Sunday, November 21, 2010


Installation for the Second Life part of the Cyberfest in St. Petersburg, curated by Pinkpink Sorbet. See Pinkpink Sorbet's blog or the Cyberfest page for info.
The installation is a simple white box, which makes extensive use of Second Life's shared media feature for presenting sound (a computer-generated voice reading a book from the project gutenberg), video, and text display on the walls. The text chat of the visitors is answered by two instances of a pandora bot, which is listening and responding to itself in a positive feedback loop.
A discussion at a forum dedicated to chatbots mentions the pandorabot Identity Absent several times.
The behaviour of the chatbot was slightly changed following a mail from Richard Wallace:
Hello, your bot Identity Absent is taking up a lot of resources on our community server at . Please contact us at or call me to talk about how we can better assist with your project.

Best regards,

Richard Wallace
Chief Science Officer
Pandorabots, Inc.

Friday, November 5, 2010

changing room

Collaboration with Arahan Claveau, part of Michael Takeo Magruder's Changing Room project. See Arahan's blog, his slideshow, and his machinima for more info and visuals. See Michael's documentation about the event with even more pictures! 
And here is a text written by Nusch Ray specifically for this occasion:
We, the visitors in the virtual world, are not the audience of this collaborative work of Arahan Claveau (Steve Millar) and Selavy Oh. In fact, we do not even know what the audience outside was experiencing, or whether there was such an audience at all. The changing room does not exist, even though it is documented. Changing Room is a conceptual work of Michael Takeo Magruder, who invites artists to work under heavy restrictions for a very brief time and remix a virtual space, that is, change the space by using only the virtual objects that are already present in that space. The visitors in the gallery, here it was a space in Belfast, can watch the transformation on a big video screen while it happens: a performance of restricted creativity.
Arahan Claveau and Selavy Oh used the time and space for a Warholian composition on the role of the audience: the space, which was supposed to be seen by the visitors in the gallery, was transformed in a non-space, an auditorium full of empty chairs, while semitransparent screens featured a film by Claveau, a succession of avatar portraits, clearly inspired by Warhol's screen-tests. Claveau and Oh not only changed the appearance of the virtual room, but also the function of the real gallery space: the virtual room became the auditorium for watching the visitors of the gallery at the other side of the screen, who would see the screen as projection surface for Claveau's 'screen-tests'. And to make these changes completely confusing, we can think of it as the artists' work within the work of another artist for an invisible audience, which then became the subject of observation, referring to the work of an artist who reflected on the relation of artist and audience ...
Nusch Ray, November 2010
Changing Room was a very challenging experience, it pushed us as artists to work within constraints that were in direct conflict with our usual practise, but it was these limitations that really defined how the space evolved throughout the construction. The inability to reproduce objects in the usual way forced us to approach the build differently, and we had to work closely together to overcome certain obstacles that would normally not be an issue. We started with some initial ideas which developed throughout the day, because there was a time limit and much of that was spent making and positioning objects and experimenting with scripts, we really had to focus on creating a space that would be visually strong but still use the medium of Second Life to its full potential. The end result we felt successfully conveyed our concept; a deconstructed cinema where real-world rules such as physicality did not apply, and when that was taken out of the equation it allowed for a disorienting environment that was contrary to conventions and expectations, something that was importantly in tandem with the spirit of the project.
Arahan Claveau, January 2011 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

spherical topography

dynamically changing cloud of cubes based on continuously changing homeomorphic transformations of a sphere. shown at magoo and the contribution of the museo del metaverso for the !D.A.! festival.
featured by soror nishi on her blog.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


LPDT2 is the Second Life incarnation of Roy Ascott’s groundbreaking new media art work La Plissure du Texte (“The Pleating of the Text”), created in 1983.

