Tuesday, July 3, 2012

AOM coming to St. John's

Here is a set of photos of Humming Pera/Tina Pearson, Maxxo Klaar, Frieda Korda and I setting up on Odyssey for the upcoming Avatar Orchestra Metaverse performance at this year's Sound Symposium. The performance will be a hybrid-reality concert that bridges the gap between real and the virtual space and will feature original Avatar Orchestra compositions, including a brand new piece by Tina Pearson and I - "In This Far Now (A Cyber Song of Longing)"Tina is travelling from Victoria, B.C. to present workshops and performances.

The public is invited to attend a workshop on the Avatar Orchestra Metaverse in the hours leading up to our Sound Symposium performance.
Sound Symposium Event Details: 
Workshop with Liz Solo, Tina Pearson and the Avatar Orchestra Metaverse - a workshop in virtual reality sound. Saturday July 14, 1 PM NST, LSPU Hall, St. John's, NL.
AOM Hybrid Concert Performance - Saturday, July 14th, 3:30 PM NST, LSPU Hall, St. John's NL
For more on this and other Sound Symposium events please visit their site : Sound Symposium Home

Tina and I have been collaborating via the Internet for five years and I am stoked that she is travelling to Newfoundland to be a part of this event in real space. We are going to have a time!

Following the Sound Symposium, Tina Pearson will be Artist in Residence at the Black Bag Media Collective studio July 16 to 21! Details to follow shortly.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

UpsideDown World

Lately I have been exploring different processes in the creation of hybrid reality work, seeing if I can merge real life theatre, film, animation, dance, movement and choreography with virtual performances. At the end of a year of exploration I was surprised to find that I am most at home with the kinds of processes and results that dance has to offer - organic, responsive, exploratory. The theatre ways of yore aren't cutting it for me anymore - partly because the old collective theatre ethic no longer really exists and so, it seems, the support for ideas that question or inquire no longer exist (here). Also, performing in online spaces has changed me. Theatre feels rigid and contrived when compared to the experience of locating the expression within the moment, as dance can lend itself to do, as virtual performance, by the nature of the platforms and their limitations, requires. It seems I have come to need this immediacy and the risk to be a part of the performance or else it just isn't as satisfying. 

Dance has proven more receptive, in my experience, to incorporating new technologies and virtuality than any other traditional discipline. In these photos by Justin Hall I am working without a net in a very spontaneous performance piece that took place last summer - Upside Down World, Pearls for Pigs - at the BBMC studio in St. John's and simultaneously at the Odyssey Contemporary Art and Performance Simulator in Second Life. 

Following an upsetting gallery experience this piece about taking control of one's work and the context within how one shows work just sort of happened. It happened as a direct response to events occurring at the time. Avatar performers - Fau Ferdinand/Yael Gilks (UK) and Jo Ellsmere/Jane Leffler (USA) - interacted with me from virtual space via a large projection. There was very little script, only images and cues for certain actions to happen. The rest of the performance was an exploration, I followed my impulses and responded to the actions of the avatar performers, projected large on the floor in real time, I played with the visuals that they generated and sound that I generated. The avatars could see my actions via a webstream and so could also respond to me. The performance was a process that I went through with others, as opposed to being something that I stood up and performed, it was a direct response to the present. It marked a change in consciousness in my approach to live performance.

Since then I have been actively seeking experiences that feed these impulses to reach, to explore the moment, to expose the boundary. It's just more fun that way. I have been lucky to be able to work with dancers through programs offered by Neighbourhood Danceworks in contact improvisation and choreography. I am also working whenever I can with the amazing dancer/choreographer Tammy MacLeod to develop ideas. We are currently creating a new piece slated for a first viewing as part of Neighbourhood Danceworks' First Look series in July. 

Upside Down World (Pearls for Pigs)
 photos by Justin Hall

Here is a video of the performance and the avatar audience from the virtual side. The machinima is made by UK artist Arahan Claveau:

Upside Down World (Pearls for Pigs) made possible by the support of the Canada Council for the Arts Media Arts Section and the Black Bag Media Collective in cooperation with Roles for Women Theatre Company

Super Art League at Low Lives: Occupy!

