Updates from September, 2014 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • TrilbyM 20:26 on 28/09/2014 Permalink | Reply  


    Vaneeesa poses with Trilby, who is wearing a giant mesh avatar from Rin's.

    Vaneeesa poses with Trilby, who is wearing a giant mesh avatar from Rin’s.

  • Vanessa 14:23 on 25/09/2014 Permalink | Reply
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    ## It’s About the Box As Christa can… 

    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.
    (More …)

    • 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?

  • Vanessa 23:58 on 24/09/2014 Permalink | Reply

    Intro 2 Haptics & The Hapkit 

    I’ve decided to give the Introduction to Haptics course from Allison Okamura (Instructor) & Melisa Orta (Teaching Assistant) at Stanford / Stanford Open EdX a try. A core element of this self-paced MOOC is assembling Stanford’s low-cost “Hapkit.” It’s a 1-degree of freedom controller / force-feedback device.

    Let’s Play!

    Anybody in a Virtual World want to join in? It’d be cool to have 2 of us (or 3 or a bunch) make these and integrate them into in-world experience in some way. Perhaps actually using in-world data pipelines, or using a parallel connection that’s not in-world but can live-sync to avatar activities. I have no idea how to do any of this or what the possibilities or limitations might be, but it sure seems like a fun thing to poke around with.

  • Vanessa 18:55 on 22/09/2014 Permalink | Reply

    Happy Fucking Birthday Berry 

    It’s everybody’s sweetheart Strawberry Singh’s birthday today! Here’s the Twitter stream of peeps around the globe wishing her happy returns with the hashtag #HappyFuckingBirthdayBerry

    Strawberry Singh.com

    4 color photos in a 2 x 2 grid. 2 women in the photos wear swimsuits: the woman in the fuscia suit smiles and gives the other a kiss. The woman in the white swimsuit is pouty and emo.

    Emo @strawberrysingh responding to a birthday kiss from @vaneeesa

  • Vanessa 04:57 on 21/09/2014 Permalink | Reply

    Concept: Activity No.11 – Vaneeesacam! – Sat 15 Nov ’14 

    ScreenCap from Jennifer Ringley's Lifecast Webcast "Jennicam" circa 1996 - 2003

    ScreenCap from Jennifer Ringley's Lifecast Webcast "Jennicam" circa 1996 - 2003

    ScreenCap from Jennifer Ringley's Lifecast Webcast "Jennicam" circa 1996 - 2003

    ScreenCap from Jennifer Ringley's Lifecast Webcast "Jennicam" circa 1996 - 2003


    From 1996 to 2003, first from her dorm room at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, then from Washington, D.C., and finally from Sacramento, California, Jennifer Ringley, aka “Jennicam” “lifecast” her every activity to the nascent World Wide Web. She might be more famous for the few minutes of nudity and sex, but perhaps it was really the banality of everyday life that so fascinated her legions of viewers.

    I’m not tempted to lifecast for 7-1/2 years, but the idea of Avatar Lifecasting seems interesting, at least interesting enough for a 24 hour live stream.

    ScreenCap from Jennifer Ringley's Lifecast Webcast "Jennicam" circa 1996 - 2003

    ScreenCap from Jennifer Ringley's Lifecast Webcast "Jennicam" circa 1996 - 2003

    ScreenCap from Jennifer Ringley's Lifecast Webcast "Jennicam" circa 1996 - 2003

    ScreenCap from Jennifer Ringley's Lifecast Webcast "Jennicam" circa 1996 - 2003


    Saturday 15 November ’14
    • San Francisco time: Noon Saturday – Noon Sunday
    • London time: 8pm Saturday – 8pm Sunday
    • Sydney time: 6am Sunday – 6am Monday

    Dancing, Shopping, Artgoing, Slumming and whatever else comes to mind.

    ScreenCap from Jennifer Ringley's Lifecast Webcast "Jennicam" circa 1996 - 2003

    ScreenCap from Jennifer Ringley's Lifecast Webcast "Jennicam" circa 1996 - 2003

    ScreenCap from Jennifer Ringley's Lifecast Webcast "Jennicam" circa 1996 - 2003

    ScreenCap from Jennifer Ringley's Lifecast Webcast "Jennicam" circa 1996 - 2003

    24 Hours Live

    I’ve given every SL “Friend” I’ve got permission to map me, so if you’re in-world, you can come join the experience anytime you want to drop in. For anyone around the globe with an Internet connection my oh-so-exciting 24 hours will be streamed live on the Vanessacam Channel on Ustream.


    photo of Second Life friends list with "eyeballs" checked allowing friends to find Vanessa Blaylock on the in-world map

    Giving every “friend” I’ve got permission to “map me.” If you want to drop in on VanessaCam day, just shoot me a friend request. Or you can follow the SLURLs in the VB Friends group.

