Fantastical worlds interview: ARE 494 Digital Ethnography Megan victoria ruth

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  • Digital Ethnography: Fantastical Worlds

    Megan Victoria Ruth

  • DefinitionsTraditional Ethnography is the ways of living (Stokrocki, 1997) and include the quality, type, or components of a group, substance, or event (The Qualitative Report, 2010). !Digital Ethnography is much like traditional Ethnograhy but within a digital context and incorporates new technologies such as online films, platforms, digital games, blogs, and virtual worlds.

  • Stages of Digital Ethnography1. Data collection is a process of recording an event and gathering pertinent(inportant) information.

    Following are some suggestions for collecting data. !

    - Content analysis is a search for conceptual themes or patterns of meaning both scientific and emerging. Content analysis also entails writing data summaries, clustering data to form relationships, condensing information to the most significant meanings, and writing stories (Huberman & Miles, 1994, p. 429). !- Comparative analysis is a process of interrelating findings or explanations in one class session or several class sessions to form [suppositions] propositional insights. Interrelation consists of both internal analysis (within your own study) and external analysis (comparisons with other cases and the related literature). All stages involve interpretation, a process of translation of texts. Interpretation is concerned with uncovering the multi-layered meanings of a phenomenon and understanding them more deeply.

  • Method: Digital Ethnography and its StagesThe funding group gathered together and paired six disempowered participants (homeless, etc) for an continuous participation study. Their project aims were to see if virtual worlds can be used to help rethink life plans. For the study they watched the group us virtual sites to plan improvements in their life. They met once a week for ten weeks at ASUs SkySong. They used Levis, Dopey, and Grumpy for data gathering. The main virtual site was SecondLife, and they centralized their gatherings at Floaters within SecondLife. There are 7 steps to their plan which include: 1: learning basic communication skills: Building basic online communication skills via mentorship and/or online tutorials. 2: acquire computer and digital literacy: Creating an avatar, and learning to maneuver within a virtual world. 3: develop life skill guides: Using The Transition: A Place for Dreams project subjects learn steps for building new life, such as gathering resources and building resumes. 4: imagine a place for dreams: Exploring the virtual world. 5: envision a home: Finding a location for a home and building a house. 6: build a business: The option of planning a business while building their home, they will bring the plan into SecondLife as an advertisement. 7: develop service for life: Participants required to give back to the Floaters and Transitions programs, and the hope that participant will retain their service in the future Members of the Floaters community are encouraged to donate back to their group, and to participate in social support groups.

    awesometwisty house

  • ContextI wanted to find an artwork based on fantasy so I tried a couple of different searches, but I couldnt find any actual artworks. I found a lot of fantasy adventure worlds where you can complete missions. One such world that I found Interesting was Hangars liquides - Technopunk Deconstructions. http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Hangars%20Liquides/126/127/2223 !This work was very dark and futuristic in design.

  • ContextSome of the worlds I found were really beautiful. I went through this beautiful cave in Havendale Village. http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Serena%20Pisces/31/220/39 !I was startled when I was eaten by a flower I happened to walk over.

  • I finally found The Lost Unicorn Gallery. http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Ethereal/145/153/51 This gallery holds rotating showing, on a 2 month basis, where the artists artworks which are shown are changed every 2 months. Light country music with guitars is playing. One of the songs that plays is Ones on the way by Loretta Lynn. Very relaxing. There is the musty smell of old paper and leatherback books. I could imagine drinking tea, coffee, cocoa, and eating cookies after a long day here.

    Context

  • ContextMost places in SL are life size next to avatars. I feel tiny like Alice in Wonder Land after she drinks the shrinking potion, the doorways are well over four times taller than me. There is a sitting area, book case, and ladder that are my size but everything else is giant compared to me. Lots of books and pictures from books, which is very relaxing and draws out the imagination. Soft lighting adds to the relaxed feel. I chose this place because, I wanted to find fantasy themed artwork, which was a lot harder than I first thought it would be, because there are a lot of fantasy themed areas in second life. When I found this place I really liked the Gallery setup and the artwork.

  • ContextThe Gallery is open to the public, however the homes of the owner, Natalie aka natalie.montagne, are closed to the public and only those who are placed on a list are allowed access to the Natalies homes. !The area in highly mountainous with forestry and a river which leads to the lake between the mountains. !The gallery is on the mountain slope, and the owners homes are in the valley. !You can follow different paths which lead down towards the lake from the gallery. !There is a tower next the lake which is open to visitor which you can climb up via the Elven rope at the base of the tower.

  • ContextHidden beneath the gallery is a waterlogged Dragons keep, complete with chandeliers and a treasure guarding dragon. Past the dragons keep, beneath and behind the gallery, there is Trompe Loeils The Dreaming House Bench, which is a 3D interactive artwork. !

