Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Skyboxes in the Air

Second Life provides a wonderful exhibition space, and the set up is much easier than RL. The biggest problem is positioning the skyboxes into air, especially at an elevation of nearly 4000.

Not so pretty from this side.....this is a view from the outside. The teleporting from the ground is set to take the listener/viewer inside the series of skyboxes to experience different ecological settings.

Rezzing the Panama Canal in Second Life

Welcome to the Panama Canal! A group of students and faculty went to the Panama Canal spring break 2008 for an acoustic ecological expedition. Bringing back pics and sound, we thought the next step might be to create an immersive virtual space to reexperience the trip. Here's some pics here. This virtual installation was presented at the World Forum of Acoustic Ecology in Mexico City in March 2009.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Paradise as Walden

The context of designing Walden in Second Life, or any virtual world, plays off Henry David Thoreau's retreat into the woods, observing and listening to nature - and how it intersects with modernity. Walden in SL is inside a mega skybox textured with real photos from Concord, MA. To create depth, snow texture has been added, as well as trees, etc. to the inside of the box. Sounds are created in two ways; scripted boxes with sounds that can touched. Importing audio in SL can be challenging, for they cannot be any longer than 10 seconds.

However, in-world sounds can be linked together. An easier way to bring in sound is to stream a composition as you would any music. Land parcels can be subdivided and various streams can be used for exhibition. In this case, however, the Walden skybox will share one stream with 2 other skybox exhibits. I am building upward for less lag and to minimize the cost of land. Only one skybox at at time can be exhibited within a sound stream. At this point, Walden has general ambient soundscape. But there are certain sites within the skybox that can be touched to hear particular sounds: walking, water, and so forth. The soundscape will be completed at the end of spring; however, I must turn priority to the creation of a South American rainforest build with a complete soundscape that must be done for exhibition at the World Forum of Acoustic Ecology in Mexico City in late March. More on that to come in this blog, as it progresses. Another build - my 3rd skybox - will be the Sound of The American Frontier. I am presenting a paper on what that era sounded like also at WFAE.

Related work:
Static: Iron Beast (2007) (sound piece and paper)
Soundscape: Mediated Music (2004, p. 30 -33)
Reconstruction: Women of the New Walden

Welcome to Virtual Paradise

******************************************Ah, Virtual Paradise! I have created this blog to introduce you to my other world - Second Life is a creative space for artists and composers to play and share endeavors across national borders. This is a house that I created, for example, on my beach property. Other projects have included fashion creation, sound design and a book project on the social aspects of media usage in Second Life. As part of my research, I have discovered that women are increasingly finding SL as a "medium" of creativity - a place where creativity is imported and originates. Sample Presentation, Virtual Praxis: In the Director’s Chair (Making Media: Women in Second Life) http://virtualsoni.blogspot.com/
Audio was delivered live during the presentation; but also prerecorded for the blog.

Another related project related to the online marketing aspects of commerce is expressed in Proceedings; NMC Summer Annual Conference. Note my chapter, Selling through Storytelling:
The Tale of New Media Advertising in Consumer Culture
Proceedings, PDF, pp. 74-83.http://www.nmc.org/pdf/NMC-2007-Proceedings.pdf