Updates from August, 2014 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Vanessa Blaylock 19:41 on 30/08/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Emma Pleyel-Maybe, , , Sister Planet   

    Sister Planet 

    Kimika Ying (of Oceania Planetary Park where Virtual Ysidora danced last year) is working on a new installation, Sister Planet. It’s Venus. But not 2014 Venus. More like 1950 Venus with carnivorous plants and other mid-century fantasies. Ying’s also interested in taking the 19th century Steampunk sensibility and moving it forward to the 20th. Kind of like 1880 Steampunk & 2014 Planetary Science meeting in an alternative middle of the 20th century.

    Anyway, Emma Pleyel-Maybe and I were hanging out there this week. We’re sitting on the rim of a surprisingly genteel, if active, volcano.

    muted color "cinemascope" photo of Vanessa Blaylock and Emma Pleyel-Maybe sitting in lounge chair's at Kimika Ying's installation "Sister Planet"

    Vanessa Blaylock & Emma Pleyel-Maybe @ Kimika Ying’s “Sister Planet.”

  • Vanessa Blaylock 11:34 on 11/08/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Venus   

    Kimika Ying: Sister Planet 

    Christa asked me for a link to Kimika Ying’s new installation

    Sister Planet

    Adventures on the world of Venus as it might have been.

    photo of Vanessa Blaylock on the alien, gaseous covered surface of Planet Venus, circa the mid-20th century

    Kimika Ying: Sister Planet

    She’s actually just received her 5-month land grant and only started work here, but it’s a pretty compelling environment already. With the Site Dance course coming around again, I’m sure I’d like to do some work here!

    • In-world SL-URL: maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/LEA29/166/121/22
    • Website: venus-sisterplanet.blogspot.com

    • Previous Installation: Oceania Planetary Park: oceaniaplanetarypark.blogspot.com

  • Christa Forster 11:11 on 14/07/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ANT FARM, , , collective action, , , , ,   

    Mixed Berry Shake Hangout (unofficial) Minutes 

    Photos from today’s Mixed Berry Shake Hangout.  In virtual attendance: Ciara Finnegan, Christa Forster, Michael Masucci, Kate Johnson, Vanessa Blaylock.Molly Ross and Rebecca Longworth chimed in by email but were not able to meet up with us today.

    Items discussed:
    (More …)

    • Ciara 02:38 on 15/07/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you for posting the minutes, Christa. It’s really helpful to have this record of our meeting and the links are great too. I enjoyed the Ant Farm documentary trailer – it was interesting to hear Doug Michaels speak of how they arrived at the name Ant Farm – (though I think “Chip, Chuck and Doug” has a catchy ring to it too and happy associations of chipping away at an idea, chucking out the stuff that doesn’t work and er…Doug…hm…dug, past tense of dig and…eh…erm…well, okay, just Doug then!)

      I think I conveyed a slightly wrong impression about the name issue in our hangout – it was not so much the name itself that I struggled with (I’m fond of “The Berries”) but rather more that felt uncertain about the identity of the group to which the name refers. This only really became a problem for me when I tried to describe us in an email to Sher Doruff. I’d grown to think of us as a sort of online artist collective/artist-led initiative but I wasn’t quite sure if this was a view held by the other members. I didn’t feel entitled to make such assumptions about the identity of the group, particularly as I wasn’t “with the band” at the beginning 😉

      Anyway, I absolutely love Christa’s idea of doing an action or performance together that celebrates our commitment to the group, opens it to further participation and, in some way, serves as a little signatory act.

    • Vanessa Blaylock 16:01 on 15/07/2014 Permalink | Reply

      It’s so interesting that Christa & Ciara & Michael & Kate all seemed to be bring up ideas that I thought fit well together. I agree with all of it! Or at least whatever I thought the zeitgeist of it all was! 😀

      I’d love to move on these compelling ideas right away! However for myself, I think July & August are just too buried in other responsibilities. But you all certainly don’t have to wait for me! You can totally run with any of this in whatever form(s) make sense.

