Category Archives: Announcement

Two Indonesian short films — March 18

On March 18, the Swedish Institute is showing two Indonesian short films at the Second House of Sweden, in the virtual world of Second Life. The films, “My Pikko” and “Night Shift”, were made during the Swedish Digital Filmmaking Workshop held in Jakarta from October 28 to November 18, 2007.

Workshop participants will introduce the two films; afterwards, join them in a discussion of the films and the workshop.

Anyone with a broadband Internet connection can take part. It’s free.

When: Tuesday, 18 March, 4 pm Stockholm time (8 am Second Life time, 10 pm Jakarta time)

About the films:

My Pikko (Colour, Drama, 11 minutes, 2007)
mp1.jpg
Story and direction: Andi Arfan Sabran
A mother has to make a difficult decision regarding her daughter’s pet bird during the avian flu epidemic in Indonesia.

Night Shift (Colour, Drama, 18 minutes, 2007)
ns2.jpg
Story and direction: Elizabeth Pamela Andries
Cousins Aziz and Upik work at a 24-hour convenience store in Jakarta. Aziz experiences Jakarta’s nightlife during the night shift, but gets caught in the intrigue of a crime committed by his old friend Jamal, a fellow employee.

More information:
The Swedish Digital Filmmaking Workshop is a project of the Swedish Institute, in collaboration with the Embassy of Sweden In Jakarta, the Faculty of Film and Television — Jakarta Arts Institute and the Jakarta Arts Council.

Swedish supervisors at the workshop were Dramatiska Institutet’s Marianne Persson and Hanna Andersson. Project coordinator is Winda Wastu Melati. Both Hanna and Winda will be at the showing in Second Life to discuss the films and the workshop.

How to visit the Second House of Sweden:
First-time users of Second Life: Get a free account at Sweden.se. Download and install the viewer (Windows, Mac or Linux), log on and you will be instantly transported to the Swedish Institute’s island. There, a short orientation course teaches you the basics of navigating Second Life. After about 15 minutes of training, you’ll be ready to join the activities at the Second House of Sweden.

Seasoned users of Second Life: Using the map, search for “Swedish Institute” and teleport there. You can also use this SLurl.

Contact info:
International media:
Susanna Wallgren, susanna.wallgren@si.se, +46 8 453 79 65

Swedish media:
Jenny Hagblom, jenny.hagblom@si.se, +46 8 453 79 22

About the Swedish Institute:
The Swedish Institute (SI) is a public agency that promotes interest in Sweden abroad. SI seeks to establish cooperation and lasting relations with other countries through active communication and cultural, educational and scientific exchanges. The Swedish Digital Filmmaking Workshop is one example of such work.

This post is also available as a press release (1.6MB).

Virtu-Real credits

I’m back in Cairo now after a hectic week in Washigton DC, finally with some more time to give credit where it is due for “House of Sweden goes Virtu-Real”, the wonderful installation that brings together the House of Sweden and Second House of Sweden.

ringring.jpg

The Swedish Institute commissioned it and funded the installation, but the concept and the construction is by studio un/real, comprised of Mr. Matèrn and Mr. Kobayashi, a Swedish-Japanese architectural duo that first met at the architecture faculty of the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

studio un/real had help. For the preparation and construction phase in Washington DC, it had the support of studio un/real team, “a creative collaboration platform for architects, designers, artists and performers.” Specifically, Kristin Gausdal and Markus Wagner were in Washington DC to collaborate on the construction and the technical setup.

The Electric Sheep Company, which built the original Second House of Sweden, was responsible for a crucial bit of technological hacking — they converted an old Ericsson telephone into a device for calling Second Life, and wrote the necessary interface software to make it work.

Finally, there was great support from the staff at the House of Sweden in Washington DC, who facilitated the setup and continue to be unremittingly enthusiastic about the installation. They are also our eyes and ears and hands if something goes wrong with the installation and needs tweaking.

I’m going to take some vacation now, but will be back in a few weeks with more news about upcoming projects this year at Second House of Sweden.

Scenes from a Virtu-Real party

The inauguration of the “Innovation & Technology” exhibition at the House of Sweden in Washington DC went off without a hitch… And so did the installation “House of Sweden goes Virtu-Real”. I’ve added some more pictures to the Flickr set:

If you missed the inauguration, you can visit the installation yourself until March 16, either i Second Life or in Washington DC.

Below, the press release that was sent out earlier today:

House of Sweden goes Virtu-Real
By Studio Unreal + Team and the Swedish Institute
January 8 – March 16, 2008
House of Sweden, Washington DC — Second House of Sweden, Second Life.