LPDT2 will be projected into Real Life in Seoul, Korea during the INDAF new media art festival held at Tomorrow City, Songdo, Incheon, throughout September 2010 (link to project). The project will also be open to visitors in Second Life during this month, starting from September 1st. See here for an in-depth description of the project (text by Alpha Auer).

Roy Ascott’s project has been co-authored in Second Life by Selavy Oh (programming and architecture), MosMax Hax, aka. Max Moswitzer (architecture and terrain) and Alpha Auer + Alpho Fullstop, aka. Elif Ayiter (avatars and soundscape). Further associates are Frigg Ragu, aka. Heidi Dahlsveen (avatar animations) and i-DAT from the University of Plymouth, UK (Real Life SMS input). Special thanks go to the University of Applied Fine Arts, Vienna, who have made the project come to life through the provision of their Second Life island for the duration of the show.

More information at the official LPDT2 website. Slideshow by Alpha here (this video is also shown at the Shanghai WorldExpo in the Madrid Pavillion in the program of OpenThisEnd).
See sentences sampled by the text generator and selected by visitors at the twitter stream!

Teleport directly to the installation here.
Download custom sky settings for the Second Life viewer here!

See Mab MacMoragh's machinima and her blog post, Frigg's machinima, Clarissa Ribeiro's blog, a German blog post by Stephanie Posselt, and Garrett Lynch's blog post! but that's not all, the installation has been used to shoot fashion pictures, make machinima or use it as backdrop for sl photography (see the flickr group).

scripted chair cam, video taken by mosmax hax

Ascott R, Ayiter E, Moswitzer M, Oh S. LPDT. Metaverse Creativity 1:81-100, 2010

Monday, August 9, 2010

a space to talk

letters provided by mosmax hax

performance on tuesday august 10, noon SLT, at the Odyssey Performance Art Festival 2010 (teleport).

selavy oh will be present during the whole performance. the duration of the performance is determined by the visitors.

during the performance, every letter chatted by the visitors is transformed to a prim-letter, which is created above the visitors. the artist will not participate in the chat. the letters are forming a structure, similar to a frozen fountain, above the visitors. since only a limited number of prims can be created on a given simulator, the performance ends as soon as there are no more prims available. at the end of the performance, the duration is announced and all letters fall down onto the visitors. after some time, the letters start floating away.

see my odyssey picture album, mab macmoragh's slide show, nicolex's machinima, and the official machinima by liz solo! read garrett lynch's blog about the event.

second performance, renamed to the limits of communicative space, saturday september 26, 1:30 SLT at ECNCS for the opening of the french Centre national du costume de scène et de la scénographie. the performance unexpectedly lasted 4523.758 seconds, that is almost 1.5 hours, and the letters used over 9000 prims. the organizer marc moana was generous enough to let the performance run until the very end.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

don't be afraid

don't be afraid
work for the group exhibition "It was a blur" curated by Radio Signals. to clarify: my contribution are just the moving letters.
opening july 16th, 6pm SLT, closes august 16th. teleport to mirror.

all participants had to obey several formal restrictions, such as objects being full bright, no glow, use either a given grey texture (HEX: #d1d0d6) or the blank white standard texture. only 2D objects laying on the ground were allowed to use colors or other textures. selling objects or wearable art was explicitly allowed.

see also arahan claveau's critique of the show, and bryn oh's machinima.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Pronunciation: \hō-ˈmä-lə-jē, hə-\
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural ho·mol·o·gies
Date: circa 1656
1 : a similarity often attributable to common origin
2 a : likeness in structure between parts of different organisms (as the wing of a bat and the human arm) due to evolutionary differentiation from a corresponding part in a common ancestor — compare analogy b : correspondence in structure between a series of parts (as vertebrae) in the same individual
3 : similarity of nucleotide or amino acid sequence (as in nucleic acids or proteins)
4 : a branch of the theory of topology concerned with partitioning space into geometric components (as points, lines, and triangles) and with the study of the number and interrelationships of these components especially by the use of group theory —called also homology theory — compare cohomology
Live performance with qiezli Hixantapo (Jeremy Owen Turner) at the Museo del Metaverso, Wednesday, June 9, noon SLT. Streamed live at the Viareggio Art Project!

