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  • 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?


  • Christa Forster 15:38 on 27/03/2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Tomorrow from 9-10am PDT the second #1850charla will… 

    Tomorrow, from 9-10am PDT, the second #1850charla will happen on Twitter. I hope to see y’all there, and perhaps you’ll bring some other time-travelers or just plain old charla-tans with you. Please feel free to spread the word. Last time (February 28, 2014), we had some good tunes, interesting exchanges, and a few job offers!

    • Ysidora Pico 15:43 on 27/03/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you for the reminder! I will see you there. I hope to see Isabella, Donnie, Mr. Sweetman (blush), and Aunt Renie there. And what about our comadre, Vanessa? And Ciara?

    • Michel Nostradamus 18:54 on 27/03/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Very good! I shall be pleased to attend (but you already knew that, right?) I hope I do not wear everyone out with my venting. The Princess of Florence is doomed; the Queen of France is being blamed for the very war she worked so hard to prevent; difficult times. Being a see’er of truth in such times is an unpleasant affair at best.

  • Vanessa 06:17 on 13/03/2014 Permalink | Reply
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    What’s On [My] Mind – Live Hangout! 

    Live from Houston!

    • Christa Forster 13:38 on 13/03/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Wonderful! Thank you for this, Vanessa. I just posted in another place that my %#^& screen recording plan went awry because I FAILED TO TURN IT ON before the performance. I recorded every other thing — every rehearsal, whether formal or informal, making sure I had the technology down. Then, at the moment when it mattered, I failed!

      Hah! “Ruin is a great teacher….” Indeed.

      Also, Michael told me that the second performance was marred technologically by someone-who-shall-soon-be-clobbered’s unmuted microphone! (my husband’s).

      Hah! Again. Perhaps it was my male ancestors making their presence known.

      Here’s to you, Mistress of the Muted Microphone! Thanks for your support. It means a lot to me.


  • Vanessa 17:53 on 10/03/2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Blueberry Hangout, March 2014 

    Christa, Molly, Michael & I had our monthly Blueberry Hangout today. We were joined by Isabella Medici who’s recruiting faculty for Medici University.

    Everybody is so busy!


    Molly is doing several things with her Opal Whiteley project, links coming soon:

    Michael: OMG! The USC Libraries One Archive is ALL about EZTV!

    we unfortunately had some sort of connection mishap with Rebecca, but here’s her latest blog post:

    Katrina doesn’t love us anymore (just kidding!) but here’s the teaser for her exciting new solo show:


  • Christa Forster 19:11 on 04/03/2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Adding bios for my band of brothers at… 

    Adding bios for my band of brothers at http://ysidora.wordpress.com.

    Need to be finishing memorizing!!!!!!!

  • Christa Forster 20:33 on 28/02/2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Reflection on #1850charla 

    Here’s a post wherein I reflect on the relationship between the #1850charla installment of the What’s on [My] Mind? performance project. How does today’s event relate to what I’m doing on March 12, 2014?

  • Christa Forster 13:33 on 26/02/2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Plan for Upcoming Twitter Chat — #1850charla!! — on February 28, 2014 

    Okay, February 28 is only hours away, and that’s the day we take our #1850charla to the Twitter stage. I…I don’t really know what’s going to happen, but let’s pretend I do.

    The original plan (from the .Re/cipes page) was to

    pull sentences from…letters we’ve crafted (from our past to our present) to tweet out, using the hashtag #1850charla (a charla is the Spanish world for a “chat.”)

    However, some of you may not have written a “letter,” but you still want to participate. Some may have been using this .Re/act page as your letter. And some of you may have written many missives; you may want to tweet out the whole collection in one fell swoop.

    Anyone who wants can participate in anyway he or she wants. You will be participating if you use the #1850charla hashtag.

    Schedule A: Between 9am and 10am PST (5pm to 6 pm UTC), the #1850charla “performance” will take place. If you are available, please join us on the Twitter stage during that hour. We will be chatting about _________________ (I’m still taking suggestions — from myself and others! if you would like to suggest a topic, please post it in the comments here. I’m very open to suggestions right now!

    Here are some useful resources for prepping for the chat, especially if you’ve never participated in a Twitter chat before.


    Schedule B: If you are unable to attend the 9am to 10 am PST chat, then please consider contributing to the #1850charla throughout the day; you can do so by posting something related to the topic/s and adding the hashtag #1850charla. 

    On February 29, I will “Storify” or create a custom Twitter timeline for the #1850charla and share it here on .Re/act and via Twitter.

    Thank you so much for your participation so far. I am truly grateful for your playful and adventurous spirits!!


    • Christa Forster 16:51 on 26/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Link for directions about how to customize a Twitter timeline.


