Monthly Archives: September 2007

Sweden — now playing in Second Life

Sweden: Open Skies, Open Minds is a new 4-minute film released this week that encapsulates a little bit of everything that makes Sweden, well, Sweden.

And you can now watch it in Second Life, at the auditorium of Second House of Sweden:

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Free Swedish lessons in Second Life — starting October 2

What: Free Swedish lessons for beginners
When: Four courses, starting Tuesday, October 2, 7am SL time (4pm Stockholm time, 10am New York time)
Where: Second House of Sweden auditorium, Swedish Institute sim.

Ever wish you spoke just enough Swedish to break the ice with the cute Swedish boy/girl/furry you’ve been spying at the other end of the dance floor? The Swedish Institute can help.

Starting Tuesday, October 2, at 7am SL time (4pm Stockholm time), we’ll be giving a series of free Swedish lessons in Second Life for beginners. You’ll find that you in fact understand quite a lot, even if you have never have heard spoken Swedish before. You don’t need to prepare beforehand or know any Swedish — just show up, hang out and have fun learning.

Instructor Lasse will be conducting four courses in total, using Second Life’s voice chat technology and a video screen. Expected dates for the subsequent courses are October 9, 22 and November 5, all at 7am SL time. Attend one, some, or all.

See you there!

Note: Please be sure to have voice-chat enabled (to hear Lasse and others) and Quicktime installed (to view the live video).

Gallery Talk #2, by Nationalmuseum (Sept 25)

What: Gallery Talk by Nationalmuseum at Second House of Sweden
When: Tuesday, September 25, 15:30 Stockholm time (06:30 Second Life time)
Where: Second House of Sweden, Swedish Institute, Second Life
Who: Helén Hallgren Archer, Nationalmuseum’s curator for art education
How: Using Second Life’s new voice technology

Nationalmuseum’s gallery talk in August got great reviews and feedback, and we are happy to host another one this week. Helén will be talking about four of the artworks from Nationalmuseum that are on display at the Second House of Sweden, exploring how nature inspired these Swedish artists in different ways.

The four art pieces are by these artists:

Ernst Josephson (1851-1906), “The Water Sprite”, painted 1882;
Anders Zorn (1860-1920), “Midsummer Dance”, painted 1897;
Prince Eugen (1856-1949), “The Cloud”, painted 1896;
Märta Måås Fjetterström (1873-1941), “Unicorn in the forest”, textile from 1920.

During the last gallery talk, we were testing to see if Second Life’s voice technology really works when used with a lot of people. It did. This time round, we hope to have ironed out some of the kinks, so the whole experience should be a lot smoother. See you there!

Invasão Sueca: Swedish music in Brazil… in Second Life (Sept 21)

Invasão Sueca (“Swedish Invasion”) brings Swedish pop music to Brazil, and now also to Second Life. This whole week, Swedish bands such as Love Is All, Hello Saferide, Maia Hirasawa and Suburban Kids With Biblical Names are playing in Recife, Porto Alegre and Sao Paolo — on September 21st, the performance is also being broadcast live via streaming video to the Second House of Sweden, Sweden’s virtual embassy in Second Life.

The concert starts at 23.00 Sao Paolo time (Sept 21), 22.00 New York time, (Sept 21), 19.00 Second Life time (Sept 21), 04:00 Stockholm time (Sept 22). On stage will be Suburban Kids With Biblical Names and Maia Hirasawa. See you at the Second House of Sweden on the Swedish Institute sim.

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About Invasão Sueca: Invasão Sueca is a project by the Swedish Institute and Export Music Sweden to promote Swedish music in Brazil. In 2006 Jens Lekman, El Perro Del Mar and Hell On Wheels toured Brazil, which resulted in front-page news on the culture pages of Sao Paolo’s largest daily papers. In June 2007 José Gonzales toured Brazil with Invasão Sueca.

About the live video broadcast in Second Life: As with everything we do in Second Life, we approach this project as a playful experiment. We will do live but informal testing on September 20th (same times, but 24 hours earlier, so do drop by Second House of Sweden then and help us stress test:-) What’s the technology involved? On stage, a video camera and microphones relay the concert to a computer connected to the internet, running Wirecast. Wirecast encodes the video and sends it to Qbrick in Sweden, which in turn broadcasts the video to all those who visit the auditorium at the Second House of Sweden.

[UPDATE: Due to technical difficulties — a bad internet connection in Brazil — we weren’t able to bring this live. Apologies all round, that is the way it is new technology:-)]

US politicians take note of Sweden’s Second Life presence

To paraphrase a famous New Yorker cartoon, In Second Life, nobody knows you’re Newt Gingrich. Apparently, he’s visited the Second House of Sweden, and namedrops the virtual embassy as an inspiration for a stronger US push into virtual worlds:

Second Life is a more sophisticated extranet, representing the next wave of collaboration using a 3D Internet virtual world. It is so compelling that people actually spend real money to buy real estate in this online reality. The Swedish government actually has an embassy in Second Life.

Newt may not have invented the internet, but he’s certainly pushing the 3D web:-) (Via The Escapist, which adds a nice take on the news)

Umeå’s HUMlab ventures into Second Life

Another Swedish univertsity is venturing into Second Life. Umeå University’s HUMlab, “a vibrant and diverse meeting place for the humanities, culture and information technology”, has just bought part of a sim and is beginning to explore the space. The HUMlab Blog is documenting progress — you can read more about it here and here.