Tag Archives: UWA

Call for entries: UWA’s Transformations in Second Life

The University of Western Australia looks likely to cease most of its presence in Second Life at the end of July 2017. However, before then the long-time patron of arts and artistic expression in Second Life is running one more major art exhibition, and recently put out a call for entries.

“Our final show is to be titled “Transformations” and is about beginnings, endings, transitions, change,” UWA’s art curator FreeWee Ling stated in the announcement. “The theme is deliberately vague in order to allow for the broadest possible interpretation. It is intended to highlight the technologies of SL as a medium for creative expression. We especially want work that reflects on the past in SL and/or imagines the future of virtual art.”

Those wishing to apply to be a part of the exhibition are invited to subject one piece in any or all of the following categories: 2D art, 3D art and / or machinima (so entrants can subject up to 3 pieces, one in each category). The closing data for entries is 23:59 SLT, on Sunday April 30th, 2017.

It is important to note that this event is an exhibition and not a UWA challenge / competition. There is no judging panel and there will be no prizes offered. However, official exhibition catalogue will be published on-line as part of the UWA Studies in Virtual Arts (UWA SiVA) journal series.

General guidelines for entries are:

  • As noted above, artists may submit up to one entry each in 3D, 2D, and/or machinima (up to 3 entries in total). Collaborations are encouraged, so if you participate as a named collaborator on any entry, you may also submit a separate entry as an individual.
  • Land Impact limit for 3D work is 300. Sound and light emitting objects should be carefully crafted in consideration of other nearby entries. Objects that might impact other nearby entries may have to be placed on a platform to isolate it. In such cases a poster and TP device will be placed in the gallery. Any entry with excessive script lag may be refused or returned for revision.
  • 2D entries should reflect the theme and must be images substantially created in SL. Post-processing (e.g., Photoshop effects) should be kept to a minimum.
  • Machinima entries can be of any length or subject matter as long a they are substantially produced using SL as the primary medium and conform to other criteria listed here. A poster and/or screen shot will be placed in the gallery and in the exhibition catalogue along with a link to the machinima.

For the full entry guidelines, including how to submit your entry, please refer to the call for entries blog post. All enquiries, concerns, etc., about entering the exhibition should be addressed directly to FreeWee Ling, who has final say on any issue.

Good luck to all who enter!

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All UWA regions to remain in Second Life through mid-2017

UWA: Winthrop Clocktower and the Reflection Pond, with the SLeducate area on the right, which you can read about here

University of WA: Winthrop Clocktower and the Reflecting Pond

On September 13th, I relayed the news that the University of Western Australia would be scaling back its presence in Second Life to just one region; with three others being retired and the fourth to be transferred to the San Jose State University. Well, things have now changed for the better.

In a blog post issued on Monday, October 10th, the day after two of the regions had been scheduled to close, FreeWee Ling gave the news that all three originally slated to vanish from Second Life will now remain in place through until July 2017, while UWA Virtlantis has now changed hands as originally planned.

UWA campus

UWA campus

This means that through until July 2017, the regions will comprise:

  • University of WA: the “main” region, this is home to the iconic Winthrop Hall clock tower, Sunken Gardens, and Somerville Theatre facilities, as well as the new starter resource facility, and is set to remain in place for at least another year
  • UWA: home to the UWA gallery, which is currently hosting the IMMATERIAL exhibition, now set to remain in place until July 2017
  • UWA Winthrop: home to the UWA’s permanent exhibition of art from past winners and selected pieces from previous 3D art challenges are displayed, now set to remain in place until July 2017
  • WASP Land: the technical region, and home to the St Basil’s Cathedral model, fractal works, etc, now set to remain in place until July 2017
  • SJSU Virlantis: is now under the management of Sonicity Fitzroy (aka Dr Phylis Johnson) of the San Jose State University. It remains attached to the UWA regions, but has a revised name/ SLurl.

Following the original announcement of the three region closure, Second Life artists and residents wrote to UWA Central concerning the plans, and this may have contributed to the decision to extend a lease of life to those three regions. Either way, that they have been granted an extended lease of life to remain an active part of Second Life is most welcome.

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Note; at the time of writing this article, WASP Land and UWA Winthrop were off-line, having been scheduled to close on October 9th, 2016. Given Jayjay’s announcement, they will hopefully be back on-line very shortly.

UWA to scale back in Second Life

UWA: Winthrop Clocktower and the Reflection Pond, with the SLeducate area on the right, which you can read about here

UWA: Winthrop Clocktower and the Reflection Pond, with the SLeducate area on the right, which you can read about here

Update, October 10th: JayJay Zifanwe has announced that the four core UWA regions will remain open through until July 2017. You can read more here.

I received a nudge about the University of Western Australia, which has enjoyed a long presence here in Second Life, operating multiple regions and becoming a stalwart supporter of virtual arts through its grand challenges and other competitions and opportunities offered to artists to present their work, as well a through support of machinima in physical world film challenges, such as those run by Screen My Shorts.

