks4’ for more information on how finding a Wonka Bar wrapper on Immersiva will entitle you to this magical immersive tour.

‘4Jetpacks4’ is part of the Virtual Art Initiative.
Also see Botgirl Questi’s blog post ‘Virtual Art Initiative Launching Groundbreaking Exhibition Series’

Stand-by for more Bryn Oh images…

As promised in my earlier post (‘Immersed in the imagination and smog of Bryn Oh’) here are some more photographs of Bryn Oh’s abandoned robot theme park on Immersiva.   

Music deer bot by Bryn Oh on Immersiva
Music deer bot by Bryn Oh on Immersiva

 

Bryn Oh's Tower
Bryn Oh's Tower

 

Top of the tower and a Second Life quirk removes the tower walls
Top of the Immersiva Tower (walls temporarily removed by rezzing quirk)

 

Window in the sky
Window in white

 

Together?
Stand-by

 

Sky poem
A poem from the sky... Just one of the many Bryn Oh poems to be found on (or above) Immersiva

 

And don't forget the translucent jellyfish
And last (but not least) look deep beneath the sea for translucent jellyfish

Immersiva is full of mysteries and puzzles, and I don’t want to spoil the surprise for others by saying too much here.  I hope these pictures encourage you to visit  Immersiva in Second Life™. 

Bryn Oh’s own machinima are the best guides to the island! Take a look at: The Jellyfish Room on Blip TV (http://blip.tv/file/1650715) and Ferrisquito at Immersiva (http://blip.tv/file/1592894)

Bryn Oh’s blog is to be found at: http://brynoh.blogspot.com/

Best wishes to Dusan Writer,  patron (saint) to high calibre virtual artists and Bryn Oh!

Immersed in the imagination and smog of Bryn Oh

cyberloom joins the mob (of Bryn Oh admirers)
cyberloom joins the mob (of Bryn Oh admirers)

I had the opportunity to visit NPIRL artist Bryn Oh’s island Immersiva recently. What a strange haunting place it was! It reminded me of the North of England when the coal mines were still working, with their ugly/beautiful slag heaps and devastated landscapes. Immersiva rises out of a cold, gray sea and strange tracks criss cross the island’s foggy, damp landscape. The fog was so dense I could almost feel it prickling my avatar’s delicate lungs. Figures emerged from the gloom here and there, sometimes these were other avatars, and sometimes they turned out to be eerie statues.

I landed at Immersiva and I was met by a child figure with an old 50s pram
When I initially landed at Immersiva I was met by a child figure with an old 50s pram
The child seemed to be pointing at the lightbulb man
The child seemed to be pointing at the light bulb man

Bryn Oh requests that visitors follow instructions to set their environmental settings so that they can achieve what could be called Bryn Oh smog-light. I followed these instructions, but then I strayed into playing with the settings in an attempt to render a cold winter’s day with watery sunlight. Immersiva represents a post-apocalyptic world, and the fog helps conjure up an atmosphere of lost hope and ruined dreams. Still, I justify my modified lighting with the thought of how brief spells of sunshine can give additional poignancy to emotional and physical devastation!

Bryn Oh's ferrisquito
Bryn Oh's ferrisquito

The uninhabited island is haunted by the Ghost in the Machine, and poems lie carefully scattered about the mournful land. They are written on the curled pages of school exercise books, each poem tells a fragmented story of ill fated love. Is it a tragic tale of the doomed love of two runaway robots? Or, is it a story about a human who falls in love with a robot? Perhaps the poems tell of two humans and one becomes ill, the other thinks she can save her sickly friend by carrying out some ghastly experiment. The poems convey deep longing yet are tainted by an agonized regret that generates more questions than answers…

Irrevocably statue of two runaway robots
'Irrevocably', a statue dedicated to the memory of two runaway robots

The artist goes to great lengths to provide extremely precise lighting instructions before abandoning us in the dense fog. (Did you hear that muffled Bryn Oh laugh or was it just my imagination?) I warn you, Bryn Oh smog-light plays tricks on your mind. It is intriguing to be given such specific guidelines, as  Bryn Oh has mastered the art of understatement, these initial directions are merely her introduction.  She knows how to give just enough poetic information to captivate her visitors. The sculptures do the same, they conceal hidden chambers where secret surprises lurk out of sight. The art of imagination lies in always leaving room for others to bring their own references and questions. Too much guidance and control shuts imagination down, kills it dead. Immersiva is like a strange aquarium where we are held  like translucent jelly fish manipulated by an unseen power!

More on Immersiva in my next post. In the meantime, take a look for yourself!

Please also see: Not Possible IRL for a post on Immersiva and Bryn Oh by Bettina Tizzy, and Bryn Oh’s own blog Bryn Oh

NPIRL Halloween Pix

NPIRL threw a Happy All Hallows party at the Plasmaco Mining Company last night. Check out some of the very cool avi outfits!

 

Jurin Juran. NPIRL Halloween Party at Plasma City
Jurin Juran. NPIRL Halloween Party at Plasma City

 

Aebleskiver Thibodeau
Aebleskiver Thibodeau

 

Scarp Godenot, Yeti Bing and Yoa Ogee
Scarp Godenot (in the background you can see Yeti Bing and Yoa Ogee).

 

Bryn Oh
Bryn Oh

 

Bettina Tizzy and Eshi Otawara
Bettina Tizzy and Eshi Otawara

The NPIRL Halloween Party was held at Plasma City ‘The Future That Never Was’.

More images can be seen on Flickr.