      • xtaforster 21:59 on 20/07/2014 Permalink | Reply

        I never thought I’d hear Vanessa say she was buried under too much work! She IS mortal, after all. xoxoxo

        Here’s a name I’ll throw out there — ARACHNET (did you remember my mentioning that spiders are my spirit animals?) Anyway…definitely has a stronger bite than berries. I do love the anti-oxidant connotations of berries, though.

  • Vanessa Blaylock 17:31 on 14/04/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Citizen Kane, Colorize, Context, , , , Relevance, Robert Rauschenberg, Ted Turner   

    (Art) History

    In today’s Mixed Berry Shake (tx 4 great name Ciara! 🙂 Kate expressed the concern that students in this new media age are so focused on new tools / toys and how they can gain an audience with them that they don’t care to / have time to, appreciate the history of their own medium.
    (More …)

    • Mike 00:30 on 15/04/2014 Permalink | Reply

      I am indifferent to colorisation, but B&W = Irrelevant is ignorant. Grapes of Wrath is what it is because of the use of light and dark. Manhattan would blur into <Annie Hall 2 were it not made in B&W. Dr Strangelove stands out from the pretenders.
      Limitations of a medium is one of the impulses to create art through imagination. The best reason to colorise is to keep interpolators away from evaluating pharmaceutical trials.

  • Sello Tape 14:44 on 02/04/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Giraffe, Sculpture,   

    I made a giraffe! 

    giraffe made of sellotape

    I’m the king of the world!

  • Ciara Finnegan 09:54 on 01/04/2014 Permalink | Reply  

    On A Roll 

    So, I began composing this inquiry in my head earlier today:

    Has anyone seen Sellotape lately?

    Sellotape,  Sellotape, where are you? Are you stuck somewhere? You were so mighty in your  window-securing-effort during the Blitz, it looks like The Knight could do with your expert help sealing up a few palatial windows right now. (What he lacks in quick-wittedness he makes up for in earnestness!).
    And then, this evening I discovered that Sellotape is squandering her time and talents in these acts!!:
    Yikes!!!! Can somebody please point out the merit in this madness?
    • Sello Tape 11:29 on 02/04/2014 Permalink | Reply

      I live a rich, full life. Sometimes I help protect a care package for a loved one thousands of kilometers away. Sometimes I engage in some harmless fun. I embrace all of it. I apologize for none of it.

      • Ciara 11:55 on 02/04/2014 Permalink | Reply

        Good to see you again, Sellotape, you wacky little adhesive! 🙂

  • Vanessa Blaylock 14:42 on 28/03/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Beth Fein, Bibbe Hansen, Bibbe Oh, Dance Anywhere, London, Trafalgar Square   

    Dance Anywhere 2014 

    Two avatars (Bibbe Oh / Bibbe Hansen and Vanessa Blaylock dancing is a spraying jet of water from the fountain at Traflagar Square in London

    Vanessa Blaylock & Bibbe Oh (Bibbe Hansen) dancing in the fountain at Trafalgar Square

    Dancing with friends for the 10th anniversary of Beth Fein’s Dance Anywhere!

  • Vanessa Blaylock 05:08 on 28/03/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Mesh Baby, MMOM, Mommy and Me   

    Mommy and Me 

    Getting ready for my #MeshBabyAndMe class!

    Isabella photoPhoto by brennaval

  • Isabella Medici 03:14 on 23/03/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Transmedia   

    More Thoughts about Staging 

    Ciara wrote an interesting post, “Some Thoughts About Staging,” and how .Re/act was a sort of Improv Stage.

