Saturday, 21 July 2007

Flowerball - More Weirdness!

You may recall that not so long ago I told you about the Princeton sim. Although it is not yet officially open, today it played host to an Interactive Art thingy (their words, not mine - though they could easily have been mine) - an audiovisual, immersive thingy by artist Douglas Story with soundscape by AldoManutio Abruzzo (with scripting by Desdemona Enfield). The work, entitled "Flowerball" is... well... ummm... it's... err... well, it's... a ball... yeah... containing flowers... kind of.

Probably best if I show you first, eh? You start off at this floating plinth, which displays the artworks you will get to know rather more intimately when you visit the Flowerball itself. Follow the instructions to rez a seat that will fly you down to the installation itself.

You start this part of your trip in what I will describe as a large ear-trumpet. Once you've found your way to the outside (it is sign-posted) you then fly across to the Flowerball itself.

Inside the Flowerball you get to fly about in this bizarre, constantly changing, flowerscape. Make sure you follow the audio setup instructions to get the full brain-melt effect:

And that's it really (or it was for me - due to a problem with the chair scripting we could not get back by "public transport" and had to resort to Hobson's Choice).

I scouted out the rest of the area and came across this building. Speaking with the charming Persis Trilling, I now understand that this is the new information centre, where all manner of RSS feeds, podcasts and vodcasts (sounds like a Russian space mission to me) will be made available. The architect is the ever-reliable Scope Cleaver.

Ah.. but what of the Art Installation thingy? Here's some salient quotes from the accompanying notecard:
The inspiration for FlowerBall came from the feeling that accompanies the best examples of my close-up floral photos: that of being inside the inner chamber of the flower. My first thought was to construct gigantic blossoms in Second Life, but I quickly found that my building skills were nowhere near being equal to the task. I then thought of my avatar sinking through layer upon layer composed of a series of concentric spheres, with the images changing on contact with each layer.

When I first spoke with Aldo about the music (he prefers the term ‘soundscape’) for this project, and told him there would be five layers in the ball, he started talking about pentatonic scales and John Cage. I didn’t understand much of what he said after that, but understood that “penta” has something to do with the number “five.” I also got that the result would be pretty cool….and that part was certainly right.

Apologies for leaving out stuff about the scripting - but apparently it's all clever stuff. If you really need to know, then get yourself down there and find out!

UPDATE: Douglas Story has left a comment informing me that a short vid of the installation is available here: - and that the "chair problem" has now been sorted.

1 comment:

Douglas said...

Thanks for stopping by the FlowerBall opening --- and my able partner Desdemona fixed the problem with the transport chairs shortly after you left.
It might interest your readers to know that a short video of the FlowerBall may be seen at: