Thursday, December 12, 2013

Second Life

So this is my final version of my Second Life avatar for my final project.  This made my pull my hair both figuratively and literally. I had look up tutorials and nothing was working for me. So I said, "screw-it." and figure things out for my self along with another classmate of mine and things slowly started to come together. After hours on end, I have completed  myself on second life. Next screen shots are working progress to the final product.

Next screen shots are my item I made. A UFO enemy from the Kirby game series. I love this enemy and deiced to give him a little twist. I gave him a metal looking texture and a glowing effect.

Finally we have my fantasy character "Gex." Gex is an avatar that was made up a long time ago. He is with an organization that go to world/alternate dimensions on mission for him and him alone. He has the  power to manipluate any metal he so desire and and uses a staff that can morph into any melee weapon he want' His body is that of a doll. So I decided to make his skin like that of wood/doll. His coat was brought and I made his staff. Here is a picture and what he looks like in Second Life.

 Here are the skins I used for my charaters.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Research Paper

Eric Franklin
Digital Media 245
Peter Whittenberger  

When Virtual Reality and Reality: Which One Is Best?
            Virtual reality and reality are two worlds that some people are either invested in one or both. For virtual reality, it is an escape from the harsh reality they are in, while others don’t have the pleasure to have an escape like others do. Over the years, we have seen many digital art and artist take those concepts and create many pieces and videogames to show the bright side and dark side of virtual reality. For this I will take two digital media artists: Jon Rafman and Benjamin Poynter and look at the works they have done to show both sides of virtual reality.
            Benjamin Poynter got his Bachelors of Fine Arts at University of Nevada, Reno. He develops a game for smart phones called “In A Permanent Save State.” The game is about 7 overworked laborers who all have committed suicide and you play as all 7 in the spiritual after life. I recently got a chance to interview Benjamin about not only his game, but the dark side of virtual reality:
            Eric: “What do you see virtual reality mean to you?”
            Benjamin: “I see virtual reality as an escape from reality. They’re those who do have an operate like those in the eastern culture due while in the western culture does.”
            Eric:  “What do you see in virtual reality?”
            Benjamin: “Sometimes I see happiness in virtual reality, sometimes I don’t”
            Eric: “Do you have a virtual reality avatar?”
            Benjamin: “I do. He is a washed up videogame hero like Sonic. “
            Eric: “Sonic For Hire?”
            Benjamin: “Exactly.  He is like this character that I see as trying to get back up from a hard fall on life. He is on his deathbed. To me if feels like a nostalgic feeling.”
            Eric: “How is it a nostalgic feeling?”
            Benjamin: “It feels like a videogame character that I knew and grew up with.”
            Eric: “So tell me about your game, how does it related to the dark side of virtual reality?”
            Benjamin: “The game revolves around 7 overworked labors who commit suicide. I see this as for people who can’t escape the reality they live in and thus see afterlife as an escape. The game takes a grim virtual reality and how for some who don’t have an escape sees this as an escape.”
            Eric: “Do you believe a virtual reality is for everyone?”
            Benjamin: “Not for everyone. I believe it’s for those who are in a right mind set.”
            Eric: “Do you believe your avatar/ virtual reality character represents you?”
            Benjamin: “In a way it expresses of who I am. Sometimes when I’m in different environments, I act different. When I am with friends, I this person or when at a social gathering I’m this person. To me virtual reality is a way to express sides of our sides we don’t usually show.”
            Eric: “That is it for the interview, Benjamin thank you for taking your time for this interview.”
            Benjamin: “Not at all, thank you.”
 (Personal Interview)

