The Truth About An Assumed Crime

Copied from Vaneeesa’s blog: http://virtualpublicart.com/vaneeesacam/
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!

Sat & Sun, 15 & 16 November 2014
Noon-Noon PST / 20:00-20:00 GMT
Virtual World: Second Life
Livestream / Virtual Lifecast: Firestorm > XSplit Gamecaster > Twitch
Channel: twitch.tv/vaneeesab
Twitter:#vaneeesacam
Home Page: VirtualPublicArt.com/events/activities/11

ACTIVITY REPORT

click any image to see it grande style!

Cass Ushimawa

When the 24-hr stream started at Noon PST on Saturday, Cass was the first friend to IM me and the first to drop by the terrace of my new London flat. (24 hours later, Sun would be the last to drop by, then at the yacht moored at the troubled Yiff in Hell sim.)

LOCATIONS

During the 24 hours I wound up at a total of 16 locations:

sepia toned photo of Soto Hax holding a lemonade in her hand

Soto Hax came by and performed an amazing fire dance for us! All that dancing and all that fire left poor Soto really parched and exhausted. Fortunately I’d just made some fresh squeezed lemonade with obscene amounts of sugar (yum!) which was the perfect thing for revitalizing the weary performer.

screen capture of Vanessa Blaylock's chat window showing 44 open IM conversations

PEEPS

It’s difficult to really count the number of participants in this Activity. In something like a Parade, someone tends to join in or not, and so it’s easy to count. In this 24-hour drunk-walk through virtuality peeps participated in different ways. Some came along to different locations, others chatted us up while there. It’s harder to say. One thing I can note is that by the end of the 24 hours I had 44 chat windows open.

Photo of 3 dogs each with a head in their mouth

SaveMe Oh came by and gave us a a piano recital complete with barking and talking heads.

PERFORMANCE

By some miracle I streamed for 24 hours straight without a viewer crash or stream break! Dumb luck I’m sure, but thanks to all the great tools that helped!

SOFTWARE
Viewer: Firestorm
Capture: XSplit Gamecaster 1080p HD
Stream: Twitch.tv
OS: Windows 7.2 Home Premium, 64-bit

HARDWARE
CPU: Intel Core i7 950 @3.07 GHz
RAM: 12 GB
Graphics: nVidia GeForce GTX 770

FIRESTORM GRAPHICS SETTINGS
Performance: Ultra
Draw Distance: 1024m
Shadows: Sun/Moon + Projectors
Anisotropic Filtering: On
Antialiasing: 16x
Depth of Field: Enabled

Frame rate was occasionally as high as 30, sometimes single digit, but overall it looked pretty smooth. Smoother in fact than the frame rate would suggest.

sepia toned photo of Ilse Pinklady working a DJ mixing console

After hanging out on the terrace of my Trafalgar Square apartment for a while, Johan Neddings (“Mr. Neddings”) invited us to a preview of a new Amsterdam dance club, I Am Trance. It opens next Saturday, but tonight this “dress rehearsal” was full on and DJ Ilse Pinklady was mixing some awesome sounds. Plus she was super sweet. And wore laser-beam glasses!

sepia-toned photo of Trilby Minotaur dancing with her eyes closed.

It’s funny how a word like Trance can become just another music style. You sort of forget that it’s an altered state of consciousness. A spiritual experience. Trilby danced most of the night with her eyes closed. DJ Ilse was really in the zone and Trilby seemed transported to an astral plane.

photo of Agnes Sharple and Johan Neddings watching as Vanessa Blaylock does a headspin

haha, while Trilby was busy having a deeply spiritual experience, Vanessa-the-dweeb was showing off headspins to Agnes & Neddings. In the upper-left of the frame is DJ Ilse looking on us with generous amusement.

