Thursday, October 22, 2009

Build: Farstone Ruins

My home sim is Farstone, where I have a sandbox and some rentals.

A 1.5km2 parcel came up for sale, and I wanted to get it and add it to the prim pool. Also, one of the neighbors had just build a house with a Confederate flag flapping in the breeze, so I didn't want more of that. So what to do with the land?

Let it sit as flat green? Of course not.

Thus was born the Farstone Ruins. From the parcel description: "Once upon a time, this corner of Farstone was an outpost of a mighty kingdom. That was back before the sim was PG. They fought and died here for... some reason, I guess. Now a few ruins are all that remains."

The basic idea for this build has been echoed on a number of Arbor Project parcels that are big enough to sustain it. The build is really only about the landscaping. I might develop this, delve deeper, and learn the story of these ancient battlements, but for now it's just more pretty than flat green.

Teleport here:

Farstone Ruins

Farstone Ruins

Farstone Ruins

Same deal, but in Dewey, as an Arbor build... (Visit in person:

Dewey Ruins

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Space Dome

Space Dome

Day 370: The small dome structure I've been living in has not been enough to sustain me. It keep me alive, but does not give me room. I can either be confined within this tiny survival dome or confined within my space suit outside. I have decided to add another, bigger room. I have given up being able to repair the ship after its crash, so I will scavenge some of the control room glass and engine room structures. I hope I am not making a mistake.

Day 483: I have completed work on the building, and pressure tests indicate it's liveable. I am so relieved. I was worried that my attempts to be artful would result in complete destruction, but all is well. I will be able to start living, rather than merely surviving.

Day 484: I am rescued. I can't stop laughing. The rescue crew thinks I have lost my mind, which, in a way, I might have. Glad to be going home, but wish I could take my new home with me.

I just listed the Space Dome on XStreetSL.

I built it for L1Aura Loire, who used it as part of a build at the Second Life 6th Birthday event.

One of the limitations of the SL6B event was that megaprims were forbidden. So this build could be made more prim-efficient, but Oh Well. It's still pretty low, at 36 prims with some degree of detail.

Note that it's taken me for-freakin'-ever to get this listed. :-)

Friday, June 5, 2009

More Odyssey

Over on the Odyssey ning thing, Helfe referenced a really wonderful video about Odyssey.

Beavis Palowakski (RL: Chris Rush) talks about Odyssey, and talks about his intentions in designing the Exhibit A gallery. I'm relieved to discover I guessed correctly. :-)

And here it is:

Also, Gazira Babelli's mixed-reality show in Berlin:

(I want a hammer!)

Build Log: Gandhi In Jail

I'm very very glad to work with artist Joseph DeLappe (SL: Joseph Grommet) on his performance piece, Gandhi In Jail.

Last year he did a project involving marching a Second Life avatar named MGandhi Chakrabarti around Second Life, in commemoration of the Gandhi's Salt Satyagraha. I was truly honored to have been around when he said he had reached the 240 mile mark, ending the piece.

Now the project is to put Gandhi in prison for 9 months. The location is Odyssey sim, where MGandhi built his own prison. I was asked to make a larger compound with a wall and gate, that would enclose the smaller prison cell buildling.

So I did.

I'm especially proud of the gate, for which I scripted an animated deadbolt, and put together some sounds based on what must be the most wonderful field recording of a squeaky door ever.


Second Life: Gandhi In Jail Build

Second Life: Gandhi In Jail Build

Second Life: Gandhi In Jail Build

Second Life: Gandhi In Jail Build

Second Life: Gandhi In Jail Build

Second Life: Gandhi In Jail Build

Second Life: Gandhi In Jail Build

Second Life: Gandhi In Jail Build

Second Life: Gandhi In Jail Build

Second Life: Gandhi In Jail Build

Second Life: Gandhi In Jail Build

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Google says no one on the web has used the term 'misfenestration.'

