Updates from January, 2015 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Vanessa 08:58 on 24/01/2015 Permalink | Reply

    Katrina’s Birthday! 

    photo of Katrina Schaag with her chin propped on her palm and overlooking a cake with candles burning. The photo has a orange glow from the candlelight which casts half of Katrina Schaag's face in a warm glow and half in shadow

    It’s Katrina’s Birthday on Sunday!

    OMG, Katrina’s turning 29 tomorrow! Happy Birthday Katrina! Have a wonderful year!

  • 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 05:42 on 15/11/2014 Permalink | Reply  

    My Boring So-Called Virtual Life 

    sepia-toned photo of Vanessa Blaylock sitting on a bench on a London terrace overlooking Trafalgar Square and with the superimposed typography: "My So-Called Life" and with inserts for "Boring" and "Virtual" indicated so it reads "My Boring So-Called Virtual Life"

    Activity No.11

    Activity No.11 – Vaneeesacam

    24 livestreamed virtual hours in the (boring) life of an avatar.
    Sat-Sun 15-16 November 2014
    Noon – Noon PST / 20:00 – 20:00 GMT


  • Vanessa 08:20 on 13/11/2014 Permalink | Reply

    About 2015 

    Dear Blueberries & Mixed Berries,

    Happy Holidays!


    The MOOC that launched our 3 websites: .Re/act, .Re/search, and .Re/cipes plus our Slack chat space, Practice Based Research in the Arts, from Leslie Hill & Helen Paris at Stanford / NovoEd, ran from 9 Oct – 11 Dec 2013. At it’s end the Blueberry group decided to continue with once-a-month Google Hangouts. A few of us drifted off, others joined in, and Ciara rechristened our group Mixed Berry Shake.
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    • xtaforster 12:16 on 13/11/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Vanessa, Thanks for getting the conversation started. I’m thinking about it, mulling it over while I eat my lunch here in Houston, and I will post more shortly. However, I heard that you have a performance this weekend in Virtual London, and I’m wondering where I can read more about THAT! LMK. (I couldn’t find info easily about it on your blog). TTYL. xta

    • Michael J Masucci 16:23 on 13/11/2014 Permalink | Reply

      I think that continuing the monthly meetups is a good idea, even though the attendence is sporatic, and people understandably come and go.

      In time, I hope that more on-going collaboratibve teams are formed from within the group, and that a number of single project collaborations are tried as well.

      It’s been a great learning experience for me to meet you all, and the few things that we’ve done together, like ONE Night and the LACMA proposal have shown me the way to even better such collaborations in the future.

      But I also understand how precious time is fro everyone, and that some may not see the same benefits I’ve seen. So perhaps a number of options, allowing to some to keep meeting regulatly, others to come and go as thier time and interests dictate and others to simply float away is a way to go.

      For 2015, my New Year’s resolution will be to go back and writing regular short essays for PBR and to look to find more ways for us to collaboarte from our differnt regions. I think there is something important going on here, even if it is still after one years, in its infancy. I hope that together we can find a way to make it grow.

      And I do think another LACMA proposal is a good idea.

      • Vanessa Blaylock 18:55 on 25/11/2014 Permalink | Reply


        I know artists who believe that teaching is an unwise distraction from their work. That artists should focus on production, make, show, and sell work, and earn enough to support yourself.

        I know artists who believe that sales are corrupting and that your career is better served by having an income from an activity like teaching, and they your art work isn’t beholden to some revenue stream.

        For sure both choices have legitimacy. Personally, I favor Choice #2.


        In thinking about all the great work, ideas and charisma in Mixed Berries, to say nothing of our many amazing PB-RITA classmates

        I wonder if seeking funding for our work might not be the Magic Dust, the Glue, the Catalyst, we need. Christa has written about the power of deadlines, and getting someone somewhere to believe in your creativity enough to fund it can also be challenging and valuable.

        In a busy world we’re all challenged with focus and priorities. Collaborating on funded projects might give both internal and external legitimacy to our work. It might give us a chance to bring more of our PB-RITA classmates in on projects.

        Michael has the LACMA Art+Technology grant proposal, and Christa’s threatening to look some up in the next week. What if we tried to identify a slate of 6 grants to apply for in 2015? And let that work, applying and hopefully executing these projects, be the focus of our Hangouts?

        Michael’s multi-city interaction projects seem idea in some ways. And Rebecca’s City project seems like it or aspects of it could fit with some of Michael’s ideas.

        Funding might be the cohesive core around which our hangouts could develop more focus around specific projects. Michael and Andrea have talked about the bias of Art History. Getting institutional validation would help to move our ideas and work a little closer to official narratives.

        What do you think?
        Do you know about any funding opportunities we might apply for?

    • xtaforster 17:56 on 13/11/2014 Permalink | Reply

      I agree that meeting monthly and continuing to pursue ways to collaborate is a valuable practice in and of itself. I was thinking that perhaps a group of us could commit to individually writing something for a future issue of MOOC magazine, and we could give ourselves a specific deadline (I love deadlines, as you all know) to make this happen.