Here is a machinima I recently made in DC Universe Online documenting the Super Art League! as we occupy the Metropolis Mercantile Bank in DCU as part of the 2012 Low Lives: Occupy! event.
March 3, 2012.

In this video: Jeremy Turner/Idea Cyclone, Erik Rzepka/zisuthra szepka, Joseph Delappe/NamJunePaikman, Liz Solo/Slizello, Ben Poynter/Doctor Atramentos, Ben Unterman/The Underliner, Patrick Lichty/The Projector (out of phase).

We are planning more interventions and there is talk that a comic book featuring the adventures of our super characters is in the works:))

the machine

I have just started to work on the edit for the machine - my next release. the machine is a multi-media piece that merges film, video and machinima to create a post apocalyptic fairy tale set in St. John's, Newfoundland. I had the opportunity to work with a fantastic crew during the shoot and learned so much. I also had the pleasure of working with the incomparable actress Melanie Caines, who played the part of the Clown, opposite my hacker character. 

Here are a few shots by Rhonda Pelley from the fourth day of the shoot. Melanie and I take a quick break on the fire escape.
 Gaffer, Tim Murphy, giving awesome input, as he did throughout the whole shoot.
 Asleep at the machine.
 the machine
 Beauty shot of Melanie Caines.

I am also working with Fau Ferdinand/Yael Gilks and Jo Ellsmere/Jane Leffler on the machinima portion of the shoot. A great experience, as always, and we are getting some beautiful stuff. A screen captured picture from the set by Fau Ferdinand/Yael Gilks.

Stay tuned for the release of the machine in the Fall of 2012.

Produced by Liz Solo and the Black Bag Media Collective. Starring Liz Solo and Melanie Caines with Lutius Elijah Whalen and Zoe Elizabeth Howard; Directed by Liz Solo; 1st Assistant Director Shara Desiree King; Production Design by Barry Newhook; Art Direction by Andy Pyne; Props by Jenn Brown; Costumes by Charlotte Reid; Hair by Mackenzie Geehan; Make-up by Andrew Squires; Camera, Bob Pope; 1st Camera Assistant Jay Hamel; 2nd Camera Assistant Stephen Lewis; Gaffer Tim Murphy; Key Grip Thomas Kelly; Sound Phillip Cairns; Boom Operator Marco Dolle; Continuity, Mitchel Bradbury; Design Consultant Geoff Younghusband; Production Assistant Jacky Cook; Production Assistant/Locations Mike Kean; Craft Services Joanne Stoodley. Online crew: Machinima by Liz Solo and Fau Ferdinand/Yael Gilks; Art Direction by Fau Ferdinand/Yael Gilks; consultant/bots and scripts by Jo Ellsmere/Jane Leffler. All machinima is being shot on the Odyssey ContemporaryArt and Performance Simulator.

Made with the support of the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council, The Newfoundland Film Development Corporation, and resources and sponsorship made possible by the Newfoundland Joy Award including NIFCO, Atlantic Studio Cooperative, KODAK, John Doyle and the CBC. Special thanks to Best Boy Entertainment.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Super Art League!

The Super Art League is a group of performance artist superheroes in DC Universe Online. The league is comprised of established and emerging virtual worlds/video-game performance artists from around the world – including members of the performance art group in Second Life known as Second Front.

Active members include: Idea Cyclone (Jeremy Owen Turner, Canada), Slizello (Liz Solo, Canada), NamJunePaik Man (Joseph Delappe, USA), Argon Flux (Patrick Lichty, USA), The Underliner (Ben Unterman, Canada), Pyegirl (Pyewacket Kazyanenko, Australia), and Kai Steamer (Colombia).

