Friday, 30 September 2011

Burn2 2011 - The Rite of Passage

News Hound
A friend suggested I apply for a 'Press Pass' for an advanced preview of this year's 'Burn2' festival, which I duly did. 

(click images to enlarge)
The Playa
Burn2 is the virtual world's representation of the real world's 'Burning Man' festival.

Participants and attendees alike are encouraged to express themselves fully, freely and creatively but within the relatively liberal parameters known as 'The Ten Principles'.
The Man towers above the Playa
It is easy to see how such values and principles fit comfortably and naturally within the culture of Second Life.

Burning Man and the virtual equivalent have a history that goes back almost to the very beginning of Second Life itself, reputedly being initiated by Philip Linden.
The Man 2011
For reasons best known only to themselves, Linden Lab dropped "Burning Life", as it was then called, after the 2009 festival and wiped their hands clean of it.

Fortunately for us, however, a number of enthusiastic Second Life users recognised in Burning Life what the Game Gods had near-catastrophically proven themselves incapable of perceiving, and rescued the festival from virtual oblivion. 

Since 2010, the festival has been solely sponsored, run and paid for by Second Life residents, albeit re-branded as "Burn2".
The Man 2011 by Debbie Trilling et al
This year the festival comprises four region's worth of exhibits, performance stages, interactive games, creativity and joyfulness - collectively known as 'the Playa'.

There is definitely a feeling of chaos and clutter as you explore the Playa - it is the creativity of the wild frontiers; it feels, in fact, like suburbia unleashed!

This year's suggestive theme is "The Rite of Passage" and, although it is not compulsory for the participants to adopt this suggestion, many have. But many others have not. In still other cases, I really could not say if they have or have not adopted it!

Of the four jam-packed regions, two exhibits in particular rank of highest importance to the ethos of Burn2  - 'The Man' and 'The Temple'. The climax of the festival is the burning down of these two structures.

I'll discuss The Temple a little later in this blog but first I wanted to declare a personal interest with regards The Man - my home in Second Life is owned by one of its key creators, Debbie Trilling - and I have watched its creation on a day-by-day basis there.

In fact, one of my films from earlier this year, Showdown, uses the 2010 version on The Man in its climatic scenes:

The 2011 version of The Man has been created by Debbie Trilling, Aleeta Zelin, Elfod Nemeth, Gypsy Paz and Lorin Tone.

It is a Labour of Love.

Debbie has recorded machinima of previous Man burns from 2009 and 2010 which you can see here and here. They are dramatic and exciting!

She assures me that a machinima of the 2011 performance of The Man will be released on the weekend of 8/9th October.
The Temple by Damanios Thetan
The second of the two emotionally significant builds is 'The Temple'. This year it has been created by the highly respected Damanios Thetan - a resident of and content creator in Second Life for more than seven and a half years!

His Temple build is wonderful; you really must go see it as you explore the Playa. Honour McMillan has written an extremely interesting blog about Damanio's 2011 Temple and I can do no better than refer you to that.

As an aside, we used Damanios' particle Weather System in Showdown (embedded above) to create the dramatic rain and thunder storms.
'The Rites of Passage' by Puterdoc Devin
As mentioned, this year's theme is 'The Rite of Passage'. I particularly enjoyed how Puterdoc Devin interpreted this - full-on and almost literally.

Other Creators tackled the theme more obscurely - with varying degrees of success, it has to be said - while still other Creators ignored the theme entirely (or so it seemed to me!)

All these approaches are equally valid on the Playa.
Look, Mum! I'm on telly!
Burn2 encourages all levels of ability to participate and create and I suspect that this is one of its greatest strengths.

Newer lesser-known Creators build side-by-side with well-known Second Life "names".

And, you know what? It works. It works well.

Sure, you feel compelled to wander over and admire Claudia222 Jewell's latest masterpiece...
Claudia222 Jewell
... and the amazing geometrical and mathematical precision of  Wizard Gynoid's work...
Wizard Gynoid instinctively know that Cienega Soon will never, ever disappoint...
Cienega Soon
...and of course Trill Zapatero's imaginative, decorative, functional and wonderful "home from home" should definitely not be missed.... 
Trill Zapatero
...but to do this exclusively would be to miss many other fascinating and brilliant pieces of work and, above all in my opinion, miss the whole point of Burn2 itself.
Tea Pot Vehicle
By wandering freely around the Playa will you discover work like this incredibly cool installation by Starlash Sweetwater...
Starlash Sweetwat
.. or this fun, creative and colourful piece by the very approachable and lovely Kikiri Tuqiri...
Kikiri Tuqiri
...this intricate working mechanical appliance by Qwark Allen...
Qwark Allen
..and these delightful humanoid sculptures by Typote Beck...
Typote Beck
And to miss any of these, and scores of others besides, really would be a shame.