photo of Bejoo Cerise dancing at a disco in Amsterdam

photo of Pruitt Igoe at I Am Trance

So this guy IM’s me and who should it be but Pruitt Igoe! OMG the legendary Modernist Architecture failure! It was so awesome to meet him. I tried to chat him up about the Tokyo Capsule Tower, but he wasn’t having it. I think he was more interested in some private dancing!O_o

photo of Agnes Sharple dancing at the Amsterdam discotheque I Am Trance

sepia-toned photo of Vanessa Blaylock and Agnes Sharple dancing at the Amsterdam discotheque I Am Trance

It was so great to be dancing at this hot new club, I Am Trance, with Agnes and Trilby. They’re my oldest and best friends in this world. Gosh, who can even count how many projects and antics we’ve all collaborated on. Trilby covered dOCUMENTA (13) for us, and Agnes opened the Asylum in Your Embassy clothing shop, featuring balaclavas and other fashionable apparel.

photo inside the discotheque I Am Trance. A very high angle from the lighting trusses looking down on the dance floor

photo of Lace Jewell dancing

Lace had us all geeking out with stories of running Firestorm for Linux on her laptop and getting way better performance.

Skye Fairywren dancing

SaveMe Oh playing piano

We danced for a long time! It was so fun and DJ Ilse was so in the zone! Then finally SaveMe Oh dragged us over for another piano recital. IDK exactly what happened, but the next day some good friends were pretty pissed off and upset because apparently SMO / our presence, was harassing their private VR home. They were too upset to say very much and SMO is not the world’s most reliable messenger, so IDK really what happened.

Funny thing is, SMO’s derailed performance works and upset me plenty in the past, and I was always impressed by how elegantly and deftly these friends dealt with her at their performances. I guess everyone has limits.

For something like half the people I know, SMO is a great artist who should be accommodated and respected. For something like half the people I know she’s a disruptive art-griefer who should be banned. I know a university professor who thinks SMO is the most important artist in SL. I have a really smart friend who thinks you should just ban her and speak her name no further.

I know I’ve had to adapt the work I do so that if she shows up, it’s work that isn’t destroyed by her interventions. But I also know that she does add a lot of visual energy to a world that isn’t always that exciting. In Summer ’13 I had an LEA AIR sim and SMO installed some work there. At the Alice in Cornelland project I learned 2 things about SMO:

  1. She’s one of the hardest working, most serious, most dedicated artists in SL.
  2. She has absolutely zero respect for you or your work.

SaveMe Oh playing the piano

SMO’s performance had a set change from Manger to The Gross Clinic.

NicoleX Moonwall dancing waist-deep in water

NicoleX did a water ballet for us.

photo of RMarie Beedit's back showing large "wings" tattoos spanning across her scapula

RMarie and some guy.

avatars standing on a beach

On the beach outside SMO’s concert. Unbeknownst to some of us, we were unwelcome invaders of someone else’s virtual property.

Vanessa Blaylock being pushed across a sim by 2 trolls

You can meet both cool new peeps and trolls simply by wandering around long enough. But in this activity we met some of both from peeps watching the Twitch.tv stream. Thanks to Mr. Neddings for telling me how to set it up so peeps could find us. The cool news is that we met peeps like Wilmer and Desu because of the stream. (I met Wilmer back at I Am Trance, you’ll see his photo coming up shortly at the big LEA12 dance series). The more complicated news is that the stream brought trolls in. This first pair was the softer trolls. They pushed me around for half hour and I mostly thought it was amusing.

avatars in a snow scene

After some time being pushed around a variety of sims, I’m not really sure where, someone, I’m not sure who, maybe Ivy Tivianne, invited us over to this Winter Wonderland at the RUDE sim sandbox.

photo of Ivy Tivianne with pointed ears and  diminutive wings

Ivy landscaped the winter wonderland scene at RUDE, and later she took me over to another beautiful scene she landscaped at Buenos Aries City.

photo of the avatar "Katy Perry"

Fitty Something standing

the avatar Natsu wearing a dress with a heart-shaped cleavage cutout

I’m not sure how we connected to Ivy, Katy & Natsu. Maybe also from the Twitch.tv stream. In a little bit Wilmer is going to whisk Trilby and I off to a cool dance series at LEA12. I think I get lost or something and anyway I’m standing next to this dancer in her dressing room and Natsu, who’s still at RUDE but watching the stream, IM’s me that she knows the person I’m standing next to! haha – it is a small world after all. (and yes, in the morning Mr. Neddings is actually going to make me ride It’s a Small World at Disneyland!)