There are many other members worldwide (visit our Facebook group for more details -

Hybrid Performance with AOM

Performing Pauline Oliveros/Free Noyse’s “Hello Vancouver” with the Avatar Orchestra Metaverse and Real Life players. This performance was part of a series of demonstrations at the New Music Network in Montreal.


From InWorld

Here are a couple of screen shots from InWorld - my recent on woman theatre performance piece about a recluse gamer searching the metaverse for her avatar lover, missing in real life wartime. Here Lucy Darling enters the Vortex Pinnacle temple in World of Warcraft.Lucy achieves Level 85!
Here is a piece of media adapted from InWorld for the web project Exile Writing - an ongoing project between an amazing collective of women from around the world that started as a workshop at ISEA. This video sets up the love story.

This is a shot from Lucy's final speech where she says: "To know someone virtually is to know them in a perfect way. You see what they want you to see, and so you see them. You get to know who they are inside, even if you never meet in real life. The only problem is - if someone doesn't sign in again - or if they can't sign in - you may never see them again. There is nothing you can do. You will never know what happened to them."
Lucy enters her virtual garden to build another tree.
This show was made possible thanks to support form the Canada Council for the Arts, Media Arts Section, The Black Bag Media Collective and the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council. Produced by Roles 4 Women Theatre Company and Liz Solo.



Roles 4 Women Theatre Company is proud to present the first show of its inaugural season - Liz Solo‘s multi-reality performance piece “InWorld”, live at the LSPU Hall Second Space,Thursday November 24 to Sunday November 27 at 8:30 PM.

A stand up comedienne has given up “the life” and taken to gaming full time. She now lives alone with her puppets and spends her days reliving old comedy routines and leveling her Frost Mage. Merging large-scale projection with live action, video and sound, InWorld is a multi-dimensional exploration of online media culture.

Created by and Starring Liz Solo. Directed by Charlie Tomlinson. Featuring online appearances by members of The Third Faction, Odyssey and The Second Front and puppet appearances by Newf the Baby Harp Seal and Pinky the Bra. Sunday night’s performance will be followed by an Artist’s Talk.

One-act comedy/drama. Mature themes and language. 45 minutes.
Tickets $10 (except: Thursday’s Preview show is PWYC)
Tickets available only at the door.
poster by Jimmy Rose

IO Graphica

Been having some fun today with IO Graphica – a cool little program I found on the Internet that follows your daily mouse movements and turns them into modern art. It was created by Moscow designer Anatoly Zenkof. You can download the program free Here.

I thought it would be interesting to compare the images generated based on what tasks I was doing. The program is making the images across my two computer screens.

Here is the IOGraphica image of me doing administrative tasks and web updating:

Here is the image generated by playing World of Warcraft:
Finally, here is an image created while working on Odyssey in Second Life while Skyping at the same time.

Third Faction at ISEA

The Third Faction were in Istanbul, Turkey in September where we presented a series of workshops as part of the ISEA Istanbul conference. Our project “Demand Player Sovereignty” is a civil disobedience workshop focussing on creating interventions in the online MMORPG World of Warcraft and extending these virtual actions into the geophysical “real world”. During our workshops we held Slut Walks in WoW and had attendees take part.
Below is a propaganda video I created for the ISEA workshops. Visit The Third Faction Website to find out more about the DPS and our other projects.

Occupy Wall Street Bus

Recently, in solidarity with OWS, I met up with associates in Blue Mars Lite to find and occupy Wall Street virtually. The event was organized by my friends Jeremy O. Turner and Jacquelene Drinkall.

Blue Mars Lite uses Google Street View as its interface. So your avatar can walk around the streets of the world. The group met up at a NYC landmark and then started trying to find our way to Wall Street. There was so much traffic, though, that things got confusing and we were lost for a little while.

Luckily we found the Wall Street bus! We occupied that for awhile on the way.
Blue Mars Lite works for both Mac and PC and according to the Blue Mars webpage it is possible to take a URL from Google Street View, plug it into the program and it places your avatar right there. I haven’t been able to get that to work yet but will keep trying to sort it out. Good to know for next time.