Monday, November 8, 2010

Quadrapop Tree Gallery moves grids

Last posting here was a preview of some new things that were out at QT Gallery in SL. Since then the Gallery displayed a 1/8 sim sized final build called the Black Build. Opened on 2 October it closed on 2oth October and so did the SL Gallery.


Basically a lack of continued faith in Linden Labs (who have done some exceedingly odd things in the last 6 months) and the ending of income from curating UWA Art Challenge which was financing the gallery (I have no idea how people make money from selling art ;).

For the same amount of money it was costing us for a 1/4 sim in SL we purchased and can manitain a whole sim in Inworldz. Full sims in Inworldz allow for 45000 prims, prim sizes range from 0.001m to 256m, scripting works, though physics scripting is currently not turned on (it will be with the introduction of Nvidia Physics engine slated for 1st quarter 2011) and sims seem to manage up to 20 avs without crashing. Which considering the whole thing is running on Opensim tech (all be it tweaked by the IW coders) is pretty good. At the moment some of the expected promotional avenues are not working - but there are work arounds - and this will not always be so. Inworldz is still in open Beta so some things not working quite right are to be expected.


Quadrapop Tree Gallery is now residing on Dolphin Bay sim on Inworldz grid.

Arists interested in exhibiting: there are ten 100 prim low script displays available on a sales commission basis. If more prims are needed these will be negotiated on a per prim price.
Contact quadrapop tree inworld via IM and join the Quadrapop Tree Group.

The official opening of the sim will be in a few weeks once the gallery is completed and the artists are all settled.

Currently quadrapop tree, Scottius Polke, Teal Freenote, and Dusty Canning have works up, these will shortly be joined by a few more interested and interesting people.

Friday, July 9, 2010

New @ Quadrapop Tree Gallery

Three new RL images and a glowing alpha texture.

Win 3 quadrapop original textures...
come vote for one of the textures on the board in the ISM Shop.
Next Monday night SLT the 3 most popular will be given to the voters.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Quad's Rezday and Gallery Reopening Party


You are invited to the re-opening of the Quadrapop Tree Gallery
(totally revamped and now displaying quadrapop's own works,
as well as collaborative works with Corto Vieria and CaptainCrunch Hax.)


quadrapop turns 3 on 5th July

Come celebrate both events at
Quadrapop Tree Gallery, 6pm SLT, 5th July

Music, dancing, egg hunt (full of fish and art),
Lucky Chairs (filled with small collectable sculptures)
and of course the artworks of quadrapop Lane
displayed in a distinctly quadish environment.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Viewer 2.0 Explorations

I am forcing myself to use the new Beta SL Viewer 2.0... partly so I am up to speed on it when newbies start getting it as their default browser... partly as a challenge to myself... partly as an aid to my friends when they have to start using it.

Random thoughts will be added as I learn the quirks and oddities of this new way to interact with SL.

So in no particular order, other than when I think of/find the weirdness, here goes...

For a blog post that sums up my initial findings and adds to them - and also usefully suggests fixes/things for the Lab to consider: Viewer2.0 beta: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly and the Odd

No Map Cordinates

Map is broken - no ability to specify the co-ordinates - search for a sim and the only Z co-ordinate (height) you can get is the same as you are on in the sim you are currently on - so if you are in a sky box on your home sim and search another sim in map and teleport the only height you can enter at is the same skybox height... boys there are 3 (three) dimensions in this place not 2!

...and to top it off when you get to the new sim you cant tell anywhere on the immediate interface how high up you are as you fall from the sky :(

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Ambiguity of Identity Project - Alts

8. Alternate avs and the purposes they serve.
Alts and paranoia. Are you spying on me?

Alts or alternative accounts in SL (and other VRs) are created and used for many reasons. From the completely innocent (to hold groups or back up content in SL) to the malicious griefer. Many use alts to compartmentalise their various activities within VRs - for instance a work account, a play account, and a RP account etc

Residents who say all alts are malicious reveal more about their own psychology than they do about the reality of alts in VR.

Ambiguity of Identity Project - SL relationships 101

7. The Tunnel of Virtual Love - and the head trip associated with it.
Is having a relationship in SL cheating on you rl partner?

I have been meaning to write SL relationships 101 for a long long time.

When asked by newbies about sex and intimate relationships in SL I suggest they think about it carefully... if they are single they need to be aware that those they get involved with may not be, may not even be the sex they say they are in rl, and may not even be single in SL... if the newby is in a relationship i counsel they ask themselves how their partner would feel if they were using a phone sex line while viewing cartoon porn... if their partner is fine with that (or they already have "rules of engagement" defined within their relationship) then go for it with all the usual warnings of relationships formed without face to face contact in meatspace.

