Category: Information Technology

More!….Hashtag Class Adventures



So far the past week has seen a whole tableau of stuff emerge at the Winkleman Gallery – I commented in my previous blog on the general to-ings and fro-ings. I was though, a wee bit preoccupied, if you like with my own contribution last Sunday afternoon/evening (depending where you were). Over the next couple of weeks though (until March 20th) I will post a bit more in depth on things that catch my eye.


What I have seen so far via the web cam has been very illuminating, interesting and thought provoking to the point I wished I was actually in the gallery to join in real time, but they seem to have things set up so that tweets, emails and the like can contribute from all over during and after the discussions take place.


So this post is mainly about my foray into the hashtag class project…via Second Life. I did do a blog recently on the pros and cons of this medium if you want more detail you can find on ‘More Social Internet Site Crumblings’. But the upshot is; its bound to evolve and other 3d virtual spaces may or may not take its place, but basically the scope is there for visual creativity on line.


I made a short film in SL also relaying these sentiments and more, which was shown at the gallery before we tried a live-virtual-link-up in SL.

Film lasts about 12 mins


Pessimists Optimists and Skeptics from DeborahAinscoe on Vimeo.


Now for the Fun Bit!

So mini talk over, cup of tea in hand, and link up here we go…into… organised chaos…no it was organised…to a degree but SL has a habit of – well being SL – bit like first life really only with technical gremlins –Ok that’s first life as well! – no difference there then.


Gallery talk aside we embarked on a virtual delve into 3d ‘art’ and representations of that.

And that’s about as serious as it got, it being the most bonkers art walk-talk I’ve ever been on, the crew being Jennifer Dalton, William Powhida, Ed Winkleman, Zachary Adam Cohen, Art Whirled and C-monster ..Oh and me, plus a couple of others who were trying to find us from the open invite to join up in SL on the #class blog. (if I’ve missed anyone let me know and I’ll add here).


So first port of call a trip to a sand box to get the idea of 3d build… William was straight off in an ‘activist- doing’ kind of way and promptly built a blue balloon dog (aka Jeff Koons’) I’m not sure, but I have a sneaky feeling this was maybe not a compliment to Koons. But an impressive, nay outstanding, balloon dog none the less!. Ed Winkleman got to grips with the edit appearance menu (I’m saying no more, but he chose a very fetching pair of shorts  – well due’s due –  it was a sand box!) then we took a hike to a 3d gallery. All this with the backdrop of the in world voice chat swinging from borderline ok – to a feedback Jimmy Hendrix would have been proud of.  God knows how it sounded in the stream but believe me it was much worse for us!.  Anyway taking in the images  and the general feel of the in-world landscape reminded me of the kind of art that Roger Dean has been doing since time began…..and the moving sculptural images (see below) akin to the fractally kind of stuff of, well, not much later.

Sand box balloon dog not
Pirats gallery

I know Roger Dean is still producing and that he has done loads of art work for games starting with Tetris. But I still don’t see any movement with this 3d animated art (in SL)  beyond that – maybe somewhere there is – I shall definitely be putting a 3d scout search on my radar until I do.

Fractally art

I think I heard Ed mention colour, through the epic feedback, which is a big point, like in animated film the colour can be sooo vibrant to the point of sensory overload – even when merged or put together well, can lose its meaning through lack of subtlety?, taking on (no offense to Roger’s landscapes) an other-worldly surreal detachedness.


So nuff of the 3d art and we teleported onward to more traditional art – a virtual reproduction of Dresden Kunstsammlungen – I didn’t know at the time, but it is apparently one of the most successful SL projects. They have, in minute detail reproduced the gallery in world.

Dresden stairwell
Main gallery

Trying to Navigate the grandiose staircases and taking in Kings of Poland and other Hapsburgy dignitaries of the bourgeois centuries  – I didn’t get to any of the Vermeers or Titians…..I crashed – too much laggy stuff, but one reboot later I was back in the mayhem of sound checks and bumping into walls.


