ARE 494 / 598 Digital Ethnography- Ashley Roberts

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Digital Ethnography on Second Life.

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  • 1. A Journey Through Ashley Roberts aka AshleyElizR Professor Dr. Mary Stokrocki aka Marylou Goldrosen ARE 598: Digital Ethnography in Virtual Worlds- Summer 2014

2. Ethnography relies greatly on up- close, personal experience. Participation, rather than just observation, is one of the keys to this process (Genzuk, 1999). Traditional ethnographers focus attention on a community, selecting knowledgeable informants who know the activities of the community well (Garson, 2008). Digital Ethnography is participation and observation on a community in the digital world. Digital ethnographers can participate and observe online films, digital games, blogs, and virtual worlds, to name a few (The Qualitative Report, Stokrocki, 2010). During this class we focus on digital ethnography in the virtual world of Second Life. 3. Stage 1:Data Collection Gathering information in a 3D virtual learning environment can be done by using various methods such as interviews, group chats, observations in different locations, screen shots, and surveys. Stage 2:Content Analysis Taking the data collection and organizing it into different groups and/or themes. Breaking up data into smaller parts is to gain a better understanding of it. Stage 3:Comparative Analysis Using the content that was gathered and comparing/contrasting it to another item that is researched. Stokrocki, 2007 4. Second life is very new to me, so I felt I would be most comfortable choosing an avatar with similar visual representation of myself. I chose a generic blonde woman and changed her height and clothes. I then added some eye make up, lipstick, nail polish, and slightly changed the skin color. I wasnt sure how to adjust the facial details such as the eye shape, nose, and lips. After a lot of trial and error I was able to change the clothes of my avatar. I found out the clothes have to be made of mesh. Some of the clothes I purchased for free, werent mesh, which is why it didnt work. My avatar was wearing a dress and boots when I first joined Second Life. I purchased a floral dress for free, and got tired of that, so I reset my avatar to the original outfit. I added a skirt on top of the dress because I didnt know how to take the dress off. Finally I figured out how to change my entire outfit, so I changed her outfit to a casual dark colored, v-neck, t-shirt and skinny jeans. I am still hesitant to change the clothes because of the amount of time and frustration I experienced doing that. 5. I chose to discuss the context of Le Botanique. It is a rain forest-like environment floating in the sky. It was built by Liara Okiddo. The reason why I chose to write about Le Botanique, was how calming it made me feel. When I first arrived in Le Botanique, I could hear and see rainfall all around me. The sound of rainfall reminded me of how much I like the smell of rain. I could imagine it feeling cool, wet, and refreshing from the rain. The sky was covered in clouds in most areas of the island. As I walked around I could see pockets of blue sky. I was near a post-modern looking bungalow with glass panels and clean lines. As I made my way away from the building, I noticed soft, violin music playing in the background. The paths are paved with cobbled stone with moss growing on them. There are flowers and lush vegetation everywhere. I came across a wooden bridge, and beyond the bridge is a small table with two chairs under a tent. On the table is a bottle of wine and two wine glasses. Looking at the wine, made me think of the dry, yet fruity taste of the wine. Under the bridge was a pond with lily pads. http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Mir am%20Brown/40/169/607 I only noticed about two or three people in there. They seemed to be enjoying this amazing place as well. Some were dressed more formal than others. I noticed one lady wearing a business casual outfit. A man was wearing a shirt and shorts with sneakers. This could possibly be a meeting place, for a quick art critique. There is one painting of a portrait of a woman wearing what appears to be a steam-punk style mask around her mouth, nose, and right eye. The painting is in a corner on an easel inside the small bungalow that could be discussed. This place would be ideal just to sit back, relax after a long day at work, and listen to violin music and rain. 6. I was able to interview three avatar artists on Second Life. The name of the avatar artists I spoke with are Marx Catteneo, Quan Lavender, and Wizard Gynoid. I found Marx Catteneo through an avatar I met on Secondlife. Marx Catteneo then introduced me to Quan Lavender. Knowing the right avatars on Second Life really saved me a lot of time from hunting down avatar artists to interview. I had to research Wizard Gynoid and message her, which took some time, but later was a success. Here are some screenshots of me interviewing each artist. Wizard