Archive for the 'metaverse' Category

reblogged: When Actual Materiality Surpasses Even Real Virtuality

2007.08.06 (Monday, August 6)

HypoSurface is a disruptive material technology. It’s been plenty blogged in the last week, so I won’t bother repeating what’s already been said, especially concerning How? and Why? this works. Anyway, what draws my attention, in reference to this blog, is when I see a real technology approaching, even surpassing, what can be done when creating space using immaterials.

[continue reading@ Metaverse Territories]

NMC Arts[Photo taken from the excellent inworld Second Life art installation, NMConnect on the NMC campus]

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reblogged: Visible And Invisible Forces Of The Singularity

2007.08.04 (Saturday, August 4)

from=>> metaverseterritories.com

The review by ngel Kalenberg of the book MediaArtHistories at network_performance elaborates on the subject of my post, What Can’t Be Seen, Must Be Shown:

Art’s mission, maintained Paul Klee, is to make the invisible visible. Rilke added that “we are the bees of the invisible.” Normally, art is composed of a material that an artist works, armed with a technique to achieve a form. Thus, Robert Klein held that Alberti, Brunelleschi, Leonardo, and Durer sought to render the idea intelligible in and through the palpable form.

Avair expo
continue reading=>> metaverseterritories.com

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New URL for Metaverse Territories dot com

2006.09.15 (Friday, September 15)

New site address–> METAVERSETERRITORIES.COM

links> Metaverseroadmap project

2006.09.11 (Monday, September 11)

Metaverse Roadmap Inputs Wiki & Roadmap Inputs and Feeds

Roadmap Event Questions

2006.08.14 (Monday, August 14)

The excellent Metaverse Roadmap Event that I attended earlier this week in NYC @ EYEBEAM has been briefly covered here, here & here. Due to a serious lack of time on my part (I’m waiting for a plane), I’m posting a couple of questions that I wanted to ask and that we didn’t get around to on Thursday evening.

  1. Jerry Paffendorf showed a web app that created links between a build in Second Life (SL) and a real world, mapped location on which it is based. Why do this? Is there anything actually being created by doing this? Even though it was just another feature of the metaverse space Jerry was showing off, I think the details and implications of this is essential, and deserves much more attention. In fact, it was alluded to several times in other presentations without enough elaboration.
  2. The discussion between Prokofy Neva and Mark Wallace provided the sound byte of the evening. Prokofy identified “World” as the “force” fighting the integration of virtual & WWW spaces. World, she explained, is a “time machine” whose role is to provide the context for shared experience through the creation of succinct atmospheres. (It was actually a quite poetic moment). Wouldn’t we have been better served, if the equivocal nature of world was replaced by space? World is a potentiallity, whereby space is a tangible, modifiable material, a medium.
  3. Sibley Verbeck of Electric Sheep described a recent event in SL for baseball’s All Star Game, created for Major League Baseball. But beyond the ostensible entrepreneurial and marketing ploy, how will the simultaneous representations of an original event actually change our experience of it? Or, sticking with the example of baseball, we know how its media space representations (TV, radio, press…) augment and intensify the game. How will virtual worlds play out as trans-media simulacrum?
  4. The great Tony Parisi produced the best graphic-byte of the evening, showing his vision of the metaverse that seems to thrive on a multiplicity of local, discontinuous worlds connecting through the existing infrastructure of the web itself (web 2.0, that is). But for me, Second Life’s global physics, consistent atmosphere and spatial continuity was a revelation. It showed me that coherent space can lead to persistent shared experience. Space is the fabric and the medium of consensual experience. Can this be sustained throughout Parisi’s discontinuous spaces?

Between the thunder storm and torrential rains that leaked through the Chelsea warehouse roof on a warm New York night, and the enthusiastic exchanges that animated the event, much more deserves to be said. I’m not doing it justice here, what I’ve written is incomplete. I’ll try to support my questions by filling in the cracks with my notes of the event. But my plane was just called, so I’ve gotta run. Thanks Jerry, and to everyone involved.