    ScreenCap of Ustream "Desktop Presenter"

    Who needs to be in-world, follow VanessaCam anywhere you have internet, even on your phone or tablet.

  • TrilbyM 19:22 on 16/09/2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Lag on a Grecian Urn 

    I just put up a monument to lag based on Keats’, “Ode on a Grecian Urn”. The poem is about a couple frozen in time, though in this case, he can never catch her because there is too much lag! There are poseballs on the urn so you can become the frozen couple, and experience all the beauty and truth of lag.




    • Skye McLeod Fairywren 21:41 on 16/09/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Really clever and well done, Tril!!!

    • Vanessa Blaylock 19:46 on 17/09/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Beauty is lag, lag beauty,—that is all
      Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

  • Vanessa 16:26 on 15/09/2014 Permalink | Reply  

    New Boyfriend? 

    screen cap of Second Life chat with a guy who only says "Hello... Sex"

    Look out Ze Moo… I think I just found my new boyfriend!

  • Vanessa 00:48 on 14/09/2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Activity No.9 – Avatar Hangout 

    Avatars standing in a clearing outside the meeting hut on Kimika Ying's "Sister Planet" on LEA29

    It was supposed to be an hour-long “Avatar Hangout” but it turned into a day-long “Open House!” 😛

    In the end 21 avatars came by to visit, see friends, and view Kimika Ying’s LEA29 installation Sister Planet
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  • Emma 20:36 on 13/09/2014 Permalink | Reply
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    …trying to hear what Kimika Ying and Vanessa are talking about.. but those venusian cupcakes keep whispering at me

  • Vanessa 16:07 on 13/09/2014 Permalink | Reply

    I’m Your Venus! 

    Need more “Venus” motivation for today’s Avatar Hangout? Here it is!
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  • Vanessa 04:36 on 13/09/2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Prospect (Kickstarter Film) 

    I’m not quite sure if Zeek Earl, Chris Caldwell & Brice Budke shot Prospect on Kimika Ying’s Sister Planet or not, but they’re both beautiful yet not quite hospitable worlds. I thought Prospect might be a nice short film to inspire our Avatar Hangout tomorrow morning. Oh, and the film was funded by 338 backers on Kickstarter – awesomesauce!

  • 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:-)
    (More …)

  • Vanessa 00:45 on 11/09/2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Hangout on Venus this Saturday! 

    the words "avatar hangouts" in black and red typography using the Burbank font from House Industries set in wide and bold

    Postcard of Vanessa Blaylock standing inside a mobile Venus rover as she waits out a Venutian rainstorm. The image had a black border and an Ada Lovelace postage stamp.

    Avatar Hangout at Kimika Ying’s Sister Planet this Saturday, 9a California / 5p London.

    Meetup! Hangout!

    Old Friends! New Friends!

    A dance place without the dancing. But you can dance if you want to.
    A philosophy discussion group without the philosophy. But you can talk philosophy if you want to.
    (More …)

    • scarlett L 14:44 on 13/09/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Vanessa- if i dont make it its not that i didnt want to i had to bring son to hospital rl for eye problem…i would love to come at another one though!

      • Vanessa Blaylock 15:16 on 13/09/2014 Permalink | Reply

        OMG Scar! So sorry to hear. Hope everything works out ok. Avatar Hangouts are the 2nd Saturday of every month, so there’s always another one. Buy your son some ice cream for me.

  • Vanessa 02:47 on 10/09/2014 Permalink | Reply  


    Photo of Vanessa Blaylock, Oh My Geisha, & Scarlett Luv. Blaylock's hair is dyed ombre blue, Geisha is in pink hair and Luv in a golden-yellow color.  All 3 have short, yet big, bob haircuts

    Vanessa Blaylock, Oh My Geisha, & Scarlett Luv hanging out and waiting for the New York Governor & Lt. Governor election results. Go Teachout-Wu!

  • Vanessa 17:04 on 09/09/2014 Permalink | Reply

    Hello all So sorry I missed Monday’s Hangout… 

    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?

  • Emma 04:15 on 09/09/2014 Permalink | Reply  

    not so much the pictures or the place today.. more a tune and thoughts around it..

    i like this tune.. it changes meaning for me.. today i was thinking 2’20.. but maybe its not for you..


  • Vanessa 08:39 on 08/09/2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Swim Venus 

    Vanessa Blaylock standing in a clearing on Kimika Ying's "Sister Planet" installation. Blaylock wears a black maillot and has sunglasses in her hair.

    The ultimate chemical skin peel!

  • Emma 04:22 on 08/09/2014 Permalink | Reply  

    just having conversations on eating grass and emma thompson


  • Vanessa 18:15 on 07/09/2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Waterfall on Venus 

    Vanessa Blaylock in a black maillot with a plunging neclkline. Blaylock stands under a roaring waterfall on Kimika Ying's installation of Sister Planet on LEA29

    Taking a refreshing acid rain bath in one of the waterfalls on Kimika Ying’s Sister Planet at LEA29.

