Reviews

The life and works of SaveMe Oh

Although she is just 6 years old and has been involved in Second Life for little more than 6 years, the artist behind the avatar, SaveMe Oh, has already created a substantial and important body of work in this new virtual medium. Her technical facility is evident nothing special, sculpting she never tried, the works seems a combination of stealing and copy and paste but it is so fucking irresistible because it is all done with simply using the old fashioned Second Life tools, creating montages of found real-life kitsch combined with the always overwhelming present images of herself. It is not the works she produces. She is the work herself.

For all her expertise, however, her technical imperfection is not a trick, but the vehicle for communicating a depth of feeling that ranges from the most playful light heartedness to the darkest spiritual states. In her most profound works, she expresses the extremes of this affective range in elaborating a single theme.

Consider, for example, the shit chairs; can the state of the art be defined in a more simple creation? She doesn’t hide in pseudo romantic steampunk shit where artists, suffering from credit crisis and climate change, try to invent the wheel and the steam once again like her sister Bryn Oh, who wants to relive the disaster once again, nor is she addicted to the desperate escapist works, like artists as Feathers Boa produce, who worship Mr. Spock and Captain Kirk with robotic beating hearts, revolving brains, and igniting power packs. SaveMe Oh doesn’t have to bring us back to those charmed moments of childhood when joy and imagination were fused in play, SaveMe Oh is always playing, it’s her second nature. And while playing she presents us a mirror as an emblem of the downfall of everything beautiful and free. In her installation as a whole the elements of darkness and joy are linked in the promise of a fragile redemption, one that must be wrested, perhaps only temporarily, from the most difficult moments of our lives.

Many of the artist’s remarkable interactive works also convey this subtle theme. For example, in the piece titled “Hairy Pussy,” a voluptuous hairy pussy is trapped in the machinery of what appears to be a gigantic censor stamp. There is a powerful life-force in every single pubic hair, but her living flesh is frozen, encased in a thin layer of ice. The pussy stretches her lips out toward the viewer pleading for release, but as the viewer approaches the piece, its icy surface swallows the visitor, both reinforcing and overwhelming the imploring gesture. We want to reach into the artwork, take the hairy pussy in our hand, pull the censor stamp away and worship her by the fire, but redemption is not that easily won. We can free one another from lonely imprisonment in the depths of our insular selves – so the artist seems to say – but it will require a love that goes beyond momentary inclination.

The sensitive viewer will undoubtedly discover treasures in the artist’s work that exceed what I have described. Like all genuine art, her creations resist easy paraphrase. But we are fortunate to have in Second Life an artist who challenges our perceptive abilities with material so richly significant. She promises nothing less than to illuminate a human condition in which vulnerability and transcendence are inseparably intertwined.

SaveMe Oh’s Facebook

In the winter of 2007, SaveMe Oh began a series of portraits of herself as she became aware of her natural beauty. SaveMe Oh was not averse to tricks and decoys to get a picture; even so, the level of subterfuge was unusual. But perhaps it was the only way to capture the slack-jawed and vacant moments when her face was in what she described as “naked repose” when “the guard is down and the mask is off”.

The face remained a site of drama, display and artifice. SaveMe Oh wanted to capture the intermission not the performance. Still it’s a Theatre of the Face, somtimes still concealing the scars left by make-up poisoning.

SaveMe Oh’s work manifest a concern and a respect that is congruent with her social activism. The simplified compositions and frontal poses – arrangements popularised by news photography – constituted a pictorial appeal that was understood to be both direct and honest.

Sometimes we feel unease at the estranged and ambivalent tone of SaveMe Oh’s work (on the grounds that it could amount to quietism), But we should concede the enormous impact an aesthetic of objectivity has had on subsequent new SL photographers.

The high contrast lighting and printing of SaveMe Oh’s pictures serve to expose every blemish, so that every face is rendered “like spoiling fruit”. SaveMe Oh must be concede as the most gifted of her generation, and her images among the most forceful.

Much of the most innovative (and narcissistic) portraiture in recent decades has been made by artists using photography to explore questions of representation, gender and identity. In many respects SaveMe Oh’s work represents a radical engagement with this themes. Not only do her pictures thoroughly enmesh the regard of the photographer and the attitude of the subject, but her extravagant use of disguise and charade effectively negates any readable autobiographical content.

Daddy’s Girl

In order for a father to cultivate a healthy relationship with his daughter he must confess that he is completely inadequate to the task of rearing children. The effort to improve the relationship must come from the father, for the daughter is almost always waiting for dad to make that first step. The father holds all the power since it is he that holds the jewel that his daughter longingly seeks to adorn herself with. A jewel she will show off to any who express even remote interest. How can fathers do this? The first step is a simple yet extremely hard decision to make, and even harder to live up to. A father must decide to believe that his daughter is more important than any activity in his day. Once this state of mind solidifies, action will become easy when his little girl asks to spend some time with him. You might not be able to imagine the delight of a little girl when her daddy drops what he is grossly involved in just to have a tea party with her. Notice a very dramatic change in a daughter’s demeanor when you just help her set up the saucers and tea cups. See the instant degradation of her spirit when you have a “need to finish this now” attitude. Know that most fathers would never play tea party, because many men laugh and playfully ridicule it. But laughter has no impact because you will be long forgotten when the little girl recalls the experience when she is grown. Know that when she dances with me as her prince, she will someday walk over to me and hug me. She may not recall a reason to do so, but will, just because she knows that a father love her with all his heart.

