Factory and the Hacienda lecture: Urbis in Second Life

14 11 2007

I haven’t had time to look at the Second Life Urbis yet, but here’s very short notice of a lecture there today and slightly longer notice of the lecture series as a whole.Talks in Second Life from Urbis, Manchester

Design Lecture: Factory and The Haçienda…
Wed 14 Nov
6-8pm (uk time) 11am – 1 pm (Linden Time)
This event is sold out in real life, but experience it from the comfort of your own armchair by visiting Urbis and attending this lecture in Second Life… Don’t miss this chance to catch up with two design gurus and members of the original Haçienda crew, Peter Saville and Ben Kelly in this Urbis talk and question and answer session. So join us in Second Life find out how things were done the first time around.

Any (sensible) questions you have can be put to our guests live…so if you have any burning questions you would like answered from the good old days, then this is your chance!

The above event is just one of a number events Urbis is running in Second Life, along with our four floors of exhibitions which are now up for you to explore.


Sploland – first visit

12 07 2007

Visited Sploland with the vague idea that it is associated with the Exploratorium Museum in San Francisco. I chose not to listen to the streaming music, I also chose to download QuickTime so that I could see movies.

The first thing in front of me is a giant eraser which I can climb onto and ride. Not sure why.

Eraser in Sploland

It’s a bit of a confusing mess to be honest. One of the conventional objects is ‘The Incredible Running Bat’ (you can see it in the left of the screenshot above). A series of flickering images show a bat running. If you click on the object you can collect a notecard that informs you:

Eadweard Muybridge, pioneer photographer renowned for his sequential images of horses, people, you name it, once bet rich guy Leland Stanford that a bat lifts all four limbs off the ground whilst running. Muybridge used these photographs to win the bet.

Still pretty confused about what Sploland is I searched on Google and found surprisingly little information. Several searches later I ended up in a page of the Second Life website that provided the following information:

The Exploratorium – the museum of science, art and human perception in San Francisco has created an interactive science museum in Second Life which allows residents to explore art and science whilst having fun. They have established two locations – their original Splo Museum at Midnight City (SLurl) and a dedicated Island, Sploland (SLurl).

The Splo Museum spaces house more than 100 exhbits including optical illusions and perception exhibits (SLurl), a 3D map of the nearest stars (SLurl), the Pie Ride (SLurl) and a Distorted Room (SLurl). Residents can also ride Halley’s Comet as it makes it’s way around the sun, or ride one of the other planets in the Splo Solar System at the Orbital Experience (SLurl).

Watch a video tour of Sploland, read the paper: Creating Museum Content and Community in Second Life or find out more on the Exploratorium’s Virtual Worlds website.

Star Trek Museum of Science website

28 06 2007

One of the first Second Life museums I visited was the Star Trek Museum of Science. I didn’t get long to look around it (probably less than 10 minutes), although it has left me with my avatar eating popcorn that I haven’t managed to stop yet.

Star Trek Museum of Science website

Sabri Piccard of the Museum has left a comment [I want to link straight to the comment but I can’t work out how to do that in WordPress], pointing us to the excellent Star Trek Museum of Science website that provides tons of information on the project.

From Sabri’s comment:

The aims of the Star Trek Museum of Science are to promote greater awareness of the Star Trek universe among the general public, promote the study of the scientific and engineering technologies found in Star Trek and encourage interest in the real-life physics, astronomy, information technology and other sciences that are the foundation of those technologies. So, other than having fun, we hope folks learn something too at the museum!

Dresden Gallery

14 06 2007

I only just had time to have a look at the Dresden Gallery, I wish I’d come here earlier on. This looked like a good comparison for a typical British Victorian art gallery. Not certain that it is based on a real gallery but I presume it is.

There are lots of rooms inside a very grand building with courtyard. The art is very detailed and you can right-click on paintings for more information. I sat down in one room to look at the art.Sitting down in Dresden Gallery

It’s easy to imagine the any UK gallery laid out like this.

Another room of the Dresden Gallery

Just found their website, with this information:

Visit one of the world’s most famous museums, the Old Masters Picture Gallery of the Dresden State Art Collections. There you can view great masterpieces of key importance for the history of art, such as Raphael’s “Sistine Madonna” or Giorgione’s “Sleeping Venus”.

All the rooms of the museum have been reconstructed true to scale on the “Dresden Gallery” island in Second Life ® and all 750 masterpieces in the permanent exhibition are on display.

Vincent van Gogh and Starry Night

14 06 2007

Top of the search results for museum was Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night Island. There was no-one there and for some reason I had a green smoke coming out of my avatar.Starry Night.

