Contemplating the Apocalypse & Nybbles in Second Life

I admit there are occasions when people in the physical world look at me like I’ve lost my mind or I’m speaking an alien language. I’m not sure why.  It could be I encourage this by saying things like “I drank my morning coffee while confronting the apocalypse and meditating on my inner geek inside a nybble.”  It’s a mystery I’ll probably never solve.

This month at Split Screen↑ you too can meditate on both the end of the world and an immersive representation of the bits and bytes that support our virtual existence.

Shellina Winkler↑ has created a large, intriguing city scape bound by the words of H.G. Wells:

“It is possible to believe that all the past is but the beginning of a beginning, and that all that is and has been is but the twilight of the dawn. It is possible to believe that all the human mind has ever accomplished is but the dream before the awakening.”

Set your environment to midnight and become lost in the movement and transformation around you and consider the possibility that the world is on the brink of major change.

We’ve established repeatedly that I’m not a techie.  This is my excuse for being unfamiliar with the term “nybble”.  Pinkpink Sorbet↑ has not only given me an explanation but allows us to experience one of these fundamental parts of the computing world.

“In computing a “nybble” contains four bits and it is common to display a byte of information as two nibbles. In this work Pinkpink refers to a NYBBLE using 4 textures and 4 scripts to visualize a small element of a standard convention in an interactive way.”

Your movement around this installation changes it.  You can also sit on a “key” and rotate slowly to view the constant change and imagine those little suckers working hard to support your daily online activities.  The amount that can be accomplished with “4” of anything is surprising.

Sitting on the keyboard and listening to a great soundtrack was a cool way to start the day.  The way the environment altered with every form of interaction (just camming on the scene changes it) was inspiring to me.  If you think of applying that lesson to your daily interactions with others, or the world around us, it is actually empowering.

The two exhibitions have a lot in common and I’m not just referring to the colour scheme.  Although one is inviting us to consider the Apocalypse (large, major concept) and the other a collection of tiny little electronic impulses, they both address our ability to impact the larger universe.

Of course you can just go and enjoy the art without feeling like you have to philosophize about grand issues.  You’ll enjoy both without any brain strain.  If you’d also like to think I’ve lost my mind well, you’re in good company.  :)

Leave a comment


  1. Nice, sleek.

  2. Thanks, Honour! Your comments are very perceptive! (As always!)


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