So I shall, and I shall define it, too:

'Misfenestration' is when you type into the wrong chat window by accident. In Second Life, if you type local chat like "No, that's not a cucumber!" into the group chat for, oh, say, SL Hobos, your misfenestration will be mocked.

Also here.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Land Healing: Abandoned By Dr Destiny

Abandoned By Dr Destiny

This picture makes me very happy.

It means that Dr Destiny, avatar of Second Life, has decided to abandon a bunch of small parcels of virtual land. Dr Destiny has an interesting story... He set up tiny parcels of virtual land to be ads for his main 'store,' which was basically a place to go and send him an email or something. Dr Destiny's gig, you see, was basically a sort of psychotherapist fortune-teller in Second Life.

It didn't work out too well, especially with the new ad rules. Now he's finally abandoning much of his land.

Wandering: Blake Sea

Ballooning in Blake Sea

Sometimes Windlight is a little inspiring.

(Note however that the sun reflects off the water as if the island isn't there...)

Anyway. This is about 4 sims-worth of picture.

If you walk into the shack in the foreground, you find empty cans of spinach.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Build: Billboard House

This is a Second Life build of mine called the Billboard House.

Back in December, it was part of an art showing at Misprint Thursday's Artpounce gallery. Here's an announcement for that show:

Here's what I wrote for that show:


The Billboard House

The Billboard House is built by me, Cinco Pizzicato.

There's a 'blog I like to read called BLDGBLOG, by Geoff Manaugh (not an SL name). BLDGBLOG is a sort of visionary/sci-fi architecture 'blog, dealing with a lot of what-ifs and strange narratives having to do with architecture and 'the built environment.' It's a very good read, and Manaugh has a publishing deal to put a bunch of his articles in a book. So look for that release soon. BLDGBLOG is here:

Anyway, one of the entries on BLDGBLOG is this one:

It talks about a project by front architects in Poland. The project is Single Hauz, which is a one-room house on a mast, like a billboard. Basically: The Billboard House.

This was obviously in my mind when I volunteered to do some landscaping for the SL group called Arbor Project. The Arbor Project is a bunch of volunteers donating tier and effort to beautify Second Life mainland. The recent rule changes against abusive advertising, for instance, is the result of tireless lobbying on the part of the Arbor Project.

The Arbor Project also takes donations of 'junk land' in the midst of ad farms. Some landowners buy up the tiny parcels piecemeal, and end up with a bunch of junk land that they don't know what to do with. If they abandon it, the microparcel extortionists could get it back. If they sell it at a cheap price, then the extortionists buy it, and if they sell it at an expensive price, then they're an extortionist. So it's hard to know what to do.

Enter the Arbor Project, which takes the land as a donation. The Arborists make the place nice, and then give it to whoever will join it back up to larger parcels.

But for the purposes of this notecard, what you need to know is that Arbor land tends to be former advertising land. I use the term 'advertising' loosely, because it was never really about the advertising. These parcels exist as a form of extortion; the 'ads' were just there to be annoying.

So with this in mind I thought: What if you could put a house on one of these weird parcels? It could be a tiny outhouse of a house... Or it could be... The Billboard House! This idea satisfied my sense of irony, and so I began building it.

The Billboard House is only 16 primitives, and will fit on an 8x20 meter parcel of land. That leaves a grand total of 6 prims available if the parcel isn't any larger. Many one-prim-wonder articles of furniture exist, so this could be doable. One could also alter the house to, for instance, not have a roof or window prim. The stairway could be removed, since no one will use it anyway. :-)

Also, the 'back' side of the Billboard House is texture-aligned so that if you drag a texture to the four prims that make it up, you can display artwork of your own choosing. This could be real advertising, or it could be anything at all. It is my hope that users will take the opportunity to be creative rather than commercial, but once you let these things into the world, who knows what will become of them.

So that is the story of the billboard house. It is available for free, copy/mod/trans. Use it in good health.