Join us either in the real world or in the virtual world of Second Life to visit a brand-new installation that spans both places: A room that is partly at Second House of Sweden in Second Life, and partly in the real world, at the House of Sweden in Washington, DC.

The installation is part of an exhibition at the House of Sweden running from January 8 to March 16 that highlights Swedish technology and innovation. But if you are not in Washington DC, you too can visit — in fact, your presence in Second Life is crucial to making the installation “House of Sweden goes Virtu-Real” work.

What does the installation do?

  • In the real world: As you approach the installation, a projection on a glass wall allows the room to continue into Second Life, where you can see avatars in real time visiting the room in Second Life. Beside the screen there is a “pixel cave”, a booth with an old Ericsson phone and smaller screen that lets you see the virtual room from the side. Pick up the phone, and a virtual phone will ring in Second Life. Anyone visiting the room in Second Life can answer the phone (by clicking on it) and talking to you.
  • In Second Life: Visit the installation at Second House of Sweden, just behind the reception desk as you enter. Once there, turn on video to see a live view of the real-world exhibit along one wall. Remember, they can see you too! There is a big pink phone in the room. Touch it, and a real phone will ring at the exhibition. If somebody there picks up, you can have a conversation. Remember to have voice chat enabled.

The installation is conceived and created by Studio Unreal + Team, an architectural collective with roots in KTH, the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. The installation is commissioned and funded by the Swedish Institute, a government agency involved in public Diplomacy.

Some photos of the installation and its construction in Washington DC:

More information about the installation at:
http://secondhouseofsweden.com/

More information about the real-world exhibition.
http://www.swedenabroad.com/Page____69190.aspx

Location of the Second House of Sweden:
You can visit Second House of Sweden from here:

To register for Second Life (free):
http://www.sweden.se/templates/cs/Secondlife____16359.aspx

Opening hours:
In the real world, 12-6pm Wednesday to Friday, 12-4pm Saturday and Sunday (Washington DC time)
In Second Life: 24/7! (Tough when the exhibition is closed, there will be nobody to talk to in the real world.)

House of Sweden Goes Virtu-Real: 8 January – 16 March

Happy 2008! And now back to work experimenting with public diplomacy in virtual worlds…

07012008003.jpg

I’m currently in Washington DC at the (real) House of Sweden, which houses Sweden’s Embassy to the United States. I’m here because on Tuesday, January 8 we’re inaugurating an art installation at the (real) House of Sweden that exists partly in Second Life. The installation is one of several in “Innovation & Technology”, an aptly named exhibition highlighting Sweden’s tradition of technological innovation that runs until March 16.

Everyone is invited to attend the virtual opening of the installation, “House of Sweden Goes Virtu-Real”, at Second House of Sweden in Second Life. Here is a sneak preview…

07012008005.jpg

07012008006.jpg

If you’re in the (real) House of Sweden, you’ll approach a glass wall through which you see a continuation of the room in Second Life. There is also an old Ericsson phone there, with which you can make a phone call to the visitors of the room in Second Life.

If you’re in the room at the Second House of Sweden, one side of the room is continued in the real-world embassy. Here too you’ll find a phone, which you can use to call people at the embassy.

The installation was conceived by studio un/real + TEAM, a Stockholm-based architectural collective with roots at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), and funded by the Swedish Institute. You can see some of the team members at work on the installation in the photos above.

The official inauguration is at 19.30 Washington DC time, or 1.30 Swedish time (i.e. early Wednesday), and everyone is invited, but if that time is a bit inconvenient for you, drop by anytime during the day on the 8th, as we’ll be putting the finishing touches on the installation and showing off the exhibition to the press.

Saint Lucia 2007 in Second Life: December 13

Last December 13, Sweden’s Saint Lucia procession in Second Life was the first widely covered Swedish-themed event in Second Life, organized by Swedish Second Life resident Tina Dahl and a small band of friends. In the year since, Second Life has seen a veritable explosion into the public consciousness, and as a result far more Swedes are now involved in the virtual world — which means far more Swedes to partake in this year’s Saint Lucia ritual.

This December 13, then, expect a far more elaborate Saint Lucia procession, with contributions from many Swedes in Second Life. Below is the press release, or download this flyer (jpeg). If you want to read up on Saint Lucia before the day, here’s a great primer. This is one of the best rituals in Sweden’s annual calendar — and now you can attend one from absolutely anywhere. No more excuses!

luciaett.jpg

After last years huge succes of Lucia in Second Life – Lucia will visit us all again!