      Van do you have any content on your mind that you’d like written for a current or future issue? If not, then perhaps we could brainstorm for a theme that we could all write toward.

      I also want to continue to add content to our websites and keep in touch and share resources through slack chat. Furthermore, in addition to LACMA, we might be able to search for some other RFPs and work with deadlines to try and come together around an idea for (potentially) funded projects.

      Over thanksgiving break, I’ll do a bit of research for some other RFPs so that I have something to share at our holiday party on the 8th.

      Thanks a million to Vanessa for keeping us going and organized and motivated. I suspect she’s got lots of other projects that are driving her harder than this one, and I really do appreciate the energy she continues to share with us. Furthermore, I really want to hear more about her Avatar Field Guide — what IS the difference between the avatar classifications — af̱toportréta and fo̱tográfos móda and fo̱tográfos koultoúra? I looked at a couple of the different examples, and I am too uneducated to discern the differences at this point. I want to learn more. Is the performance in Virtual London related to this project? How can we attend?

      xoxoxoxo xta

      • Vanessa Blaylock 18:02 on 14/11/2014 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks Xta! Actually “Vaneeesacam!” is a different project from “Avatar Field Guide”. You can attend “in person” by having Ysidora login to SL and hangout… or you can watch live at

        The scoop is here:

        BTW Michael, this broadcast formula I finally came up with using XSplit Gamecaster to feed 1080p HD video to the Twitch.tv streaming service looks pretty good. If we ever did something like ONE Night again, it might be a nice way for you to project HD video without having to have a “cameraperson” (logged in, in-world user) on site.

    • Rebecca Longworth 15:13 on 20/11/2014 Permalink | Reply

      I’m torn — I definitely would like to keep our chats and our contact going. It often seems that the chats are a little too short, so longer hangouts less often might be nice… on the other hand, I know that the fact that they’re monthly has made it easier for me to join when I can.

      Perhaps it would help to keep the one-hour every-month schedule, but to hold ourselves to a schedule within the hour. For example, we could spend 10 minutes per topic, or give each participant the floor for a set time to let us know what they’re up to, and for others to ask questions. One of those timeslots could be free-form conversation; and those who are available can always stay past the hour mark to chat further. It might sound very formal, but a time pressure also might help us each think of what we most want to impart to the group, and ask questions of each other.

      In other news, I’ve started a dedicated site for my project, City Creature:
      http://www.citycreature.wordpress.com. And I’m looking at word-cloud software to help display/interpret the answers to my questionnaire. Let me know if you have suggestions! Fun times.


    • Ciara Finnegan 04:55 on 24/11/2014 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve really enjoyed the dialogue and interactions .re/act has supported over the past year and, while the Hangouts do present a challenge in terms of scheduling, I believe they also add value to our exchanges. I quite like Rebecca’s suggestion that we occupy 10 minute slots during a hangout and think that structuring the format in this way is worth experimenting with in 2015.

      Vanessa, thank you for all the work you’ve put into creating this space and for your generosity toward the group. I mentioned to Michael that I affectionately refer to the Berries as my “semi-imaginary” friends:-) – thank you all for keeping the energy flowing this year – being involved has meant a lot to me. I also think that Michael and Kate have been instrumental in bringing others to the conversation and in orchestrating (directly and indirectly) meetings in Real Life. For this I am hugely grateful.

      I’m looking forward to the December 8th party!! Have been practising my disco moves;-) Or maybe it’ll be more Mardi Gras…where’s that feather boa I started off with????

  • Vanessa 13:52 on 13/10/2014 Permalink | Reply
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    October Hangout 

    Screen cap of a Google Video Hangout

    Molly Ross & colleagues

    Full house for today’s Hangout!

    Rebecca Narum
    Rebecca Longworth
    Molly Ross
    Michael Masucci
    Kate Johnson
    Ciara Finnegan
    Oscar Devent
    Christa Forster
    Hugh Mcelveen
    Vanessa Blaylock

    More images from today in our Flickr photo group

    • Rebecca Longworth 21:39 on 19/10/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Hello friends! How lovely it was to see you last Monday and hearing your news! I have a couple of links to share…

      And Hugh, I’m hoping you’ll share some of your links on Arabic vs Middle Eastern art.

      Speaking of the Middle East and collaborating across borders, you all might be interested in this project from Golden Thread here in SF: http://www.goldenthread.org/alo/

      I am about to embark on a long-term exploration about personal relationships to cities. Working title: City Creature. I’m fascinated by the ways in which we imagine the places we live as living beings, and the relationships we have with them. One of the first “ways in” that I’m exploring is to collect some imagined creatures of others. I love worksheets and filling out forms, so here’s a City Creature worksheet:


      I’d be delighted if you all could share a bit about your city there.

      Until soon!
      Rebecca L

      • Vanessa Blaylock 12:18 on 07/11/2014 Permalink | Reply

        Just filled out your cool survey Rebecca! Sorry it took me so long, but definitely had a nice time on it.