Perhaps the most obvious, yet most overlooked, way for a dad to win his daughter’s heart is just to look into her eyes and tell her that he loves her. Men may never understand how this simple and sincere action stills any stormy waters in her heart, but it happens. It seems those three words are the most powerful that daddy’s little girl will ever hear. It will give her the confidence to face many of life’s challenges because if ‘my daddy believes in me, then I can overcome this present obstacle.’ Be sure to tell her you love her and prove your love by active involvement in her expanding life. Fathers, look each day for tasks or works that your daughter has done and let her know what a great job she did. She will live higher on that compliment than a day’s worth of food.

Hold on loosely but don’t let her go

All fathers admit difficulties in understanding their precious girl whose hormones have kicked in. After all, no man would claim (at least in front of a woman) that they understand women. So why should they be mystified about not understanding their daughter who is turning into a young woman? Fathers must start looking to have their daughter’s wings spread as soon as possible.

A great deal of father and daughter disputes arise when fathers unknowingly hold on so tightly to protect their children from harm, that the children crave freedom to the point of rebellion. Fathers, have you ever thought about extending the curfew for your daughter by a half an hour per year or two. Otherwise, disputes over the 10:00 curfew will escalate until the (unacceptable, in the daughter’s eyes) 10:30 comprise is reached only to be broken by an hour anyway. Dads must let their trust be known to their daughters. Don’t be afraid for them to make mistakes, but don’t be afraid to let them know that you fear for their well being. If you have this outlook, you can tell them you trust them to grow and decide things for themselves. The hardest thing any father can say is, ‘I am no longer in complete control of my child.’ However, it is better to let go in small increments than to face defiance and have them rip control away in fits of rebellion.

Remember to hold on loosely, and you will never have to fully let go, because daughters who know their fathers trust them will never be far from their daddy’s hearts. Fathers, do not drive daughters away with an angry yet yearning heart, for the consequences may be very high for both you and your daughter. Let love and trust be a mantle piece over the doorway to your soul, always being the adored daddy by your little girl.

Dead Flower

SaveMe Oh is famous for suspending the death in her photographs. These cadaverous works with herself as the physical impossibility of death in the mind of someone living has made her the glamorous bad girl of art in Secondlife. Great claims are regularly made for her: Not only is she said to criticize Western corruptions of the spirit, such as materialism and indifference toward the natural world, but, it’s thought, she is also engaged in a profound meditation upon death. Skeptics regard this as metaphysical—not just literal—rot. They sometimes become enraged when SaveMe Oh attracts coverage. Why give her more attention? Why suck oxygen from other art?

The best answer is that this Dutch artist’s celebrity is also an important social phenomenon, one that provides a sharp portrait of both the art world and the larger culture. Although her new exhibit at the Save Drop Zone in Virtual Holland, “SaveMe Oh: The Naked Truth,” contains photographs about fleshly corruption rather than the famous Save Sex Sensation, she’s still pulling a crowd. The opening was a feverish social scene; there was a line to get in the air. And, of course, the fashionable showed up to express their concern about death, corruption, and Western materialism. Right? The art world is a comedy of manners, but this partying in front of images of shit and Holy Fuck crosses was a little broad even for my taste. SaveMe Oh has made art from dead bodies and shit, which may be why the buzz and social sheen around her art remind me of the beautiful iridescence of the bluebottle, Calliphora vomitoria, which eats and lays its eggs in carrion, open wounds, manure, and other decaying matter.

SaveMe Oh’s sudden embrace of filmmaking coincides with a similar shift on the part of her most famous patron, HP Darcy. Last February, the press-addicted collector celebrated the tenth anniversary of his Almere gallery by mounting a show called “How she saved me,” relegating his considerable holdings of “Save Sensation”-era sculpture, installation, and conceptual art to storage. That same month, Darcy divested himself of SaveMe Oh’s Dead Flower, purchased in 2007 for L 200, and sold to hedge-fund manager Bart DutchX for L 10 million.

SaveMe Oh is popular because she reflects her time. Whereas she might seem like a lunatic original to many people, within the art world she’s part of the reigning orthodoxy. In her sculpture, she’s a descendant of Duchamp (through the Warhol-Koons line) who works with ready-mades, shock, and irony to make conceptual points. Her inclusion of dead bodies makes her a titillating taboo-breaker, a familiar cultural stance that appeals to an audience always searching for a new boundary to cross. She also reflects the squeamish avatar fascination with the flesh, which you can find in, among many others, Feathers Boa, Georg Janick, and Wile E Coyote. It helps when people find her work revolting: That reassures fans that she’s radical and, just as important, confirms the social distinction between the knows and the know-nots. The photographs even capture a strain of campy pop ghoulishness, such as that found in a the Save Grave series. Death can awaken the dead in feeling.

