Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Back to the Future II


Hey Bloggers,
I am in full-on catch-up mode for my blog right now..I have attended so many events and met so many kewl people that I have barely had any refreshing pauses to contemplate this recent history for my blog! This blog was started yesterday on December 19 and was not completed until December 27, 2006. I am actually intentionally placing the post a little bit in the past to make way for some of the more recent events....

If you want news, videos and pix relating to the performance art group, Second Front then just check out our dedicated blog.

For this particular posting, I resorted to the structural compromise of using a not-necessarily-linear summary of the event highlights for this time period as I have had absolutely no time to expand on these captions in any detail without missing more opportunities in Second Life itself...am I an addict or what? ;-)

MEETING IN MAN MICHINAGA's BED WITH THE abTEC (ABORIGINAL TERRITORIES IN CYBERSPACE) GROUP:
From Left-Right: Evangeline Moody, xox Voyager, Wirxli Flimflam and Mitena Biziou.

This event just happened today (the 20th). I first met up with xox Voyager and then she invited the other members Evangeline Moody and Mitena Biziou over to hang out with me and the Italian designer, Mirfak Ock... Well, I invited them back to Man Michinaga's Arts Center and then they decided to join me in Man's penthouse suite...lol! Well, all I had to do is play the piano for a bit and then lure them to Man's bed to conduct some "business" between LIVE 2007 and their group...heheheh! And yes, this is usually how I conduct business as the Director of Avatar Performance Art ;-) ;-)

...after Evangeline Moody left, xox Voyager was busy fixing her hair! I guess she wants to be a performance artist too! LOL! I guess green will become the official colour of her new Cyberpowwow? Heh heh! What is that unrendered box over her head? A budget halo? HA HA!

MEETING GAZIRA BABELI FOR THE FIRST TIME AT NBC'S TOWER 10 RESTAURANT...

WE SHARED A PIZZA:
So, it was on this day (whichever day it was now...sigh!) that I finally got to meet Gazira Babeli. Seated at the table next to us is Dell Wilberg (SLatenight Magazine Co-Founder and Designer) and Sugar Seville. It was Dell who brought Sugar and myself to this swanky restaurant at NBC and within minutes, Gazira appeared to share her pizza with us.

Hmmmm... do we want sugar on our pizza or do we want pizza on our Sugar? ;-)



I have never seen tomato sauce spray like this before!

GREAT ESCAPE's GREAT BURDEN RE-ENACTMENT OF CHRIS BURDEN's "SHOOT" PERFORMANCE:
To all you performance artists and historians out there, does this piece look familiar? I hope so! The only real difference between the original Burden performance and this Great Burden performance (other than being in Second Life) was that the gallery we chose (Lichty-Michinaga Arts Center) had a view and that there was a considerable height difference between myself and Great Escape! That is probably why my aim does not appear to be dead on. My shotgun was actually trained on GE's right-arm in order to better emulate the original performative wound. So, after all this posing, guess what? The gun did not work! ARRRGGGH! We even went into the risky kill-zones to try it out and I was not able to fire the gun! Not only that, the video-capture software did not work either so there is no decent video clip of the event (with audio, anyway).


SECOND FRONT MAY HAVE FOUND A NEW PR AGENT - LILLYELISKA KRALAMOC:LillyEliska Kralamoc is a promoter who works for Crucial Creations. She seems very interested in promoting Second Front as she has never seen a group as unique as us (or so she said)... Hmmm...we are definitely open to the possibility. She has been very enthusiastic and has even attended our first group promo portrait :-)


WIRXLI FLIMFLAM, MAN MICHINAGA AND TRAN SPIRE "COVERTLY" ATTEND AN IBM MEETING:
Well, Tran Spire and myself decided to check out the new IBM complex and sure enough, there was a meeting assembly of execs taking place in the main theater. They asked us if we were there for "the meeting" and of course we said yes :-) Tran Spire offered to take down the meeting minutes (even though there was a chat-history within the interface for that) and I offered to consult the execs on various non-IBM related topics ;-) We then proceeded to offer the employees some free helicopters and other goodies (after showing them how they worked...heh heh).