Left: qiezli as abstract avatar consisting of colored geometric shapes and Selavy. Right: "undressing" the avatars reveals the underlying human shape of both avatars. After being completely undressed, both avatars swapped shape and appearance and slowly dressed using "clothes" and attachments of the other, thus becoming the other.

watch machinima by mab macmoragh and screenshots by selavy oh.

Re-performed November 20, 2010, together with qiezli for the mixed-reality event Zeitgeist, a project by Nora Furlough, which was seen at the MuroGallery in Geneve and on Odyssey.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

big bang

work in collaboration with mosmax hax (Max Moswitzer) for the Scien&Art contest. big bang comes in two flavors: one for collectors, and one for exhibitions.

the collector version consists of a single object, the seed, that is given to the collector. once unpacked, i.e., rezzed from the user's inventory, the object triggers the big bang, which lasts about two minutes and results in complete self-destruction. due to the properties (permissions) of the seed object, which cannot be copied, a repetition is impossible, because the seed object is destroyed together with the big bang. thus, the work can only be experienced once and is part of the collection only as long as it is not experienced.

the exhibition version consists of a seed object, which triggers the big bang upon touching it. after teh first touch, the visitor gets the following message: "do not touch the forbidden object again unless you want to trigger the BIG BANG. triggering may violate the rules of this land and may lead to expulsion. triggering the BIG BANG will be at your own risk." after touching a second time, the message is: "probably you accidently touched the forbidden fruit again. you are warned for the last time. triggering the BIG BANG really is at your own risk!!!". the visitor can then trigger the big bang.
notes about the exhibition version, distributed in a notecard:

Forbidden Fruit: A Theoretical Model for the Big Bang
Selavy Oh

The Big Bang is the prototypical creatio ex nihilo that either seems to require the touch of a cryptic god external to itself or constitutes a mysterious everlasting cycle of creation and destruction. Here we propose the Big Bang contained in the Forbidden Fruit as a theory that unifies the expanding and contracting versions of current cosmology. We suggest that the universe created by the Big Bang is vanishing into the void, but that the creative act performed by the avatar, who assumes a god-like attitude, will start the cycle again. The touch of the creator may, however, be violating the underlying laws, the laws of physics dictated by the terms of service, and instead of being able to admire the successful creation, the creator may be punished by expulsion. Several further side effects of the Big Bang are explained by the proposed scheme: the time dilation accompanying the Big Bang can be observed in the statistics panel, the repetitive nature and limited number of the generated elements is clearly visible, the variability in size has a fractal character, and the cumulative energy consumption equals that of an average laptop computer. Finally it is concluded that the similarity in overall appearance of the generated universes clearly proves that the creative mind was not the one triggering the Big Bang, but the one inventing this concept.

"The Competition aims to expose and reward the best artworks created in Second Life to communicate scientific concepts."
Scien&Art Competition (2010)

art does not illustrate. art never communicates any concepts outside of art. if an artwork is concerned with scientific concepts, it does so in a critical discourse. art can talk about concepts and topics that are inaccessible to science. art and science are the two faces of the Janus called culture.
Selavy Oh (2010)
another way of putting it might be that art deals analogously with the state of things “beyond physics” where philosophy had to make assertions.
Joseph Kosuth: Art After Philosophy (1969)

note: surprisingly, this work was not among the winners of the contest.
but see the blog post by zorro hirvi for another opinion, and listen to the podcast by amy freelunch!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