Isadora Alaya standing in a bowling alley

I wandered around RUDE for a while, and then crossed this WWII-like razor-wire wall to the next sim CVNT. They had a bowling alley and Isadora Alaya came to join me. at first it seemed like the pins were made of cast iron! I’d throw the perfect ball and only knock down one pin! :( But after a while I got the hang of it. Instead of rolling the ball down the alley, you make an aerial throw of the ball up in the air and 3 lanes over – it’ll hit the gutter and bounce back into the middle of the pins and you get a strike every time!

Jaicya Albright and Vanessa Blaylock sitting on a couch.

And then as already mentioned, Wilmer turned us on to this huge dance concert series going on on LEA12. The place was packed, but Jaicya Albright was nice enough to share the sofa with me.

Mackenzie Raveup in a black Prada suit announcing a performance

Mackenzie Raveup was the MC announcing performances when I arrived. I thought she was the MC, but I was about to learn that there were multiple companies performing and she was the MC for the 6pm SLT Elysium performance.

Daiwa Bellic in a latex catsuit

I noticed that the LEA12 sim is currently owned by the Euphoria group, and that the Euphoria group was founded by Daiwa Bellic. I IM’d Daiwa to learn more about the performance. I didn’t know if she was even at the performance or if she was, where she was. We IM’d for 20 minutes or so and then I saw this woman in a very shiny latex catsuit and who should it be but Daiwa.

Daiwa kindly passed on a lot of information about the event. It turns out Elysium wasn’t theperformance, but one of sixteen performances over 2 days!

poster for the Dance Galaxy event

DANCE QUEENS “DANCE GALAXY” FESTIVAL

November 15th and 16th 2014

This Showcase Festival is an opportunity for the Second Life dance community to come together in one place at one time and share their vision with their peers. It is a chance for us all to see each other’s work, meet new people, make new friends, and reconnect with old friends. It is a celebration of creativity. We also welcome people new to the Second Life performance art scene, and hope you will delight in this celebration of human imagination. Come see what is possible in Second Life!!

Wilmer Nirvana at the Dance Queens performance at LEA12

I’d met Wilmer back at I Am Trance in Amsterdam, and he brought Trilby and I over to LEA12 for the Elysium performance. And then we wound up staying for MaHal and A&M MOCAP Maniacs. The trolls kind of made me think I wouldn’t want to use Twitch.tv again, but Twitch is also how we got to meet Wilmer and Desu, so you never know. Wlimer and Desu are really awesome, so I guess meeting them was worth being dragged around for half hour.

Selene Nirvana dancing in an Alice-in-wolderland like costume

Selene Nirvana? Wilmer’s cousin?

a dancer in a furry bra and a moose headdress

3 dancers on stage

Sarah Elisabeth Brenham dancing on stage

3 dancers in a tribal village setting

The awesomeness of A&M MOCAP Maniacs! Two hours after meeting Diawa, I got to see her dance. And I later learned that Babypea was the producer of the whole 16 company event.

I made this dance as a tribute of sorts to the pets I have had over the years. Losing an animal that you love as a family member can be as painful as losing a human family member.

— Babypea

Vanessa, Wilmer, Desau and Trilby on a Terrace overlooking Trafalgar Square

What a virtual night! We danced for hours at I Am Trance, got pushed around by some trolls, and then watched three hours of dance at LEA12! By the time we got back to the Trafalgar Square flat I was exhausted! I pretty much passed out the minute my head hit the pillow. Wilmer played some acoustic guitar and kept Desu and Trilby and Trilby’s pink llama company for a while.

