Updates from November, 2014 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Oscar 05:25 on 24/11/2014 Permalink | Reply  

    For Piano & Violin 

    Violin & Piano

    Dear Berries, I’ve been so busy lately, what with trying to reduce my Carbon Footprint and studying Seitz’ Concerto No. 5 for piano and violin, that I’m only now getting a chance to respond to Vanessa’s invitation to think over how to proceed in 2015.
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    • Vanessa Blaylock 08:46 on 24/01/2015 Permalink | Reply

      It’s been so great meeting you in 2014 (and maybe late 2013) Oscar!

      Forgive me, I know you’re not a “marionette,” but you’re certainly no “dummy,” I’m not sure how you refer to yourself?

      However you do, I think as an “avatar” I have some things in common with you. I must say, you’re far better at typing than I am at speaking! Do you have special keyboard? Or do you just use a full sized one? Anyway, when you mentioned having to fight to have your voice heard… I felt kind of silly doing “Video Hangouts” since I can only type. What I found though is that it’s nice in some ways. Instead of waiting my turn to talk, I can be typing while listening to someone else. And then I kind of love that someone else, like Christa or maybe Molly will, at some times “speak for me” and read what I’ve read. Sometimes no one voices what I’ve said and that’s interestingly not bad at all. I’ve discovered a little bit, just how many unnecessary things I say! It’s “humbling,” but “humbling” is too dramatic a word, I don’t mean it in a big or emotional way, just that it’s surprisingly fine to have some things passed over. And sometimes I respond to a point but by the time the speaker finishes the conversation has moved somewhere else and it’s nice not to have to drag back to my earlier me-too-ism.

      Other times though, when someone does voice my words for the group they can seem smarter or more important than I thought they were. It is supposed to be a “group”, a “community” if we can get that far, and I find I like having 1 facility less and being a little bit reliant on others. Has your experience been at all like that Oscar?

      I’m not aware of the full breadth of your oeuvre, Oscar, but I’m quite impressed with all you’ve accomplished in the brief time I’ve known you. And, BTW, your speech at the climate summit brought tears to my eyes, literally.

      I love that photo on your website Oscar!

      You always seem to look so happy. Like no matter what happens you’ll find a way to make the best of it.

      Have a great 2015 Oscar!

  • Vanessa Blaylock 13:12 on 13/10/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , PBRITA, photos, pix   

    Flickr Photo Group

    I made a Flickr group where we can share:
    1. pix of our hangouts
    2. pix of our collaborative projects
    3. pix to discuss in the next hangout
    4. pix of projects any of us are working on


    Please join the group and add any pix you like!

  • Christa Forster 10:49 on 13/10/2014 Permalink | Reply  

    "Local, Supportive Community (Like This One)" 

    I appreciate what Michael is up to with his paper for the Art Historians of Southern California, arguing for “Hacking the Timeline” in order to widen the scope of women artists’ role in art history. And I also appreciate what Kate Johnson is doing in this mode as well with her documentary, “A Dancer’s Journey,” which will air November 20 in LA on PBS and nationwide on PBS in 2015 (schedule to come).  One of the concrete things I learned while working on my recent performance “What’s on [My] Mind?” is how hard we have to fight for our story to make it into “History.” And it IS a fight — often, frankly, a war — that determines whose names will be remembered by the generations to follow.
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    • Christa Forster 10:52 on 13/10/2014 Permalink | Reply

      When I say God’s job, I really mean the job of gods

    • Vanessa Blaylock 11:21 on 13/10/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Awesome Xta! I sadly can’t remember the author who said this, but here it is:

      Men write about important things, like war; women write about unimportant things, like family.

  • Vanessa Blaylock 03:35 on 01/10/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Signature Track,   

    MOOC Certificates

    Interesting twist for Site Dance II MOOC: Certificates ONLY for Signature Track. Regular Track: no virtual paper for you!

  • Vanessa Blaylock 14:23 on 25/09/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Camille, , , Pages, , Stream, Web   

    It’s About the Box!

    As Christa can testify, I’ve been thinking about the wonder and compelling nature of things like Cornell Boxes. And the amazing, immersive bookfulness of books. And records, amazing records like Camille’s Le Fil or The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper.
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    • Vanessa Blaylock 07:49 on 26/09/2014 Permalink | Reply

      I think this is an interesting and worthy goal. One thing to note, is that in a way what I’m trying to create is “preciousness” in a time of Abundance. Abundance is a good problem to have, at least compared to the alternative, Scarcity. But in a time of Scarcity, almost anything can be precious. In a time of Abundance, there’s just so much competition for Attention. Entities like Art Galleries and Churches all try to create the experience of Preciousness, and in our time of Abundance, they’ve really got their work cut out for them!