-- Dec. 2008, Cinco Pizzicato


The pictures:

Billboard House

Billboard House


Billboard House: Interior

I like to think it's not really a house until there's a place to drop your keys and pocket change by the doorway. So here's that place:

Billboard House: Interior

Billboard House: Interior

Land Healing: Abandoned By Rn Footman

It's been a long time coming, but this is how the Arbor people know we're winning against the adfarmers.

Abandoned By Rn Footman

Monday, May 4, 2009

Speed Build: 'Cinco de Mayo'

The Dreams speed build tonight was themed 'Cinco de Mayo.' I decided to make five giant jars of mayonnaise.

The label on the front says: "Cinco de Mayo (nnaise)" On the back it says "French condiment, Mexican revolution!"

I didn't win. Aww.

Dreams Speed Build: 'Cinco De Mayo'

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Build: Odyssey Exhibit A

Ok, this is a little complicated. :-)

Back when I first showed up on SL, I did a search for 'art' and found two kinds of places: The first was the kind of art gallery where you go to see 'flat art' that people have uploaded into SL. The second was the kind of gallery where the concept of 'gallery' is a little antiquated, and where the art is SL art. That is, art that can really only exist in SL, in any practical sense.

Luckily, one of the first SL art places I found was a sim called Odyssey, looked over by an avatar called Sugar Seville. The sim was (and still is) owned by a company called Dynamis, and set up as a place to nurture SL art. It's one of the oldest art galleries, and thus art-oriented groups on SL. So there's a tremendous sense of history and community around this place.

Recently the sim leadership has had a re-shuffle. And, coinciding with that, an exhibit by Selavy Oh, which always means chaos. So much chaos that when the dust had cleared, the original gallery, called Exhibit A, was half-gone. It looked a bit like this:

Odyssey Project: Exhibit A Rebuild

Odyssey Project: Exhibit A Rebuild

Anyway, back when I first showed up on Odyssey, Sugar very patiently gave me the sort of help you give a newbie, and hit me with some landmarks for good art and design places in SL. One of those places was DEsign Island (which is no more at this time). DEsign Island was an architectural experiment by Helfe Inhen, where he'd let people build places within a sort of space-age superstructure called Ville Spatiale. So I went and spent some time there, because Helfe was kind enough to give me build rights, which I didn't utilize nearly enough.

That was all a year ago. Fast forward to a couple weeks ago, and Helfe sends an IM: Would I rebuild Exhibit A?

Of course I would. :-)

So I rebuilt it, mostly from memory, tweaking things here and there, yielding the same basic place, but hopefully reflecting well on me. :-)

The place is very large. The floor is 80x40, and the roof structure is ~55x100. The concrete, wood floor, and roof textures were supplied to me by Helfe. I tweaked the floor a bunch to make it repeating (the earlier build was all 10x10 tiles, with the floor texture stretched in various ways). The whole thing was built over about a week, in very short bursts (I was traveling).

I was thinking: There's a lot of concrete wall here. And what happens to concrete walls? Graffiti. Plus there are graffiti'd walls in a nearby build. So I added a spray can which allows any user to put graffiti on the outside wall. Coding this was the single most time-consuming aspect.

I'm very much glad to have been able to make this full-circle return, and rebuild one of the first places I came to in SL. Especially one that is so rich with community and where so many great SL artists have exhibited.

Web: Odyssey on ning

SLURL: Odyssey Exhibit A, Odyssey sim landing point

And photos:

Odyssey Project: Exhibit A Rebuild

Odyssey Project: Exhibit A Rebuild

Odyssey Project: Exhibit A Rebuild

Odyssey Project: Exhibit A Rebuild

Odyssey Project: Exhibit A Rebuild

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Build: Tomb of the Unknown Adfarmer

Another build by the Association for Whimsical Land Use (which really means me).

This is a one-tombstone cemetery with nearby chapel. The chapel has a tree in it, for some reason that made sense at the time.