    4 examples of Robert Pratten's "Transmedia Radar Diagrams"

    Robert Pratten’s Transmedia *Radar Diagrams*

    The first time I looked at Robert Pratten’s Transmedia Radar Diagrams I thought the words opposite each other were an axis, so a 2-axis diagram. But the axis is actually from the center to each of the words, and it’s really a 4-somewhat-independent-axis diagram. I say somewhat, because I think Story which seems like a top-down idea from a Creator (writer) and Co-Creation which seems like a bottom-up idea from Participants probably interact. I’m not sure you can have maximum story and maximum co-creation.

    Safe to say, on the 1850 stage we had maximum co-creation. For me this is the most interesting aspect of cyberspace. IDK why, but somehow using Facebook as it’s intended just isn’t that interesting to me. Yet it seems like such a fun place to play. You could argue that all content on Facebook is “fiction” or at least “manufactured” in the sense that one spends time trying to think of the best way to sound casual and spontaneous.

    Precisely as Ciara noted, the idea that different people could come and go and chime in as they wished, was compelling. danah boyd just wrote an interesting blog post: Why Snapchat is Valuable: It’s All About Attention. Perhaps .Re/act provided a nice frame for attention / activities. Any identity here could also have blog posts or tweets or flickr images etc, but this stage was a place to showcase / focus the various elements that may have been manufactured elsewhere.

    Inspired by 1850 Charla, I’ve begun trying to resurrect my own 1560 Journals

  • Ciara Finnegan 02:28 on 20/03/2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Some thoughts about staging… 

    I’ve been thinking a lot recently about #1850charla as it evolved on .re/act and realised that, a few steps into the process, I found myself thinking of it almost as a form of improv theatre – a little more in the absurdist than the comic sense. None of the performers were primed in the other characters beforehand, there was no script, no order of play, no rehearsals and the timing of the interactions was enormously significant in terms of the direction the play moved in. For me, .re/act itself served as the stage or the performance platform and, as such, it provided a fairly avant-garde space for the staging;-) Unlike the sealed virtual ecologies of gaming environments, .re/act (as a stage) tolerated imports from anywhere and everywhere on the web and supported characters hmm… how shall I put it?…characters of very varied “dimensions”.
    It’s funny because, posting this reflection here, I acknowledge that I’m no longer thinking of .re/act as the stage but am, again, using it in its forum capacity.
    And yet, at the same time, nested within .re/act,  I think I’ve detected yet another form growing! A Song!!! I’m really enjoying the intimate exchange of tokens between Isabella and Ysidora – I love the tone of this swap – the reserve in the courtly “I send you”s, the excitement of waiting to “unwrap” the next offering. I hear echoes of “Hush Little Baby” when I read these postings: A mockingbird. A diamond ring. A looking glass. A goat. A dog named Rover…(though, in the lullaby, the gifting is one-sided and return on investment not necessarily guaranteed;-). But, as with Isabella and Ysidora, the relationship between the items in sequence is full of surprise!
    On a completely unrelated note…read the other day that Steve McQueen feels inspired when he’s doing the vacuuming. Wonderful! Time to go channel my inner Steve McQueen…
    • Christa Forster 13:01 on 22/03/2014 Permalink | Reply

      I love this reflection, Ciara, especially the analysis of .re/act as an open stage that tolerates all kinds of characters. This is an interesting idea in light of your point about improvisational acting, where the first rule is say “yes!”

      Earlier I was reflecting on the activities on .re/act that lead up to the #1850charla — I think I reflected over on .re/search? — and I wondered about where authority lies in the chaos of several different virtual “yesses!” happening. Regarding the open environment, I am not sure that .re/act is totally open; one has to “apply” to post here, I think; although I could be wrong — Vanessa?

      Also, your point about the exchange between Isabella and Ysidora as a song is mighty interesting to me, especially in light of something that I heard long ago, “In poetry, a new cadence means a new idea” — an oft-quoted remark attributed to poet Amy Lowell (the poet proffered by Isabella in her Vernal Equinox offering). Isabella is interested in visual synchronicity (a la Joseph Cornell’s boxes); I am interested in the way aural synchronicity works and how images can bloom (or wither) within the sound carriers they travel in. How does the digital exchange affect the visual and aural carriers? One thing is that other voices — yours, for example — lifts up an idea and shakes it up to make it even stronger. Thank you!