You need to allow yourself plenty of time to properly explore the Playa.
Banging the TV Repair Man
There were two particular artists that I thought were breathtakingly good...and I will do a full blog of their work in the next few weeks. But in the meantime, I would love to refer you to the work of Sohma G. Dawling and Haveit Neox.
Sohma G. Dawling
Haveit Neox
Now, if I had to isolate just one exhibit for you to go see...just one, then, without doubt it would have to be Mikati Slade's simply stunning 'Popscape':
Mikati Slade's 'Popscape'
It is a gigantic, no-apologies, no-compromise celebration of Japanese popular culture.
I love it.
In lots of ways it is in stark contrast to most of the other work on the Playa but this only serves to enhance just how spectacular it actually is.
Pixie & Mikati at Popscape
Its garish and brash exuberance is astonishingly beautiful, as is its Creator:
Mikati Slade
Burning Life was once nurtured upon Philip Linden's loving and tender teat.

M Linden was responsible for teaching it some of Life's harsher, more anal-corporate lessons. He initiated the process where the festival broke away from its overbearing parents to stand on its own two feet.

Burn2, now run by the residents for the residents, can be seen as the festival entering its teenage...It can be brassy and tasteless one moment, sensitive and perceptive the next; it is always loud and often self-conscious. It is experimental and wild, unruly and uncouth. It doesn't wash behind its ears.

But it is loveable. It is adored and even admired. It is happily, joyfully rebellious.

But above all these things, you dearly want it to succeed; you sincerely want it to live long and prosper.

Has Burn2 full matured yet? Has it entered adulthood? No, probably not. Not quite yet.

But it will. 

Because, you see, the story of Burn2 is itself a Rite of Passage! And the story is still unfolding....


Man Burn 1:  Europe Burn
Gather:   SLT, Sat, Oct 8, 11:00am 
Burn:       SLT, Sat, Oct 8, 11:30am 

Man Burn 2:  USA Burn
Gather:   SLT, Sat, Oct 8, 7:00pm 
Burn:       SLT, Sat, Oct 8, 7:30pm 

Man Burn 3:  Aust/Asia Burn
Gather:   SLT, Sun, Oct 9, 3:00am
Burn:       SLT, Sun, Oct 9, 3:30am 


Temple Burn 1:  Europe Burn
Gather:   SLT, Sun, Oct 9, 11:00am 
Burn:       SLT, Sun, Oct 9, 11:30am 

Temple Burn 2:  USA Burn
Gather:   SLT, Sun, Oct 9, 7:00pm 
Burn:       SLT, Sun, Oct 9, 7:30pm 

Temple Burn 3:  Aust/Asia Burn
Gather:   SLT, Mon, Oct 10, 3:00am 
Burn:       SLT, Mon, Oct 10, 3:30am 

Sunday, 18 September 2011

10-to-1 On Pixie Rain

I have always been singularly impressed with the size of a  horse's penis.

You can imagine my delight then when an internationally acclaimed breeder, who asked to remain anonymous,  contacted me to tell of a racing horse he had named after me!

Meet Pixie Rain the Horse!

Not only is this gentleman intimately involved with racing horses in RL but incredibly he also has his own film production company in Second Life - Black Stallion Productions!

He has asked me to star in a film called "10-to-1 on Pixie Rain" and I have accepted!

I haven't read the script yet but I love nature and animals and he tells me he is very experienced with breeding, studs and breaking in young fillies.

He speaks a language he calls "gateau talk" and assures me that calling me "bitch" every two sentences is in fact a term of endearment within his culture.

His nine brothers will also need to be on the set during filming, he says, to ensure that all the angles are covered and all holes filled.

Coming soon '10-to-1 on Pixie Rain' - a Black Stallion Production!

Friday, 16 September 2011

Romy Nayar and NaNoBoSc

I was raised to believe that there are some subjects you just never discuss in polite public; mutual masturbation, mass immigration and the Higgs Boson, immediately come to mind as examples.

