I find this discussion fascinating. I was lucky enough to 'meet"
Wafa in Second Life, during the Slactions conference I recently co-
organized with Leonel Morgado and Nelson Zagalo ( in SL and in the
We had a small miscommunication and Wafa ended up setting up her
beautiful art *during* the break with the conference ongoing. This has
become my favorite anecdote to illustrate how utterly unique space/
time organization in SL is. Basically, Wafa and I went on private chat
during the conference, I gave her a ' Go Wafa!" and she set it up
while the audience was sitting and the speakers presenting (thank you
All thanks to the Y axis.; ) We informed the audience after a break to
fly up straight from their seats and see Wafa's sclupture (which they
loved), then go straight down.
During Slactions, all the presenters walked up to the stage and most
did a Powerpoint presentation while using voice for the presentation.
While this is certainly not any criticism of the speakers – (certainly
not... and I encourage you to read more at www.slactions.org) I did
share my disappointment with the lack of more performative forms of
presentation with my colleagues Leonel and Nelson who were right in
noting that the setup (the architecture, the podium) had just
naturally resulted in a standard mode of presentation. Again, Wafa's
sculptures - and our use of the Y - axis:) _ disrupted this hegemonic
Again, I have enjoyed your posts immensely, Miriam.
I am curious about how oral would you 'rate' SL when in 5,000 years
from now – - as Roger suggested back in a post back in May also on
oral traditions - we assess "orality marks" of new media . I'm sure I
am doing a literal translation from Portuguese- when I say 'orality
marks'… but being a Portuguese living in the US, this is one of the
most refreshing things for me in being a Yasminer: our English
imperfections… which almost always bring a (Mediterranean?) clarity –
a new light.
Question... So revisiting Roger Malina's post then, and reflecting on
your experience with Wafa in RL and SL…. and if indeed a more
performative platform a more oral one (and/or vice-versa)....
- What were the implications of the huge improvements with voice in SL
(I am an early 'adopter' – 2004 - now a bit of a skeptical … so I
really witnessed the improvements). Is SL in general becoming more
- I guess one of the things that bothers me is why, having such a rich
platform available, we still have the same standard worn-out
'performances' (I know I am speaking here of a conference, but whether
a conference, or a non-conference the new buzz word it is still a
performative space. Do you have any thoughts on this?
- How do you Miriam, and you Wafa see the gesture routines in SL?
I'll call those routines 'macros'… to emphasize this type of pre-
programmed set of actions like in Excel… The famous Torley (Linden
Labs prolific tutorial writer) has a post with a self-explanatory
title that illustrates what I am mean: "Stacking Gestures on One Quick
Key in Second Life" (No sarcasm implied- Torley has taught me a lot
Does it really impact a speaker to have an audience that changes the
way they sit?.... Does that impact me, represented in SL by an avatar
that changes the way I sit?
- And I know there are those of you who are particularly interested in
filmic languages (Vitro Reia, whom I had the great pleasure of just
meeting at Euromeduc) and others. How to think of these SL routines
for SL machinima? Just last week I was browsing machinima filmmakers
and found that in one case, the filmmaker had had awards and in
"independent mainstream" film festivals too (the oxymoron meaning – in
real life…) . I was impressed! I checked it out and it was indeed an
award for the 'worst movie'. This is was an so was this a way the jury
found to chastise certain new lingo in the filmic language such as the
use of 'macros'?…
Sorry for the long post!
On Nov 9, 2009, at 8:05 AM, Myriam Hammani wrote:
> It is very interesting to read your posts Roger reminding us of
> Piaget 's studies on child cognitive developpement and the research
> of Allison Gornik which I will have to read up upon. But it is true
> that sound and visual is interconnected and maybe working in the
> same places of the brain although there is no proof to know for sure.
> However I do beleive that when we create visual associations in our
> mind with oral information being received versus receiving visual
> and oral information spontaneaously at the same time, i beleive a
> different type of cognitive process is happening in a different part
> of the brain for case 1 and case 2.
> It seems that looking and watching things is a passive activity and
> needs not much conscious attention nor conscious memory. Yet
> imagining visual scenarios in our mind's eye,day dreaming, requires
> active thinking, creation and memory to continue thethread of the
> visual 'story'. It is much more personal, intimate and memory
> I will have to read up on Piaget's cognitive research with child
> hearing developpement and see what Allison Gornik has
> written on the topic. If anybody knows any specific cognitive
> developpement research based on hearing please let me know.