One IBM employee in particular was very kewl and his name was Bluebone Scaggs. He is in the far left of this above picture and dressed entirely in blue (blue jeans even, heheh). He works for the Blue Gene Supercomputer facility. I hope he is able to render Second Life alot better on his machine than on my PC laptop...lol! He offered me a special blue martini...yum! I brought it all the way with me to the SLatenight Xmas party (scroll down the blog to read the details of that party)


Eventually, we teleported Man Michinaga to join us. He had his own helicopter handy too so our little shimmy must have reminded of them of a laser-light show by Deep Blue Purple at the Planetarium...lol! All we need to complete the picture is a cameo by Kasparov the Friendly Ghost-in-the-machine....heh heh!


TRAN SPIRE AND WIRXLI FLIMFLAM WORKING AT THE AMERICAN APPAREL STORE:Well, I figured that Tran Spire's new electro-clash look made him resemble a retail clerk at American Apparel so I persuaded him to check out the American Apparel store itself to see if the venue would indeed be a good aesthetic fit for him. Turns out, I also accidentally persuaded myself to work behind the counter. This would not nearly be so humiliating if it was not for the fact that since we were not officially employees of AA, we actually had to work without pay. Performance artists are notoriously pathetic at earning any sort of money - even when they try and live a "normal" money-earning life and work in the retail business..... ;-)

SECOND FRONT's DANGER ROOM REHEARSAL PERFORMANCE:
Left-Right: Tran Spire, Wirxli Flimflam (myself), Lizsolo Mathilde (wearing the box of Bud, Athena Maeterlinck (an audience member) and Man Michinaga.
Well, to get the best sense of what we were up to, visit the Second Front blog posting about this event. To summarize, Second Front was rehearsing for two our upcoming performance events simultaneously...I think you can see that we did a rather seamless yet surreal job of blending two themes together and thereby cutting down our scheduled time in the Danger Room by half ;-)

Left-Right: Lizsolo Mathilde, Wirxli Flimflam (myself - in the Professor X wheelchair), Tran Spire, and Tea Chenille wearing the surveillence spotlight directly in front of me. Note the box of wind-chimes that was playing its soothing loop on the left hand side of this pic. As for Tea, I think she has finally "seen the light"...lol!


Left-Right: Tran Spire (chopper), Wirxli Flimflam (myself - chopper), Tea Chenille (wearing the spotlight) and Man Michinaga (far-right - chopper).

Left-Right: Wirxli Flimflam (myself - wheelchair), Tran Spire, Man Michinaga (still in his choppper) and Lizsolo Mathilde (who has assumed a new avatar form but still has that box o' Bud on her head). Now, do we detect some unintentional product placement with this performance rehearsal? Geez, performance artists really know how to sell-out without reaping any of the benefits....lol!


WIRXLI VISITS THE OTHER ARTS COLLECTIVE, THE PORT:
This arts collective does not focus on performances per se but it probably the closest thing to our current "competition" so I thought I would have a closer look at their collective space. Now it is your turn to have a closer look...can you see me in this pic amongst the gamebot monuments? lol!

...and here is an even closer look. I am trying my hardest to be on the top of the totem pole, as it were....tee hee!

LYTHE WITTE INVITES ME TO THE SLATENIGHT MAGAZINE XMAS PARTY:
Well after weeks of waiting, I finally got to meet the Second life's premiere art critic, Lythe Witte. I teleported her onto Athena Maeterlinck's snazzy spaceship which doubles as her mobile home. Great Escape was also in attendence during this meeting. As you can see, I was thrilled to finally meet the art-critic of my dreams! Lythe writes for Slatenight magazine and eventually invited me to attend their official Xmas party...

