RMB City: NO LAB, New Orleans Biennale Preview Day 1

Today is the preview day for the NO venue, as Avatrian-our building team is busy building the People’s Palace

in a distance, many visitors came to the No venue including RMB City’s freinds Hamlet Au, Zafka Zimminy…

Blog — Ume Freiman, October 30, 2008 @ 2:46 am

NO LAB in RMB City – Prospect.1 New Orleans

NO LAB in RMB City
Cao Fei (SL: China Tracy) + MAP OFFICE (Gutierrez + Portefaix)

At Prospect.1 New Orleans

November 1, 2008-January 9, 2009 (Preview days: October 30 & 31)

“NO LAB in RMB City” is a new collaboration between Cao Fei (SL: China Tracy) and MAP OFFICE created for Prospect.1 New Orleans, the largest biennial of international contemporary art ever organized in the United States. A special section of Cao Fei’s RMB City, a virtual art community under construction in Second Life, has been transformed into a stark, surreal vision of New Orleans. Based on MAP OFFICE’s research and drawings about post-Katrina New Orleans, the NO LAB parcel of land is a similar investigation into the landscape (physical, cultural, historic) of this unique city.


Blog,News,RL Events,SL Events — Miniature Tigerpaw, October 24, 2008 @ 1:48 am

Unexpected ‘visitors’ in RMB City

While there are ‘limitations’ in RL, mostly they are invisible. You might sometimes want to ignore them or want to try and see if you can get away from them, and of course, you’ll ‘get caught’. Like i always wanted to skip classes when I was a student; that means I always had bad results from my classes.

In SL, limitations are limitations. If you are not permited to enter certain sims, you just can’t. There are actully red lines to tell you that. Right now most part of RMB City has not open to public yet, but we always have unexpected ‘intruders’ in the People’s Water Park and People’s Observation Wheel. As you can see from the snapshot, this area is high above the RMB City sims, and here, you don’t have the right to limit others from flying over it– though they cannot land.

Blog — Ume Freiman, October 23, 2008 @ 3:36 am

Underwater communities, aesthetics of a “storm” and its practice in virtual worlds

Longtime friend of RMB City Zhang Anding (SL: Zafka Zimminy, formerly Zafka Ziemia) recently mentioned the upcoming “NO LAB in RMB City” project in his “Parallel Worlds” column for Urban China magazine. In his article, he discusses the issues of disaster and collective memory in virtual worlds, and also analyzes an underwater community in HiPiHi. Excerpt in Chinese and English below:

“The ability of 3D virtual world to manipulate time and space as a whole, far exceeding the 2D world. It provide a new meaning for the projection of human being’s collective memory  and the  collective cognitive.

Cao Fei’s Virtual New Orleans, mixed the logic of natural disaster and the logic of political and economic

together. Using such a way of public assembly, to re-awareness and reflect on the relatinonship between the environment and human behavior.” (Read the whole essay in the new issue of Urban China)



水下社区,风暴美学与虚拟世界再实践—-文  / 张安定(Zafka)



Blog — Ume Freiman, October 22, 2008 @ 11:42 pm

Black and White in Second Life (First Look at “NO Lab in RMB City”)

How a real tree becomes a photo…
A photo becomes a drawing…
A drawing needs 3D experimentation… And the 3D experiment finally transitions the tree into a whole new universe.

(First look at “NO Lab in RMB City”, for Prospect New Orleans opening Nov 1, 2008. First two images: Courtesy MAP Office)

Blog — Miniature Tigerpaw, October 20, 2008 @ 3:21 am

Virtual Forbidden City

Miniature Tigerpaw… in disguise as an “Imperial Woman” in the new 3D world “Virtual Forbidden City”
Earlier this week, blogs were abuzz with news of the Virtual Forbidden City launched by a partnership of IBM and Beijing’s National Palace Museum. Of course, RMB City Team decided that we had to take a look at this “other” online virtual rendering of a Chinese city…

Calling itself an “immersive 3-dimensional virtual world where you can celebrate and explore aspects of Chinese culture and history,” the downloadable software and online platform is of course, extremely similar to Second Life. But with some major differences. In the Virtual Forbidden City, you cannot customize your avatar, you cannot buy or sell anything, you cannot build anything… you cannot even fly.

Of course, for people who are new to virtual worlds (clearly the majority of the audience being targeted), this platform is an eye-popping introduction, and astoundingly easy to set up and enter. Visually, the city is astounding; so rich in detail that I wonder if avoiding prim limits is one reason they decided to build this project outside of Second Life. The interface is simple and intuitive (and the way it allows you to quickly change perspective, instead of grappling with mouse-look, is something I kind of wish SL offered). And it seems quite useful as an educational tool– there are pop-ups and extensive information about Chinese history and culture, similar to a real museum visit.

But it seems very much a passive experience. Yes, you can take some low-resolution screenshots (but cannot save them to desktop- you can email to yourself or a friend, but even then it just contains a link, not an attachment), and chat with other visitors, but you can’t really do anything else. Which is perhaps sufficient for a historical landmark, or the classic conception of a museum. It is a place to look at (but not touch) the past.

