Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Digital Nation - Response

Video Link - http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/digitalnation/view/

Digital Nation is a video about the effects of the mass amounts of technology on our society today. The video revolves a lot around multi-tasking, such as texting while walking or studying while being online. Technology is being shown as a big distraction in the way that people are constanty multi-tasking and aren't focusing on the things they should be focusing on. I think that multi-tasking is a big part of our society, with technology being so prominent. I never give it a second thought that I'm multi-tasking with digital media while doing other things, because it seems so natural to my lifestyle. However, technology may also be dumbing us down. Many things we do with technology may seem so mind-numbing, like sending an aimless text or constantly refreshing your facebook page. Many of the things we do with technology take little to no critical thought, and our generation may, in a way, be becoming dumber than the non-technology age before us.

Digital media can't all be bad, though. Many teachers are now incorporating digital media into their classes, which can benefit students who are growing up into a world where the internet and other kinds of technology are only going to continue to expand as they grow older.Virtual worlds are also an uplifting part of new media, in which people can do things and create things that would never be possible in the real world. People can escape the real world into the virtual world, and become someone completely new. One person in the video said that if you don't jump on board with the new technology, you'll get left behind. I think this is true, and that we need to embrace today's technology in order to succeed in our society.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Second Life Performance Proposals

My proposal for a performance in Second Life is to create a headless avatar, then build versions of our own head to carry along with us. I think this performance may give us a big reaction from other players in Second Life, as I myself have gotten reaction from multiple people. What I did to achieve this look was go into my inventory and find the 'headless avatar' skin. I then 'built' my head out of a sphere block, and attached hair to it. for my facial features, I used the photoshop file of my face that we used in the previous project to create our self portrait avatars.

Self Portrait Avatar

In this project, I created an avatar in Second Life that was a self portrait of myself. I gave the avatar the same body shape, clothes style, and facial features that I have, and imported a template of my face that I created in Photoshop for the avatar's skin. Looking back at the avatar now, I know there are some things that I definately could have altered to make the avatar appear to look more like me. The most trouble I had was in uploading the skin to the avatar, which was a long process that took many tries in order to make the skin appear as normal as possible in the digital world. I had a lot of fun in making the avatar, and she represents me very well in Second Life.

Create Object in Second Life


The object that I created in Second Life is my snowboard. I created this by first building the basic shape of my snowboard, and then I took pictures of my actual snowboard and uploaded them into Second Life to use as the texture. I had a hard time with the basic shape of the snowboard, and I had to add on the rounded edges at either end. I think I could have imprved on this by figuring out how to round the edges of the rectangle shape I already had. Overall, it's a good representation of what my snowboard actually looks like.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Discussion Questions 2/2/2011

These questions are in response to the following blog post -- http://blog.art21.org/2010/04/21/art-the-avatar-ambiguity-of-identity-in-virtual-3d-worlds/

The article says that "art is the mirror image of a person's identity." That being said, is an avatar an accurate representation of a person, whether that avatar resembles its creator or not?

What are the pros and cons of having your art gallery in the virtual space of SecondLife? What are the benefits to this and what are the downfalls?