I got talking to one of the owners:

[6:29] You: hello
[6:29] Milan Brynner: hi
[6:29] You: You own this place?
[6:29] Milan Brynner: with others, yes
[6:29] You: I work for a UK museum and I am spending some time looking round Second Life for research
[6:30] Milan Brynner: to see if there’s opportunities?
[6:30] Milan Brynner: or just to get a general picture
[6:30] You: At this stage it’s certainly only to get a general picture
[6:31] Milan Brynner smiles
[6:31] You: We sometimes get asked if we have thought about ‘doing anything’ with Second Life
[6:31] Milan Brynner: I think there’s a great new challenge to museums in 3D environments
[6:31] Milan Brynner: lots of possibilities to present art in a new way
[6:31] Milan Brynner: add experience
[6:31] You: what do you mean by new way?
[6:31] Milan Brynner: well, for instance how we do it here
[6:32] Milan Brynner: put the colorfull works of Van Gogh in a night view
[6:32] Milan Brynner: instead of on a white wall
[6:32] Milan Brynner: not to mention the 3D paintings
[6:32] You: I haven’t seen the 3d paintings yet
[6:32] You: I need to have a look round
[6:33] Milan Brynner: so, all in all I think it’s very exciting to work with art here
[6:33] Milan Brynner: a new approach
[6:33] Milan Brynner: even getting the intrest of a new audience
[6:33] Milan Brynner: ppl who don’t like museums RL
[6:33] Milan Brynner: but certainly enjoy the art as it is presented here
[6:34] You: One of my biggest concerns is that the audience will be quite narrow in Second Life
[6:34] Milan Brynner: SL is only the beginning
[6:34] Milan Brynner: we’re about to make the transition from 2D to 3D onoine environments
[6:34] You: Yes, I suppose so
[6:34] Milan Brynner: *online
[6:35] Milan Brynner: Gardner Research predicted that by 2011, 80% of the internpopulation will in fact be active in a3D world
[6:35] You: Sorry, I feel rude just wandering off and looking round while I talk to you!

I think it might have been rude to walk away while talking as Milan Brynner stopped talking to me at this point. It could have been because I was still eating popcorn from the Star Trek museum.

There was also a shop where you could buy sunflowers and Van Gogh t-shirts (for your avatar).
Starry Night shop

Upstairs in the Flowers Expo –
Flowers expo in Vincent's Starry Night

Star Trek Museum of Science

14 06 2007

I searched for ‘Museum’ in places and one of the results with ‘most traffic’ (no idea what this is based on) was the Star Trek Museum of Science.Star Trek Museum

This was a lot neater than the Goldsmiths degree show and it was clear a lot of work had gone into it. There were a lot of rooms (I’m pretty sure it was on board whatever the Star Trek spaceship is called) and it was easy to walk around. There was one person there but they ignored my questions..

The museum had interactives and seemed to be displaying a mixture of real and science-fiction-phoney science. You could hover and fly around a 3d star map. There was a 3d planet thing showing a ‘Star Trek universe’.

Star Trek Universe

In the chemistry room there was a laptop that you could click and leave a message for Sabri Piccard. I presume this is a person who is regularly in the room/made it/will show you round.

Leave a message

I didn’t leave a message.

The more you explore it there is lots of stuff – videos, journals, diagrams. The wall below has programs you can download onto your desktop.

Wall with programs to download

11.33 – Annotations, Goldsmiths Degree Show

14 06 2007

I could spend all day just finding out how Second Life works and reporting back on the blog but I’m impatient for something resembling the museum experience. I bookmarked a BBC article a couple of weeks about Goldsmiths art college holding their degree show simultaneously in the Old Truman Brewery and in Second Life.

Of course the BBC don’t bother to give any decent external link with the story so I have to google around to try and find out how to access it. A Goldsmiths press release gives the following advice:

‘just search for “Annotations” and teleport yourself there’

For the first time today, something is as simple as it seems.

The degree show is in a small room and you quickly get a good feeling for being in that room. I get the idea that it is probably pretty similar.

Degree show
I think it’s a good attempt but for 3d it’s got a very 2d feel. You can see the artworks on the wall and objects have been created to resemble the sculptures but you can’t look at them properly.

Degree show

In Second Life you can interact with objects by clicking on them. There didn’t appear to be any interactivity in this room.

I wanted to use video capture to give you the best idea of the experience of being in the room but I wouldn’t have time or the equipment to do that today.

The room had some sort of sound installation.

Degree show