[-empyre-] Mez, Lichty & SL - taking the bait.

Patrick Lichty voyd at voyd.com
Tue Apr 1 00:30:49 EST 2008


Hi Mez, I'll take the tactical bait - "LEVEL THREE - BEGIN".
(Let's see how I do on this level...)

>Is this presenting + publishing _about_ ur usage/experiences/creativity >in SL? Just wondering if u r seeking 2 validate ur SL manifestations >within traditional prosperity channels [socioeconomic/literary etc]?

Socioeconomic, certainly not.  If I were into the creation of capital I would have gotten an MBA. But most of the writing has been about writing about others and SL in general, about 80% of the writing and presentation has had SF as momentary examples, and were mainly requests for journals and catalogue essays.  

I also think that there is a big difference between the entrepreneurs, the gallery artists and experimenters.  Personally, the promotional tack taken by the SLART artists is just not my taste, or if I did, it would be a social experiment, and not a long-term endeavor.

In addition, there is the delicate line of commodification; economic or social.  My belief is that I'm not as opposed as I once was, but this has never been my #1 goal.  I have always believed in _trying_ to do work (media & writing) as a contribution to the ongoing dialogue; to contribute to the community.  

But if you're asking the question as to whether I'm merely trying to "sell out"/capitalize, I'm going to roll my eyes and say, "Oh, come on..."  It's nice to have some recognition, but the Second Front/Thomas Kinkaide collection calendar is coming out NEXT year.

>>  Of course, I speak from the problematic position of researcher and a leader
>>  of SF's only performance art _troupe_, Second Front.  In the two years that
>>  we have been working, only duos like the Mattes, and singular artists like
>>  Cao Fei, Scott Kildall, and Gazira Babeli (the last two of which are pert of
>>  SF), seem to have made the poke into the somatic gesture in SL, which I find
>>  very curious.

>So ur gauging the categorisation of "performance art" in SL by a
>conscious recognition/labelling of it as such? I'm curious as 2 how u
>assess SF as the singular performance troupe in SL given the depth of
>user population + aggregated sense of how broadly _performance_ can be

Very good question.  I'm gauging this by 2007 contemporary art mass media recognition, which is very odd, as SF in itself pursued very little of it. 

Can performance be defined in multivalent ways?  Of course.  However, SF as such is a form of transmediated performance drawing directly from contemporary performance art traditions from the late 60's on.  This _is_ a very specific definition, and is one that fits within a certain tradition (Gilbert/George, Abramovic/Ulay, Shechner, Burden, etc.)

I am most definitely NOT discounting other definitions of performance; but from a phenomenological perspective, the definition I am using in _this instance_ (I believe in locally agreed/negotiated/contextualized definitions whenever necessary), is one used by scholars like Goldberg and the contemporary art press.  Bridging genres and practices is a difficult process.

It would be very good to see discourse on alterative types of performance in press other than Neural.it and Art.it (more avant- publications). But when you have a contemporary art crowd that often strains to understand New Media, it's a challenge. 

I feel that SF's function is more dialogic/parodic; Cao Fei, 10010010001101010.org, etc - these are artists who are most definitely working in the "traditional prosperity channels".  It's very interesting to see this sort of comment, as I believe we are more of a Warholian "Art is what you can get away with" stance (which I also think Cory Arcangel, MTAA & Marisa Olson do a little bit as well), as much of what SF does is fairly ludicrous, yet oddly viral, or so it seems.  

>>  Perhaps a better analogy is to ask the function of the different forms of
>>  art being explored in SL - Social, Formal, Political, promotional ;) .  I
>>  think that for many of Second Front, SF is analogous to a complex
>>  sociotechnical tool-platform, like Flash with Flesh.  I'm sure we of Second
>>  Front would be exploring other forms, which we do - YouTube, Blogs, and we
>>  are also doing work in World of Warcraft.

>This again prompts issues alluded 2 back in the aug discussion + also
>the beginning of this round - if indeed the very concept of _art_
>adequately reflects the situation c[reative]urrencies that r being
>consistently generated within these type of augmented platforms?

Yes, and I'm not entirely sure it does.

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