Sorry about the radio silence here. I’ll be back in cyberspace very soon. (big smiley). In the meantime, here is a discussion I’ll be participating in at empyre next month, hope you join in: 

Join us at -empyre- in August 2007 for: *The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Being in Second Life* when hostess Melinda Rackham is joined by special guests: Annabeth Robinson, Patrick Lichty, Stephan Doesinger, Dr Ricardo Peach, Christy Dena, Kathy Cleland, Adam Nash and Dr Fabio Zambetta.

Neal Stephenson’s Metaverse reigns supreme. One of it’s current incarnations- the multi-user virtual universe Second Life claims a population of 8 million avatars. SL is embraced by many as an innovative and safe fantasy scape – enabling play, creativity, education, companionship, love and lust. It is reviled by some as a cesspit of antisocial isolationist addictive behavior; and SL is dismissed by others as simply an over-inflated hype driven commercial venture expounding the values of property acquisition and commodity exchange. Whatever your perspective, SL is serious business with an exchange rate which fluctuates against the $US and an estimated Second Life avatar electricity consumption equivalent to the average citizen of Brazil. In this seemingly infinitely expandable universe aesthetic endeavors, creative constructions and artistic performances are enacted daily.

—> Annabeth Robinson (UK) is a Second Life Artist focusing on interactive and sound driven projects, Metaverse consultant and Sim builder, Lecturer – Design for Digital Media at Leeds College of Art and Design. aka AngryBeth Shortbread

—> Patrick Lichty (US) is a technologically-based conceptual artist, writer,independent curator, co-founder of the Second Life based performance art group, Second Front, animator for the The Yes Men, and Executive Editor of Intelligent Agent Magazine.

—> Stephan Doesinger (Austria) is a conceptual artist and architect.  His second book “Learning from Sim City,” will be published in September. He initiated Bastard Spaces the 1st Annual Architecture and Design Competition in SL to be announced at Ars Elctronica. aka Doesi Beck

—> Dr Ricardo Peach (AU) is the Program Manager for the Inter-Arts Office at the Australia Council for the Arts, which is funding a SL residency. Born in Volksrust, Mpumalanga in 1968, he and his family migrated to Perth, Australia in 1980. aka Ricardo Paravane

—> Christy Dena (AU) is researching changes to art and entertainment in the age of cross-media production for her PhD at the University of Sydney. Dena works as an industry strategist, mentor, educator and journalist. aka Lythe Witte

—> Dr Fabio Zambetta (AU) lectures at School of Computer Science and Information Technology at RMIT University Melbourne and researcher in the area of 3D embodied conversational agents, 3D virtual environments, and interactive storytelling. aka Fabio Forcella

—> Kathy Cleland (AU) is a writer, curator and lecturer in the Digital Cultures Program at The University of Sydney and is currently completing her PhD investigating avatars, digital portraiture and representations of the self in virtual environments. aka Bella Bouchard

—> Adam Nash (AU) is a media artist, composer, programmer, performer and writer who works in networked real-time 3D spaces, exploring them as live audiovisual performance spaces. His work has been presented at SIGGRAPH, ISEA, and the Venice Biennale. aka Adam Ramona

—> Dr Melinda Rackham (AU) is the Executive Director of ANAT – Australia’s peak body for artists working with emerging technologies. Her Ph.D. explored the nature and construction of avatars and multi-user Virtual Reality Spaces. aka Marina Regina

Join us at –empyre