The map just might be the Territory

2006.08.05 (Saturday, August 5)

The excellent Terre Nova asks a non-rhetorical question, “Where am I?” and gets lots of very geometrical, topological geeky-types of responses. As elegant and as beautiful as some of these representations are, I’m not so sure that they actually help to answer the original question. In other words, I don’t feel any more there by looking at these maps of networks. Granted, the amounts of information required to make a mapping of the metaverse are copious, and the diverse types of data imply from the onset, they will be documents of extreme spatial complexity. Creating a coherent visual representation of different worlds whose scale, protocols and topologies are considerably different, is not a simple matter.

While I’m sure that the solution will somehow be based on a topologically complex structure that is inherently related to the worlds it is trying to represent, I have a hunch that ultimately, it will be a multi-sensory experience that will be closer to art than to cartography.

Although this may, in some way, imply the use of a map as we know it, the end result will hardly be a mere graphic abstraction, but rather an experience where space and mapping will converge. And while we’ve been told that “the map is not the territory,” I think this adage will be reversed in our attempt to be oriented when we jack into a metaverse –the map and the territory will become reversible.

Bending time in virtual space

2006.08.02 (Wednesday, August 2)

“If we are going to build synthetic worlds, it makes some sense to populate them with both live people and simulated characters. The simulated characters can be a sort of automated tour guide… recordable avatars give you a way to capture the interactions in a social setting and play them back for later study.”

Croquet-Bento, from the post “Robots/Animatronic Avatars/NPCs for Croquet,” proposes video capturing an avatar’s POV and playing it back to simulate presence, content and interaction separate and apart from its actual occurrence. Virtual worlds will be able to resonate with both sentient and non-sentient content so as to increase the frequency and density of stimulus and interaction, while not putting too much pressure on server-side load (lag). But, aside from the graphic, artistic and technical requirements to pull this off, the world must also be socially prepared for the active presence of robots and cyborgs.

At issue with the proposed method of video play-back bots, will be the the world’s sense of temporal continuity. In metaverse environments like Second Life (SL), time seems to advance in a linear, progressive and regular manner. This is ostensibly similar to real life (RL) experience, but is not a necessary quality of all media based environments. Cinema, for example, uses devices to either accelerate, slow-down or jump-cut the temporal continuity of a situation. Acceleration is used to augment the amount of information (action, story-line…) contained within a specific duration; slowing-down time is so that a scene can be spatially deconstructed to better visually orient the relationships of objects and context; and, jump-cutting is to juxtapose to seemingly discontinuous scenes (flashbacks, dreams, simultaneous events..) so that the narrative thread of a story can be constructed. While these devices seem obvious to us now, early film going audiences were quite disoriented by these techniques that were first employed early in the last century.

“The architecture of Croquet makes it straightforward to capture all the messages for a given avatar as you drive the avatar around the space, and then later inject those messages into a robot avatar to do the playback of what happened.”

In order to insert a simulated presence based on a specific, past tense event, it will be necessary to incorporate the idea of elastic time as a component of the world’s media. Time will have to be able to move both forward and backward, be paused, accelerated and put in slow motion. And this will have to be seamless, integrated into its very fabric.

The world must also be capable of capturing not just the sensory information, sound, images, but also the parametric data, “…motion and gesture,” that is the language of these transformations. As discussed in my post “Rezzing Procedural Space,” this information can integrate the logical structure of a scene and account for its composition in terms of the objects and their transformations. This becomes another way of recording it, and eventually playing it back.

Identity: agent.indvidual.territory

2006.07.25 (Tuesday, July 25)


A) At Paris’ Musée du Quai Branly, a current exposition asks, “What is a body?” The response comes from the world of comparative anthropology, and presumes that :

  1. the body, while perhaps an individual entity, is not, in terms of a society, a private one;
  2. the body is not a finished object, but rather a public fabrication;
  3. one is not alone in his or her body. We are constantly elaborating a relationship with something that is not a part of us and that varies from culture to culture. It is an important differentiating element between cultures and societies, whose differences can be traced to this significant other. [More detail after split]


B) In Second Life (SL), “I” am composed of three distinct mechanisms [taken from the LSLWiki]:

  1. an agent, the “client’s presence within a simulator“;
  2. an avatar, the “visual representation of an agent”; and,
  3. a camera, through which “an agent sees” the world.