So all that literal feed back in one afternoon required a more ear soothing taxi back to Irie Vibes (and my virtual gallery space) where we started.

Full circle, plus no feedback (relief) and some choons heading from the dance floor…. Ed was right in there with some serious dance moves….. and so the courageous hashtag crew took to the floor ….and with the palm trees waving and the sun setting over the sea (if you had your environment set to sunset that is)….and kicking to the beat ….I think I can say a good night was had by all.

Iries 1
Iries 2
Iries 3

Suffice to say if ever in NY I would definitely cut a rug (sans feedback a must though!) with the hashtag class crew….. Art Rools!  WOooooOOt!

More on coming hashtag class events on Sundays and mid week posts

Oh! and a link to Iries very useful guide to 3d build and tips

Its All About The Class

Hashtag Class



I have been twittering and face booking this event over the past week ; it being the Hashtag Class Project which has been organised by New York Artists Jennifer Dalton and William Powhida in the Gallery owned by Ed Winkleman

They have effectively gathered artists from all over, mainly through the internet and social media, to contribute to an event that hopes to dissect the meaning of class in relation to art and the business of art. With New York being one of those places central to the art market they felt the need to address the inclusiveness of this in the wider context of the ‘aspiring’ artist and/or the compliance of the finished works that are ‘accepted’ into this inner circle (for want of a better name) on the base or grounds of that inclusion.

Hash tag live images

It has taken them weeks to get all this organised and they now also have a live stream as the event takes place Wednesday to Sunday from 2pm-6pm EST and 7pm-11pm GMT on their blog.

The Gallery itself has been going since 2001 and has recently moved from Brooklyn to Chelsea – even though it is effectively in the New York equivalent of London’s Cork Street or similar, it is one of those galleries that seem more connected with the meaning of art than the eventual star rated price tag. The gallery owner has also, as part of this event, set aside time to view any art submitted to him for a minimum of 10 seconds and pass comment on each piece see his purpose built blog Shut Up Already I’ll  Look At Your Art!.

So I’m really chuffed that I am/was able to contribute (depending when you read this on Sunday 28th Feb 5pmEST 10pmGMT) with a piece done over the internet about the relevance of 3d digital art to fine art as a medium shrugging off art cliques, having wider appeal because of its increasing accessibility and demystification. I will have hopefully captured this on video and will post later.

Another part of the project is an ongoing written debate on chalkboards around the gallery – to which contributors offered their thoughts in writing to be disscussed rubbed out or added to, (hope mine’s not the smudged bit in the middle!).

Hash tag class second image

But if you get chance check out the stream and events calendar on their blog – I saw a really good performance art piece the other night called Warbonds by James Leonard done in the style (I think) of Samuel L  Jackson of the Pulp Fiction scene/Cypress Hill track ‘I will lay my finger upon you!!!’ only from stance and attitude of a southern accented pro war ‘evangelist neo con’ with Mickey Mouse ears, selling war bonds to the audience. Very scary and I wasn’t even in the real audience!. I think from hearing a later discussion the artist wanted to limit the audience in his performance to artists only – I guess the rest had to sit at the back.

So I’m looking forward to some top notch discussions and contributions, tune in if you can!

A really relaxed crowd, on the ball, and also comes complete with gallery puppies!.

snapshot of the calendar; see the blog for detail and live stream

Class schedule 1
Class schedule 2

More Social Internet Site Crumbling’s


I happened across an article the other day, on the BBC news website about the general rumblings on the demise of the virtual social-world of Second Life. Hmmm – I only ever remember Second Life getting any kind of remotely ‘hyped’ review from the BBC and a couple of smatterings in the press but nothing other than a whisper in favour, tinged with negative comments like its ‘limited appeal to weirdoes’ and it ‘not having a point’.Now apparently it is in its demise.

Leopard print leggings 1

no its not an exact mirror image!