Coming from a polyamourous relationship in RL I have experience with multiple partnerships, their joys and pitfalls and the level of honesty (both with one's self as well as one's partner/s) and depth of ongoing communication with all parties that it takes for any, and all, relationships in the net to survive, or at least not be detrimental to the well being of those involved.

Even so I have made my fair share of mistakes in SL relationships (for which I unreservedly apologise to those who I hurt), however, as in RL, I have endeavoured to learn from each of those mistakes and try not to repeat them. I must have done something right as I have 2 SL partners (both of whom I have been partnered with for more than 12 months) and still a strong relationship with my RL partner. I have a group of loyal friends, many who would be or wish they could be even closer.

Is a relationship in SL real or virtual?

Any relationship between two humans is real - regardless of whether that relationship is mediated by technology or not. The following quote from a fellow blogger says it all really:

Excepting explicit role play, an avatar acts and speaks as an extension of the person controlling it. Second Life isn’t a game, it’s a medium through which people interact. Calling avatars “characters” “playing” a “game” may sound cute but its a corner case.

Is there a difference?

No as the virtual is only a mediated version of the real. There are differences of quality, depth, level of possible understanding and communication channels, but only degree not in substance.

Ambiguity of Identity Project - differring abilities RL/SL

6. Differently abled in rl/how the virtual world and ambiguity of identity impacts them.

Not a topic I can talk on from personal experience. Would love to hear stories and ideas from those who have experience with VR and how it extends/helps or hinders.

Ambiguity of Identity Project - avatar as art or statement

5. The avatar as a work of art or idealized self or to make a statement.

As usual what follows is rambling disconnected thoughts on this topic (maybe one day I will pull it all together into some form of coherent whole)

This I can relate to. For me the avatar is an expression of my "self" just as anything we say or write is an expression of our self on some level - even if it is only in our choice of words/context/timing etc.

I came across the following in a blog post from last year by Zhaewry:
Connecting people via computers doesn’t introduce anything that isn’t present when two people interact. Putting aside fundamental debates about the nature of self awareness and consciousness, avatars are projections of people. Excepting explicit role play, an avatar acts and speaks as an extension of the person controlling it. Second Life isn’t a game, it’s a medium through which people interact. Calling avatars “characters” “playing” a “game” may sound cute but its a corner case.
This expresses my feeling on what is an avatar and how it relates to Second Life.

The avatar is clothing, decoration, communicating choices and values both explicit and implicit.

The avatar is not separate from the human controlling it - however much some may try to say otherwise.

In a VR humans still relate to others as they would to a physical entity in most cases. Whether this is a good thing , or indeed if it will continue to be the case as further generations experience various forms of representations via avatars remains to be seen.

At present it is a factor which is possible to exploit to effect the way others respond to one's own representation in SL (and any other VR where there is a wide range of possibilities in customising the look of one's avatar).

Personally I use this often - morphing my avatar to suit the environment or people whom I am with - making it either easier or harder for them to interpret my words and actions, making statements with my choices, challenging assumptions.

Unconsciously we "read" an avatar - and once you have been in SL for a while you learn to see an avatar who chooses to not explore past the "default" avatars given them by LL in a different light than say someone who chooses to explore the amazing variety of content supplied by the residents of SL (not always needing a huge investment of time or money).

Anyone who plays "dress ups" is on even the slightest level using their avatar to express themselves. And those who mash up various creater's content to create their own avatars do this to a greater extent (my own avatar falls in this area). And then there are those who actively create their own avatars from scratch - making shape, skin, clothing, and attachments.

The idealised avatar is common in SL - where it is not actually that easy to make an avatar that recreates your RL self. Sure you can get a photo realistic skin made and roughly approximate your shape, but much of who we are seen as in RL is in the facial expressions and bodily movements that are so hard to recreate in SL. So instead most people, who want a human avatar, will end up making an avatar that is an idealised version of either how they see themselves or how they would like to be but are not. Even those who choose to wear non human avatars are often idealising their mental view of themselves, taking on the form of their "totem" or other mental ideal image.

edit 100319
quadrapop after the Ambiguity of ID meeting:
there is an interesting aspect to vr - the mix and dissonance of RL human responses (the reading of physical cues that doesn't quite map onto VR) and
once the user is matured within the VR
a much wider range of opportunities to express
and ability to read others and their choices
but at same time
you have to keep in mind that what you see may be completely arbitrary and relate in no way to the intention or wishes of those involved
in here lies the ambiguity of identity
for me it is integral to my online existence
it incorporates the very human ability to believe one thing and think another and do a third
all simultaneously

(I'm thinking this particular post will end up with lots of images illustrating the points better than my brain is capable of at present)

Ambiguity of Identity Project - changing your look

4. Changing your look
>>Sabrinaa suggested... an interactive exhibit where participants test out options to change the look of their av.