(click images to enlarge)

And woe betide me or one of my leporine siblings if any of us dare raise the verboten subject of nanotechnology at the dinner table!

This has understandably made me cautious about sharing my thoughts on such delicate subjects with strangers.

Romy Nayar, evidently, has no such inhibitions or reservations.

Nanotechnology literally pores over you and feasts upon you as you explore her work at NaNoBoSc.

NaNoBoSc is a lavish festival of colour, shape and texture; and the magic of this place is that every texture has been created from actual images of nanoparticles!

The result is an amazing visual treat where the Macrocosm is in the Microcosm and the Microcosm in the Macrocosm.

And we, dear reader, as voyagers of the Metaverse knocking like flies against the boundaries of the Virtual Cosmos, stand mid-point, mediating.

As we examine NaNoBoSc more closely we discover that each shape, each branch, each limb, joint, appendage, attachment and tentacle curiouser and curiouser looks like something that could only ever otherwise be seen under the light from a very powerful electron microscope.

But the wonder is, here in Romy's work, we are able to walk amongst them... around them...

... study them...

and pontificate about them:

I spent hours exploring NaNoBoSc, alone but also with Tutsy. I really enjoyed it all - the feel, the sensuality, the concept, the philosophy but, above all else, the *texture* of the place.

Romy Nayar has her own blog which I recommend for its visual images and embedded machinima. Definitely worth a look. Chrome did a pretty good job translating from the original Spanish text to English but I must confess I found the font choice to be difficult on the eye and hard to read.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

SpyVSpy Aeon's Abstract Matter

SpyVSpy Aeon's machinima are always worth watching in their own right but 'Abstract Matter', his latest offering, has special interest to those of us involved with the Adult and Erotic genre - the voiceover is performed by Rysan Fall.

Rysan's adult work needs no introduction from me, of course, as it can easily be argued that he is the most accomplished filmmaker working in the field of Second Life adult machinima. Indeed, I listed his work as a "must-see" for understanding how SL adult machinima is evolving.

I have blogged Spy's work before. He has a deservedly good reputation as a highly skilled technical filmmaker. 'Abstract Matter' can only serve to reinforce that reputation.

'Abstract Matter' not only combines Spy's great filmmaking techniques and Rysan's crystal-clear voiceover but also features the work of one of my favorite SL artists - Igor Ballyhoo - I wrote a blog on his work only last week.

'Abstract Matter' is filmed on Second Life, EveOnline and UniverseSandbox.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Jackass Rabbit

You crazy rabbit!
I'm out there risking my neck for you, and what are you doing?
Singing and dancing!

'Who Framed Roger Rabbit?' (1988)

To jointly celebrate Orwell's 267th Rez Day* and the fact that my 'Rabbit Girl Porn Star'** picture is the most popular post on this blog, the Pixie Rain Vanity Photograph Company have just released this new stunning but understated photograph.

For sale to wholesale retailers only, in bulk quantities.

*interesting factoid. Whereas avatars have one Rez Day per year, Virtual Rabbits have one Rez Day per day. No one knows why. Not even me. And I was the one who just made it up.

**exactly what search results people are hoping to find by goggling "Rabbit Porn" is quite beyond my understanding.  Or is it?

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Eat Shit! 2,144,472 flies can't be wrong!

[04:48] tutsy Navarathna: look this and tell me why there are 2milions people watching it ? 
[04:48] tutsy Navarathna:
[04:48] Pixie Rain: watching
[04:48] Pixie Rain: ok
[04:48] tutsy Navarathna: while im looking your boops
[04:49] tutsy Navarathna: boobs
[04:49] tutsy Navarathna: and also under your skirt
[04:49] Pixie Rain: is this Second Life?
[04:49] Pixie Rain: no
[04:49] tutsy Navarathna: i don't think
[04:50] Pixie Rain: no, isnt
[04:50] Pixie Rain: dog is too good
[04:50] Pixie Rain: and anims
[04:50] tutsy Navarathna: yes
[04:50] Pixie Rain: my review.......
[04:50] Pixie Rain: and I will back this up, on my blog....
[04:50] Pixie Rain: THAT WAS SHIT
[04:51] tutsy Navarathna: totally, big shit
[04:51] Pixie Rain: i have no idea why 2,000,000 views
[04:51] tutsy Navarathna: and 2 millions people
[04:51] tutsy Navarathna: ????
[04:52] Pixie Rain: amazing...."viral" must mean "diseased brain"

We return you now to your scheduled programme....