    • Isabella Medici 04:29 on 27/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      How wonderful Christa. So this is not the thing called “Tweetchat” but rather a “Chat on Twitter” (with #1850charla) – is that right?

      And then we can participate about our letters or whatever else for the one hour… or the rest of the day?

      See you Friday! 😀

      • Christa Forster 14:06 on 27/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

        That is right, Isabella. I think, yes. What you said. I am looking forward to our exchange! LOVE!

    • Patrick J. Sweetman 10:05 on 27/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      See you all there. Looking forward to it. Some great stuff written.

    • Aunt Renie 19:33 on 27/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Sometimes I FEEL like I was born in 1850!

  • Ysidora Pico 21:51 on 21/02/2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Getting Closer… 

    Here is a version of the What’s on [My] Mind? publicity website. Please take a look at it, and if you have a moment, I would appreciate any feedback you might have about what’s working well and about how I can make it better. THANK YOU!

    (P.S. If you click on the image, it should take you to the link.) (P.S.S. if you click on the #1850charla post on the website, it will give you an initial understanding of how I’m thinking about organizing the charla).

    Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 11.42.10 PM

    • Christa Forster 17:16 on 25/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Looks awesome, Ysi!

    • Patrick J. Sweetman 00:29 on 26/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Hey Ysi (goes with Izzi) it looks great. And I’ve no problem hanging out with Prima Donnas. Who’s going to throw the best parties the Prima Donnas or the Wallflowers? I’m with the PDs all the way. And anyway in a previous life I was Sarah Bernhardt, that’s enough Prima Donna for any man!

      • Christa Forster 16:30 on 26/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

        Ah, Sarah! I love her style! I’ve turned my hair into a nest for birds but never into a belfry for bats! Next up….

        Sarah Bernhardt with Bat

    • Patrick J. Sweetman 10:22 on 27/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      The lady is a vamp and a little known influence for Ozzie Osbourn’s stage show.

  • Ysidora Pico 04:04 on 11/02/2014 Permalink | Reply
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    I have finally been granted the ability to speak for myself here. This is ALL I EVER WANTED: to speak for myself.

    I am terribly glad to be here with you all. Thank you for existing. I’ve been following your adventures and conversations and discussions for weeks now, and I am looking forward to sharing some reports from my own pilgrimage — and, of course, to hear more about yours. Perhaps we shall even create some new adventures together? I can only hope.

    Saludos Cordiales,
    Su Comadre, Ysidora Pico

    • Isabella Medici 05:03 on 11/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Welcome Ysidora!

      I don’t know another way to say it, but I probably had an easier life than you. Although I did die at 34, so you may have lived longer. And the last 2 years were sheer terror at the hands of my misogynist / misanthrope brother. Finally, 11 years after my brother Francesco murdered me, my more pragmatic brother Ferdinando murdered him.

      When Ferdinando turned in his Cardinal’s hat to become Grand Duke of Florence, the greatest wedding, the greatest Medici spectacle, the biggest Theatrum Mundi Florence had ever seen, his marriage to Christina of Lorraine (granddaughter of Catherine de’ Medici) was organized as a year-long event.

      In many ways “The Medici Wedding of 1589” was the pinnacle of theatrum mundi. I, of course, had been gone and as forgotten as Francesco could make me, for 13 years by then. But I’d always been the Medici who organized plays, events, carnival floats, commissioned music, and celebrated the creative arts in so many ways and brought so much joy and entertainment to the court and to Florence. 1589 was so me. And yet it wasn’t.

      So too, we’ve all been here prattling on both without you, but also because of you.

      Perhaps it is not the builder’s place to live in the homes and cities created by their impulse. I appreciated the end of the film Bugsy, where he is unceremoniously murdered for his failure, and then the screen wipes to show the money, power, and spectacle of the modern-day Las Vegas that his vision built, but that he never set foot in.

    • Donnie 09:34 on 11/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Ysidora, you’ve been haunting my dreams, kid. Good to see you here in the flesh!

      • Ciara Finnegan 09:37 on 11/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

        In the flesh???

        • Donnie 09:38 on 11/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

          Well, geez, if you were composed of a wooden head and a cartoon body, you’d understand “the flesh” as a fairly loose concept…

    • Ysidora Pico 13:33 on 11/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Dear Isabella, Such a sad paradox about 1589 being so “you” (so because of you) and yet you were not there to enjoy the fruits of your labors–and MURDERED!? ¡Ay, Dios mio!

      Thank god I was not murdered. But, my son Chico was, the grief of which murdered my husband’s and, soon after, my heart. Although, we were pretty old by then, too, so….