Changing my avatar look is some thing I do all the time.... but not every one is like that.

For me what my avatar looks like and how it moves relates to how I feel, who I'm with, what I am doing, what reactions I am likely to get, what reactions I want to get... obviously I am not a static personality (thos eof you who know me well .... stop laughing...) but also the fact i chaneg my avatar look a lot does not mean i change my mind a lot - I am not playing multiple roles or character, what you see at any one time is an aspect of RL me.

Avatars in SL only
Avatar in an online context can be anything form a default square image on a blog comment thread or IM chat client profile, to a chosen still or animated GIF, to a 2.5D cartoon in a 2d or 3d environment, or as in SL, an attempt at a photorealistic 3d representation within a virtual reality.

>>Body Language, eye contact.
AOs and what they say or not say
This is still the hardest part of SL for me to suspend disbelief in. tThe animations our avatars make are not true reflections of what we would be doing in RL in the same situation. Often the body language of the avatar is at odds to what is being said or otherwise expressed (emoted in text for instance). Gestures go some way towards addressing this - or should do but their implementation and triggering is clunky and difficulty to set up. Not to mention the difficulty of finding suitable animations to start with.

More to come

Shape, skin, clothing, attachment choices
Big lot to come here

Ambiguity of Identity Project - gender

3. Men in rl/women in sl & women in rl/men in sl.

Being a polymorph my apparent gender in SL is mutable - and really does it matter what my RL gender is? My SL intimates know my RL gender (but that is my choice to reveal) however on a general public interaction level my RL gender is immaterial in almost all cases. For me not revealing my RL gender to someone with whom I am in an intimate or strongly emotional relationship is on a level with lying to my RL partner - not something to be done. One of my SL partners was severely hurt by an ex who played the opposite sex in SL to their RL sex and maintained a complete fiction even after knowing (very early on) that being the RL gender they were precluded the level of relationship they had with my SL partner. But simply wearing the opposite gender in SL to RL is not in itself bad - it is how you treat others that really matters.

During my time in SL my own understanding of my gender in both worlds has developed as has my understanding of how to "read" other avatars. Through experiences with my SL partners I have experienced many subtle and interesting aspects of how I personally relate to apparent gender and dominance levels.

I've seen different reactions form other residents depending on what gender I am or what gender they believe me to be in any given situation.


The reasoning behind wearing an apparent gender that is opposite to RL gender is many and varied - each individual has their own set of reasons and justifications.

There are people who use SL to explore their own gender identity or to express aspects of their self that they do not feel capable of doing in RL. Still more use SL as a place to explore the possibility of gender reassignment as part of their own real life journey.

Some simply experiment with gender to see how it effects the reactions of those around them.

Still others wear female shapes as it is so much easier and cheaper to dress them nicely :)

Some people cannot conceive of being any gender other than they have in RL... and some who are vehemently against avatars not being the same as their RL human,
which says a lot more about their own psychological state than that of the people who are exploring alternative possibilities.

Note: I'll add links to various research and blogs that cover this subject when I get a chance to compile the list. I'm friends in SL with several gender identity researchers.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Ambiguity of identity - Varieties of Avatars

Note Bene: These posts are my ramblings on the topic and will not always be well thought through nor concisely worded - think of it as vaguely arranged stream of consciouslness... and feel free to comment :)

2. Varieties of avatars

Nekos, faeries, elves, tinies, furries, ponies, Doms/slaves, Steampunk, Star Trekkies, urban grunge, samurai, geisha, artists;)

One subculture not mentioned above is the one to which I suppose my own avatar belongs... that of Polymorph meaning many shapes in the one account - I'm not counting folks who have separate accounts for different types of avatar - they are a different story. Polymorphs will wear more than one avatar shape/sex/spiecies on the one account. Some do it on a whim - as I do - others will wear specific avatars when engaged in specific activities.

I have worn and played both male and female versions of neko, furry, tiny, mechanical or abstract avatars, am currently a dom to my partner Corto (also a polymorph), worn steampunk, engaged in RP, visited urban grunge wearing the same, and am an artist in whatever form I wear. But overarching all these is the fact that my shape may, and does, change regularly and without notice.

To me the concept of not ever changing my av shape and skin (my RL partner's SL partner has not changed hers since sometime in 2006 soon after she joined SL) is completely alien - not even changing the shape to accommodate the vagaries of the sl prim attachment or system skirt limitations.

Staying the same sex or vaguely same style of avatar I can understand, but to refuse to move with the advancements in skin or clothing design as SL grows and progresses seems to me akin to not using a mobile phone because you were born before they were invented.

Political: Democrats, Republicans, Socialists, Libertarians, Fascists, right wing hate groups. Is Al Qaeda in SL?

not sure how a particular digital representaion (avatar) can be representative of a particular political party or leaning.... is akin to being racist in RL and saying if someone looks middle eastern they must be a Muslim. It is the humans behind the avatar who are political.

