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!