      • Vanessa Blaylock 16:03 on 22/03/2014 Permalink | Reply

        Yes, yes! Wonderful ideas about our virtual stage, Ciara & Christa!

        Re Open:
        .Re/act is pretty open, and I think as open as it is possible to be. Anyone can comment, and anyone who asks can post.

        We’re able to let anyone comment because we use the “Akismet” spam filter. Even on days when there isn’t a single post or comment, .Re/act still gets 300+ spam comments. Without Akismet we couldn’t function.

        If we had “open enrollment” for authors, we’d similarly have hundreds of spam authors (it’s true! I’ve tried before) who might be able to hack the site, and in any case would generate hundreds and thousands of fake Louis Vuitton links. You wouldn’t even be able to find the content in the spam haystack.

        As is peeps simply ask for account and they get one. I might have a pretty good idea who the typist for some identities is, but I’ve never actually asked anyone who’s typing for you, and we’ve never turned anyone away. So we’re as open as the reality of the Inter-Net-Street allows.

        This issue winds its way into other places as well. If you only use a platform like Facebook, you won’t even know what spam is because they do a great job of prescreening users and keeping them on a short leash. But it’s also a kind of silo’d space.

        I was just helping my mom with some cable stuff and was horrified (I don’t do television myself) to realize how much money they charge for cartoons or fake history docudramas! (especially when they could get so much better fake history right here!)

        From the perspective of a rapacious monopolist broadband provider like Brian Roberts / Comcast, every minute you “waste” looking at a website is a minute he could have been gouging you for sports video. For a platform provider like Mark Zuckerberg / Facebook, it’s a minute you could have spent enriching the value proposition of his silo.

        I know it sounds like I just ranted, but the important point is that these rich white guys have the opportunity to get a whole lot richer still, and it’s in their interest to make sure that your limited experience is smooth, easy, and flawless.

        When you go out on the Open Web where free people can freely exchange ideas, you don’t have the protection of billion-dollar corporations. Fortunately the Open Source community makes platforms and tools that let us dangle by our fingernails a little bit longer in the accidental freedom and speech we got when they weren’t looking and a bunch of hippies designed The Internet.

        So, haha, I’m done finally, .Re/act is pretty open, and I think as open as it can be given the balance of tools and threats in the neighborhood.

    • Isabella Medici 02:26 on 23/03/2014 Permalink | Reply

      is Steve McQueen related to Steve McQueen?

  • Christa Forster 13:57 on 13/03/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: @apieceofthewall, @tejucole, , twitter essay   

    Twitter essay by @tejucole “@apieceofthewall” 

    I’m fascinated by how @tejucole is using Twitter. 

    Definitely someone to follow….

  • Isabella Medici 12:24 on 05/03/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Anthropomorphic, , Feedback, Interactivity, Mouseover, Rollover   

    I gave a try to creating a little bit of a Cornell-like experience online. Here’s a simple page that just uses mouse rollovers. What I like about the rollover is it’s a tiny anthropomorphic thing. Like someone nodding their head when you converse, it’s just a bit of feedback that says, “yes, we’re talking!”


  • Isabella Medici 17:54 on 01/03/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Ash Wednesday, , Fat Tuesday, Lent   

    Fat Tuesday is Coming! 


    Fat Tuesday is coming!

    Throw me some beads!

  • Isabella Medici 18:42 on 27/02/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Citizenship, Ladonia, Passport   

    Dual Citizen! 

    Isabella Medici's certificate of Ladonia citizenship

    I’m thrilled to announce my dual citizenship! In addition to my long standing as a citizen of Italia, I have now also become a citizen of Ladonia. I have great hopes of eventually becoming Ladonia’s Minister of Education.