the inner workings of perspective

new work for the museo del metaverso (see also here) investigating once more virtual physics, but also the context of museum space. the structure uses a distance-dependent spatial scaling, which contradicts the normal perspective: its size is proportional to the distance of the nearest avatar (see my pseudo-giants). due to technical limitations of the medium, the rescaling of the structure is not smooth, but rather jerky and happens in quantized steps, as if the visitor would be able to observe the actions of the laws of optics. the consequence of the inverse scaling is that the structure plays with the rules of the museum by ignoring the boundaries of the confined space that is allocated to each artist. when seen from far away, the structure breaks out of the walls of the museum and invades the adjacent booths. but as soon as the visitor is close enough to see what is in those booths, the structure is small enough to fit in its assigned space.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

ménage à trois

work for brooklyn is watching featuring three automated performers reciting french poems while walking in a square and changing gender. loosely connected to BiW's digital love theme. the text on the walls is generated dynamically by using the new shared media feature of second life viewer version 2. any other chat text, such as the english text in the picture above, will also appear on the walls and randomly mix with the poems.
see blog by steve millar (arahan claveau), art:21 blog post by nettrice gaskins, and machinima by mab macmoragh.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

last exit

"LAST EXIT - ARS VIRTUA" (2010) - Selavy Oh and Qiezli Hixantapo

WHAT: Performance in Second Life.
WHEN: Friday March 26, 2010 - 1 PM SLT UNTIL DOOMSDAY!
WHO: Selavy Oh and Qiezli Hixantapo.
WHERE: ARS VIRTUA, Second Life - Dowden 26, 47, 52

Ars Virtua as one of the leading contemporary art organizations in Second Life, once hosted a popular gallery/museum space.
On March 21, 2010, Ars Virtua's main gallery in Second Life was utterly destroyed by the performance art troupe, Second Front.
On March 22, 2010, Ars Virtua put their property up for sale on the real estate market.
On March 26, 2010, you will have one more chance to exit the razed Ars Virtua space with dignity before the property itself will be sold and gone forever!


 image by jeremy owen turner

for documentation, see jeremy's youtube or facebook 
part 1, part2, part3
previous announcement
collaborative performance for three bots, a couple of prims, some scripts, and an avatar
by jeremy owen turner & selavy oh, ars virtua, march 21, 10pm SLT*

keywords: ars virtua, last rites, transition into the light, cyberheaven, life after art

*update: performance was cancelled because Second Front performed first and wrecked the space

Sunday, February 28, 2010

identity absent

work for Brooklyn Is Watching consisting of two elements: 1) a bot (a script-driven avatar) called Identity Absent that continuously switches its appearance between the 16 default appearances supplied by Linden Labs (the pictures above shows an overlay of three different looks), and 2) a simple media-on-a-prim doing a Google search for the name of the closest avatar (to see this, you need the new Second Life viewer version 2.0 beta). if no one else is near, the search is for "Identity Absent", and will, after some time, certainly come up with the blog post that you are reading right now. read also nusch ray's blog post at BiW and watch mab macmoragh's video and read her blog post!

a new version of identity absent, called the empty chair, was shown at UWA's monthly contest as entry for july 2010 (see soror nishi's blog). identity changed appearance, when new visitors came, she greeted them, and when they tried to sit on the chair, identity would not allow them to do so, saying "sorry, but this is my chair".
identity won "The Honourable Mention Prize for MYSTERY (L$1,000)", and she was very very happy! see the official UWA post, the primperfect blog post, miso susanowa's blog, and metaverse arts.
a discussion at a forum dedicated to chatbots mentions Identity Absent several times - she is now famous as one of the chatbots (see chatroom) with the most traffic. a mail from the chief science officer of Pandorabots confirmed this.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


an architectural intervention at DB Bailey's sim Cetus. Zachh Cale approached me whether i wanted to contribute to DB's upcoming show "CETUS, the conflagration", and i gladly accepted this invitation. my contribution consists of a central tower of 158 moving panels, each panel being textured on one side with the invisiprim texture. opening probably monday february 22.
watch gleman jun's machinima about the show!
and here some more info about the show from DB Bailey:
CETUS, the conflagration.