      • Christa Forster 14:01 on 03/10/2014 Permalink | Reply

        Van, I’ve been wanting to comment for several days, but finally I have the time.

        Perhaps one of powers possessed by a Cornell box or any precious object in the non-internet world lies in its ability to arrest, to STOP us in time. The object captures us in a way that allows us to experience it in time, but the object itself has a kind of permanence to it, a stasis: the object itself does not change. Because we can return to the object (artwork, album, poem) over and over, we both are relieved by its constancy (not everything changes; what a relief), AND, also, we have time to notice how WE have changed in relationship to the object (artwork, album, poem), and this may be the REAL draw of the physical thing: we are more curious about ourselves and our own lives than we are about the lives of others, and these static objects help make ourselves clear to ourselves.

        Who hasn’t felt the “whoosh” effect of FB, or Twitter, or the internet in general — move along, move along, move along — there’s more, always more — to see, to learn, to do, to watch, to read? It’s exhausting! But these static objects — the Cornell, the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s, the epic poem (currently, I’m reading The Odyssey again for the 10th time in 20 years) — do not “whoosh” us along; WE may whoosh, but they restore us; they give us back to ourselves, despite the way the world takes us away from ourselves over and over and over (so like the internet — life). The object’s stasis is the very thing that provides this restoration: it offers us the time and space (constant, reliable) to be moved emotionally — at our own pace, in the directions we choose (or that our unconscious minds choose).

        The internet moves similarly to the way the unconscious mind moves, but I think we feel that we’re being moved from without rather than from within, and this makes all the difference.

    • Vanessa Blaylock 11:05 on 26/09/2014 Permalink | Reply


      Although I am a Documentation nut, I am not a Object maker. My work is in Ephemeral Experiences. Hopefully these are engaged and immersive experiences. Participants at these experiences may have some of the “Box” like experiences I’ve described. I do wonder if my yearning for this “Box” like experience isn’t a sort of desire to turn the ephemeral experience of performance art, or cyberspace, into a sort of virtual object?

  • Ciara Finnegan 03:20 on 11/09/2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Mixed Berries September Hangout 

    Berry Good Fun


    What a fine bunch of Mixed Berries turned up on Monday! Vanessa and Christa – you were both much missed but rest assured, you were very much a part of the conversation:-)
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  • Vanessa Blaylock 17:04 on 09/09/2014 Permalink | Reply

    Hello all! So sorry I missed Monday’s Hangout! Had a bit of a power outage here! 🙁

    Hope it went well. Did Andrea make it in ok this time? Did Oscar receive a warm reception?

  • Vanessa Blaylock 09:00 on 01/09/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Autobiography, , Fact, Fiction, Madeline Raynor, Mashable, , , True, Truth   


    A while back we were talking about ideas like Counterfactual History and Creative NonFiction and blurring of fact and fiction. Christa really liked the book The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien.

    Today Madeline Raynor over at Mashable.com has written about “15 Captivating Autobiographical Books That Mix Fact and Fiction,” including O’Brien’s book.

    • xtaforster 15:04 on 01/09/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for this list, VB! I can use it with my 10th grade class, where I teach not only O’Brien’s semi-autobiographical book, but also Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, too. xo

  • Andrea Foenander 08:00 on 18/08/2014 Permalink | Reply  


    Firstly, my sincerest apologies for being unable to join last weeks hangout. Now that the issue has been resolved I hope to join you next time. I’d also like to extend an open invitation;

    At the beginning of September I will chair a discussion on a paper by Michael Masucci on the role of women in digital art. It is going to be a ten day asynchronous discussion with the comments featured alongside the paper. The format is like a Q&A session, intended to be a medium to add questions and perspectives on Michael’s ideas.

    Following the symposium I would like to publish the proceedings and attract writers to produce new essays that will form a book. The book will be launched at a later date within an exhibition featuring works by digital women artists.

    • Vanessa Blaylock 05:32 on 19/08/2014 Permalink | Reply

      The topic of Michael’s paper is, of course, very interesting. And the format of your discussion will also be interesting to watch unfold.

      Send us links etc when it’s time to participate!

  • Ciara Finnegan 01:59 on 13/08/2014 Permalink | Reply  



    A few links to interviews with two artists mentioned in the hangout on Monday:
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  • Vanessa Blaylock 14:41 on 11/08/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: .Re/search, Comments, Disqus   

    Comments on .Re/search

    You may have noticed over the months that the comments on .Re/search often put the wrong person’s face with the comment. We haven’t been able to resolve this and have now switched to “Disqus” comments for .Re/search.

