I’m begining to understand the activities of engaging in the virtual creation of being as creating an architectonic. I’m specifically using this to describe the elements of my web 2.0 activity as revealing a design ecology where by the aggregating elements hold together in a non-linear fashion. (Granted, I’m just begining to stumble around) What adds excitement and motivation to this journey is the imaginative and visualization possiblities in a 3D world such as Second Life. In my own practise of lighting and scene design, and specifically its pedagogy, the advent of 3D software is concurrent with this process and so part of the architecture. I was fortunate enough to have Valy Tremblay of Proluxon as our instructor in WYSIWYG.


This 3D CAD software permits precise real world scaling in a virtual environment with stunning results.

Here is a rendering one of my students (Jeremy Laclair) did for his eportfolio.

WIG Rendering

But as Valy so clearly pointed out–the whole purpose of the software is to get something out of it into the real world. This transition occurs nicely in the environment of the learning community of the performing arts center that is our immersive environment–Dibden Center for the Arts. So here is a picture of a very talented student–Matt Zimmerman–displaying his actualization of the visualization process, lighting the Sierra Leon Refugee All Stars Band. The shot clearly shows the computer, the lighting plot, the rendered view, the band on stage performing and Matt realizing his visualization and design in the Real World.

Matt Zimmerman Lighting Designer

The components of this project are begining to come into focus with the insights and contributions of others.  Specifically the interrelated connections that I am coming to understand as a media ecology. Initially I found the idea of media having an ecology as absurd.  Oddly my own yearnings to integrate seemingly diverse elements in the experience of creativity, and the struggle to understand the creative process, brought me to ecology. I’ve tried to get at this with my post on Immersion. To dwell in an ivory tower, or the black box of the stage, seemed  unnecessarily disjointed. To consume massive amounts of power for a stage production has felt consumptive to say the least.  For years I have lived the seemingly paradoxical extremes of back to nature homesteading while working in the citadel of technology–technical theater.  Unfortunately I haven’t had the opportunity to engage in much collaboration with diverse disciplines.  Academic departments are full of people who have the same interests, and this has stifled creativity and led to the petrification of academia.  So I have reveled in the diversity of my students and our programming.  My collaborators have been the students more than any other group. I fully intend on continuing this collaboration as it is very rewarding but has left me somewhat disconnected from my peers, and yearning for this interaction–hence the blogging.

The next pillar of the acrhitectonic is Second Life.  Excitedly I anticipate simulating the ecology of creativity, if you will.  The aspect of community and visualization is very exciting and this blog will continue to chronicle and mine this experience.  I am a member of a Facebook group, Theater Think Tank, which I am going to experiment with translating into Second Life.  What a blast!


Taking many shapes, morphing into multiple expressions of the same being–or even morphing your being. The Transformers. Shape shifters.

During my Stagecraft class Thursday: I discussed ‘dressing an electric,’ ‘dressing the stage,’ or ‘setting the legs’ –and I asked the class if they knew what I meant by ‘anthropromorphisizing’–well after blank stares and suggesting it might have something to do with anthropology, one female student said it had to do with ‘humans.’ I liked that, more correct that saying the study of man. So we discussed, briefly, this idea of turning inanimate objects into animated, humanized ones. Trying to bring an awareness of a mythopoetic consciousness onto the stage, seemd like a tangent i couldn’t easily return from. I like correct language, but even more I like the poetic liscence to make obtuse references in attempts to shatter the students comfort zone with language and ideas. In my pedagogy the paradox of intensive hands-on learning and encountering seemingly irrelevant ‘philosophical’ ideas goes hand in hand, sometimes foot to mouth–usually mine! But it all ties back together with the intentionally challenging idea that the ‘reality’ of the Tranformed Learning Community on the Dibden stage, is actually more ‘real’ than much else they encounter at college. The reason this is important is because of creativity and courage. As I explore the dynamics of the creative process in my pedagogy I return to the idea of the wholeness of the community in which this occurs. It feels like the elements of play and risk taking have to return to the process. So I am playful, I take risks in terms of ideas–most definitely not risk in terms of physicality–that can be left for outdoor ed.
Courage comes from confidence. But the infrastructure of skill and community, diversity and imagination have to be present. And it happens when these critical aspects of community coincide. This is the environment I seek to nurture. And if I wasn’t such an eclectic synthsizer I suppose I could leave it there. But for years I have imagined what if I could bring these many elements together in an emdodiment of a facility, or place/space? What if i could bring these seemingly diverse ideas into a practise combining the severed parts of academia and the modern western weltanshungen back into the living, breathing hope of our young? Well, I’m not just so naive to realize that I also must embody this myself. Walking the walk, talking the talk.
Which is why I’m blogging, among these other forays into web 2.0.

So if you, reader, have a good link to the use of images for self reflection–turn me on to it!