GUS Mixed-reality 2015

Global Underscore Mixed-reality Site @ I art, Lisboa, PT & Odyssey Simulator, SL
June 21 3-7PM (WET/GMT+0) 7-10AM (SLT/PST/GMT+8)

I art Calçada Marquês de Abrantes 115, 1200-718 Lisboa
Odyssey Contemporary Art and Performance Simulator, Second Life
SLURL: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Odyssey/31/147/681  
(in collaboration with Senses Places project)

By joining the Global Underscore practice as a mixed reality site @ Odyssey Simulator, Second Life, MUVE Multi-user virtual environment, we want to continue to expand and deepen the connections between remote sites, engaging in experimenting the possibilities of physical-virtual embodied mediated connections, by listening, sharing, improvising also with/through our embodied virtualizations as images and avatars.

The Second Life 3d platform is owned by Linden Labs company (2003) and its population/inhabitants, the avatars (virtual characters), have multiple interests, ranging from business and shopping, to dating, explorations, education and artistic practice, to name but a few. At this multi-user 3d application you animate an avatar and interact with others and the environment in multiple ways. The modalities of interaction include (avatar) chat, appearance, gesture, voice, movement of the body, in space, in relation to other avatars and objects. The possibility to display in screens side by side in a circle a number of windows, like multiple video broadcasts, it is ideal to gather different video live streams from GU sites at a shared virtual site. This can include your stream, in which case you can see and interact with/through the image of yourself in that environment, with people at your site, along with avatars and images of remote people at other sites, as if next to you.
The idea is to truly expand, rather than substitute, our bodies taking advantage of the possibilities of dance somatics propagated and exchanged through digitally enabled embodied mediation/virtualization. Adapting interfaces to our bodies, and not the other way around, will contribute to expand our sensory-perceptive capacities to connect in multiple combined ways amongst GU sites with avatar participants and audience.

The Underscore’s approach is rooted on group and Contact Improvisation developed through increasingly integrating contemporary dance's somatic practices, such as Tai Chi, Release and Alignment, BMC, Alexander, amongst other. These practices allow us to stay grounded and aware, following our bodies’ sensory perceptions particularly while expanding through our images and avatars to connect with others. I believe that such remotely connected improvisation opens amazing interactive possibilities for creative communities of practice such as CI. Trough encompassing connection, emphasizing somatic and technological mediations, we can open multiple physical-virtual vessels of communication amongst participants and shared environments, contributing to generating a novel integrated globality. 

In order to video stream your GUS practice someone there will need:
1. One laptop and a webcam incorporated or attached.
2. Internet access (the best is high-speed ethernet LAN, but works with a wi-fi connection)
3. Create a videostream channel (free), set it and test it prior to the date of the Global Underscore

Steps to set up your video stream:
3.1. Create a channel for video streaming with USTREAM, or Bambuser.
Go to these links for instructions.
3.2. Name your channel as follows: gus2015_(your site’s location).
3.3. Test if you can broadcast.
Test the recording function:
Start broadcasting and go to the channel's link to check if you can see it, or click on the title of your channel at the top left corner of the broadcast window. This opens a new window where your live broadcast will show up.

Suggestion: If you want to record (and you are comfortable starting and ending the recording function without too much distraction) try recording at any of these three times:
a. opening small dance (00:50; 50 minutes into the 4 hour Underscore)
b. 30 minutes during Open Score (2:15–2:45)
c. closing small dance (3:55)

4. Send the URL of your channel to cilxjam@gmail.com in order to be gathered at the Global Underscore blog page.If you have any tech questions, email isabel at cilxjam@gmail.com
In order to visit and participate in the Global Underscore Satellite @ Second Life someone at your GU site needs to:
1. Have a computer with good graphics and internet connection. Note that Mac stopped supporting video on SL.
2. Create an account and choose an avatar (free) @ 
3. Download and install Second Life (free) @ 
Please check the technical requirements.
4. Open the Second Life application and Go to the SL Underscore Satellite site at Senses Places space: SLURL: 
(You can also go to any other location at your choice, or simply login without choosing a place. You will be teleported to a welcome site where avatar hosts wait to help you ☺)
5. Get accustomed to the interface: the avatar and the 3d environment. It is not difficult, but it will require more or less practice, depending on your computer interface and videogame skills and literacy.
Examples: a) learn to use the arrow keys to move the avatar in space, b) learn to use the chat window, voice, or animations to communicate, c) learn about the menus and Inventory, d) learn how to edit the avatar appearance, e) camera operation, f) learn to interact with objects in the environment, g) learn how to teleport, etc. See a video demonstration.
In principle, this will enable you to observe, interact, and improvise at the site with other avatars and video stream images of other GU sites projected on to screens/browser windows.
6. At the VGU site we will share animations for your avatar to improvise with. You can play with then, including changing, accumulating, looping, and move your avatar in space while animated. The ideal is that you can put it to dance so you can dance also with the moving entities. Additionally, we share a webcam interface (from 
Senses Places) that allows your movement to interact with the avatar. This interface instructions and the animations are available in one object at the virtual site :D
7. If you are at one GU site streaming a channel, you will be able to see it there along with other streams. You will only have to copy paste your site’s channel URL link onto one of the screens available at the site as server windows.
8. Watch, experiment, improvise!

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