        Will you be attending the Nov Berry Hangout on Mon? If so, would you like to talk about City Creature?

  • Vanessa 13:12 on 13/10/2014 Permalink | Reply
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    ## Flickr Photo Group I made a Flickr… 

    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 07:07 on 09/10/2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Rocktober Hangout 

    Hatsune Miku & Pharrell Williams dancing

    Lets Hangout!

    Even if we’re not quite as cool as Hatsune Miku hanging out with her pals like Pharrell Williams & Lady Gaga, a Mixed Berry Shake is still a pretty great way to spend the 2nd Monday of the month. Please join us for another inspiring global conversation!
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  • Vanessa 03:35 on 01/10/2014 Permalink | Reply
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    ## MOOC Certificates Interesting twist for Site Dance… 

    MOOC Certificates

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

  • 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.
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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 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?

  • 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?


  • 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

  • Vanessa 19:41 on 30/08/2014 Permalink | Reply
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    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.”

  • 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:
    (More …)

  • Vanessa 14:41 on 11/08/2014 Permalink | Reply  

    ## Comments on Re search You may have… 

    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 11:34 on 11/08/2014 Permalink | Reply
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    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

  • Vanessa 10:38 on 11/08/2014 Permalink | Reply

    No Hangout with Andrea 

    screen cap of Google Text Hangouts with Andrea Foenander and others

    Sadly we couldn’t get Andrea Foenander in our Google Video Hangout today. I tried to Text Hangout and it would let me 1-to-1 “hangout” with her, but it rejected her plus anyone else. IDK what the issue was. Perhaps a firewall at her university? I’ll try to “Hangout” with her from her Home/studio sometime and see if that was it.

    • Andrea Foenander 10:51 on 11/08/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Very disappointing to have missed today, my sincere apologies. I hope that I can rectify this before the next discussion. In the meantime I would like to send some info about the proposed event for September and invite all to participate in the discussion

      • Vanessa Blaylock 10:57 on 11/08/2014 Permalink | Reply

        So sorry we missed you today Andrea! Yes, perhaps we can work out the tech details on the Hangout.

        And YES, your “September Event” sounds intriguing… I’m eager to see how it goes!

        (maybe work on another name besides “September Event”? 😀

      • Vanessa Blaylock 14:07 on 11/08/2014 Permalink | Reply

        PS: I’m sure we’ll sort out the Google Hangout issue… but if all else fails, we do have a chat engine over on .Re/search:

  • Vanessa 08:41 on 11/08/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Stop Me B4 I MOOC Again! 

    Hi Guys, I’ve somehow enlisted myself in 2 MOOCs starting in September.

    vintage black-and-white photo of Allan Kaprow teaching

    From Stanford:
    OpenKnowledge Changing the global course of learning
    2 Sep – 12 Dec 2014

    From CalArts / Coursera:
    Creating Site-Specific Dance and Performance Works
    29 Sep – 14 Nov 2014
    (More …)

  • Xue 03:44 on 10/08/2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Color Posts Test 

    avatar dancing

    Photo: Cho Balanced by Luminis Kanto

    This is only a test!

    The “Color Post” plugin sets a coordinating background for your post.

    I don’t think there are any choices / settings.

    Results may vary depending on your theme. In .Re/act’s case, you won’t see it on the home feed, but you will see it on any individual post that has at least 1 image.

  • Vanessa 19:16 on 06/08/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    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?

  • Vanessa 15:03 on 05/08/2014 Permalink | Reply

    Mixed Berry Shake hangouts 2014 

    typography of "Mixed Berry Shake" with the letters made out of different types of berries

    Hangouts 2014

    2nd Monday of the Month
    • Aug 11 – facilitator: Michael
    • Sep 8 – facilitator: Ciara
    • Oct 13 – facilitator: Hugh
    • Nov 10 – facilitator: Kate
    • Dec 8 – facilitator: Vanessa

    Nobody has to be a facilitator. Everybody is welcome to facilitate. You don’t have to do a lot, but you could pick a few topics and help juggle the hour.

    Open Timetable in Google Drive


    Raspberries Macro by Liz West
    Reward for work: Blueberries by @rsseattle
    Kiwi by Sergiu Bacioiu
    Berries by Matt Becker

    • Michael J Masuci 15:42 on 05/08/2014 Permalink | Reply

      I will be sending out some topic ideas very soon. A scholar in London is creating an online seminar event that I’d like to try to get the Bluberry Shakers involved in doing a collaboartion for. I’ll give details at the Aug. 11 Blueberry Shake hangout.

      See you all at the ‘shake’.

    • Christa Forster 17:54 on 05/08/2014 Permalink | Reply

  • 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;-)).

    (More …)

  • Vanessa 00:50 on 04/08/2014 Permalink | Reply

    ## Alien Baby I was delighted to be… 

    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 15:04 on 21/07/2014 Permalink | Reply

    ## Emoji Only Social Net If you use… 

    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

              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

              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: , , , , , ,   

    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 10:16 on 14/07/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    ## The Team is whoever comes to play… 

    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?

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