Daily Archives: 9 November 2008

A Shamanistic Ego Trip

Last night I wanted to practice my Second Life machinia skills, so as I visited an immersive exhibit by Tyrol Rimbaud called “Ego” and captured some video of my exploration.  I thought I would post it just in case it has any redeeming value for you to watch, and also in the hopes that people will give me suggestions on how to improve.

I liked the exhibit, too. I won’t try to interpret it too much here, since I think the Tyrol’s goal was for us to experience it and reflect on it ourselves. I titled this blog a “shamanistic ego trip”, taking his title “ego” and adding “shamanistic” because having the beginning as entering a cave decorated with paintings I recognize from my visit to Lascaux, France put me in mind of ancient people and also made me think of how most shaman often begin their trips into virtual/other worlds starting with a real or imagined cave or other hole in the ground. Also, the different thematic layers that one falls into were like the dream-like changes in realities from a shaman’s journey.

In creating this video, I was trying to work on my use of the 3D Connexion mouse to do fly-through and other camera movement in such a way that a video could give a viewer the sense of the space I explored. The whole complex was in the air, so the last third of the video is my flying around the space with the camera while my avatar stands waiting. I tried to show both the trail the exhibit takes as well as views from without to show the overall view. I am interested in learning how well environments like SL can help people acquaint themselves spatially to new environments.

There was music and sounds as part of the exhibit, but in the final cut I muted most of these. My goal is to have videos shorter than three minutes and this one started much longer. After making lots of edits, I got it down to around 6:40 (sorry it is so long). All the cuts made most of the background music too discontinuous, so I selected music from my library. Because of the shamanistic feeling I got, I found a piece called “Hanwi – The Moon” by the Blue Chip Orchestra (I have it on a Hearts of Space compilation “Universe 5”).

I am working on a Mac, using iShowu for the capture and iMovie for the edit and compression. I feel I am still loosing too much video quality, so if you have suggestions on how I can improve, I would be grateful for your suggestions.

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