  • Christa Forster 20:49 on 06/09/2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Book Machine Houston 

    I’m gonna be taking “What’s on [My] Mind?” to Book Machine Houston tomorrow — Sunday, September 7, 2014. I’ve got 3.5 hours with a graphic designer to make an artist’s book. Drinking fake wine and getting my shit together!

    Trying to represent the breadth of what it was. We’ll see how I do.


    Screen Shot 2014-09-06 at 10.47.38 PM

    • Ciara 00:06 on 07/09/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Christa, this sounds fantastic! Good luck and have fun working with the designer:-)

      • Vanessa Blaylock 05:52 on 07/09/2014 Permalink | Reply

        Oooh, this does sound fantastic! You’ll be staying for the discussion after?

        The Book will be a glorious tactile experience. I’m also interested in this new “World Wide Web” thing I’ve been hearing about. I wonder if they’d give you files so you could put some or all of your book online?

        I’ve been wondering a lot (without much progress) about how to create more immersive experiences in cyberspace: Books, Narrative Storytelling, yes, Cornel Boxes, etc.

        Cyberspace has more serendipity than just about anything in human history. Its unboundedness lets you create your own adventures, but it makes it hard to craft anything for others to experience. When you have a Book be it a book with words or images, on paper or eReader, it seems to be an agreement between artist and reader to spend some chunk of time, large or small, focused on a specific story or experience, narrative or game.

        See what a nice job I did of making your project about meeee! haha. Anyway, have a great time, I’m sure we’re all excited to see what results! 😀

    • Vanessa Blaylock 06:26 on 07/09/2014 Permalink | Reply

    • Christa Forster 08:01 on 07/09/2014 Permalink | Reply

      LOL. So true, Ikea!! Funny.

      Van, you say “Cyberspace has more serendipity than just about anything in human history. Its unboundedness lets you create your own adventures, but it makes it hard to craft anything for others to experience.”

      William Blake, also speaking of boundaries, says “The want of a determinate and bounding form evidences the want of idea in the artist’s mind.” I wonder how Blake’s idea speaks to the artists crafting in cyberspace?

      What intrigues me about performance is that while it does have a “determinate and bounding form,” that form is temporal, by nature diffused in the audience’s and the creator’s imaginations.

      Blake championed what he called Eternal Truth, which was visible through these determinate and bounding forms. Most of his contemporaries’ work appealed to the senses rather than the intellect, resulting in mere “blurs and blots,” as he said.

      I think your active searching to figure out how to “bound” something in the “unboundedness” of cyberspace, Van, is awesome, an odyssey toward what Blake would have called an Eternal Truth. The irony is that the serendipity that you mention is transitory, but it’s within this bizarre space where supposedly nothing every disappears (the www). How does this condition affect the imagination? individual and cultural?


  • Emma 05:07 on 06/09/2014 Permalink | Reply  

    just met another Emma.. i can’t believe other Emma’s are cool too!!

  • Vanessa 11:28 on 04/09/2014 Permalink | Reply

    Farm Animals 

    Vanessa Blaylock strolls the grounds of LEA27 with a few farm animals

    Next door to Kimika Ying’s Sister Planet is Lisa Asynja, Lor Asynja & Maxje Constantine’s Jomsborg which just had its grand opening on Saturday! Meanwhile, here’s me hanging out with the farm animals.

  • Monerda Skute 03:06 on 04/09/2014 Permalink | Reply  


    Hey y’all. Great password you gave me Vanessa 😀 Penny asked me to pass along that she had a blast at DragonCon VR and the circulation is slowly returning to her arms ^^

  • Emma 01:44 on 04/09/2014 Permalink | Reply  

    just hanging.. with a drink.. turned the radio up so i can hear it on the porch..


    • Vanessa Blaylock 05:06 on 04/09/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Oh hey Emma1, thanks for joining us here! And what a sweet photo. Love that afternoon haze in the air. What’s in the ice bucket? And WHEN did you go blonde!? — Emma2

  • Vanessa 02:01 on 02/09/2014 Permalink | Reply
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    DragonCon VR Edition! 

    photo of Izzy Medici standing in front of Izzy's Gym and holding an "I Have a Right to a Secret Identity" sign

    EFF, io9, The Harry Potter Alliance, Southeastern Browncoats, The Baker Street Babes, Wattpad, & The Organization for Transformative Works all supported Project Secret Identity at DragonCon this weekend! They took photos on site, and VBCO participated remotely via a VR March on Saturday 30 August. We all had a lot of fun and made at least a small statement about basic human rights here in the 21st century.
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  • Vanessa 09:00 on 01/09/2014 Permalink | Reply
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    ## Semi Factual A while back we were… 


    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

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