Machinima Report

Friday, October 3, 2008

Gone Gitmo Fall Events

Gone Gitmo is being featured in several fall events:

Upcoming: We will be presenting Gone Gitmo at the American Film Institute's Digifest on November 7. Time to be announced. Hope to see you there!

On October 24th, Rik Panganiban from Global Kids invited us to speak at an event at the Global Kids International Justice Center. Rik asked us to talk about Using Virtual Art for Political Expression. A blog post of the event is here, a flickr stream is here.

FACE IT-TORTURE in the 21st Century at Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica October 19 and 20th at 7:30 pm. Click on the poster at left or link above for details.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

CLOSE GITMO Gallery w/RSS Feed

All three presidental candidates, five ex-Secretaries of state, the current Secretary of State, the Secretary for Defense, the former Sec. Gen of the U.N. and the Sec. Gen of the U.N. have all called to Close Guantánamo - so we've built a gallery for them. There's an RSS feed in the room, so if it should happen, your avatar will be the first to know.

Gallery for "DIRTY WARS" audio

On April 26th, 2007, PEN American Center and the ACLU co-sponsored "Dirty Wars," an evening of readings at Joe's Pub during the PEN World Voices Festival. We've posted them in our gallery space.

Actors Daoud Heidami (left) and Daniel Oreskes and author Mark Danner reenacted the Combatant Status Review Tribunal (CSRT) of one of Guantánamo's "high-value" detainees, Mustafa Ait Idr.
Francine Prose, President of PEN American Center, read from emails released to the ACLU under the Freedom of Information Act, containing correspondence from FBI agents visiting the prison at Guántanamo Bay.

The full set of readings are available as mp3 or podcasts on the following websites:

PEN American Center
Dirty Wars: Readings Against Torture, Arbitrary Detention, Kidnapping, and Rendition

ACLU and PEN American Center: "Dirty Wars" Readings

Poems from Guantánamo

Poems from Guantánamo, The Detainees Speak was edited by Marc Falkoff, who graciously has allowed us to post several of them (with audio) in our gallery.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Gandhi in Gitmo

Another image from artist Joseph DeLappe: Gandhi’s “Salt March to Dandi” in Second Life:

His entire project is documented in his blog.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

C-17, Camp Delta and a visit from Gandhi

Thanks to Cinco Pizzicato and Fleef Fimicoloud aka machinima genius Frank Fox (, some crucial elements have been added to the build. Cinco built a C-17 Transport Plane to house the interior of the plane built by Buhbuhcuh Fairchild. Fleef created the prototype for Camp Delta and Saliant Infinity aka Matt Lee has given it shape and script. Cinco also brought Gandhi to the Camp X-Ray as part of Joseph DeLappe's performance piece as shown:

Friday, April 18, 2008

Poems from Guantánamo

We've been able to install excerpts from Poems from Guantánamo, ed. by Marc Falkoff in our latest build.

Thanks to Marc Falkoff for permission and Salient Infinity for design and installation.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Gone Gitmo at Conferences

To date, Gone Gitmo has been presented at the following conferences:

Women in Film and Television International 2007 Conference in Toronto
Latino International Film Festival and Media Conference 2007 in Los Angeles
National Alliance of Media Arts and Culture 2007 Conference in Austin
National Black Programming Consortium 2007 New Media Institute in Jackson
National 2007 PBS Content Summit in San Francisco
Sundance 2008 New Frontiers Panel - as part of Alternative Storytelling for New Media Platforms
2008 National Association of Latino Independent Producers Conference in Dana Point (NALIP) 2008 SilverDocs in Washington, DC

Ported Gone Gitmo to ACLUs Progressive Island for ACLU Second Life event, January 11th, 2008

2007 Seton Hall Law School Constitution Day Event
Built Habeas Commons within Gone Gitmo installation to simulcast conference on interrogation practices. September 17th, 2007

Monday, March 17, 2008


By the graciousness of Annenberg, we now have eight acres to call a permanent home. We expect the build to be done this week and can officially host events again.

IML was so kind to give us a rooftop but our growing pains have been alleviated by the extra territory. Expect the Doha (built for the Brookings Institute!!) to become our torture contemplation area.

Mother Jones has an incredible story that is worth reading on the bungling of the way detainees have been handled at Gitmo:
Exclusive: Inside Gitmo with Detainee 061

Also, William Safire has written on the etymology of the term "water boarding."
It seems he might agree with the rest of us that water boarding constitutes torture.

Friday, February 15, 2008


Nonny and I visited the Annenberg Estate this morning to assess potential sites for an expansion of Gone Gitmo. The experience, and the language we used to describe it, was reminiscent of another century. The last frontier?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

From SL to RL

After the Second Life event I decided to go downtown and join RL activists. I found them in front of the Court House in orange jumpsuits, some with hoods. It was a reminder that the fundamental purpose of this project has nothing to do with virtual worlds or second life or technology, but instead aims to remind citizens, wherever they live their lives, that Guantanamo Prison is a disgrace to our nation.

Photos From ACLU Event

Friday, January 11, 2008

ACLU Blog post

We post on the ACLU blog:

Nonny de la Peña is the producer and director of the 2004 documentary
Unconstitutional, and Peggy Weil is a professor at the University of Southern California. Both are the creators of Gone Gitmo, a virtual Guantánamo in Second Life.

Today marks the sixth anniversary of the day the first prisoners were brought to Guantánamo. We are pleased to be able to participate in this event with the ACLU on Progressive Island with the common goal to Close Guantánamo.

Our purpose is to raise awareness, initiate discussion and educate on habeas corpus issues by making a virtual but accessible Guantánamo Bay Prison in contrast to the real, but inaccessible, U.S. prison camp. We are using Second Life to expose a substantially new audience to these issues by extending the methods and images from documentary filmmaking into new online, participatory environments.

Gone Gitmo was incubated during a residency at the Bay Area Video Coalition Producers Institute for New Media Technologies funded by The MacArthur Foundation. We answered the call to translate an “existing, significant, documentary work” into digital media. Our intention was to translate the Guantánamo portion of Nonny de la Peña’s 2004 film, Unconstitutional, into a virtual, cinematic experience. On September 17, we were able to simulcast Seton Hall Law School’s Constitution Day Event from our event stage, Habeas Commons.

Our overriding philosophical challenge is to communicate a gravely serious matter in a medium known for games and entertainment. This is changing as use of the medium has evolved: Second Life has a growing nonprofit community including several noteworthy activist sites. As artists, we confront how to portray the practices in Guantánamo effectively and design an experience that does not trivialize torture (we will not torture your avatar) but will provoke thought and insight into the complicated issues surrounding detainees' rights.

— Peggy Weil and Nonny de la Peña

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

ACLU Calls

We receive an invitation from the ACLU to join their campaign to Close Guantánamo. It’s Tuesday morning, it needs to be up and working by Friday. We have a deadline, we can do it! We’re thrilled to be part of the ACLU’s outreach into Second Life for this campaign and begin the move to Progressive Island.