Every year the 13th of December, Santa (Saint) Lucia arrives to Sweden to announce the Christmas season. This year, again, she will be in Second Life.

The Lucia Celebration features traditional Swedish songs, with a woman, representing Saint Lucia, dressed in white robes, with a headdress of candles, a halo of light to repel the darkness.

LUCIA in Second Life – 13th of December Svenskt Resurscenter – sim (128 128 0)
Swedish time: 21.00-21.30 and 22.30 to late.
Second Life time: 12am (PST)-12.30am (PST) and 1.30 PM (PST) to late.

Do not miss the opportunity to attend this celebration of light and meet a real Swedish Lucia, complete with an entourage of singers, a Christmas tree, Santa (the real one!), Swedish freebie gifts, Swedish live music and disco. The entire amount of all sales/donation will go to Swedish Red Cross in Second Life. Donation boxs will be all over the sim.

Very welcome – all residents in Second Life,

Lucia 2007 by the People of Sweden.

PS: Who is the Lucia 2007 are a well protected secret untill the 13th of December.

For more info about the Lucia in Second Life 2006/2007 contact: Tina (PetGirl) Bergman in Second Life or by email.

The Sweden.se Short Film Festival in Second Life: Three films, two days, one virtual screen

On 22-23 November 2007, the Second House of Sweden is hosting a series of three critically acclaimed Swedish short films at its amphitheater in the virtual world of Second Life. The producers and directors of the films will be on hand to introduce their work; after each viewing, join them in a discussion of their films.

Anyone in the world with a broadband Internet connection can take part. Here’s the programme:

Thursday, 22 November, 7AM Second Life time (4PM Stockholm time, 11PM Shanghai time):

music1apt500.jpg

Music for one apartment and six drummers (10 minutes — 2001)
Six drummers participate in a well-planned musical attack in the suburbs. As an elderly couple leaves their apartment the drummers take over. On everyday objects they give a concert in four movements: Kitchen, Bedroom, Bathroom and Living room.
Kostr film

Sweden/Sverige (8 minutes — 2000)
On the Swedish south coast a man is gazing out at sea. He pulls out a compass and finds north. He starts to run. Three days and three nights later he reaches his goal: Treriksröset. He has passed the state of Sweden.
Kostr film

The directors of these two films, Ola Simonsson och Johannes Stjärne Nilsson, will be present at the viewing to discuss the films.

Friday, 23 November, 7AM Second Life time (4PM Stockholm time, 11PM Shanghai time):

punkspark500.jpg

Punkspark (29 minutes — 2007)
Three young punks (the Sex Pistols kind) occupy the garden of an Upper- class family to organize a punk rock music festival…
Audience award for best short story film at the Gothenburg Film Festival, Audience choice for best short film at the Jönköping Film Festival
Stavro Filmproduktion AB

Both the director, Johan Löfstedt, and the producer of Punkspark, Patrik Axén, will be present at the viewing to discuss the film.

How to visit the Second House of Sweden:
First-time users of Second Life: Get a free account at http://www.Sweden.se/secondlife. Download and install the viewer (Windows, Mac or Linux), log on and you will be instantly transported to the Swedish Institute’s island. There, a short orientation course teaches you the basics of navigating Second Life. After about 15 minutes of training, you’ll be ready to join the activities at the Second House of Sweden.

Seasoned users of Second Life: Using the map, search for “Swedish Institute” and teleport there. You can also use this SLurl.

Contact info:
International media:
Susanna Wallgren, susanna.wallgren@si.se, +46 8 453 79 65

Swedish media:
Jenny Hagblom, jenny.hagblom@si.se, +46 8 453 79 22

About the Swedish Institute:
The Swedish Institute (SI) is a public agency that promotes interest in Sweden abroad. SI seeks to establish cooperation and lasting relations with other countries through active communication and cultural, educational and scientific exchanges.

Download this press release as a PDF (3MB)

Carl Linnaeus comes to Second Life on November 2

In his three-hundredth anniversary year, Carl Linnaeus is branching out — into a virtual world.

On Friday, November 2, at 4-5pm Stockholm time (8-9am Second Life time), the Swedish Institute is inaugurating a new permanent exhibit about the famed Swedish scientist at the Second House of Sweden, Sweden’s virtual embassy in Second Life. To kick off the exhibit in style, we’re planning a range of activities.

snap1_001-1.jpg

About the exhibit:
The exhibit consists of the Linnaeus Room inside the Second House of Sweden, and the Linnaeus Garden, on the archipelago. You can teleport between them.

