UWA Announces Transcending Borders books available

Launched on Monday July 21st, 2014, the University of Western Australia (UWA)’s Transcending Borders brought together their 7th MachinimUWA and their 5th UWA Grand Art Challenge into one event, with a combined prize pool in excess of L$ 1.03 million.

Transcending Borders challenged entrants to interpret the title of the competition in any fashion they deem applicable, and produce a 3D artwork (in no more than 150 prims) or short film based on their interpretation, be it on transcending borders of space and time, love and loss, nationally or culture or language, or the real and the virtual, and so on. The result was a glittering array of 67 artworks and 38 machinima, representing a broad diversity of interpretations of the theme, with the winners celebrated at a special awards ceremony held on Sunday, December 14th, 2014, which I was honoured to attend as a member of judging panel, and which I reported on here and here.

On Saturday, January 24th, the UWA announced that a special catalogue of the challenge has now been produced. At 212 pages in length and lavishly illustrated, the book covers both the art and machinima challenges, with individuals photographic spreads covering each of the art entries, complete with the artists’ statements on their work, and the machinima entries presented by individual stills from each of the films entered.

Art entries from Transcending Borders are present in 2 or 4 page photographic spreads, complete with notes from the artists
Art entries from Transcending Borders are present in 2 or 4 page photographic spreads, complete with notes from the artists

The book, Transcending Borders has been produced as a part of the UWA Studies in Virtual Arts e-journals (SiVA) series, and can be viewed on-line. Printed copies can also be obtained from the UWA and shipped to you. Those interested in owning a copy as a commemoration of the challenge and of both art and machinima in virtual worlds, should contact Jayjay Zifanwe in-world.

As someone fortunate to have a copy of the last title in the series, Project Freedom, I cannot stress enough how beautifully produced the books in the SiVA series are. Edited by the UWA’s curator, FreeWee Ling, books in the series are compiled and produced with a huge amount of care, and the photographs of the artwork always capture the essence and beauty of each piece.

In the meantime, and if you haven’t done so already, you can see all of the art pieces on display for the time being at the UWA Challenge Gallery, while a list of machinima entries, with links to each film is also available.

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Transcending Borders (2): celebrating the machinima makers

On Sunday, December 14th, 2014, the Grand Finale of the University Of Western Australia’s (UWA) Transcending Borders was held at the impressive UWA-BOSL Grand Amphitheatre. During the event, over L$1,000,000 was awarded in prizes to artists, machinima makers and those who took part in the audience participation competition. With some last-minute additions to the prize pools, and some additional special awards, the event was a very special celebration of artistic expression in Second Life.

Transcending Borders challenged entrants to interpret the title of the competition in any fashion they deem applicable, and produce a 3D artwork (in no more than 150 prims) or short film based on their interpretation, be it on transcending borders of space and time, love and loss, nationally or culture or language, or the real and the virtual, and so on. The result was a glittering array of 67 artworks and 38 machinima, representing a broad diversity of interpretations of the theme.

The Grand Finale was hosted by the UWA’s Jayjay Zifanwe, with the UWA’s art curator, FreeWee Ling also on hand to announce the special Curator’s awards in both the art and machinima categories.

In the first part of this report, I covered the awards for the Transcending Borders 3D Art Challenge. Here, I review the winners in the the MachinimUWA VII Transcending Borders Challenge, in which machinima makers could submit as many films on the them as they wish, as long as each entry had been specifically filmed for the Challenge, and should preferably run for around 4 minutes 30 seconds (although this latter point was not a “hard” rule.

Audience Participation Prizes

Alongside the “main” challenges focused on artists and machinima makers, Transcending Borders included two audience participation competitions. Anyone who was not on the official judging panel was invited to provide what they thought the top 10 would be as decided by the actual panel, and those with lists which most closely matched the final list of prize winners as determined by the judges, would receive a special prize.

And the winners were:

  • 5th place winner (L$5,000): Elle Thorkveld
  • 4th place winner (L$7,500): Chic Aeon
  • 3rd place winner (L$10,000): Karima Hosian
  • 2nd place winner (L$15,000): Lalie Sorbet
  • 1st place winner (L$20,000): Dyzo.