...so here I am at the Slatenight Xmas party! It was a very fun and active event! I got to meet a whole bunch of people! Lythe dressed up for the occasion by wearing a very fetching pair of stockings! I also met Zingg Akami (wearing the Santa hat) who manages a Dutch travel agency in Second Life. If you zoom closer at this pic by clicking on it, you will notice that Lythe officially hyped me to the Slatenight staff as a "great artist"...whoa! I have only been here about a month so I had better start living up to these expectations!


On the right hand side wearing the white gown with her backside facing the camera is the editor of Slatenight named Anya Ixchel. She also runs her own blog. You will also notice from this pic that as fun as the Slatenight Xmas party was, the room took forever to render...


One of the very cool things about this party was that the wallpaper was being rendered in near-realtime. So, the recent history of the event would be "immortalized" in the wall paper design. As you can see, I contributed directly to Slatenight's history that night. You could say I was "Dancing with myself"...heh heh! The avatar on the wall with the tiger-esque face is Kain Scalia who is a classical music critic in Second Life (as far as I was able to gather). If you will look carefully, you will also notice that I was still drinking from that fantastic martini that Bluebone Scaggs managed to score for me from the Blue Gene facility at IBM...no wonder I was getting tipsy and had difficulty flying!



Normally I would post my pictures in a linear sequence showing every experience I had that night at Slatenight in the most excruciating detail but since I am so far behind in my blogging, I have decided to be more selective with the history I choose to display. It was at this point that I met the Slatenight editor Dell Wilberg and he took a few of us on this insane sleigh ride...it was so insane that I feel nauseated just looking at stills from that flight so instead I am showing you the after-party in the ice-palace where Dell gave me my trademark mug of hot cocoa...It is not pictured in this pic but you can see Zingg Akami having a sip...Kain Scalia was also there and streamed in some Xmas Opera muzak....ahhhhh....Xmas! Well, this pic made one of the issues of the Slatenight special animated Xmas issue for 2006!


WIRXLI IN "CANADA":
Ok, well here I am in "Canada". Not sure what I am doing across the border since I am obviously the most patriotic of Americans.....heheheheheh! ;-)

UPGRADE BOSTON AND UPGRADE SL:
Left-Right: Tran Spire (far left), Illiana Quintus (bat), Man Michinaga and JC Freemont. On the video screen: John Craig Freeman. In front of Screen: Wirxli Flimflam.
Well, this screenshot captures a very important development in Second Life. Not only was this the archive video for Upgrade Boston's premiere showing in Second Life, it is also displayed as a proof-of-concept live video-conferencing in Second Life...whoa! I am posing beside JC Fremont's RL self who is being streamed live! JC's own SL avatar is watching..how weird is that????

Left-Right: Wirxli Flimflam, Man Michinaga and Mirfak Ock. ...and here is a sneak preview of the opening video for the official Upgrade in Second Life itself! Man Michinaga and JC Freemont are organizing the whole thing and I hope I can take part - maybe even deliver one of the first lectures and/or artist talks! This very first Upgrade in SL will take place here in the Lichty-Michinaga Arts Center.



..speaking of Mirfak Ock (one of my fave Italians in SL), here she is helping me light my first ciggie in Second Life...I do not smoke in my first life but that should not stop me from starting a new habit in my Second Life, right? Right? I mean everyone else smokes in Second Life...right? Besides, tobacco is much cheaper in Second Life and therefore the cigarattes are much larger than the usual smoke :-)


RECENT PIC FROM OUTER SPACE:

Here is a pic that used to be recent. It was taken last week. On the week we have...uhhh.. Chiu(?) I think that was the name...and then beside me is the co-founder of this Spaced Creative collective named Sugar Seville and beside her is Mirfak Ock again (yaaaaay!)...wow! Have I actually caught up to writing all the captions for this blog? Wooo hoooooo! Now I just have about 100 new pix to upload...sigh!