  • Isabella Medici 01:48 on 21/02/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Fluxkit, Fluxus, Fluxus Briefcase, George Maciunas, , Wonder Cabinet   


    Fluxkit, 1964/65. Fluxus edition, assembled by George Maciunas. Mixed media (vinyl attaché case), printed matter. The Gilbert and Lila Silverman Fluxus Collection, Detroit / Photo: Walker Art Center. All you need to make Fluxus art is in this suitcase.

    Fluxkit, 1964/65. Fluxus edition, assembled by George Maciunas. Mixed media (vinyl attaché case), printed matter. The Gilbert and Lila Silverman Fluxus Collection, Detroit / Photo: Walker Art Center. All you need to make Fluxus art is in this suitcase.

    What would a “Fluxus Briefcase” or Fluxkit be in cyberspace?
    What would a Cornell box be in cyberspace?

    Is all of cyberspace a Wondercabinet?

    • Christa Forster 18:30 on 21/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      I’m fascinated by the fact that you are fascinated with this question! You keep asking it; and in doing so, a response is starting to form in my mind. What a wonderful phenomenon: if we ask the same question over and over, the mind continues to solve the problem (find the solution), slowly but surely.

      I’ll let you know when it’s clear! It’s still inchoate.

    • Patrick J. Sweetman 00:11 on 26/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Izzie and Christa, This is new to me not have lived through the 1960s. What defines a Fluxus Briefcase? I must go and dust off the old travelling case and fill it with stuff and things. But I feel I’d probably be a bit random at the moment.

      • Isabella Medici 21:09 on 27/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

        Yes Patrick, I think you’ve got it! A briefcase filled with stuff and things. Everything you need for a fluxus performance.

        Or to put it in Ysidora friendly terms, you might say that a Fluxus Briefcase is like a Spanish Land Grant for your mind.

  • Vanessa Blaylock 08:11 on 07/02/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Cortana, Halo, Windows Phone   

    Cortana, your personal assistant 

    photo of Cortana on the screen of a phone running Windows Phone 8.1


    In case there’s any doubt that virtual culture is driving “real” culture, in your new Windows Phone 8.1 update, your “personal assistant” will by Cortana from Halo.

    * The Verge.com

  • Vanessa Blaylock 11:04 on 05/02/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Email, , , , Mobile, P2, , Social Media,   

    Your Age & Your Media Preference

    Of course what platform peeps prefer will vary by many factors, age not being the only one. But I do think age is pretty significant. So here’s my “beta 0.1” draft of platforms and ages. Do you think I’ve made mistakes? Are there other platforms you want to add? LMK!

    Old People
    No Internet At All
    A “P2” site, like .Re/act
    Young People

  • Vanessa Blaylock 08:48 on 01/02/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Deviant Art, , Jay Simmons, Map,   

    Jay Simmons Map of the Internet

    If you’ve got any dweeb blood in you, you won’t be able to resist it. Just zoom in and marvel at the “New World”

  • Vanessa Blaylock 08:24 on 01/02/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Art Gallery, Elitism, High Art, Open Web, , Physical vs Virtual, Publicness, Sharing   

    Does the web scare artists?

    I followed Katrina’s link to the Ossuary project by Mary Beth Clark (of Spatula & Barcode) It’s a powerful work, but that’s not my question just now. The project has about 300 participating artists:

    Yet I was the 1st & so far only person to bother clicking the “Like” button. (comments, sadly, are turned off!?)

    Why is it so “easy” to get 300 artists to contribute a piece that will show in a gallery for some weeks, and so hard to get them to participate on the Open Web where all the people of the (wired) world can experience the work for as long as it’s relevant?

  • Vanessa Blaylock 05:31 on 29/01/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: knowledge, public space, questions   

    Embodied Knowledge in Public Space.

    Is it possible?
    How do you facilitate it?

    • Christa Forster 18:12 on 01/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      I want to answer this question, but I’m not exactly sure what you mean by “embodied knowledge” in this case. Would you state the question in another way?

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