Imagine being able to actually walk into one's inventory. A great storage room filled with oddities the original purpose of which has been long forgotten.  It is sometimes too easy to recycle those old textures and objects. Sometimes in order to move on to new realms, one has to clean out the attic. Sometimes a good old bonfire is the best solution. So DB Bailey's inventory high above CETUS is in flames. Soon to be gone forever. Amongst these artifacts are forgotten works by such artists as Patch Thibaud, Chrome Underwood, Keystone Bouchard, Selavy Oh, Glyph Graves, Eshi Otawara, Nomad Molly Nostrum.

You are invited to come visit the conflagration and final days of CETUS. The fire will rage through mid-March, at which time the history of CETUS will come to an end. And DB Bailey will start afresh with a whole new box of toys.

See anything  you want?....just ask DB!
see cyberloom blog: ... DB Bailey’s Cetus is the first to be preserved in this fashion by Stamford University Library and the Library of Congress ... and one more

Saturday, January 9, 2010

the wedding

the heads have fallen
the couch did break
the cake was eaten
the wedding was fake!

the bots with bodies
saw you naked and naughty
where was your dress?
you were such a beautiful mess
the bride stipped bare


The performance of 01.10.10 a wedding


You are invited to the SL wedding performance of Selavy Oh and Misprint Thursday on Sunday January 10th at 1pm slt. THIS IS A FAKE WEDDING. IT IS PERFORMANCE ART. The performance is a reflection and celebration of "creative community" and how we intersect and play off each other's work, ideas and environments. The objects, costumes, props and personas in this performance are reflective of the playful and creative domain of SL art.
Why a wedding? The performance of a wedding grew out of a poetically whimsical "faux proposal" from Misprint Thursday to Selavy Oh. The proposal was accepted and the faux partnership was formed. From there, the fantastic thread has unraveled leading us to this culminating encounter. We are all "wed" in our experiences and connective creativity in this environment in many ways aren't we?

To view the performance:
Set to Midnight
Have your sounds and video enabled
Grab the Info In the Cathedral Foyer when you arrive

In keeping with the performance please feel free to participate by dressing any combination of "ecclectic formal".

Much thanks and appreciation to Corrine Cerise for the generous land use to host this event and Marko Seurat for providing the wonderful builds on said land.

Tremendous YAY for all the artists and actors to participate in this fast paced, fun and surreal community art event. CHEERS!


Misprint Thursday and Selavy Oh
collaborators and co-conspirators in performance

Marko Seurat-Set Design (cathedral and sky build)
Bryn Oh-Catherdal Art curated and placed by Marko Seurat
Suzanne Graves-Cathedral Art curated and placed by Marko Seurat
ColeMarie Soleil-Machinima Documentation
myvegancookbook Bolissima-Costume for brides
Dekka Raymaker-Wedding Documents
Solo Mornington-Rings
L1Aura Loire-Nuptial Couch
Rod Mandel-Interactive Wedding seating
Ze Moo-Minister 1
Xenophile Neurocam-Minister 2
Penumbra Carter-Minister 3 and cake creator
Joonie Jatho-Deflowered Girl
Arrow Inglewood-Best Man and Ice Sculpture creator
Captain Pike-Usher
Positive Hinterland-Bridesmaid
Negative Overland-Bridesmaid
Dekka Raymaker-Wedding Documents
curmudgeon Krasner-Witness
Peri Afarensis-Witness
Azdel Slade and echolalia Azalee-Augmented Reality Performance
Oberon Onmura-Reception Art
Jo Ellsmere-Reception Chairs
Maya Paris-Table Centerpieces

concept, idea, organization, poem, and notecard text by misprint thursday. for some pictures, see blog posts of chestnut rau and apmel. reposted by azdel slade at! mentioned at post-medium critiqué. mentioned again at art:21 by nettrice gaskins.