Since RMB City is more about the present, and the future (sometimes even we confuse the two), it seems vitally important that it exists in the larger metaverse and community of Second Life. I personally wish that the Virtual Forbidden City had been built in SL instead. A place that’s a little messy, a little dusty, but open to change and challenge. A place to foster real conversation and interaction. A place where you can re-mix the myths and dreams of your nation into something strange and new. And most importantly, a place where you can fly.

Miniature Tigerpaw... at home in the chaos of RMB City

Miniature Tigerpaw... at home in the chaos of RMB City

Blog — Miniature Tigerpaw, October 18, 2008 @ 12:44 am

RMB City Construction Report

RMB City is under intensive construction now, here, from the city plan images and city live images from SL,

lets feel the forming of your city.

Blog — Ume Freiman, October 17, 2008 @ 11:15 pm

RMB City at Frieze Art Fair (London, UK)

As part of the preview of Vitamin Creative Space‘s ‘the shop’, opening in Beijing this November, four of RMB City’s construction videos are now showing at Frieze Art Fair.

“a better life: the shop for Frieze Art Fair 2008” Wednesday October 15-Sunday October 19

Featuring: Cao Fei (SL: China Tracy): Media Center of RMB City and RMB City Construction Video Program

Stand F26, Frieze Art Fair, Regent’s Park London

Blog,News,RL Events — Ume Freiman, @ 10:41 pm

RMB City/Yokohama Triennale in the Press

Courtesy of Lucy Birmingham

RMB City at Yokohama, featured in ARTINFO (Courtesy of Lucy Birmingham)

As the Yokohama Triennale hits the halfway mark, two recent articles give prominent mention to Cao Fei and RMB City’s “Play with Your Triennale” project.

Tokyo Artbeat‘s Rebecca Milner calls it a project “…that endeavors to facilitate a public space for creation, construction, and discourse on the current and future state of the real and the imagined.” Read the full article here.

In ARTINFO, writer Lucy Birmingham assesses the Triennale as a whole, and mentions how Cao Fei’s piece is a visitor favorite, alongside a photo illustrating just that. “On the other hand, the response has been more favorable… to Cao Fei’s virtual navigation RMB City Project, which invites players to help build her Second Life utopian art city.” Read the full article here.

Blog — Miniature Tigerpaw, October 14, 2008 @ 1:15 am

RMB in the News: Financial Times

A recent article in the Financial Times focuses on RMB City and the greater context of art in digital worlds.

“A fast-paced, pulsating vision, RMB City condenses contemporary urban China into an amalgam of symbols and icons, from shiny new skyscrapers to the much-loved panda,” writes Natasha Degen. Read the full article here.

Blog — Miniature Tigerpaw, @ 12:48 am

The Devil’s in the Details

Dormitory in the People’s Worksite- the amazing details eating into our prims…

It’s one of the hardest concepts for newcomers to SL to grapple with: prim limits.

A “prim” is short for “primitive”, and denotes the basic building block of Second Life. A simple shape like a pillow might be 1 prim, but to create an entire bed (let alone the room containing it), you will need different prims for the mattress, the bed-posts, the blanket, etc… And so on and so forth, up through the levels of complexity, until you hit the limit, which is currently 15,000 prims per SIM (the basic unit of land in SL). The reason for this is technical- I suppose at the basic level, prims take up space somewhere on Linden’s actual servers, and in general, the more complex a SL location gets, the longer it will take for your own computer to process it and allow normal interaction of your avatar.

The logic is understandable. But in some of my most frustrated moments, it almost feels like a canvas that has a finite, limited number of brush strokes you can use upon it. Or at least, a limited number of “tiny” brush strokes, with a higher number of “broad strokes” permitted. This seems to be one major reason why so many territories in SL look the same – basic building shapes covered with various flat textures.

Obviously, every art form, especially in its infancy, has these limitations. The 100-foot reel in early silent film. The size of original 78 gramophone records. The inability to build skyscrapers before the advent of the elevator. What’s interesting is that as technological advances keep breaking (or at least “pushing”) these limits, often people romanticize the creativity that the earlier restrictions fostered. In the age of cheap and nearly-infinite digital video, older filmmakers complain that younger ones have no discipline in shooting. “Dogme 95”, the mid-90s filmmaking movement spearheaded by Denmark’s Lars Von Trier, revolved around setting up “new” rules and “obstacles for filmmaking, as a way to force more innovation. Certain musicians and sound-artists try to re-emphasize the object of the “album” and its linear structure as a way to combat the modern, fragmented, mp3 free-for-all. Perhaps someday, when we have reached the era of infinite prims, we’ll look back upon these days of scrimping and saving, trying to make a tree from only 2 prims (that still sways in the breeze), as a golden time of dynamic problem-solving and pure creativity.

Blog — Miniature Tigerpaw, October 13, 2008 @ 1:04 am

How a RMB City member spend the workday

RMB City archive editor compared the data from one of the computer in the RMB City workday before and after the National day. In the late Sep and early Oct, you can see that in daily work, the visual software and the word processors are the major applications occupying member’s work.