> I would like to add a comment about the real life / second life
> workshops i did with Wafa Bourkhis in April 2009 in
> Algeria...because it was an experience of visual creation and
> learning and oral communication through second life with Wafa who
> was located in Second life/Tunisia while we were located in Algeria
> at the art school and in second life.
> This was a very interesting experiment, because it was the first
> time that the art students of ecole des beaux arts learned to
> communicate on second life and navigated inside of it.
> My role was to introduce the project from real life and guide them
> to make a textural video and digital images around the idea
> of dolphins being chased away from their habitat on the edge of the
> italian coast and tunisian coast.
> Once they had created their visions with video and digital collages,
> they came onto second life platform to meet up with
> Wafa who guided them through the virtual world of second life to
> have their own avatar, their own clothing , navigate through
> theater platforms and free hair clothing platforms as well as places
> where you can buy things with virtual money and put up their art
> works in the platform space of 'the isle des marquis'.
> It was very interesting because at first I had to be an inbetween
> person, in the real world until they got completely in the virtual
> space where Wafa was with her avatar 'Aichi sunflower'. And they
> communicated much better with oral speech with Wafa then
> with typing on second life. When Wafa talked about the different
> platforms second life offers, she spoke through her avatar Aichi
> Sunflower and we had a big stereo amplifying her voice and a
> classroom projection of the second life platform where she was
> It seemed like a magical window opening up to another place, between
> Algeria and Tunisia.
> However, the technical problems of delay and noise made it a more
> distant communication.
> Another interesting experience was that the students became
> comfortable with the medium and soon were making 'friends ' with
> other avatars of other places , for example Dina made friends with
> avatars from America who were 'sunbathing' and 'tanning' in
> a second life location. I beleive that Dina had no trouble because
> she was well trained with oral communication more so then
> maybe somebody from Norway, Germany or France who comes from a less
> oraly operating society.
> She also noticed that it was a world which was very controlled by
> money and time.
> It is true that an avatar is judged alot on how well dressed one is
> or if one has snazzy complex avatar moves.
> Sometimes there are avatar people who will be open to teach and
> guide such as Wafa does.
> However , there are many avatar/people I noticed who will ignore you
> and type to each other, and no longer talk openly so that the
> 'introders cannot join in or hear'.
> Orality on second life is interesting. Because it is very
> controlled, and you are judged according to your belongings or group
> who you belong to.
> So I do not know if second life is a free platform for true
> expression because there is the digital divide which keeps many
> oralities from perpetuating on this modern platform.
> I remember also, wanting to sing with other musicians...but it was
> very difficult to find them...and when i met a lady called
> 'Roxelo' avatar she did not want to communicate in another language
> then italian.
> Of course these are problems which happen in real life also.
> But the problem with second life, is that the algerian artists of
> our workshops were not able to freely create their own platform,
> they could not just make 'street art'...they had to limit themselves
> to showing 2 art pieces per person and the video could not be big,
> so we limited it to 2 minutes.although we had an hour of footage and
> 15 minute montage.
> These are the limitations of technology and computer storage memory.
> Even today, many artists from the digital divide do not have their
> art work up on the internet.
> And also, the internet is still mostly an english dominated language
> communication tool.
> Although second life has oral options. Many avatars prefer to
> communicate through typing because they reveal less their
> Many people on second life want to have another identity so they do
> not want you to recognize anything personal of
> their true color tone.
> A man who wants to disguise himself as woman.A French who wants to
> be latino indian.
> A Mexican who wants to be seen as an American business man. An
> elderly who wants to be a youthful /sexy avatar.
> These are all types of people who block orallity from shining
> through in Second life.
> Those are my 2 cents worth on the subject....What do you think?
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HOW TO UNSUBSCRIBE: on the info page, scroll all the way down and enter your e-mail address in the last field. Enter password if asked. Click on the unsubscribe button on the page that will appear ("options page").
HOW TO ENABLE / DISABLE DIGEST MODE: in the options page, find the "Set Digest Mode" option and set it to either on or off.