Category Archives: Uncategorized

Multilingual Literary Language Café, 18 June 2008

We’re happy to announce that the Language Café will be holding at session at the amphitheater of the Second House of Sweden on June 18, 2008, starting at 19.30 Stockholm time (10.30 SL time).

The Language café is part of LiteraTour in Library 2.0, an ongoing project sponsored by the European Union’s Grundtvig lifelong learning program, and is organized by Åke Nygren, the coordinator of the Lifelong Learning Initiative at the Stockholm Public Library.

Language Café is multilingual, drop by for a visit and see how easy it is to discuss literature in a virtual environment, no matter where you are or what your best language is.

Below are some details for the June 18 meeting. Do visit the home page for more information.

Agenda
7.30pm Introduction to LiteraTour 2.0 (English)
7.45pm Identity, Memory and Territory in literature (English)
8.00pm Discuss in the language of your choice!
(English, Swedish, German, Greek, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese)
8.20pm Summary of the discussions (English)

See you there!

Second House of Sweden inaugurated one year ago today!

One year ago today, on May 30, 2007, Sweden’s foreign minister Carl Bildt inaugurated the Second House of Sweden, Sweden’s “virtual embassy” in Second Life. We’ve had quite a year since then: Art talks, film fesivals, masked balls, a new Linnaeus exhibition, Swedish lessons, World Book Day, an installation piece in the real House of Sweden, nonstop showings of “Sweden – Open Skies Open Minds”…

And we’ve learned alot about this medium, and how to use it to conduct public diplomacy. Look out for more interesting interactive projects coming in the next year — beginning with a big party on June 6 for Sweden’s National Day celebrations.

Virtu-Real on TV:-)

House of Sweden goes Virtu-Real made it to the morning news on Fox News in Washington DC. Click on the image below to get to the site where the video plays. It gives you a very good idea of what we’re doing here.

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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):

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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)

Linnaeus exhibition opening report

Wow.

It’s difficult to know beforehand what kind of turnout you will have for an event in Second Life. Because one sim/server can only really host a maximum of 60 simultaneous users, there is always the small risk that your event is way oversubscribed. But you also never know until the event starts whether anyone will show up. The hardest part to get right, I’ve found, is getting the word out about an event to the right people, so that you get the ideal group of 50-or-so enthusiastic collaborators.

And that is precisely what we got for the inauguration of the Linnaeus exhibition at the Second House of Sweden last Friday, November 2. I wrote “collaborators”, because a large number of visitors we’re fully dressed in 18th century period costumes, to take part in the costume competition. It was quite a sight to see the Linnaeus garden and room filled with such finery. The pictures do it more justice.

You can see my whole set on Flickr here. There are more shots taken by Linn here.

Another bit of technological finery was on display when we broadcast a 7 minute video interview with Anders Backlund, a lecturer on pharmacognosy at Uppsala University and a Linnaeus expert. Because Anders was on a plane at the time of the inauguration, I recorded a Skype video conversation with him earlier in the day — me in Cairo, he in Uppsala, then shown to everyone in Second Life. It’s a mash-up of existing technologies (I used Ecamm’s Call Recorder) but the overall effect worked really well. All this was broadcast “live” using Wirecast to a Quicktime Streaming Server run by Qbrick.

When the film was over, it was time for the judging of the costumes. Swedish SL builder Kaja Lurra and my SI collaborator Nex Canning and I were the judges, and after a lot of agonizing, we came up with three winners. Congratulations to the first prize winner, Kissowa Kamachi (who got L$20,000) second prize winner Freyja Nemeth (L$15,000) and third prize winner Ran Garrigus (L$10,000)!

Don’t forget, there is a plant-building competition running this whole week, with more prizes.

Nationalmuseum to do a gallery talk on Aug 22

What: Gallery Talk by Nationalmuseum at Second House of Sweden
When: Wednesday, August 22, 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

Helén writes:

I will give a gallery talk about four of the artworks from Nationalmuseum that are on display at the Second House of Sweden. These four motifs were made at the end of the 19th century and the early 20th century. We can see how nature inspired these Swedish artists in different ways. Nature reflects the inner moods of these artists, while at the same time the artists express Swedish tradition and culture through these motifs.

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.

See you there! It’ll be interesting to see how the new voice technology can be used in this setting.