  • ContextI walked around and found a lot of artworks that I really liked that were all made by Polly Elan so I IMed the owner of the gallery, Natalie aka natalie.montagne, and the artist, Polly Elan aka PolinA LiL Princess, to ask if I could interview her. The artwork I chose that I really liked was The Beauty Wait by Polly Elan. It is in the right side of the building to the right in the Storybook Nook.

    The Beauty Wait by Polly Elan.

  • ContextTo be sure I had an artist to interview, I decided to find another artist. I found Cerridwens Cauldron. http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Cerridwens%20Cauldron/160/162/977 !Unlike the ones before when I arrived at this one, I received a note card which told me the name of the artist, Elicio Ember, who created this land design. The artistry used to create this 3D environment is amazing so I IMed Elicio Ember and asked for an interview. I got responses from both artists so I made my questions into a notecard and sent it to them. Elicio Ember sent me back a notecard with his answers. While Polly Elan messaged me and we set up an appointment for an avatar meeting.

  • Data Collection[13:27] IngwayEndelVictoriaRuth: will around 7pm today be okay?![13:27] Polly Elan: well it s my zz time![13:28] IngwayEndelVictoriaRuth: what time today are you available?![13:28] Polly Elan: earliest i can be it s like 12 am on friday![13:28] Polly Elan: i go zz in a few but we can do e.f friday round 10 am![13:28] Polly Elan: or noon sl![13:31] IngwayEndelVictoriaRuth: can you do friday at 4:30pm?![13:32] Polly Elan: well i usually zz from like 2 pm - 11 pm deep night here![13:32] IngwayEndelVictoriaRuth: or 4am on friday?![13:34] Polly Elan: friday only 11 am or 11 pm will work )![13:34] Polly Elan: ugh sadly![13:35] IngwayEndelVictoriaRuth: your time or my time?![13:35] Polly Elan: sl time![13:36] IngwayEndelVictoriaRuth: where is that time indicator located?![13:36] Polly Elan: right up corner![13:36] Polly Elan: next to sound![13:37] IngwayEndelVictoriaRuth: k. then i can meet you at 11pm on friday.![13:37] Polly Elan: ok cool![13:37] Polly Elan: i l be on![13:37] IngwayEndelVictoriaRuth: see you then. and thank you.![13:37] Polly Elan: mw!!Polly Elan uses shortened words when she writes.!zz: sleep!sl: SecondLife!!The artist I selected is Polly Elan, and the artwork I chose is The Beauty Wait. I chose this artwork because I really liked the aesthetic, as well as the painted quality of the digital work.

  • ContextPolly Elan lives in Russia so there is a six hour time difference between us but we managed to set up a time when both of us could be available. 7am for her and 11pm for me. When we met up for our interview. She asked if she could with from typing to voice. I agreed and found that the speech option would be better for me as I needed to type her answers. We chatted about the questions and her life and why she uses/likes second life so much. She was very nice and we had a great conversation.

  • Content Analysis: Polly ElanQuestion Answer

    What is Art to you? A way to escape reality, expressing inner personality/ideas, relax and feel peace, and to forget about problems, or to work out bad moods (makes details in artwork)

    What are their Art Preferences? Photography, clothes (avatar poses, with atmosphere, history, story), story or strong concept. Sculpting armatures for figure poses. Architecture but not on purpose (for backgrounds) spring blowing.

    Why do you make it on Second Life? Because she likes it, it takes so much time, but its not for benefits, it is her hobby.How did you make this artwork? Inspriations from a designer blog you can wait a hundred years. She picked an idea out of a bag. Her

    ideas come from/relate to fairy tales, she draws inspiration from her child. She loves themes of fantasy, she makes photo shoots of her avatars, and uses photoshop, and other graphic programs for editing. She draws details like hair, etc. She uses background stock(free images).

    What kind of artist are you in Real Life Artist?

    She says she is not an artist, she is a [design director] for a building company for building materials (paints, tiles). She arranges designs for advertisements in magazines/banners. Russia, Mosco district.

    What Artwork Forms and Methods do they use?

    She uses a little of both. She either makes a board and puts the textures on them. She creates, edits and imports her work. Or she makes/builds then directly in SL.

    How do you collaborate? She works with artists like her with combined galleries that work as a studio which customers can walk through, which also functions as a workshop. She works with friends in Russia help them assimilate. She asks for help with pile-up pictures, which uses many avatars. She uses them for inspirations. She asks them to help her find cool pictures. She says artists always look for new feelings, and thats why they use pileup groups.

    How did they make the artpiece? What does their artwork mean--Expressions? What are their Art Preferences?