NAP TIME

Like the original Jennicam, the idea here wasn’t for me to be awake for 24 hours, rather it was for the camera to keep rolling whatever I was doing. So if Pruitt Igoe had had his way with me, well some retinas would have been damaged. And if I got sleepy, I’d sleep. Vanessa gets to sleep. But the camera doesn’t blink. And lucky for us all, Muddy snapped some pix of activities on the terrace during my little 6-1/2 hour nap. I think he might stitch them together in a movie and call it While You Were Sleeping.

Click pix 2C big!

Nappy time pix courtesy of Muddy! See more on G+

Sisi Bidermann and Vanessa Blaylock talking in Bidermann's "Art Garden"

When I got up there was an announcement about Sisi Bidermann’s Art Garden, so I headed over. She’s installed a variety of paintings in a landscape. It’s so Monet!

You already heard the one about

I had no Monet, to pay for Degas, to make the Van Gogh

right? Sowii! I am bad. Bad! Bad! Bad!

Vanessa Blaylock and Agnes Sharple having tea at Maid Cafe Blossom

After a little morning art walk in the park, Agnes and I metup at Maid Cafe Blossom for tea and biscuits. Agnes is like the best friend I have in this world. Still, it must be said, when Agnes comes over,do not put out your good China! Agnes does not respect your China.

Standing in line at Maid Cafe Blossom

After tea & biscuits I stood in the MCB “Camping Line!” Do you remember camping? It’s like 2009 baby! At MBC you wait in line for half hour or so, and then when your turn comes up you practice piano for 10 minutes and get paid L$3! Easy Street!!

Mouseworld with Neddings & Muddy

After piano practice Mr. Neddings whisked Muddy and I off to DisneylandMouseworld… I forget exactly what they’re calling it now… but you know the place! We rode The Train, The Carousel of Progress, and It’s a Small World!

Isadora Alaya with her legs crossed in a yoga or meditation pose

After a full dose of Disney sugar Isadora invited me to a half hour of meditation at Kannonji Zen Retreat. Aero used to meditate here before her cheerleading practice (seriously).

Vanessa Blaylock standing next to a bear on a hillside

When our morning meditation was done I walked the Kannonji grounds for a while and came upon this, thankfully not so hungry, bear.

chest-length portrait of Desu in sepia-tone

Desu and Vanessa chatting on a deck outside some cabins at Kannonji Zen Retreat

Desu came by these cabins at Kannonji. She’s Wilmer’s girlfriend. He introduced us last night at the dance festival at LEA12. We talked about stuff. She spent a chunk of time in Minecraft, and is quite new to SL. She’s been looking at Blender to import mesh, but didn’t know you could also use in-world tools to make stuff with prims.

photo of Apmelina wearing an "Intellectual Bad Ass" t-shirt.

In between Disneyland and Kannonji, I stopped briefly at the courtyard near the Tower Bridge in London. while I was there I started chatting with Ritose Fride. Of course my conscious mind did not chat with Ritose while I was meditating because it was in a focused state of relaxation and meditation. Of course you can IM autonomously, can’t you?

After Desu and I talked at the cabins for a while, Ritose offered to show me the shop where she’d gotten her wonderful mesh body, so we were off to the Belleza sim. Isadora came along and Apmelina and others joined in.

a very very very muscular man named TONY

At Belleza we met TONY. He spells his name in all caps, and hey, who’s gonna tell him not to! Compared to TONY every other guy is just a girlyman!

After feeling TONY’s biceps for a while, and going all Emma Stone over his abs (and marveling at, yet avoiding, his package if possible) I asked Ritose where she liked to dance, and she said her favorite place was The River, so we went there.

Ritose Fride dancing at the club The RIver in the virtual world of Second Life

Vanessa Blaylock's wrist with a TAG Heuer like sportswatch on it

Ritose gave me this awesome watch she made. Is it a TAG Heuer? No! It’s a Ritose!

6 avatars dancing in a line at The River

The River was a fun dance place. I chatted with Owner / GM Flee (fleurty1) for a while. Like so many places in SL, just really great peeps.

