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: http://virtualartistsalliance.blogspot.com/2009/01/artpounce-gallery-opening.html

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: http://bldgblog.blogspot.com/

Anyway, one of the entries on BLDGBLOG is this one: http://bldgblog.blogspot.com/2007/08/single-hauz.html

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