    She took a photograph, edited it using photoshop, then uploads it. Inspirations come from fantasy, things/world around her, music, pictures, other peoples artwork (concepts), movies. Interview with a Vampire, Beowulf, Sucker Punch (she liked the music during the fight with samurai).

    What kind of art do you make on SL? She makes 2D work, in-world shoots, avatar backgrounds, and block pictures(furniture, dresses).What is its style? Her avatar is elven. She is dressed a certain way because she was working on a block picture. She likes

    white hair, (inspired by her male avatar/legoless, from lord of the rings), pure white skin tones, different tan tones for work and photos(facebook)(for arabian country idea for skin). She doesnt usually add wings, or horns, but may use them for style.

    Bensons Thematic Analysis Method:Patton, M. Q (2002). QualitativeResearch and EvaluationMethods, 3rd Edition, Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks.

  • Content Analysis: Elicio EmberQuestion Answer

    Your favorite artwork/artist on SL?

    I love the Artwork of the designers part of the Fantasy Faire (of which I am part too), each of whom has their own SL brand, like myself , that would be Alia Baroque, Sharni Azalee, Rynn Verwood, Saiyge Lotus, and many others. (More info on the Fantasy Farie at: https://fantasyfairesl.wordpress.com/

    What are their Art Preferences? I am a fantasy artist, with visual influences from surrealism, psychedelic artwork, art nouveau and ancient cultures, mainly kelt.

    Why do you make it on Second Life?

    I was a RL painter long before becoming a SL artist, and that was 7 years ago. I see SL as an interactive canvas, one where I can make "paintings", or parts of them, that people not only get to admire, but interact with. Its, for me, a more meaningful artistic relationship than a passive viewer. People get my work and get to do their own landscapes and worlds with them. Each people adds, changes, and transforms my work to fit what it inspires in them. And I love that. That is in addition to the landscapes I get to create myself for people to interact with. Commercially, it offers the wide world audience that social networks offer (if your work falls into the public eye) . As a RL fantasy landscape painter in Mexico my access to public was very limited. SL has opened for me a world wide public for my digital world, and interest on my RL paintings for the near future.

    How did you make this artwork?

    In SL its digital of course, with ample use of different design and 3d design programs, as well as stock images, texture creation tools, stock sound databases (for the interactive elements), etc. In RL I use watercolors on cotton paper or acrylics on prepared canvas. I would love to sculpt, but my current location is not fit for that.

    What kind of artist are you in Real Life Artist?

    Who I am here, an artist. I am a painter and digital artist in RL, so, SL is an extension of it. SL is one of my digital art mediums. I live in Mexico City, Mexico. And I am Mexican myself.

    How do you collaborate? Artistically, I have participated in extensive collaborative projects with skilled worldmakers like the Fantasy Faire, for which I have created 6 simulators so far. Commercially, I have not done any collaborative project yet. but it is on my plans for the near future.

    How did they make the artpiece? What does their artwork mean--Expressions? What are their Art Preferences?

    I make on Second Life realistic (as in not abstract) architecture and landscaping (plants, trees, statues, interactive elements, etc), fantasy themed, with influence from surrealism, like Spanish architect Gaudi, art nouveau, psychedelic art, and ancient cultures, as mentioned before. In RL I do figurative painting, mainly landscapes, with the same influences.

    What is its style? Its usually a Tolkein style male elf. Though I shapeshift depending on where I go. I like much using unusual fantasy avatars or animal avatars when in nature-like sims.

  • Comparative AnalysisPolly Elan uses photography and digital 3D. She makes these works as a hobby for relaxation and expressing inspiration. !Elicio Ember uses painting and digital 3D. He makes these works as interactive artwork, a collaborative of viewer alterations and inspirations.

  • Comparative AnalysisDigital Storytelling Both artists use digital storytelling. They both create an idea or story, which they then use to create visual images/environments which visiting viewers can experience, and they use notecards and events to tell viewers about the meanings of the artworks. This is similar to the activity that was used in Sanchezs Pedagogical Applications of Second Life.

  • References Sanchez, J. (2007). Implementing Second Life: Ideas, Challenges, and Innovations. Pedagogical Applications of Second Life (pp.21-28). Stokrocki, M. (1997). Qualitative forms of research methods. In S. D. La Pierre, & E. Zimmerman (Eds.). Research methods and methodologies for art education (pp. 33-56). Reston, VA: NAEA. Sweeny, Bob. (Ed.). (2010). Empowering the disenfranchised: Explorations in building sites and futures in Second Life. Digital Visual Culture: Intersections and Interactions in 21st century art education. Reston, VA: National Art Education Association. Cutting edge research and community outreach which is an ASU priority. NAEA Visual Culture Blog: http://naea.typepad.com/dvc/