Montag, 18. August 2014

Portrait: Spiral Silverstar

A few das ago the "Hyperzette" reviewed the region "Phantasmagorian" by Spiral Siverstar on the Kitely Grid. After the visit I contacted the artist and asked him a few questions. And there is much more behind of just developing the region "Phantasmagorian". Just read what Joseph Zazulak aka Spiral Silverstar did answer on my questions.
Spiral Silverstar

Hyperzette:
Reading your Bio you state that you are a Fractal Artist, a Machinima Creator, a Short Filmmaker, an Observer of Life, a Surrealist. What do you like most of this list ?

Spiral:
LOL, I suppose that if I had to choose one, I would select creating machinima at this point in my life. After so many years of creating fractal art I believe that it was time for a change in artistic direction.
Joe Zazulak

Hyperzette:
One can read that you have been a long time resident of Second Life, since 2006. What is or was the reason to change to OpenSim ? And have there been grids you have been in between before you came to Kitely ?

Spiral:
Truthfully, the main reason for the change was simply the cost of land in Second Life. It is ridiculous to think that I can own a full sim on Kitely for only $15/month when the same virtual land in Second Life goes for $295/month plus setup fees.
I also really like the way that Kitely is operated and maintained. Kitely also has its own Marketplace and now is Hypergrid enabled, which is great! I did also try InWorldz for a time, but again even their pricing was too high when one is on a fixed income. I am quite happy in Kitely now and one full sim is all that I require for my needs.


Hyperzette:
When we talked, you told me that you are doing Fractal Arts for about 18 years now. That is way before Virtual Worlds started. Did you publish your works, before your start in Virtual Worlds and how did you do that ?

Spiral:
Before there were any Virtual Worlds I used to publish my art to the site Renderosity.com. I also started one of the first online fractal art groups for artists to share their idea and fractal parameter files for all to use.

Hyperzette:
So Virtual Worlds did give you a complete new platform to work with. Can you tell us a bit about it ?

Spiral:
I knew nothing about Virtual Worlds when I entered Second Life in 2006, so I was truly amazed and pleased that I was able to upload my art for so many to see it. I was also then connected to numerous other artists and creators which allowed me to see their works in a way that would not have been possible otherwise. I was able to learn a bit about building and using sculpts and scripts to do some new and innovative things with my fractals as well.

Hyperzette:
Fractal Art has a lot to do with mathematics. How can we imagine to make art out of a dry mathematical calculation ? What kind of software you are using and are the pictures getting post processed in any manner ?


Spiral:
This question makes me laugh because math was my weakest subject when I was in school.
However, creating fractal art, which IS all about math does not require anyone to know anything about the fractal formulas or algorithms. Learning to create fractals using the various types of fractal software does have a high learning curve, but being able to begin with someone else's formulas is a huge asset to this process. I began my fractal art using the free Fractal Explorer program, then moved on to Ultra Fractal and more recently I have tried the Mandelbulb 3D software, also a free program.
And yes, some of the fractal pictures are post processed using different graphic programs

Hyperzette:
Your art is not only static pictures but moving ones and sculptures as well. Could you tell us about your approach.

Spiral:
As I said, I have learned some of the basics of building in Virtual Worlds. I also like to take things that others have made apart, when possible and try to learn from that process. I am always on the lookout for new and different scripts to play with as well as using sculpties for this purpose. Besides items that I find in Virtual Worlds, I also peruse the internet for new software and see what others are doing in an attempt to continually try new things.


Mechanical Circus from Joe Zazulak (Spiral Silverstar) on Vimeo.

Hyperzette:
You have done and still do machinimas in Virtual Worlds. Do you produce those machinimas in any Virtual World ? And is there a difference between Second Life and OpenSim technology ?

Spiral:
I have produced machinima in Second Life exclusively at this time merely because there is so much creative content there. I have plans to continue to do so in Kitely and look forward to seeing much more content from creators in that regard. On Kitely there is almost no lag whatsoever which is a great help to producing machinima. I cannot say whether or not other Opensim worlds are as lag-free as Kitely.


Hyperzette:
I know that it is hard to tell and it depends on the machinima but can you say how long you are working on a movie ? Let's take as an example 'fluid in blue' (http://vimeo.com/27190545) a machinima with a length of 5min and 43 sec.

Spiral:
The amount of time that it takes to complete a film varies quite a bit. I only use myself and my alts as actors in my films, which I feel works best for me. I don't think that most people realize just how much work goes into a few minutes of machinima or any film for that matter. One must have their storyline first of course. After that, one needs various locations to film, gather or buy any necessary props, buy or make any unusual animations for the avatars to use and do the actual filming. Once that is completed the film is taken into a video editing program and everything is compiled together, effects are applied and so on. I don't keep any logs on the amount of time that I spend on a film, but I would guess that I might spend many hours for each part of the process. I am sorry that I cannot give a more specific answer to this question.


Shadows Reflecting Darkness from Joe Zazulak (Spiral Silverstar) on Vimeo.

Hyperzette:
All the visual effects in any of your films, are they done by you or do you have a crew in the back ?

Spiral:
No, I do everything myself and prefer it that way. :-))


Hyperzette:
Your Fractal Art is to be seen at "Phantasmagoria" Region on Kitely Grid in your own Gallery "Spiral's Fractal Art Gallery" and objects of yours are spread all over the region and on other places to be reached via teleport. Do you have exhibitions somewhere else, also in real life galleries.

Spiral:
I have had several of my fractals enlarged and printed in conjunction with the "Benoit Mandelbrot Fractal Art Contests", in which I was fortunate to have won spots in the 2006, 2007 and 2009 contests. These images were shown in many galleries in Europe following the contests. Other than that, I have had some of my machinimas shown in different real life showings.


the mirror lies from Joe Zazulak (Spiral Silverstar) on Vimeo.

Hyperzette:
What are your plans for the future ?

Spiral:
I want to continue to try new methods of using and displaying my fractal art in virtual worlds as well as continue with my machinimas and filmmaking.

Hyperzette:
Thank you, Spiral


And I do not want to keep more information on the artwork from the readers.

Fractal Art:
-  One of the winners in the world-wide fractal art competition in 2006, at the Benoit Mandelbrot  fractal art contest, for "Fingers Holding Secrets".
-  Honorable mention for two entries in the 2007 contest, "Crack in Time" and "Jewel of the Smiles".
-  Winner in the 2009 contest for "Tension".

Machinima:
- Winner of a spot in the MachinimaExpo in 2011 for the film, "Fluid in Blue" which was also screened at the New Media Festival in Los Angeles, CA.


fluid in blue from Joe Zazulak (Spiral Silverstar) on Vimeo.

- Places under the top ten at the 2013 University of Western Australia in Second Life Machinima contest,"The Mirror Lies" and "Shadows Reflecting Darkness" (see above)

More Machinimas of Joseph Zazulak to be seen on Vimeo at http://vimeo.com/spiralsilverstar/videos

Interviewpartner: Spiral Silverstar
For the "Hyperzette": zaphod Enoch

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