Gynoid Quan Lavender Marx Catteneo 7. The first artist I interviewed on Second Life is a real life and second life photographer, Marx Catteneo. I was able to meet Marx through another avatar on Second Life. We interviewed in his Second Life art gallery called Marc Cuppens RL Photogrpahy. Marx was dressed in a grunge style, wearing worn/ripped bell bottom jeans, dusty brown boots, and a dark red, plaid, button down shirt. His hair was dark brown and shaggy in length. Marx Catteneo is a photographer in real life in The Netherlands, and he sells his artwork in his Second Life gallery. He also has a YouTube channel with Second Life video work he has made. He has been a photographer since he was 14 years old. His large collection of his work consists of photographs of architectural detail, buildings, landscapes that he has taken over many years. His older photographs were taken with an analogue camera, but he now uses an Olympus 35 mm. In 2005 he bough his first digital camera. He sells his photos in real life and in second life. He collaborates with other SL artists on various projects such as filming a dance art project on Second Life. He has worked with SL artists such as Chantal Harvey, Bryn Oh, Pixels Sideways, Quan Lavender, Artistide Despres, and many more. We focused on one photograph that caught my eye. It was a photograph of a laser show on the Expo in Spain. The light effects is pure laser in the lens in the photograph. He was vacationing in Spain when he took the photograph. He said he feels that he is more observant than most people. While photographing, he cuts out a frame that emphasizes the esthetics. Marx is also a member of the LEA: Linden Endowment for the Arts. Linden Lab provides 29 sims for the presentation of art. The artists get grants for a certain time. Linden Lab is the owner of Second Life. His installation was exhibited in 2012. http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Rainbow%20Park%20Island/39/134/47 http://www.youtube.com/user/MarxCatteneo http://www.youtube.com/user/MarcCuppens http://justpaste.it/MachinimaManifest http://lindenarts.blogspot.nl/2012/12/konne cted-piano-by-marx-catteneo.html Laser Light Show, Spain 8. [08:47] AshleyElizR: Why do you make art on Second Life? What are the benefits? [08:47] Marx Catteneo: i try to sell my real life work inhere [08:48] Marx Catteneo: i was setting up an exhibition for RL and updated all my photos for SL as well [08:48] AshleyElizR: Do you collaborate with any other artists? [08:48] Marx Catteneo: i have collaborated on various projects with other artists yes [08:48] Marx Catteneo: and will do again [08:48] Marx Catteneo: i will film for a dance art project [08:49] Marx Catteneo: that's in SL [08:49] Marx Catteneo: i have filmed artists in RL too [08:49] AshleyElizR: who are the aritsts you have collaborated in SL? [08:49] Marx Catteneo: i'll paste my 2 youtube channels here one sec.. [08:50] Marx Catteneo: http://www.youtube.com/user/MarxCatteneo [08:50] Marx Catteneo: http://www.youtube.com/user/MarcCuppens [08:50] Marx Catteneo: i have worked with... [08:50] Marx Catteneo: Chantal Harvey [08:51] Marx Catteneo: Bryn Oh [08:51] Marx Catteneo: Pixels Sideways [08:51] Marx Catteneo: Quan Lavender [08:51] Marx Catteneo: Artistide Despres [08:51] Marx Catteneo: and many more Here is part of the interview: 9. After interviewing Marx Catteneo, Marx was nice enough to connect me to another Second Life artist, Quan Lavender. Quan Lavender is from Germany and is a curator and art blogger on Second Life. She was dressed in a long, sleek, formal, black dress and wearing a large, fancy, black hat with blue, peacock feathers attached to the edges of the hat. Quan made an SL exhibit called, Art in Hats. Art in Hats was her idea where she invited more than 80 artists and fashion designers to create hats for the event. The exhibition gives a good overview over the art scene in SL. I asked her the benefit of having an exhibition on SL, and she simply said because it is fun. She said you cant get rich with art in SL. Quan said she would love to curate art in real life, although she hasnt studied art. She said she has enough knowledge in art that she can inspire and encourage artists. She said this is one of the things she learned about herself through Second Life. My favorite thing is when I see it is a success, the people are coming and the artist is happy. I think a curator has to have the ability to see the potential of an artist, not only inviting the art. She gave me an example of a well known photographer in SL, Melusina Parkin who had a great interest in Art Deco. Quan helped her create an Art Deco installation where her photos where part of it. Quan Lavender explained the reason why she had artists make hats was because often artists create hats as a gift for the guests, or people create a hat for their parties or their friends. She said its one of the easiest and most creative things to wear in SL. Her intent for Art in Hats was to create a cross event of art, fashion, and photography. Quan Lavender is also a member o