I have been a second life avatar for ohhh, about three or four years now. And I get the ‘weirdoes’ and ‘no point’ thing, but isn’t that the same with most social network sites? Apart from linked in of course – or maybe I’m missing something there.

Anyway don’t all networking sites have an appeal for different reasons?, the only (cynical) reason I can see for certain aspects of the media giving no press coverage and ones like the BBC actually covering it was because it posed no real threat to the beeb at the time; the BBC doppelganger, if you like, of second life – was an emerging 3d computer generated graphics/film genre – which although an inventive visual medium was by no means rivalling the likes of cinema style Matrix graphics or TV style imagery nor even communication for that matter- then it was another ‘game’. The printed press dismissed it very early on – it was just another on line threat I guess.

It has had its detractor comments like  ‘I couldn’t navigate my avatar, so I gave up’ , ‘I wandered round for days not seeing anyone’ and ‘if it’s not a game what is it?’ to ‘what’s the point?’.

These comments remind me of something someone said the other day about blogging; ‘I give up on bloggers – they just go on – and the tech ones are the worst’ (so that counts me out then). But it’s that broad sweep of opinion that doesn’t take into wider account, other than the immediate personal effect. A sort of attention deficit – want it now kind of thing. Indeed in Second Life you pay for the experience so you expect something in return – instant gratification? instant comprehension? it depends.

Along time ago I used to listen to the John Peel radio show – for the uninitiated he did an eclectic late evening show that featured barely known artists of all styles, some you liked others you didn’t – and then there was the gem – the one that really appealed to you, but you had to listen to an awful lot to get there – but all the while his presentation glued the thing together.

Second Life is new technology it has taken the different aspects that the net and graphics offer and put them together for the users to create (within reason) what they will. It has not been quite the same battle of ‘be cool be here hype’ of other sites. It has been in all aspects fairly organic in its evolution – a very different place now from its first inception and that has been down to the users mostly – so similar on that level, they create something out of an empty space and so on exponentially.

For the ones who ‘gave up’ I guess it wasn’t worth persevering with –maybe it didn’t hold enough bite for them just as football is all to some, it is just a ball being kicked around to others. All technology takes some ‘learning’  true and the ’don’t make me think’ adage is absolute but always there is some.

Second Life is a  visual interactive tool – whereas Face Book, You Tube etc.,  are not in that way. Second life is real time, whereas the others sometimes are not, Second life is or can be totally random, whereas the others are not as much – different things for different folks. Many second lifers, the ones who have stuck are people like Universities who use it as a learning tool, people who are involved in 3D graphics industry in real life, visual and media artists of all descriptions, and people and businesses who want an outlet for their creativity or equally to test and experiment their ideas.

Someone said it is a great big sandbox where you can go and create what you like.

So for me being a visual, arty and slightly (actually – make that quite a bit of a) tech person this has been my experience over the last four years;

I found the site at a time in my life when I was having difficulty with agoraphobia (does that make me a weirdo?)I don’t think so – but aside from the obvious social advantages for people unable to get out and about as much as they would like, I was able to hone 3d building skills that weren’t as complicated (nor as expensive) as the Maya graphics packages and such that were around and I began to use Photoshop and illustrator in depth – all those add-on visual skills that apply universally in CG. I met quite randomly other artists, photographers, lecturers and some of the people whom I remember specifically are a Norwegian artist/photographer who has won many accolades –we ’talk’ regularly through other sites now, a New York on line news site who offered me a news space video on my art work, and a London based film animator all of whom I am still in touch with. Both animator and artist were able to ‘physically’ show me their exhibitions and work in world while we had real time dialogue, their work being 3d produced, streamed in or reproduced. It just sort of clicked – for me.

Whether the SL model ‘will out’ is just the same as ‘will twitter out facebook?’, but not, will they just diminish. It is the technology – it offers different things to different people and the out and out nay sayers and bandwaggoners will always be around. The formats are changing – it’s not set in stone.

The difference with Second Life is the type of technology involved, and how it evolves – and it will. Simple.