  • In the room, watch Herbarium Amoris, a photographic tribute to Linnaeus by Swedish photographer Edvard Koinberg. (www.herbariumamoris.se)
  • Pick up a free PDF book about Linnaeus, available in nine languages (a L$2600 value, USD$10)
  • Discuss the scientific question of the week posted on the Linnaeus300.com website.
  • In the garden, enjoy the typical Swedish flowers, each one hyperlinked to more information.

snap1_002-1.jpg

There are special events planned on Friday, November 2, 2007:

  • Inauguration — Linnaeus garden, 4pm: Director General of the Swedish Institute Olle Wästberg opens the exhibit. Anders Backlund of the Biomedical Centre at Uppsala University — Linnaeus’s alma mater — discusses the relevance of Linnaeus today.
  • Costume contest 4-5pm: Come dressed in your finest 18th-century costumes to be eligible for prizes. Best costume wins $L20,000, with second and third prizes at $L15,000 and $L10,000, respectively. Winners will be announced at 5pm in the Linnaeus Room.
  • Film documentary — all weekend: In the auditorium, watch “Expedition Linnaeus”, a full-length documentary on Linnaeus by the noted Swedish photographer Mattias Klum. The movie will be looped continuously for the duration of the weekend, so you can discuss it with others as you watch it. Film viewings are courtesy of Sandrew Metronome. (Swedish, with English subtitles)
  • The Linnaeus plant-building competition, November 2-9: If you’re a Second Life builder, submit your plant to the garden — the best plants win prizes: First prize L$50,000, with second and third prizes at L$30,000 and L$20,000. Winners will be announced after the contest ends on November 9. (Full contest rules available at the garden.)
  • snap1_003-1.jpg

    See you there!

    How to visit the Second House of Sweden:
    First-time users of Second Life: Get a free account at http://www.Sweden.se/secondlife. Download and install the viewer (Windows, Mac or Linux), log on and you will be instantly transported to the Swedish Institute sim. There, a short orientation course teaches you the basics of navigating Second Life. After about 15 minutes, you’ll be ready to join the activities at the Second House of Sweden.

    Seasoned users of Second Life: Using maps, search for “Swedish Institute” and teleport there. You can also use this SLurl.

    snap1_004-1.jpg

    snap1_005-1.jpg

    Free Swedish lessons: Oct 22, Nov 5

    Join us at the auditorium of Second House of Sweden for free Swedish lessons on October 22 and November 5 — at 4pm Stockholm time.

    lessons.jpg

    Instructor Kvint Larsson will use voice chat technology and a live video stream to take you through basic conversational Swedish. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions about the Swedish language. The lessons take about an hour.

    October 22’s lessons will take place at 7am Second Life time (4pm Stockholm time). November 5’s lessons will take place at 8am SL time (4pm Stockholm time), because daylight savings time will have ended in Sweden by then. Please calculate your local time accordingly.

    Directions to Second House of Sweden: Second Life is not a physical place but a virtual 3D world that is accessed using a special viewer that you can download. Once logged into Second Life, you can travel to Second House of Sweden, which is on the “Swedish Institute” island. The lessons take place at the auditorium, near the main building.

    To get started in Second Life, get a free account and download the software here. The first time you log in you will land at a special training area near the Second House of Sweden. Expect to spend around half an hour downloading the application and learning to use Second Life, so be sure give yourself enough time before the lessons begin.

    To hear the teacher, you will need to turn on voice chat. You can do this in the preferences window of the Second Life viewer. You also need to have Quicktime installed in order to see the streaming video. If you have iTunes installed you have Quicktime installed. Otherwise, you can download it here.

    Swedish for beginners – next lesson: Oct 9

    lessons.jpg

    On October 9 at 7am SL time (4pm Stockholm time, 10am New York Time) we’ll be having another installment of our series of free Swedish lessons for beginners. They’ll be held at the auditorium of the Second House of Sweden on the Swedish Institute sim in Second Life. Join instructor Kvint Larsson for a half hour of basic Swedish followed by a period of free-form discussion – for example for questions from people who may already know some Swedish.

    Second Life is not a physical place but a virtual world that anyone with a computer and a broadband internet connection can reach. To take part in the lessons if you have never been in Second Life before, start here. You will be asked to download some software, open a (free) account, and then begin with a tutorial. If you want to attend the lessons, give yourself at least half an hour to download, install and familiarize yourself with the controls.

    Last week’s lesson provided us with some valuable feedback as to what works and what doesn’t. This next lesson will be a lot more structured, as requested by those who attended. See you there!

    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:

    swedeninsl.jpg