Commenting on the machinima audience participation competition, Jayjay said, “No tall order to attempt to participate in this challenge, as one had to watch all the machinima [38 entries].
Quite amazing, as all the top 3 correctly predicted 8 of the top 10 [as determined by the judge’s votes].” He went on to note that of these five individuals, three had been in the top five of the last art Grand Challenge, perhaps showing that there was something of a science in how the winners make their selections.

For Chic Aeon, the audience participation prize was the start of a remarkable part of the evening, something she shared with Haveit Neox.

Machinima Prizes

Note that SLurls are given with the titles of all winning pieces, and all the entries into the MachinimUMA VII Transcending Borders challenge can be seen on the SL Artist website.

The 10th through 6th places winners, who each received L$25,000 are:

As there was a tie for 4th place, there was no individual 5th place prize winner. Instead, the top four prizes in the MachinimUWA VII Transcending Borders challenge were awarded as follows:

Jayjay had contacted Tutsy ahead of the event to inform him he had won a prize, but due to Internet issues, Tutsy could not remain connected to Second Life for the event. Instead, a short speech he had prepared ahead of time was read out by his friend, Yoon.

I would like to express a warm welcome to all participants and visitors for attending this grand finale. Also I would like to express a big thank you to UWA, Jayjay and all the organizers of this contest for offering the opportunity to many people, to discover or establish themselves as creators in 3D or Machinimas. 

Transcending borders in and with a movie is less tough than transcending the borders of a contest itself.  A work of NicoleX was refused because it conflicted with the UWA borders. I do regret the work has been refused, it shows the limits we have to deal with sometimes.
Yet we also cannot be deaf and blind for using our freedom of expression with a sense of awareness for the consequences. When input and output become disproportionate, other
solutions are needed.

Therefore again, many thanks to both UWA and all people that participated with their movies and opinions. And I am secretly proud as well a tiny little bit, thank you all!

 Special Awards

In addition to the top ten awards, the Grand Finale included a number of special awards, both from the MachinimaUWA VII Transcending Borders challenge and also from the 2014 Project SciFi, which the UWA partners.

MachinimUWA VII Transcending Borders Special Prizes

  • Honourable Mention Prize for message within a film (L$15,000): Unseen Transcended Borders, by Eric Takkar & Arcane Marenwolf (USA  and Australia)
  • Honourable Mention Prize for artistry within a film (L$15,000): The Embryo, by Ultraviolet Alter (France)
  • UWA Special Prize (L$25,000), awarded by the UWA representatives on the judging panel to the film that interweaves a number of locations from the UWA campus in it: The Ghost in the Machine, by Chic Aeon (USA) – Chic’s third win of the evening, and the second for her entry
  • Curators Choice Award (L$25,000) for the film, selected by UWA’s curator FreeWee Ling, that weaves one or few of the artworks in the challenge into it: Reading Primchords, by Haveit Neox (USA) –  Haveit’s third individual win in the Finale with both the film and Primchords, the artwork which inspired it. Haveit also shared a prize with Lilia Artia and Mouehane for Sharing Unknown Roads

Commenting on her choice, FreeWee said:

For the machinima curator’s prize there were several entries that included artwork from current or past UWA shows. Some were focused specifically on a single piece or two, some incorporated art as a background to their narratives, and some had only a brief sighting of a work. I was looking for machinimas that most effectively used the artwork to tell the story of the film. The films that did that best seemed to be those by the 3D artists themselves. Among those, there was one film I thought was most engaging with the 3D art being essential in telling a story.

Project Sci-Fi Awards

Mention was also made of the two SL-based machinima which had also received prizes inthe 2014 Project Sci-Fi competition. This event was judged by a jury entirely separate to that of Transcending Borders.

  • 2014 Project SciFi Challenge Honourable Mention (AU$200): About Face, by Avajean Westland (USA)
  • 2014 Project SciFi Challenge winner (AU$300) Metaphore by Tutsy Navrathna (India).

Congratulations to all the winners.

As with the first part of this report, I would again like to extend my personal thanks to both Jayjay and FreeWee for the incredible amount of work they do in the promotion of virtual world art and the potential of virtual worlds. Transcending Borders is not only a fitting theme for a UWA Grand Challenge, reminds us that both Jayjay and FreeWee help artists, educators, students and virtual worlds enthusiasts transcend the borders between the virtual and the physical each and every day.