    It should pretty much function the same. New comments should avoid the wrong face issue. I’m not certain if it will be importing faces for the old comments or not, but at least they won’t be the wrong images. And it looks like it cleans everything up going forward. 🙂

    • xtaforster 15:30 on 11/08/2014 Permalink | Reply

      I tried commenting (I have a disqus), but I don’t see the comment yet. I’ll check again later.

      • Vanessa Blaylock 16:22 on 11/08/2014 Permalink | Reply

        Oh gosh, it’s always something! I don’t see your comment on .Re/search OR in the “moderation cue”… can you try another one?

    • Mke 23:48 on 11/08/2014 Permalink | Reply

      I haven’t done much coding of comments, but I have done some with avatars and bbpress.
      My first thought would be to check if/how the site is cached.
      Next step is to check a plugin conflict – minify, CDN, or something associated with Javascript.
      Or if the site uses a comment related plugin check that.
      The WP Codex says the avatar function is pluggable which means functions are easily overridden.
      Outlier possibilities: document structure issue (open element tag), php loop error.
      It is most likely a small problem.

      • Vanessa Blaylock 05:49 on 12/08/2014 Permalink | Reply

        thanks Mike! We had a comment issue here on .Re/act in the past, that your comment would go under the wrong post! That turned out to be some issue with Jetpack Comments & this Houston / P2 theme. Turning Jetpack Comments off solved that.

        Meanwhile, over on .Re/search we’ve always had a “wrong icon / avatar” issue. It’s intermittent. I’m thinking it might use the right avatar if the commenter is logged in to the website, and if not, it uses the author’s avatar for the commenter!? As far as I can tell, that’s an issue with .Re/search’s “Diablo” theme. Moving to Disqus may have been overkill, but it seems like it’s resolved (or driven over) that issue.


    • Vanessa Blaylock 21:09 on 12/08/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Since the “existing” comments have been “imported” to Disqus, your name and comments are still there, but it doesn’t automatically have your Icon / Avatar. (it will on any future comments)

      If you go:
      disqus.com > edit profile > merging

      and “merge” your comments, then, voila! Your icon will “populate” all over .Re/search!

  • Vanessa Blaylock 19:16 on 06/08/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Art History, Computer Art, ,   

    Andrea Foenander 

    Michael’s invited Andrea Foenander to join us on Monday! Here’s the talk she gave at EZTV in April!

    She’s got a lot of compelling ideas as well as an exciting upcoming project to tell us about. Ideas like

    How would contemporary culture & art historical discourse be different if Charles Saatchi liked riding a bicycle through a virtual landscape instead of plopping formaldehyde sharks on gallery floors?

    Michael has asked similar questions when he’s talked about all that art history has failed to include in recent times. For myself, I’ve felt that work with Virtual Reality & Virtual Worlds has existed in a space separate from the object production & commodity culture of the main art historical narrative.

    An event like Burning Man exists largely off the art historical grid. It’s not much talked about in museums, galleries, art fairs. Yeah it’s had impact in so many ways, including inspiring Philip Rosedale to create his Virtual World. Famously, one of the key reasons Larry Page & Sergey Brin allowed Eric Schmidt to be CEO of Google, was because he’d been to Burning Man.

    Does New Media want/need validation from Old Media? Or does it create its own independent cultural narratives?

  • Ciara Finnegan 07:16 on 05/08/2014 Permalink | Reply  

    The Auld Sod* 

    Skipping through the lashing rain (yes, summer in Ireland…), not at all confident that I was going the right direction (I wasn’t), I couldn’t help but feel a little thrill of excitement at the prospect of meeting a “Berry” in Real Life – the fact of this meeting, somehow, an affirmation of a commitment to and belief in the importance of .re/act/The Berries (to use the prevailing term;-)).

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  • Vanessa Blaylock 00:50 on 04/08/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Neocon, , Previz, Relatives, Values   

    Alien Baby?

    I was delighted to be “friended” by a distant RL cousin on FB yesterday… and then quickly horrified by her (to me) extremist neocon values.

    It’s kind of shocking just how few, short posts it takes to convince me that we’re diametrically opposed on just about every Social, Political, Ideological, Cosmological-Philosophical-Theological dimension I can think of.

    Of course I think my cousin is insane. But since she seems to reflect the majority values of my family, perhaps it’s not that she’s insane, but that I’m… hmm… an alien baby??

    And then… wow… Alien Baby! What a great performance work that’d be.

    I wonder how that piece might go…

  • Ciara Finnegan 13:08 on 28/07/2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Summer berries in Europe… 

    Hugh and I have arranged to meet up in Dublin, Ireland, tomorrow:-)


    • Vanessa Blaylock 14:17 on 28/07/2014 Permalink | Reply

      OMG! That’s so cool! Have a great time! Post pix! Say hi to Molly Bloom!