At October 5-6, Communication was prior than System Utilities at August 28-30, even though Categories of Business/Design were the same top 2. Following were the similar categories like Reference/Personal Productivity/Fun.

Then when comparing the applications and sites, the former one were similar, Word or Excel, Photoshop or Illustrator/ Powerpoint, Finder was always open. The latter one varied a lot.

Blog — Sinohkapa Fhang, October 9, 2008 @ 10:52 pm

RMB City Key Metrics II



Step 2.

Then we compare this 4 Sims in Sep 28th 2008,with some basic statistics.

Page_01, 02 

We can found that the 4 Sims have similar speed with SecondLife. However, as the content varied, the Sims had different data, according to issues like active objects, active scripts, packets In and Packets out. Apparently, the RMB 1 (Sim 1) had more objects, while RMB 4 (Sim 4) used many scripts than others.



And the Sim map seens the same, comparing the snapshot between Aug 8th and Sep 28th


Besides, the 8 perspective views(North, South, East, West, Northwest, Northeast, Southwest, Southeast) of RMB City 4 Sims had dramatic changes due to the snapshot of Aug 22nd and Sep 28th


Blog — Sinohkapa Fhang, September 29, 2008 @ 12:08 am

RMB City Key Metrics I

RMB City Key Metrics dating from August 1st to Oct 1st,, mainly used the data of statistic bar (ctrl+shift+1) in Second Life. For RMB City ground breaking was in 14th July, Preview Center opening was in 25th July, we can not record the change of them. However, the Olympic opening and Worksite opening were involved. 


Step 1.
In this article, we took RMB City 1(Sim 1) as a sample to see the process in RMB City construction.

Page_01: Displayed BASIC information about the Second Life performance

01) FPS: A frame rate between 15-30 frames per second (FPS) is about as smooth as broadcast television. Luckily, the sample statistics of RMB City were frequently over 20fps, and always stay around 30-40fps.

02) Bandwidth:  How much data is being transferred between your computer and the Second Life world. This number varied a lot in RMB City 1, varying between 14kpbs to 289kpbs.

03) Ping Sim:  How long it takes data to go from your computer to the region you’re currently in. Even though there were waves within 2 months, the data mostly kept around230msec-290msec.


Page_02: Displayed ADVANCED information of nitty-gritty details about your Second Life performance. Most of these details are less useful than BASIC or SIMULATOR.

01) KTris Drawn: (per frame) Computer-generated 3D objects are built out of triangles (the basic geometric shape). This is a count of the number of triangles, or “tris”, in each frame of the current scene.

02) KTris Drawn: (per second) This is a count of the number of triangles (“tris”) drawn every second.

03) Total Objects: The number of objects currently in view



























01) Page_04: The following are the different times listed in the SIMULATOR/Time (ms) submenu of the statistics pane:

02) Total Frame Time: This measures how much time it takes the region to run everything that the region is trying to do each frame. RMB City was healthy, lower than 22, everything was running as fast as it can, and more scripts can be added without reducing the performance of individual scripts.

03) Net Time: The amount of time spent responding to incoming network data.

04) Sim Time (Physics): The amount of time that frame spent running physics simulation.

05) Sim Time (Other): The amount of time that frame spent running other simulation (agent movement, weather simulation, etc.)

06) Agent Time: The amount of time spent updating and transmitting object data to the agents.

07) Images Time: The amount of time spent updating and transmitting image data to the agents.

08) Script Time: The amount of time spent running scripts.


Page_03: Displays statistics for the SIMULATOR you’re currently in.

01) Time Dilation: The physics simulation rate relative to real-time. 1.0 means that the region is running at full speed, 0.5 means that physics is running at half-speed.

02) Sim FPS: The region frame rate. This should always be the same as the physics frame rate – 45.0 when things are running well. RMB City 1 was always in 45fps.

03) Physics FPS: The frame rate that the physics engine is running at. This should normally be at or near 45.0.

04) Agent Updates/Sec: The rate at which agents on this region are being updated. Normally 20 updates a second, this will decrease if the region has a large number of agents on it.

05) Main Agents: The number of agents (users, avatars) who are on this region.

06) Child Agents: The number of agents who are not on this region, but can see it.

07) Objects: The total number of objects/primitives on the region

08) Active Objects: The number of moving and/or changing objects on the region.

09) Active Scripts: The number of running scripts that are currently on the region, including scripts attached to agents.

10) Script Perf: Number of LSL opcodes being executed a second by the region. Note that this is the number of ACTUAL instructions executed in the last second, not the theoretical maximum opcodes/second. If your region is not running very many scripts, this number will be low even if performance is good.

11) Packets In: UDP packets being received by the region

12) Packets Out: UDP packets being sent by the region




Blog — Sinohkapa Fhang, September 28, 2008 @ 9:58 pm

RMB City Survey


We will appreciate if you can write down your commets,reply on RMB City worksite,or write here directly .


1. What would you like to experience in Second Life?

2. What do you think are the possiblities of RMB City?


Blog — Tags: — Sinohkapa Fhang, September 25, 2008 @ 12:36 am
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