Here's the parcel description: "Come pay your (dis)respects. Repent, for the end is nigh, o farmers of ads.... [NOTE: Items are copiable.]"

Visit here:

Tomb of the Unknown Adfarmer

Tomb of the Unknown Adfarmer

Tomb of the Unknown Adfarmer

Tomb of the Unknown Adfarmer

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Build: LandZen Zen Land

I 'blogged a few Arbor Project builds here... Before I was involved with the Arbor Project, I started my own project having to do with putting art in the midst of the adfarms. This was a long time ago, back when adfarms were much more of a blight than they are now (by orders of magnitude).

The point being I started up my own SL group called the Association for Whimsical Land Use. The Association still does stuff; at this point it's just me doing 'land healings.'

Some months back I got some land in Picnic sim, for the purpose of healing it or building something within the constraints of junk land. It ended up being the latter.

I call it LandZen Zen Land. Here's the parcel description: "Cut land as zen garden. The wabi-sabi of former adfarms. The landscaping might make more sense if you View -> Property Lines. If you are a neighbor interested in obtaining this land for your own use, IM Cinco Pizzicato"

Basically, I decided to embrace the fractured nature of the land. Some elements of the zen garden are 'disrupted' by the microparcels, such as the water and the rock garden. As pieces became available (with the land cutters selling out or abandoning their land), I left the fractured elements un-fixed.

Most of the elements of this landscaping effort are freebies that I made; one of the buildings in the southern end of the parcel has boxes that will give them to you. I'm especially proud of the 6-prim teahouse. The rocks are sculptie prims unlinked from a juniper tree I bought from Organica.

This junk land has reached equilibrium, in the sense that I can't really buy any more of it, and none of the sellers are going to do me any favors at all. So here it is, empty in its fullness, finished and unfinished.

Visit here: But be sure to turn on View -> Property Lines in order to understand it.

Note: Melodie Darwin wrote a nice piece on this land.

LandZen Zen Land

LandZen Zen Land

LandZen Zen Land

LandZen Zen Land

LandZen Zen Land

LandZen Zen Land

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Build: Valeyard on the Gulf Coast

I've been wanting to build something like this for a while. I come from the Texas gulf coast, and I've been feeling a little homesick for wide flat wetlands and fried shimp.

The land came up for auction, and I won it. A friend of mine really enjoys underwater spaces, which will be the next addition.

For now, it's a fishing shack and dock. Come on down. Bring yer fishin' pole. Try here: UPDATE: Valeyard is no more.

I wanted to create a little bit of narrative, so there's a solar collector on the roof, hooked to a car battery, and subsequently to a power inverter and then the lights.

Main building was done in a day and a half. Some texture tweaking over another day, spread out, and some custom coding for another couple days, spread out. The shadow under the shelter dissipates as the sun goes down, and reappears when the sun rises. The lights light up at night, and bugs start swarming them. And also there's a water-lapping sound embedded in the build, which can be switched on and off if you know where to click.

Valeyard on the Gulf Coast

Valeyard on the Gulf Coast

Valeyard on the Gulf Coast

Valeyard on the Gulf Coast

Valeyard on the Gulf Coast

Valeyard on the Gulf Coast

Build: Arbor Project in Zakarisz

Another Arbor Project build I did. This is a sort of exposed sewer that lives on about 368 square meters of land. I did it over the course of a couple of days, off and on.

When I build something like this, it's mostly done within two hours. The rest is tweaking.

When I first built this, all the nearby land was full of terrible junk builds and detritus on land with no autoreturn. Basically the place looked like a metaphorical sewer of ugliness, so I added a more literal sewer.

Since then, the land on three sides has been abandoned, even where you see the little mall next door. Some people will abandon land but leave the vendors.

Visit here:

Arbor Project: Zakarisz

Arbor Project: Zakarisz

Arbor Project: Zakarisz

Arbor Project: Zakarisz