Viral Duets
by Niki McCretton (a.k.a. Pipsi Bracken)

18-19 February 2008
Phoenix Scratch in SL Commission #2, Exeter Phoenix (UK)

For Viral Duets, dancer and performance artist Niki McCretton created a series of one-to-one, spontaneous, movement-based performances in a specially constructed dome on the SL island of Diecicento. Avatars were given animations to take away and encouraged to recreate the performance with other avatars, spreading their duets like viruses through the SL world. Niki drew on motion capture technology, working with animators Susan Sloan and Adam Vanner from the National Centre for Computer Animation at Bournemouth University.

On the first day, tutorials were offered to SL-'newbie' audience members before each twenty-minute encounter with Pipsi/Niki in a networked room the basement of Exeter Phoenix. The encounters were relayed to a public screen in the Exeter Phoenix bar. On the second day, the encounters took place in SL only, attracting participants from across the globe.

Niki McCretton is known for creating accessible cross-art form performances. Work includes Relative (a co-production with digital artist Kathy Hinde) which explored the relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren, and Space 50, a piece she made to celebrate half a century of space travel.

The Arts Council England funded Phoenix Scratch initiative, based at Exeter Phoenix arts & media tests ('scratches') new ideas in front of a mixed audience of artists and non-artists. It's about taking risks, opening up process, and dialogue. After two years of working in the Exeter Phoenix auditorium, Phoenix Scratch relocated to Second Life, in order to offer a new challenge to artists, audiences and curators to extend their practices beyond the Real.

» Niki McCretton

» National Centre for Computer Animation

Niki McCretton being calibrated in the motion capture suite at N.C.C.A.


1. A short video and a number of images from the event can be found below.

2. The event was blogged by two participants:

» Dizzy Banjo's blog entry

» Strawberry Singh's blog entry


The performance space being built


Wireframe image of the animations being tested

erik horczys

Viral Duet: Pipsi Bracken & Erik Horczys

merlintheatre dumpling

Viral Duet: Pipsi Bracken & Merlintheatre Dumpling

ubik emmons

Viral Duet: Pipsi Bracken & Ubik Emmons

strawberry singh

Viral Duet: Pipsi Bracken & Strawberry Singh

not merlin

Viral Duet: Pipsi Bracken & Not Merlin

born rosca

Viral Duet: Pipsi Bracken & Born Rosca

gabissa sun

Viral Duet: Pipsi Bracken & Gabissa Sun

simpson vendetta

Viral Duet: Pipsi Bracken & Simpson Vendetta

indigo fairweather

Viral Duet: Pipsi Bracken & Indigo Fairweather

ina centaur

Viral Duet: Pipsi Bracken & Ina Centaur

dizzy banjo

Viral Duet: Pipsi Bracken & Dizzy Banjo

marcantonio vita

Viral Duet: Pipsi Bracken & Marcantonio Vita




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