I was very intrigue with the interview with Benjamin. I was interested on the responses and asked more questions about the psychological side of virtual reality and how with all the recent incidents with school shooting and how people are blaming videogames and such because it’s a scapegoat. We both agreed that it’s not videogames and virtual reality’s fault, but the person that commits the deed of taking virtual reality into reality. As Benjamin said, it takes a certain mind set to experience virtual reality. In terms of the readings we have done in the past, I don’t see any that can be comparable to Benjamin’s game and mind set of the dark side of virtual reality.  If you would like to go check out Benjamin’s game and another interview, follow the link here: (Bittanti, Interview)
            The next artist I would like to talk about is Jon Rafmen. Jon Rafmen has a Master of Fine Arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is known as the Kool-Aid man on Second Life. This is a quote from an interview he did:
            “I think underlying that question is the unease consisting of where, how, and what is my physical self when I am in a social relation in cyberspace.
The Kool-Aid Man avatar relies on me to exist. If I don’t log into Second Life, he is not out there somewhere in the world. He makes it clear to me that it is not necessary to have a computer chip implanted into your brain in order to become a man-machine. To fully connect physical existence with digital existence, it is not necessary to alter one’s body. Perhaps Kool-Aid Man is a cyborg in the fullest sense in that he is combination of computer programming and human agency.
Even more important is that the cyborg/avatar demonstrates there is no such thing as a pure physical self. What we take as the most fundamental aspects of self are mediated through the lens of culture. I don’t think identity is bound to our physical composition. How we feel and perceive ourselves, the roles we play are all socially mediated.
The internet includes social worlds in which an avatar is required in order to navigate and interact with other people. In these virtual worlds, be it Facebook or Second Life, our avatar is our social representative. What we choose reveals many ways in which our physical or ‘real’ self is constructed. So perhaps choosing an avatar makes manifest our fragmented and multiple selves.” (Howard, Bombsite issue 1000)
I couldn’t get an interview with Jon due to any responses from him at this time. I would have loved to ask him some questions based on the same questions I asked Benjamin and also from a psychological point of view.  Based on the interview he did with Howard, it’s safe to say that he believes that your virtual self depends on you to exists on not only who you are, but a side of you that doesn’t show up from you often. Also a second life character is based on what you believe who you are.   For some they based it on who they see themselves as and for some they see themselves are who they are. For readings I could find a comparison to a reading we did in class.  Jon does show what benefits of a virtual reality life and what it can do to a person’s life. They are so many things it can do to one and the joys of being seen as someone you want to be.
            Coming from personal experience I have been in a virtual life since 2010. I’ve had many times to where I was happy with whom I was online, but also experience that hardships and dark side of the virtual life that not a lot of people get to experience. It’s now 2013 and I can say that a virtual life can be challenging to handle and to manage with your life outside the cyber world. I know they are people out in the world who don’t get to experience what a lot of people do and I know that they are some parts of the virtual world I know for a fact I do not want to and see for myself. While after the research and interview with Benjamin, I see many different perspectives on virtual reality. Second life is a site for a fact I do not want to invest in. After seeing that documentary in class I was so uncomfortable about what people were doing and experiencing. I felt that some of the people there were not in the right mine set and would just change their whole life just to life a virtual life that can fall apart very quickly. I will admit that I do have an avatar for the internet and a different name that I go by on the internet, but I always have stick to the rules I have when it comes to chatting with random people and what to not do or say to a random person. I know for a fact that I have started many wonderful friendships and meet my best friends online and they see me as a person I always wanted to be because I can connect with them and know common interest that they might like as I do. I guess it is because I was raised with the internet and my parents taught me how to use it and what not to do on it. It’s amazing about the stories I hear from how virtual reality has helped people or destroy peoples live. So which reality should you chose? I say the one you are most comfortable in and can be happy in.

Work Cited
Bittanti, Matteo. "Interview: Benjamin Poynter, between magical dreams and nightmarish realities." GAMESCENES. GAMESCENES, 17 Oct. 2012. Web. 9 Dec. 2013. <>.
Howard, Lindsay. "ART Revealing Jon Rafman ." Bomblog. BOMBLOG, 8 July 2010. Web. 9 Dec. 2013. <>.
Poynter, Benjamin. Personal interview. 10 Dec. 2013.