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Transcending Borders (1): celebrating the artists

The UWA-BOSL Ampitheatre: scene of the Transcending Borders Grand Finale
The UWA-BOSL Ampitheatre: scene of the Transcending Borders Grand Finale

On Sunday, December 14th, 2014, the Grand Finale of the University Of Western Australia’s (UWA) Transcending Borders was held at the impressive UWA-BOSL Grand Amphitheatre. During the event, over L$1,000,000 was awarded in prizes to artists, machinima makers and those who took part in the audience participation competitions. With some last-minute additions to the prize pools, and some additional special awards, the event was a very special celebration of artistic expression in Second Life.

Transcending Borders challenged entrants to interpret the title of the competition in any fashion they deem applicable, and produce a 3D artwork (in no more than 150 prims) or short film based on their interpretation, be it on transcending borders of space and time, love and loss, nationally or culture or language, or the real and the virtual, and so on. The result was a glittering array of 67 artworks and 38 machinima, representing a broad diversity of interpretations of the theme.

The Grand Finale was hosted by the UWA’s Jayjay Zifanwe, with the UWA’s art curator, FreeWee Ling also on hand to announce the special Curator’s awards in both the art and machinima categories.

JayJay Zifanwe
JayJay Zifanwe

Opening the event, Jayjay said:

It’s been an absolute pleasure for me to work with all of you over the course of these challenges, and especially to those who went above and beyond the call of duty to make all of this a success. Thank you FreeWee Ling, curator of art at UWA & RL Honorary Fellow at UWA. Thank you LaPiscean Liberty, co-host for MachinimUWA VII, champion of machinima of Second Life. Also much thanks to those who have provided support and sponsorship which sees the overall prize pool standing at more than L$1,000,000 across both art and machinima. Special mention needs to be made of all who have been such strong supporters.

These challenges are sponsored by Tom Papas and SciFi Film Festival, LaPiscean Liberty and SL Artist, AviewTV, Arrehn Oberlander and MetaHarpers, Kip Yellowjacket and Virtlantis, Taralyn Gravois and Arts Castle Gallery, TheDoveRhode and Peace is a Choice and S&S Gallery of Fine SL Art, Barbie Alchemi of Creations for Parkinsons, Jon Stubbs and UWA Student Services, as well as The UWA Virtual Worlds Project.

I want to thank all of you for being here today, bringing the world together. The UWA Art, Architectural & Machinima Challenges, the teaching & research have seen people from all corners of the globe involved with students, artists, builders and machinimatographers hailing from Lithuania, Singapore, Costa Rica, the Philippines, Finland, Greece, India, Colombia, Poland, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, Ukraine, Taiwan, Hungary, Latvia, Russia, Venezuela, Belgium, Mexico, Wales, Canada, the USA, the UK, Uruguay, Scotland, England, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, France, the French Caribbean, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Denmark, Holland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Portugal, Austria, Cuba, Serbia, Tunisia, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Australia and parts unknown. More than 45 nations with 6 of the 7 continents of the world represented.

The following is a run-down of the winners of the 3D Art challenge. The MachinimUWA VII: Transcending Borders awards are presented in a further article in these pages.

Audience Participation Prizes

Alongside the “main” challenges focused on artists and machinima makers, Transcending Borders included two audience participation competitions. Anyone who was not on the official judging panel was invited to provide what they thought the top 10 would be as decided by the actual panel, and those with lists which most closely matched the final list of prize winners as determined by the judges, would receive a special prize.

In all, there were two groups of audience participation prizes for the 3D art challenge. As an entire art degree class from York University entered the competition, and the overall prize pool had been increased from L$57,500 to L$62,500, the audience participation prizes were altered, with 3 awards specifically for York University students, and four for members of the public. These prizes were awarded as follows:

  • Joint second in the York University student prize: Vickar Tran and Stefano Onorati (L$2,500 each)
  • Overall winner, York University student prize: Abisola Okiwole (L$5,000)
  • 4th place, audience participation: Rosie Dimanovic (L$7,500)
  • 3rd place, audience participation: Sheba Blitz (L$10,000)
  • 2nd place, audience participation: Sueworthy (L$15,000)
  • Overall winner, audience participation: Temi Sirbu (L$20,000 and a place on the official jury for the next grand art challenge

All of the winners will additionally receive a physical prize from the UWA.

Art Awards

Note that SLurls are given with the titles of all winning pieces, and all the entries into the Transcending Borders 3D art challenge can still be viewed at the UWA art gallery.

