The Return of the DynaFleur

Douglas Story
& Desdemona Enfield
Dizzy Banjo - music and sound

After an absence of nearly 8 months, the popular and beloved DynaFleur immersive art installation has returned to Second Life. Spanning an entire sim high above StellaNova, the sim belonging to MICA (Meta-Institute for Computational Astrophysics,) DynaFleur is the kind of experience that truly is possible only in Second Life.

It has been augmented in this incarnation with new graphic and design elements, including a landscape composed of 25 interlocking sculpted megaprims...

....over which video rolls on a sim-wide scale.

Now open to the public, the piece may be visited in Second Life at the following location:

DynaFleur presents the almost abstract close-up floral photography of Douglas Story in a very unusual way. The monumental and colorful installation is cradled by the sculpted landscape mentioned above. As you walk (and fall) through it, you are immersed in the densely layered sound design of Dizzy Banjo which is tailored to accompany the movements of the elements of the piece that surround you, all of them moving and changing in response to your presence. This magic is powered by complex scripts written by the talented and energetic Desdemona Enfield, which in turn were based on the open-source Reflexive Architecture scripts made available by Keystone Bouchard and his group.

One early visitor said in response to one of the three main sections of the sprawling piece, “I don’t know whether I’m in awe or creeped out.” The makers of DynaFleur were oddly pleased by this statement.

The landscape was made by Desdemona using mathematical data which was generated from a model that Douglas made from a grid of primitive objects...

...from this, Desdemona interpolated, massaged, and otherwise crunched the numbers to create sculpty maps, which she applied to a 5x5 grid of 50-meter megaprim spheres. Here's a picture of a small-scale test:

Experiencing DynaFleur is one of those Second Life 'wow' moments that is not to be missed.

--About the artists--

A Second Life resident since 2005, Desdemona Enfield is a creature of social and mathematical inclinations who studies the Zen of Programming in Second Life and other worlds. She works with artists creating special effects, researchers to create visualizations, and teachers to create educational materials. For more information do a Google search on her exact name.

Douglas Story is the Second Life avatar controlled by the Real Life persona of Dennis Schaefer. Douglas and his work partner Desdemona Enfield create large-scale interactive art installations in SL. These include the FlowerBall project with musician AldoManutio Abruzzo, which was judged one of 2007's Top Ten Art Installations by the New World Notes blog. Their StormEye installation was presented as part of the New Media Caucus' "@" gallery show at The Southern California Institute of Architecture. More recently their Ripple installation generated thousands of visitors when it was featured in Second Life's Destination Guide.The pair has also done collaborations with noted RL and SL architect David Denton/DB Bailey, adding sound design and interactive elements to DB's structures. More recently the duo assisted Denton and Asst. Professor Kara Bartelt in the teaching of an architectural collaboration in Second Life between students at USC and the American University in Cairo, Egypt. Douglas/Dennis photographs flowers at very close range in and around Los Angeles.

Dizzy Banjo is a composer exploring new methods of soundtracking virtual environments. He is experienced in providing music for more traditional media outlets, such as radio, trailers, advertising and video games (for clients such as Czech National Radio, Boosey & Hawkes, Revlon, and Sony Playstation.) However more recently he is concentrating on developing the possibilities of non linear composition and multiple user interactive music. He is currently working on a number of projects in this field including soundtracks for the in-world presence of the country of Mexico, a book on Second Life published by Intersection Unlimited and a major virtual business event.

--About our hosts--

Meta-Institute for Computational Astrophysics (MICA, is the first professional scientific organization based in Virtual Worlds. It is an ongoing experiment in exploring the uses of immersive VR technologies for science and scholarship in general. Among its other activities, MICA sponsors a series of popular weekly science lectures, held every Saturday at 10 am SLT in the large auditorium on StellaNova; see the website for the listing of the events, or join the MICA group to receive notices. MICA is happy to provide a home for DynaFleur, one of the finest and pioneering immersive art installations in SL.


The artists wish to thank Curious George of MICA (George Djorgovksi, California Institute of Technology) for his generous offer of this space. More thanks go to John Dubinski for permission to use one of his amazing galaxy animations. You can see more of these at

Thanks also go out to Princeton University which provided the orginal venue as well the space to develop this installation, and to Poid Mahovlich for the execution of the terraformed landscape surrounding that earlier version of the DynaFleur.