These 3 elements permit me to perceive, interact and communicate in the SL spatial, natural and social environments. But taken together, these otherwise local, simple and omni-functioning elements have one essential, global ambition: to represent Me, and to make tangible my POV. It is thanks to the fundemental engagement between agent (individual) and simulator (context), that I exist.


C) In SL, I am not alone inside of my avatar. I share it, like in the anthropological body, with something that is not a part of me. The contemporary body is defined by the tension between its individual limits and its shared, common evolutionary and biological structures (as represented by a strand of DNA). This conflict is played out by man thought the creation of symbolic imagery, projected by his technologies of cultural and communication.
The body in SL is the result of the tension between the individual agent and the world’s simulator; where, if we substitute the term simulator (or sim) with territory, then “I” am defined by the tension between the sensory limits of my SL agent and the territories that I occupy at any given moment. My agent becomes both my reactive and receptive nervous system to capture external stimuli, and my connection to the consensual, communal spaces of this virtual territory. It is this territory (via the simulator) that lets me possess the essential cultural capacities of memory (of ideas and things, shared and individual), media (think, make and do; ideas, material, action) and space (personnel and public). Read the rest of this entry »

Metaverse, the Media

2006.07.21 (Friday, July 21)


Material, spatial and formal structures will evolve that possess qualities unique to metaverse environments. These structures will be employed to fabricate its built environment, its spatial texture and its social potential. Once integrated into the fabric of a specific world, this structure will become the substance of its built environment. From this point on, metaverses’ will no longer have to rely on RL paradigms of representation and fabrication, and can develop a unique visual language, different than, for example, that of video games, cinema, or RL. Even if certain elements in the metaverse resemble RL buildings, cities or suburbs, this will be either a coincidence or a convenience; Metaverse, the media will dominate spatial expression. This emergent structure will become the very substance of its built environment, made possible by a unique creative force, a product of its spatial topology, its physics and its communications. In short, we will see the emergence of the metaverse as a medium of creation, and it will be through this medium that the metaverse will be formed, and will inform.
[click to zoom]

To this end, it is essential to investigate the common, material and (im)material compositional elements employed by all metaverse environments, their global conditions, so that they can be adopted locally, by specific metaverse platforms, so as to apply to their unique physical and social environments. How will we know when this media has evolved and that we are, in fact, using it to build the platforms spaces?

Metaverse Architecture : Intentions

2006.07.18 (Tuesday, July 18)

The blog Metaverse Architecture is where I try to show different builds throughout Second Life (SL) that serve as examples for me to generate, structure and clarify my own thoughts on : a) what it means to have an architectural idea in the metaverse; and, b) how architectural space can be fabricated from (im)materials.

I think that SL is the perfect platform to achieve this. The world’s content is user generated and people take what they do here pretty seriously. Even though most content is built by non –architects, artists, graphist, new-media artists, sculptors, animators etc… there is a substantial and engaged community of people educated and experienced at building; the synergy and interaction between trained-artists-builders and user-builders is fascinating (and merits further study in and of itself). Also, there is a sufficient density and variety of SL built environments to stay busy with this project.

I know from experience that the time, effort and perseverance necessary to build something meaningful is enormous. My intention is not to be critical of the builds, but rather to use them to critically to construct and inspire my proper ideas through their example.

The first project I use is the Hipcast conference and exposition center located on the Shalida sim [direct SL link, or SLurl]. My main goal for this first post is to learn how to show something from Second Life, to someone else in real life (RL). And as I recently found out, this is no small feat. So anyway, I’ll proceed slowly and methodically, and probably come back and do some up-dates until I’m happy with it …