5 avatars standing in snow and surrounded by snow covered trees

We had fun dancing at The River, and then since Desu hadn’t really worked with prims, I asked if she wanted to go over to Ivy’s “Winter Wonderland” (RUDE sim sandbox) and play with some prims.

screencap of the Second Life Firestorm viewer in Prim Edit mode showing editing tools for a selected primitive object

Mireille and the gang pitched in showing Desu how to stack, shape, and even twist prims. She almost finished a 4 poster bed!

photo of an avatar wearing a giant Nicholas Cage puppet head

As everyone knows, you can only stack prims for so long before you get an irresistible urge to put on a giant Nicholas Cage puppet head and dance! Thanks to Wilmer for passing them out to the VB Friends group! :D

half dozen avatars dancing on personal dance floors

And then Wilmer passed out personal dance floors! Does it get any better than headspins on a personal dance floor in a giant Nicholas Cage puppet head?

I didn’t think so!

woman in  a big white wedding dress surrounded by avatars wearing Nicholas Cage Puppet Head Masks

Next MadKrazyBitch showed up. She’s in the big white wedding dress, surrounded by the rest of us in Nicholas Cage puppet heads. She didn’t stay long but she seemed like a lot of fun.

a chaotic scene with many elements

And then somewhere after the Nick Cage masks, and dance floors, and MadKrazyBitch, and I’ll admit throwing more than a few frogs and bananas myself, this griefer, who I’ll just call Troll Mob II showed up. Actually I think he’d been there for a while and only started griefing after we started throwing stuff. So maybe it was partly our fault. But he was kind of abusive. The earlier Troll Mob seemed more harmless or amusing, this guy was a lot more aggressive.

The photo above is actually before he started griefing me. Unfortunately I guess I was too scared or disoriented and I didn’t take any pix of the griefing. It was a lot of flashing yellow spikes covering the screen. He held me down and pushed me around 3 adjacent sims for 20 or 30 minutes.

7 avatars standing on the deck of a ship

An artist friend of mine once said,

If you’re really serious about your work, you kind of have to hate everybody else’s work.

Of all the right and wrong things I’ve ever heard, I think this thought might be the most right and the most wrong. There is some truth here. Think about the early days of photography when peeps said it wasn’t “Art” because it wasn’t painting. So many photographers spent so much time trying to achieve “painterly effects.” But it wasn’t till peeps like Ed Weston and Ansel Adams said F-that! We don’t want to be painting! and created Group f64 that photography really came into it’s own.

Or backup bit from there when a group like the Fauvists were told their sloppy work sucked and wasn’t even art, just the mess of wild beasts. They said that’s right, don’t you wish you could run with us!?

I can’t deny I’ve sometimes been dismissive of things outside my focus. Focus is good. Sort of.

But I’ve also come to believe more and more in the essential importance of creating community. I’ve stopped doing Virtual Performance Art and moved my focus to Virtual Public Art for precisely that reason. The days of Vanessa the Choreographer who tells people where to stand and how to move are behind me. My focus now is on inviting avatars to express their identity and develop their community.

It’s amazing that in a short 24 hours I could meet multiple Troll Mobs who take pleasure in creating misery, and also people like Babypea Von Phoenix and Daiwa Bellic who work so hard to teach others, share knowledge and opportunities and create community.

I watched a brilliant but difficult artist like SaveMe Oh burn friendships with 2 of the people who I thought genuinely liked her, and then I met Wilmer and Desu and felt like we became such good friends so fast.

Johan Neddings took us to all kinds of cool places and Muddy was kind enough to take pix of me sleeping. I got to dance with my best friends Agnes & Trilby, and somehow we didn’t even get banned or ejected from any sims the whole 24 hours.

Vanessa Blaylock & Sun Mellison standing on the deck of a boat

And then as the griefer started to get bored, Sun showed up and The Sun came out as the skies cleared.

3/4 length portrait of Sun Mellison standing on the deck of a yacht

And as the 24 hour livestream wrapped up, and the skies cleared from all the griefing graphics, I snapped this pix of Sun with the sun on her face. Everything seemed so promising again.

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