Now that said there are avatars who are presented in specific ways for political reasons... skin heads wearing avs that look like rl skin heads for instance, but not every AV that looks that way is a skin head... as in rl no one group has control of any one appearance and in SL where you can literally be anything this is even more true.

There are groups in SL that push the boundaries of Terms of Service (some of teh things mentioned above are specifically forbidden in SL and are Abuse Reportable when encountered). Certainly there are groups that enable people with specific political and religious beliefs to keep in contact and arrange events.

How does an avatar's groups list (which can be hidden and thus not public) shape that AV's identity? I know I use the group list of people who land on my parcel to help shape my decision of whether to ban or make them a friend, guilt by association I know, but in SL no one can force you to join a group so any group an Avatar chooses to make public in their profile must have some meaning to that avatar's human.

Religious: Buddhist groups, monasteries, virtual churches, rl churches with SL ministries...

Again these are social groupings and for me are peripheral to the avatar's identity... an avatar may be a member of one of these groups but is not of itself that group (you cant have an SL Group with only one member - you need at least 2 for it to remain an active group).

OK an avatar may identify with one or more of these groups in the same way that in RL someone may define themselves by their religion even before their gender or marital status or other aspect of their identity, but they cannot BE that religion.

So a semantic distinction....

Now there may be some ambiguity involved because in RL the person behind the avatar does not identity publically in RL with their religion of choice within SL (I can think of situations in which this could be the case) but this is likely to be a rare occurrence.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ambiguity of Identity Project

Sabrinaa Nightfire from New Caerleon Art Collective invited me to take part in
The Ambiguity of Identity Project at Caerleon.

The following is quoted from the notecard supplied to participants:

Ambiguity of identity results because we appear in the virtual world as a changeable digital representation (an avatar.) Our digital body constitutes our perspective on things and how we are perceived by others. Digital bodies can also be altered, multiplied, discarded, or exchanged at will including indicators of age, gender, race and even biological species.

As part of my involvement I am attempting to answer each of the suggested points of reference also given in the notecard. I will respond to them both in reference to my own online identity and in a more general sense.

Here is a list of links to the posts:
1. Identifying with your avatar - see below
2. Varieties of Avatars
3. Gender
4. Changing your look
5. Avatar as art or Statement
6. Differing Abilities and VR
7. Sex & Relationships in VR
8. Alts (Alternative accounts), uses and abuses
9. Relating and Working
10. Multiple Identities
11. Other Forms of avatar
12. Overview

the first is:
1. identifying with your avatar....feelings it.
Is my avatar the person I want to be? Or is it the person I want to be with?

My answer to this is both... to understand this response you have to know that in SL I am a ploymorph - I wear all sexes, many genders and a number of species. All are aspects of my self as i perceive it in all worlds.

I identify with my AV on an intellectual level - but for me deleting my account (for instance) would be data loss (painful but not emotionally debilitating) and most definitely not identity loss.

The entity feeling stuff is me in the meatspace, occasionally mediated by my digital representation via any roleplay my avatar may be involved in at the time (which happens, but not constantly) - in the same way my feelings might be mediated in an acting workshop.

On the same level, it is the meatspace entity behind the avatar with whom I interact (regardless of what their personal views on the matter might be). This can be problematic when dealing with people who wear a complete separate character in virtual space - trying to separate themselves completely from their digital representation.

As for whether it is me or who I want to be with - it all depends on the avatar I am wearing (for me they are like clothes) - sometimes they are specifically made to be what I would love to be with and other times what I would like to be - given the opportunity.

This post may get edited as time progresses but for now....

Tomorrow I will look at:

2. Varieties of avatars Subcultures: Nekos, faeries, elves, tinies, furries, ponies, Doms/slaves, Steampunk, Star Trekkies, urban grunge, samurai, geisha, artists;) Political: Democrats, Republicans, Socialists, Libertarians, Fascists, right wing hate groups. Is Al Qaeda in SL? Religious: Buddhist groups, monasteries, virtual churches, rl churches with SL ministries...

Freewee set up an etherpad document for the group - see what has been added - and members of the group please add your thoughts there - eventually this could be shared inworld via LL Viewer 2.0 Shared Media on prim/s.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

New work up at the Quadrapop Tree sculpture park

It's a garden of light. Sweeping curved stairs lead to a wonderland of rainbow goodness. Thanks to Corto and Cel for the lovely sculpty shapes used. Textures by quadrapop.

Works by Glyph Graves, Strawberry Holiday, White Lebed, Truthseeker Young, Corto Vieria are scattered through the garden among works by quadrapop... please take the time to wander, listen to the birds and wind in the trees. Dancing and music available at the northern end of the garden.