Monday, June 04, 2007

The Bridges of Second Life

I'm one of those many people drawn to bridges. Even in Second Life where we can fly, people love bridges and photograph them all the time (I loved Jill Linden's series of Linden bridges in 2005). This weekend I decided to run around Second Life and capture as many bridges as I could find, and put them up in a Flickr set [link]. I'm not planning on making a book out of these since they're just quick snapshots, but wanted to share.

I hope you enjoy the pictures, and if you know of bridges I can add to the set please let me know.


  1. Sigh. I wonder what goes through your head, Forseti, when in your hugely busy and productive life, you suddenly circle back to this topic, and suddenly out of all the things on Phil's green platform, you find THIS to do.

    Could it be, Forseti, you're not doing a book...because you do have some prior knowledge that I have been planning to do a book? Of course anybody can do a book, and bridges are bridges -- they're in the public domain. So do a book, whatever. Let there be 100 books, because honestly, there are gadzillion bridges in SL now. And I've taken more than a year with mine, adding pictures now and then to the collection, but never getting it published because frankly, it's just too *hard* to do things like this in SL, even with things made easier like Toneless Tomba's printing press.

    But knowing that I made an effort to make a collection of bridge collections, you could have long ago offered to *collaborate*. You know, *share*. Since it was my idea I suggested to you back then, and I mentioned it to you enthusiastically several times, and you picked it up, and then instead made the buildings book, and then said, oh, well, you should do bridges.

    But because I didn't get it done -- I'm an amateur, you're a professional, of course -- you just did it anyway. And now, instead of saying making a joint effort or a group effort where many people could participate, it's "if you know of bridges I can add to the set please let me know."

    Of course, you might cite as an excuse now all kinds of things for why you wouldn't wish to do a project like this with me. But what you cannot explain is why back then, you couldn't have done it then.

    Why can't people *collaborate* in SL? Why is it always about someone being first, best, pushing aside others? It's supposed to be this tool for *collaboration*. But that's fake, a hoax.

    In any event, eventually I'll do a book, and I think the main thing I'd do different is not use that awful ripple water -- it looks so fake.

  2. Great shots, Forseti! It has been really interesting to see how the bridges of Second Life have evolved over the years in detail and size. I remember the first SLCC build where Hiro and Adam Zaius combined their efforts to make huge bridges leading to the central NYLS building. I'm a big fan of bridges myself; my British home town is Bristol, where there is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the world, between two cliffs. Its stunning.

  3. Prok, I've been waiting for your book for a year and a half, and my love of architecture and bridges hasn't changed one whit. Do you really need the perfect virtual book technology before you get yours done? Do you really want to collaborate when you're usually speaking at me in, shall we say, negative terms?

    I don't have time to put a book together on this, or get the pictures perfect, or write thoughtful text. That avatar book took me bloody forever, and I still want to do another architecture book but that's another big project and this one was more weekend-friendly. You are welcome to use and credit any of these pictures, but it sounds like you don't like them, and my offering is probably just going to piss you off. I have no doubt when you do publish yours it will be thoughtful and beautiful.

    If you need help with Toneless' printing press, just ask.

  4. Collaborate means cooperating jointly, Forseti. It doesn't mean you giving me a condescending lecture about how to use the printing press -- which is merely rote knowledge that one has to sit down on a weekend and learn. It's gone through several iterations, it means updating the product and putting each and every separate texture in an upload and into the device, it's a chore and has its kinks. It's not about lessons that I could do in my own self-paced way.

    And it's not about taking your material and crediting it. It's about treating some as an equal, as a colleague, when they give you an idea, when they are working on something, and you hear about it and ask about it. But I don't expect you to understand this.

  5. I collaborate with lots of people on different projects, both colleagues and friends. I love collaboration, although I haven't on any of my photo books simply because it makes everything take so much longer... although in many ways the avatar book was a collaboration with the models even if I took the pictures and chose the ones to use. You want to collaborate? Change the way you treat me and other people. Clearly you do NOT want to collaborate with me.

    To say you gave me this idea when I've been painting and photographing my environment and imagination since I was a child is ludicrous and extraordinarily artistically egotistical.

    Ludicrous. You can't carve off a generic concept simply because you talk about it.

    I don't expect you to see anything, though, except how you have been so unfairly wounded.

  6. Hi!
    On the Vulcano island we started a contest to build innovative bridges ten days ago or so... some are already there, but the finished works should come available in a week or so.
    Feel free to pop by and have a look.

    Bru Yang

  7. Wow, Forseti, what a beautiful bunch of screenshots! I know what you went through to frame that shot of my covered bridge without the neighborhood junk showing, so I can imagine how much work went into composing all of these great images -- not to mention choosing unique and representative bridges from the countless spans in SL. I always enjoy your books a lot, and I'm glad that you were able to come up with the time to do this photo set. Thanks!

  8. Thanks Bru - I'll definitely come check it out.

    I've been adding pics from Apollo, Babbage Canals, and a few more as I discover them.

    And yes Kim, your neighborhood has gotten messier!

  9. I'll be sure to check in again to see the new screenshots!