The news was actually broken over the weekend by Jayjay Zifanwe, who has spearheaded the UWA’s presence in Second Life since it started, and who has worked exceptionally hard with FreeWee Ling to promote and support artistic creativity within the broad cross-section of second life users and talent. In the post, Jayay states:

It is with a heavy heart, that I must inform you all, that 4 of the 5 UWA sims, will vanish into the binary night on the 9th of October 2016. The SIM that will remain for at least another year is the Uni of WA sim, which is our flagship sim housing Winthrop Clocktower and the Reflection Pond, The Sunken Gardens and The Somerville Theatre.

Everything on all [the] sims will remain as is for the next 2 weeks… do come back for a visit as many of the artworks going back 7 years are still at various locations. Once those 2 weeks are up, our curator, Freewee Ling will start to rationalise what is on the UWA sims, so that some items from all sims are brought onto the one remaining sim.

UWA: UWA Winthrop and the gallery displaying some of the smaller art pieces on display within the UWA regions

UWA: UWA Winthrop and the gallery displaying some of the smaller art pieces on display within the UWA regions

FreeWee adds to the blog post with a note to those artists who have works on display in the UWA regions. So if you are one of those artists, do please make sure you read the post in full. Of the four regions which the UWA is closing, three will be shutting down completely, and one will be changing hands.

The reasons for the region closures appear to be internal to the UWA, and not anything specifically directed towards virtual worlds and Second Life. At the end of 2015, the UWA did cut back on its direct support of artistic endeavours in SL through its patronage of the Grand 2D and 3D art challenges, again spearheaded by Jayjay and FreeWee. Since that time, arts have continued to be supported at the UWA through smaller, but no less attractive activities, such as a the current Immaterial contest, which I’ve been covering in this pages, and the entries for which can be seen at the UWA gallery.

Nish Mip's Last Ocean, a poignant opening to Jayjay's blog post

UWA: Nish Mip’s Last Ocean, a poignant opening to Jayjay’s blog post

If you have not visited the UWA regions, I urge you to do so before the four scheduled to be removed vanish. There is a stunning amount of art to see, much of it standing as a historic look back over artistic expression in Second Life, including the Grand Final winners from the various challenges, including Nish Mip’s Last Ocean, which forms a poignant opening to Jayjay’s post, As well as the art, there are campus facilities to explore.

Tutsy Navarathna’s “The Residents“, overall winner in the machinima category of the 2013 Project Sci-Fi challenge, sponsored by the UWA

For my part, I’d like to thank Jayjay and FreeWee for all of their hard work over the years in building the UWA environment in-world, and to those at the UWA itself, for their support of virtual spaces and digital arts.

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Immaterial in Second Life: entries gather


Immaterial (via UWA)

Immaterial (via UWA)

At the end of June, I wrote about the start of the University of Western Australia’s new art challenge, IMMATERIAL, which is currently open to 2D, 3D and machinima artists through until July 31st.

While not a competition in the manner of the UWA’s Grand Challenges (there are no cash prizes or judging panel), IMMATERIAL offers those who enter the opportunity to have their entry displayed at the UWA’s Gallery, and featured in a companion exhibition catalogue, which will be published on-line as part of the UWA Studies in Virtual Arts (UWA SiVA) journal series.

Krystali Rabeni: "If Wishes Were Kisses"

Krystali Rabeni: “If Wishes Were Kisses” – “Shadows are such straightforward things: cast a light on an opaque object, and a shadow of it is thus born,” Krystali says of the piece. “Yet shadows can be manipulated to resemble entirely different shapes…” And so a poignant message is born …

IMMATERIAL asks entrants to consider the concepts  light, shadows, textures, motion, and ideas, and to: Highlight the technologies of SL as a medium for creative expression. We especially want work that uses advanced techniques, in addition to objects per se.

As such, entrants are encouraged to work with mesh, materials, projected light and shadows, particles, pathfinding, avatar and object motion/animation and advanced scripting/interaction.

Since the announcement, entries have been arriving steadily, as they do, UWA’s curator, FreeWee Ling, has been putting them on display.

Yoon (Toyono): "The Dark Queen"

Yoon (Toyono): “The Dark Queen” – using projected light and a black background, Yoon creates a powerfully evocative image

As usual for such a UWA, the breadth of entries is quite breathtaking, and many of them deeply evocative, already marking this as an exhibition very much worthwhile visiting. I’ve selected just a small handful here as a sample to encourage you to do so, and repeat visits are recommended as the exhibition grows.

If you would like to submit a piece for IMMATERIAL, note that the deadline for submissions is 23:59 on July 31st 2016 at 11:59 PM SLT. You can find the full set of entry requirements on the UWA blog.

Silas Merlin: "Guardian Angels"

Silas Merlin: “Guardian Angels” – Silas says he was just having a little fun with this piece. The result is nevertheless stunningly beautiful

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