About Tess

As I child, I became an expert at sellotaping cardboard boxes together. Later I took to photography. I avoided writing, and doing sciences was a strategy for doing this. Music became one of the biggest things in my life.

Later in life, I discovered language was good and people were really quite interesting. So I did a degree in sociology, and followed up on the visual arts.

Back in 2009, as a part of that degree I read an article that mentioned Second Life and I thought I should take a look. Starting out as Tizzy Canucci, a first name from a photographic project I’d just finished and a second name from those on offer, I was immediately entranced and fascinated. I started creating more visual images there during 2012 (Flickr), began blogging in 2013, and made the move to moving image work (also known as machinima, or video art) in 2015 (see Vimeo).

You can see all the art presentations I have been a part of on my personal website. This also includes my academic presentations. I was accepted by Lancaster University to start a practice based PhD in Contemporary Art from 2016, and I won Arts and Humanities Research Council Funding for my second and third years. Things got complicated during 2019-2020, as it did for all of us in 2020, but I’m still due to complete by 2021.

I produce work out of, rather than contained within, Second Life. Virtual worlds are separate spaces, but they are different from usual games. In virtual worlds, individuals build their own space and things from their own creativity, and share it with other users or ‘residents’. Computer games, on the other hand, are usually a planned product of a games studio that sets the rules and conditions of users.

My main virtual world interest is in making moving image work. Work like this has often been labelled ‘machinima’, and was inventive and original. However, my view is that the label ‘machinima’ is now driven too much by the commercial interests of games businesses and those interested in competition. I remain interested in expanding the possibilities of the artform, as video art or the moving image, but also to develop that into printmaking – a previously unexploited avenue.

If you want to contact me,  you can send a direct message through twitter (TizzyCanucci), or email . You can see a broader range of what I do in real life at www.tessbaxter.com, or you can visit my academic profile.