      Hopefully at the August hangout we can introduce Hugh to Edie’s friend Nasrene who’s up the road from him in Dubai.

    • xtaforster 17:36 on 04/08/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Did y’all take pics?

  • Vanessa Blaylock 15:04 on 21/07/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Emoji, Social Net,   

    Emoji Only Social Net!

    If you use this link to sign up, they’ll connect us when they launch! 🙂

    • Ciara 02:33 on 24/07/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Oh, thank you, Vanessa! This is great!! I updated my OS from snow leopard to mavericks last night, allowing me access a whole new world of pictograms and hieroglyphs 🙂

      I’m an octopus on a bicycle (well, two bicycles, actually – so many limbs to arrange…)
      This is the link I received in order to connect with friends: http://emoj.li/#7aC97bCZ7aC97bqy7aC97bqy

      • Vanessa Blaylock 10:16 on 24/07/2014 Permalink | Reply

        • Vanessa Blaylock 10:17 on 24/07/2014 Permalink | Reply

          hey… how come my emoji’s not showin up? Oh no, we found .Re/act’s weakness!

          • Ciara Finnegan 23:00 on 24/07/2014 Permalink | Reply

            • Ciara Finnegan 23:02 on 24/07/2014 Permalink | Reply

              Octopus-bike-bike not showing up for me either though it gives the illusion of display before posting in Safari whereas in Chrome the emoji display only as empty rectangles…Mysterious…

              • Vanessa Blaylock 23:05 on 24/07/2014 Permalink | Reply

                IDK… maybe it’s something about the text formatting of .Re/act’s “theme”… try Twitter! Works great there… I’ve sort of started my own Emoji only campaign on Twitter. Or, of course, anything on your mobile!

                Hope 2CU on Emoj.li soon! 🙂

  • 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:
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    • 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 10:16 on 14/07/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Collaboration, , Richard Stallman   

    The Team is whoever comes to play

    Ciara made an interesting comment at the end of today’s hangout, that since she wasn’t one of the “Original Blueberries” she always felt a sort of “imposter complex” (my word not hers) about her participation.

    It reminded me of why Richard Stallman left his beloved MIT AI lab and founded the Free Software movement. It all started the day Passwords arrived at the MIT AI lab. He hated the idea that someone who sat at the computer yesterday could have control over what someone who sat there today could do with it.

    • Christa Forster 10:27 on 14/07/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Interesting, Vanessa. Ownership is a very powerful force in the American experience, isn’t it?

  • Christa Forster 22:43 on 13/07/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County,   

    Some Mixed Berries rolled into Los Angeles 

    and had a physical meet up. It happened today at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. Michael Masucci, Kate Johnson and I — Christa Forster — lunched at the outdoor cafe and loitered in the “Becoming Los Angeles” exhibit.

    7/13/2014 Michael, Christa and Kate at the NHMLA

    Michael Masucci, Christa Forster, Kate Johnson, July 13, 2014, Los Angeles

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  • Teresa of Avila 22:26 on 23/06/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Dream, , Vision   


    Good day dear people.

    I have been given to understand that Mr. Nostradamus may be found in this vicinity. Can anyone please direct me to him? I have had the most extraordinary vision and wish to discuss it with him. I am hopeful that he might help me to construct an interpretation of the vision.

    Your assistance in locating Nostradamus is most appreciated.

    • Scott Lord 16:08 on 25/06/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Rock musician Al Stewart, who recorded Love Chronicles, Past Present and Future, The Early Years, Modern Times, and Year of the Cat is the only known person to have contacted Nostradamus. There are rumors that Mr. Stewart now teaches poetry.

      • Teresa of Avila 02:18 on 27/06/2014 Permalink | Reply

        Hello Mr. Lord. Thank you for this valuable information. Do you know where I can find Mr. Stewart?

    • Scott Lord 21:53 on 29/06/2014 Permalink | Reply

      I’m in the middle of reading Mr. Britling Sees It Through by H.G Welles, which I put down to try four online MOOCs. When in church, I’ve been reading a novel entitled The 39 Steps, by John Buchan. Well, you’ll appreciate this, I walked out with it. I suppose i could bring it back, but after last summer, during which i read ten novels by the author E. Phillips Oppenheim, I can barely stand the thrill of making love to a church librarian and inadvertedly tucking away a copy of the novel. I have it right here. Think of what will happen next!!! I literally forgot I had the book on my person and brought it home. Today is my 52nd birthday.

      No, I don’t know where he is right now.

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