In an unprecedented result, there were no fewer than five 10th places winners, all tied on a total of 21 points from the judge’s selections. The five winners each receive a L$5,000 prize and are:

Pixel Sideways "Transcending Borderz" - joint 10th place winner
Transcending Borderz, by Pixel Sideways – one of the five joint 10th place winners

Continue reading “Transcending Borders (1): celebrating the artists”

Transcending Borders: the Grand Finale and L$115,000 audience participation prizes reminder

The UWA-BOSL Ampitheatre
The UWA-BOSL Grand Amphitheatre

The Grand Finale of the University of Western Australia’s Transcending Borders 3D art and machinima challenge will take place on Sunday, December 14th, 2014 – and you can be a part of the audience.

The event will be held at the UWA-BOSL Grand Amphitheatre, starting at 06:00 SLT on Sunday, December 14th, when the winners, as determined by the judges, in both the 3D art and the machinima categories will be announced, and where all 39 machinima entries will be shown continuously in the 24 hours leading up to the event.

The challenge presented by Transcending Borders has been for entrants to interpret the title of the competition in any fashion they deem applicable, and produce a 3D artwork (in no more than 150 prims) or short film based on their interpretation. So the title might be seen as transcending borders between space and time, or the past and present or the present and future; it might be interpreted as divisions between dimensions, real and virtual; or borders separating nations or cultures or languages; it might even combine several of or all such idea, or something else entirely – such as the many borders we encounter as we navigate our physical and virtual lives.

 by Giovanna Cercise
Saudade by Giovanna Cercise

And there is a total prize pool of L$115,000 (L$57,500 in each of the two categories) on offer to those members of the audience who participate in a special additional competition.

All you have to do is visit the art exhibits on display at the UWA gallery area and / or watch the machinima entries and then submit a list of the entries you think will finish in the TOP 10 in order 1st – 10th as decided by the official judging panel.

  • Entries should be submitted by e-mail to  jayjayaustralia-at-hotmail.com or via note card submitted to Jayjay Zifanwe in-world
  • All entries should include your name, and be titled either “Transcending Borders 3D Art Audience Event” or “MachinimUWA VII Audience Event”, according to the category being entered
  • You can enter the art participation event or the machinima participation event or both (make sure you submit one “top ten” list for each category in the case of the latter).

The 5 participants in each category whose list comes closest to the final order decided by the judging panel, will win for themselves between L$20,000 – L$5,000. In addition, the first prize winner will also be invited to be on the panel for the next grand art challenge and ALL 5 will receive in the mail a special RL pack.

Simply follow the links above or at the end of this article to view the art entries and watch the films. Entries for both of the audience participation events should be received no later than Midnight SLT on Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014.

Remember, this is not a popularity vote. Your top 10 entry / entries should be your prediction of who the actual top 10 will be according to the official judging panel. Good luck to all those who enter – and I’ll see you at the Grand Finale event!

Inside the UWA-BOSL Ampitheatre
Inside the UWA-BOSL Ampitheatre

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Note: the art image included in this item should not be taken as any indication of my personal preference as a member of the  Transcending Borders jury. It is included purely for the purposes of illustrating the article.

Transcending Borders: L$115,000 in prizes for audience participation

Friday, October 31st marked the closing date for submission to this year’s combined 5th University of Western Australia’s (UWA) Grand Art Challenge and MachinimUWA VII challenge. In all, there have been 105 entries – 67 pieces of art and 38 machinima films.

The challenge presented by Transcending Borders has been for entrants to interpret the title of the competition in any fashion they deem applicable, and produce a 3D artwork or film based on their interpretation. So the title might be seen as transcending borders between space and time, or the past and present or the present and future; it might be interpreted as divisions between dimensions, real and virtual; or borders separating nations or cultures or languages; it might even combine several of or all such idea, or something else entirely – such as the many borders we encounter as we navigate our physical and virtual lives.

Pixel Sideways
Pixel Sideways “Transcending Borderz” (click images for full size)

Now, with the closing date reached, the task of judging the entries begins, and with it the opportunity for all residents in Second Life to share in the prizes on offer as a part of the Transcending Borders challenge. On offer are two prize pools, totalling L$57,500 apiece, one for the Machinima challenge, the other for the art challenge.