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Thom Silverfall at Moonhearts

"I could light the night up with my soul on fire
I could make the sun shine from pure desire
Let me feel that love come over me
Let me feel how strong it could be"

Last Sunday, the 4th Sept, I found myself at a loose end for one hour while waiting for the Traditional Chinese Theatre to begin.
Having just released 'Rapture', I was not in the mood for anything heavy or stressful and simply fancied a break. I opened up 'Events Happening Now' to see if anything interesting jumped out.
"Thom Silverfall at MoonHearts", it said, so I tp'd over for a gander.
MoonHearts is a smart live music venue owned by Shady Forsythe. Situated at 1000m, the dance floor and stage are surrounded by twelve very attractive bronze bas-relief type pieces, one for each sign of the zodiac. A large glimmering aurora borealis can be seen through the gaps between the bas-reliefs and overhead due to the ceiling-less build.
I thought it a nice ambience and the venue atmosphere was relaxed and friendly.
Thom Silverfall had already started his set by the time I arrived. His music is ambient electronic guitar with a folky-blues feel to it. Thom himself comes across as a chatty and likeable fella.
To quote from Thom's own web site, from where you can download more of his music:

"Thom does not use tapes. Instead he uses computer software, sequencers, drum machines, synthesizers, vocal effects, and other gadgets to produce a one-man live show. All parts are played (or programmed) by Thom himself. 
He does all his own arrangements, and puts them together on the fly during each performance.
Vocals and electric guitar are played live. Every show is unique!"

As of next Sunday 18th September, Thom plays live at MoonHearts every Sunday at 1pm. Jump over to enjoy good music being played live at a good venue.
While there I couldn't help but press <F9> and string together the resulting raw footage with a few default cross-dissolves.
Please enjoy this simple, no-frills film of Thom Silverfall performing his rendition of The Eurythmics 'Sweet Dreams Are Made of This' at MoonHearts venue on Sunday 4th Sept:

Oh, and by the way Thom, its called a "Kanzashi Hair Pin"!

Friday, 9 September 2011


HuMaNoiD is a sim of many facets and is well worthy of our time and attention.

It is especially suited, in my opinion, for romance, for photo-shoots and for simple, relaxed wandering and exploring.
(click images to enlarge)

On arriving at HuMaNoiD, you find yourself encircled by eight white doors. At the centre of the circle is a chair and a cello.
You'll also be invited to have your Windlight settings changed.
I have mixed feelings about Windlight generally. Although it provides many different and interesting skylines, it seems to me that many are actually really quite unusable.
When in the business of filming or photographing avatars, the majority of Windlight settings are plain fugly it seems to me.
Specifically, at HuMaNoiD, although the suggested Windlight settings worked well with most of the builds, I was not convinced it worked well for avatar photography.
The photos accompanying this blog were taken with Windlight set to "blackskymoon", "greyskymoon" (thanks for the tip, Jinx!) or the default "Midday".
Each of the eight doors is a teleport to a independent area and build.
I couldn't really discern a common theme or concept connecting the different builds, but that is hardly important - there is no obligation that there should be.
The different areas can easily be considered as different "photo studios", such is their diversity.
And it is also fair to say, I think, that some of the areas work better than others depending on your current needs and expectations.
But, no matter, each of them are worth a visit.
Couples dance machines are set up in a number of areas and I was surprised and delighted to discover that sex animations are also installed into some of the furniture.
Inevitably, where the number of areas to visit are so diverse, you'll have a personal favourite.
Mine is an area done in black, white and blues. The centrepiece is a birds cage and it is surrounded by dandelion seed pods.
Butterflies lightly flutter in and out of the scene.
I felt the colour balance was just right and the overall look, both close-up and at a distance, quite stunning.

As well as the eight locations accessed from the white doors, you can walk out of the circle to explore the various islands located in the ankle-depth surrounding sea.
I enjoyed these islands thoroughly, examining and photography their differing details.

However, when all the exploring is done and when you need to rest your dancing feet, not much can beat the romance of snuggling-up with a loved one on a hammock, as light scented candles gently drift beneath...