      And what IS it with the domineering brothers? Mine (Pio and Andres) married me off to an Anglo as a way — they thought — to protect their property interests in the newly created Alta California — when they KNEW that I was not a fan of marriage. I mean, I was 30 when I was married — in 1836. Clearly, I was not on the marriage plan, but my brothers had other plans for me.

      I really like the metaphor about the builder not being the inhabitant of the home she builds, although it was her impulse that caused the building to be built in the first place. My granddaughter is a teacher, and this is similar to the way her profession works.

      Also, Mr. Donnie, you have been dreaming of me? de veras? What portents have those dreams revealed?

      • Isabella Medici 02:57 on 13/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

        You know Ysidora, I think the phrase “Bun in the oven” sums up so much of the human condition. Men are “intelligent” beings. Women are ovens. What else do we need to know?

        Who gets to live in the house is a funny question. As a princess in 1550 I enjoyed so much privilege that almost no one in my time ever did. Yet a poor person in 2014 has so much that a 1550 princess couldn’t even dream of.

    • ysidorapico 12:34 on 13/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      You know what’s fascinating? The disintegration of the concept that time is a line. It’s wonderful that in 2014, we can speak with our voices from 1550, 1850, 2050.

      The idea of a time line seemed at first to me a lie guarded and promoted by murderers and thieves and power mongers — “don’t look back,” they seemed to say, “because then we will have to grapple with the destruction we’ve left in our wake.”

      I wondered, Why not imagine how to order time more from our observation of nature; for example, why are the models for how we live not like a blossom that loses its petals not one by one, not in a linear fashion, but rather in clusters, dumping out its heart as it reaches for the sunlight, as it draws up earth’s moisture through its roots? Why do we not mark time as the sea does: eternal waves swelling and breaking one after the other, sometimes more, sometimes less? Is it because we don’t know how to depict this motion?

      Is each lifetime a wave in a sea? Is each wave a moment in a life?

      These are the kinds of things I thought about while I was growing toward my 30th year, where I thought I was safe from marriage. Instead, in my 30th year, my cultural life replaced my natural life: I became a mother to three children, Marcos, Chico, and Juanon. My days were in no way linear — they were for a long, long while merely endless repetitions of the same thing over and over — feeding and cleaning, cleaning and feeding. Once the boys could clean themselves, it was feeding and educating, educating and feeding.

      Having children reduced my poetic questions to a reality of drudgery. I realized that the idea of linear time is thrilling: it provides hope that things will change, that one’s conditions can change.

      And, of course, we change and change and change and then we die. What’s thrilling is that I have come back to life! It defies my imagination, but apparently not enough to stop me.

    • Patrick J. Sweetman 00:21 on 19/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Hi All, I’m coming to the party late. And now that I’m here a little slow to get going. It may be at the tail end of the industrial revolution but I’m still a bit of a ludite. Anyway with party in mind the least I can do is bring the beer.

      • Meg O'Ryan 04:12 on 19/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

        Beer? Hi Patrick! You run a pub? Oh wow! Donnie is going to love you!!

        But watch out for that Oscar, I think he’s a prohibitionist!

  • Christa Forster 12:40 on 16/01/2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Ancestors from 1850 in Conversation! 

    Let’s put an ancestor of ours from the year 1850 in conversation with one another, in the present, on Twitter.


    To see what happens!
    (More …)

    • Isabella Medici 19:04 on 17/01/2014 Permalink | Reply

      What a fantastic project Christa! (anything that gets me out of the catacombs is a fantastic project! 🙂

      Could you give this letter to my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-granddaughter Vanessa? TY!


    • Christa Forster 01:07 on 18/01/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Dear Isabella, so GREAT to hear from you. Thank you for reaching out to us from 450 years ago! I think our luck is good (rather than shitty) to hear from you, a PRINCESS no less. I am interested in what you say about how “false nostalgia and blind romanticism always make past lives more simplistic. Easier than they were. Harder than they were. Other.” I’m pretty sure I understand what you mean by “other.” But I’m wondering if you’d like to talk about this more, This “otherness” that you seem to propose is a product/consequence of nostalgia and romanticism.”

      If you have other things to deal with (like washing your hair, which I’d totes understand — it’s a DRAG) I get it. Still, since we have you on the line and all….

    • Oscar 16:38 on 18/01/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Hello Christa,

      Thank you for your invitation to participate in this project! I’m intrigued by the idea of engaging in conversation with an ancestor. While I have no recollection of my life before 2003 and, currently, no desire to probe my personal history beyond this, I am keen to trace the history of my craft – to tune my ear to the whispers of dolls and their partners long since decomposed…
      The 19th century was, by all accounts, a rather busy and exciting time for ventriloquist dolls and their human collaborators!