All you have to do is visit the art exhibits on display at the UWA gallery area and / or watch the machinima entries and then submit a list of the entries you think will finish in the TOP 10 in order 1st – 10th as decided by the official judging panel.

  • Entries should be submitted by e-mail to  jayjayaustralia-at-hotmail.com or via note card submitted to Jayjay Zifanwe in-world
  • All entries should include your name, and be titled either “Transcending Borders 3D Art Audience Event” or “MachinimUWA VII Audience Event”, according to the category being entered
  • You can enter the art participation event or the machinima participation event or both (make sure you submit one “top ten” list for each category in the case of the latter).
Luko Enoch: Borderless
Luko Enoch: Borderless

Each category (art and machinima) offers a total of five prizes, which will be awarded to those entrants whose lists come closest to the final order decided by the judging panel:

  • 1st Prize L$ 20,000 + an invitation to be on the panel for the next grand art challenge
  • 2nd Prize L$ 15,000
  • 3rd Prize L$ 10,000
  • 4th Prize L$ 7,500
  • 5th Prize L$ 5,000

(A total of L$57,500 in each category.)

In addition, the five winners in both categories will receive a special RL prize pack.

Entries for both of the audience participation events should be received no later than Midnight SLT on Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014.

Remember, this is not a popularity vote. Your top 10 entry / entries should be your prediction of who the actual top 10 will be according to the official judging panel.

Related Links

Note: the images and machinima included in this item should not be taken as any indication of my personal preferences as a member of the  Transcending Borders jury. They are included purely for the purposes of illustrating the article.

Transcending Borders: final weeks

Transcending Borders, the UWA’s combined Art and Machinima Challenge which offers a combined prize pool of over L$1,000,000 to entrants, plus L$240,000 in audience participation prizes, is reaching the final couple of weeks before the deadline for submissions is reached on October 31st.

The challenge presented by Transcending Borders is for entrants to interpret the title of the competition in any fashion they deem applicable, and produce an artwork or film based on their interpretation. For example, it might refer to transcending borders between space and time, or the past and present or the present and future; or it might refer to the divisions between dimensions, real and virtual; or it might be used to explore the borders separating nations or cultures or languages; or it might involve any or all of these ideas, and more – such as the many borders we encounter as we navigate our physical and virtual lives.

Jipe Loon's Baculum Murder, a piece the artist suggests has many interpretations: physcial transcendence; spiritual transcendence; genetic transcendence, and more - you determine what it may mean to you
Jipe Loon’s Baculum Murder, a piece the artist suggests has many interpretations: physcial transcendence; spiritual transcendence; genetic transcendence, and more – you determine what it may mean to you (click for full size)

Art pieces submitted to the competition should not exceed 150 Land Impact, and should preferably by submitted with COPY permissions, and art entries are limited to one per entrant, while machinima entries should preferably be no more than 4 minutes and 30 seconds in length, although this is not a “hard” rule, and there is no limit to the number of items an entrant can submit.

The first prize in each category is L$100,000, with a number of runner-up and prize category prizes as well, as detailed in the original UWA blog post on the challenge. Winners will be determined by an invited jury of academics, SL business people, journalists, bloggers, artists and writers.

Tutsy Navarathna’s “MetaPhore – Transcending Borders” – one of the machinima entries in this year’s Transcending Borders UWA Art and Machinima challenge

And if that is not enough, there are also audience participation prizes available as a well (a total of L$135,000 for participating in the art section and a total of L$105,000 in the machinima section).  All you have to do is list your personal Top Ten entries in either the art or the machinima sections of the challenge (or both!). Prizes will be awarded to audience members whose top 10 lists most closely align to the final juried top 10. Keep your eyes on the UWA blog for details on how to enter.

Ama Avro's "Utopia" focuses on communications
Ama Avro’s “Utopia” focuses on communications (click for full size)

Art entries can be viewed now at the UWA’s gallery space, while machinima entries can be viewed on the Transcending Borders page at SL Artist.com. Please remember that submissions will continue to be added to both locations through until the closing date for entries on October 31st, 2014.

(Spiral Silverstar’s “Transcending (Surreal) Borders” – one of the machinima entries in this year’s Transcending Borders UWA Art and Machinima challenge

Related Links

Note: the images and machinima included in this item should not be taken as any indication of my personal preferences as a member of the  Transcending Borders jury. They are included purely for the purposes of illustrating this article.