Friday, December 6, 2013

New Gif

For a gif i wanted to do something with irony in it. Kirby came to mind because he is know as having a stomach with a black hole and can eat anything he wants. So would it be ironic if Kirby was eating himself up? Yes, yes it would.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Art Exhibits Reviews

Eric Franklin
Art 245
Peter Whittenberger
Art Papers 1-3

Found in Lost
            I recently went to the art exhibit called “Found In Lost” by Heeseop Yoon. The art exhibit was interesting. The exhibit itself was and empty space with what I thought was drawings, but before reading the artist’s statement, I thought the art was drawing where I could see some recognizable items, Here’s what Heeseop’s statement is:
            “My work deals with memory and perception within cluttered spaces. I begin by photographing interiors such as basements, workshops, and storages spaces, places where everything is jumbled and time becomes ambiguous without the presence of people. From these photographs I construct a view and then I draw freehand without erasing. As I correct “mistakes” the work results in double or multiple lines, which reflect how my perception has changed over time and makes me question my initial perception. Paradoxically, greater concentration and more lines make the drawn objects less clear. The more I see, the less I believe in the accuracy or reality of the images I draw.”
            After reading the statement and looking around, it all made sense. Instead of being clutter, it was clear and opened while being clutter on the wall. It was a good choice and I thought the artist execution was good. I thought it was a good piece, showing how for some, keep things is a way to remember memories and to show what happens when someone has too many thing, and doesn’t organize them.

Globally Stoned
The art show I went to was call “Globally Stoned” by L. Boles Yazzie. This was hosted at our University’s Art Exhibit. Before I read the artist statement, I saw some well recognized paintings, however they were alternated with modern day icons or with a modern twist. I looked around at first and was pretty interested. I went to go read the statement meant and here is what he say:
            At first glance, my paintings seem like “art about art.” They also look like a formal study about copying. In fact it is through this means that I investigate the mechanics of appropriation and reproduction. I am interested in directing the viewer’s eye towards the same process. Additionally, allegory, pun, and irony used to create subtle commentary on the human condition the commentary be controversial in nature and sometimes lighthearted. A background in social work in sociology fuels my interest in the micro and macros dynamics of human nature as it pertains to historical and contemporary issues. Globally Stoned is inspire by a conceptual traditions. Appropriation and copying gestures are precursors of contemporary economic, political religious and cross cultural identity. My work represents a shift in today’s cultural milieu where we can’t look at appropriation with our looking through the lens of globalization and how it is responsible for the subtle erosion of indigenous societies.
After reading the statement, I looked at the paintings and see what the artist was talking about.  He took some iconic paintings and sculptures and added a modern culture to them. For some pieces, I really like the Goddess Snake figure next to a Ms. Buttersworth syrup bottle. It adds a look into what figures was like in the past verses and what people worship to an advertised product that people recognize. Over all I think the exhibit was well done and the pieces were easy enough to catch attention to people to recognizes. Here is a video of me looking at the exhibit and my thoughts more.

(A) Muse 3D: Model

So today I visit the art gallery (A) Muse. It was a large collaboration of 5 different artist with different types of pieces. The sculptures and pictures were a nice combinations of the whole exhibit.
I think my favorite piece was the rabbit one done by Rebekah Bogard. It was a wonderland type with two creatures with one pulling on its tail. The description talked about the interactions with creatures and humans interactions and how the bravery of one can achieve. I liked the design and the presentation of the sculptures. The plants at first I thought looked realistic and soft, but when I touched the plants, they were hard and ceramic. I have to say Rebekah did a fantastic job on the piece and my favorite of the exhibit. My least favorite piece was one called “Salt and Light” by Jeffrey Erickson. It was six photos of a desert with some salt in different lighting and positions. I didn’t see what the artist was going for even after I read the statement. He said that he was going for when salt touched the light. I couldn’t see the concept, but that’s just me. One of picture that I did see made since to me. It looked like what he was going for, but it looked like a landscape   picture that you find in a magazine.  The other pieces of art were nice to the exhibit too.

Overall I think the exhibit was a nice touch to show the different types of 3D pieces and artists’ styles.