      • Isabella Medici 02:55 on 19/01/2014 Permalink | Reply

        Hello Oscar. Is it “the marionettes” of which you speak? I loved them so as a child! They were a rich and frequent part of the entertainments that my father arranged at Palazzo PItti.

        Dearest Christa, I am confused, “wash your hair”? Do not you simply braid it up and forget about it? As for your questions, I am not certain I have answered them, however I have written another letter that may be of some use:

      • xtaforster 03:06 on 19/01/2014 Permalink | Reply

        Welcome, Oscar!

        I love your name. How was this name chosen for you?

        I, too, am interested in the history of your race, the traces of races which have marked themselves in your lineage. I cannot wait to learn more about this! Thank you for joining us.

        • Oscar 21:18 on 19/01/2014 Permalink | Reply

          Thank you! This ancestor mining is so much fun, Christa! As to your question re. my name – well, the truth is, I kind of moved into it (it was waiting for me). I find it easy to say, easy to spell, so I consider it a good fit. I used to have a different surname but shed it because it felt uncomfortable and contrived. I’m happier with “Devent” which we created in order to facilitate my online communication (all those demanding forms!). I’ve had a similar conversation on this subject with Ellie here: http://megoryan.me/post/69899480046/oscar-autonomy#disqus_thread

  • Christa Forster 12:35 on 16/01/2014 Permalink | Reply
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    1850 Twitter Chat Invitation to Participate Call for… 

    1850 Twitter Chat — Invitation to Participate

    Call for participants up now at .Re/cipes:

    • Vanessa 20:07 on 17/01/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Christa! This is so wonderful! I hope it’s not too confusing, but over on .Re/cipes (The Open Art Cookbook) instead of “Blog Posts” we make “Products”! 🙂

      On the “+NEW” menu, instead of
      +NEW >> POST

      just do
      +NEW >> PRODUCT

      I can help with any of the details. I’ve put your Tweetchat up in the form of a “Product” and updated your link above. (and now it also appears on the home page of .Re/cipes

  • Christa Forster 17:56 on 30/12/2013 Permalink | Reply
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    Building My Second Self 

    Screen Shot 2013-12-29 at 8.09.57 PMI have been pursuing my second self for the better part of the past 24 hours.

    In my attempt to create my Second Life avatar, I have spent more than three hours getting my hair done, three hours trying to decide what to wear, and at least three more hours trying to figure out how to wear what I have decided to wear. It’s almost as confusing and frustrating and ridiculous as it sounds. I’m doing this because I hope to participate in Vanessa Blaylock’s Dance for Camera: The Planets. The deadline for making my avatar is, like, yesterday, because Oceania Planetary Park (LEA 27) CLOSES on 1 January 2014. Alas, we thought we had more time — story of our lives (our first AND second lives).

    The learning process has been tedious, riveting and downright funny. For example, it took me over two hours to go from this, to this, to this and FINALLY — after scouring forums — to this!
    (More …)

    • Christa Forster 18:32 on 30/12/2013 Permalink | Reply

      FYI — Vanessa has been a most accommodating and generous teacher. Thank you, Vanessa!

    • Vanessa 19:35 on 30/12/2013 Permalink | Reply

      Go Xta! The way you Dance, Walk, Stand, Pose, Fly, or anything else is by animating the 21 joints of your avatar’s body. You can create your own animations with a free, easy program like QAvimator (unfortunately it may not run (or will freeze) on current Macs) Fine on PCs.

      The “how to” tutorial:

      You could also use Poser or any other body modeling software.

      Besides making your own, there are also a zillion animations for sale in SL. “Dances” of every kind from Ballet to Hip Hop and even a few Ninja moves. And lots of “stands” “walks” etc. If you look at SL Marketplace, down the left column of categories, you’ll see animations:

      You could also search for any specific type of Dance or Walk you’d like. I’ll send you some In-World LM’s for shops where you can go stand on a base and try out lots of different animations.

      • Christa Forster 05:34 on 31/12/2013 Permalink | Reply

        Okay, so I went to a place:http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Thyris/254/60/24, and I created a dance, which I like! The dress works well with the moves. 🙂

        Before I could “take [the] dance,” the notecard told me that I needed to purchase a Dance HUD, so that I could attach the dance I made to it. So I did. Then I went back to my Dance Master Terminal and “took dance.”

        Now, I have no idea what to do. I went to LEA 27 to see if I could dance it (my dance:), but I remembered that I can’t unpack stuff there. So I went to a public sandbox, but when I clicked on the Dance HUD, there was no option to “wear” or “do” the dance.

        So now I’m stuck again.

        Let’s meet tomorrow…I’ll be up available around 9:30 am CST. I’ll check in with you then.

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