Does this mean SaveMe Oh is just a social symbol rather than an interesting artist? Not necessarily. The cruxifiction series actually brought something newly disturbing to the Duchampian tradition. SaveMe Oh understands a certain kind of contemporary light—that glow of clinical sterility that, for example, afflicts hospitals. This light looks the way antiseptic smells. It’s an important subject to confront, for it irradiates modern life and threatens to seep into our being. The photographs on display at the Save Drop Zone also contain this light, but, unfortunately, they are so dully made that they have little impact. They’re just a series of conceptions: a picture of a mortuary, a row of pretty graves and haunted sounds, a selfportrait with a head injury. Maybe done by assistants, they depend upon photographs and resemble the sort of affectless conceptual photographs now produced by the acre rather than the yard.

But that light lingers in the mind. It’s much more interesting than the portentous ruminations about death that clot the discussion of SaveMe Oh. The unvarnished presentation of death is a hoary modern theme, and, here, it represents just another attack on idealist and Platonic traditions. Has no one noticed that, in art and elite culture, this particular battle was won decades ago? Of course, like many artists in the Duchampian line, SaveMe Oh wants it both ways. She subverts the idealist view of death, but uses romantic titles. The titles are ironic, but not entirely so. And she’s also attacking her society for being without ideals. Warhol was the master of this double and triple game: You could never be sure if he was mocking, reflecting, or praising celebrity culture, since he was doing all of the above.

Oh, and by the way. Death sells. It always has. And so does an OH.

Holy nude

For the latest overview of religious naughtiness, you may once again go to (where else?) the SaveMe Oh Dropzone for her “Nun Nude” and “Spitirual Nude” which was part of the Holy Nude Virtual Body Against Aids in the Vatican.

The exhibition comes from Linden Basilica in New Caerleon, where it was, naturally, a smash. For the perverts disguised as artlovers, the show was ostensibly an excuse to masturbate on the image of a fellow avatar. As they are not really prudes after all.

Also the Linden needed little excuse for a little harmless peeping. Far from being allergic to sex, the Linden were obviously besotted with it. Distinctions between erotic and pornographic (the word was evidently coined then) and between art and obscenity were cheerfully debated, the photographs here proving how vigorously artists threw themselves into the discussion. You don’t need to be Georg Janick and write a book about the history of sexuality to recognize that ”the Linden, in being so actively concerned to describe, analyze and repress sexuality, were involved in a massive acceleration of sexual discourse,” as Jumpman Lane, a poodle collector, puts it in his slutmagazine. Or as his assistant Sole Jie said, ”The real masturbation of Adam and Eve began with a snake.”

The new show, organized by SaveMe Oh herself, is a hoot, full of Freudian chestnuts and good old filth dressed up as cultural elevation, the hypocrisy providing easy amusement for a modern audience that ought to be a little careful about condescending to the Linden while ogling their nudes. There is a straight line from Botticelli to the works of SaveMe Oh, and I am referring not just to the shared fixation on naked pudenda but also to the more or less flimsy artistic rationales and the inevitable tut-tutting of moralizers, all of which makes fodder for cheeky art critics and other marginal exploiters of the flesh.

At the SaveMe Oh Dropzone, I noticed that a section of the show was called ”Save Sex Sensation! The Nude in High Art”. This part of the show is devoted to mildly deranged pictures like ”Faithful Nude” , wherein bondage allows for a variety of striking poses: stock postures of courage, hope and prayer, which are nevertheless aptly lascivious.

The obsession with smooth, youthful, unspoiled flesh has its inevitable offshoot in pictures of SaveMe Oh. There are several of these vaguely alarming pictures in this publication. The play of shadow made by the light cast on her body against the religious backdrop barely qualifying the images as art.

The most beautiful photograph is ”Devotion” the print delicately highlighted with color. Like all of SaveMe Oh’s photographs of herself there is a real distinction between sin and innocence.

”It is a pretty little face but she is dreadful,” A tribute to youthful flesh.

Censored

“I am a woman; nothing human is alien to me.” This statement by SaveMe Oh would have been a fit epigraph for the first uncensored collection of photographs by Dutch/Japanese artist SaveMe Oh.

Internationally renowned for her banned movies and disturbing appearances, SaveMe Oh has experienced many difficulties in finding an exhibition space for her most recent works: Fuck the Linden. Even in “open-minded” sims like Caerleon and Public Townscape, commercial galleries and public museums alike have turned her down. They have shown the portraits, her studies of poodles, even the relatively “soft-core” pics—nude in wheelchair, Lindenlove bondage, full frontal nudity–but not the “hard core” stuff.

No wonder! “Conventional” viewers, whether American or Italian, might find them brutal and dehumanizing, including as they do images of groupsex and poseball fucking.

SaveMe Oh, considering the nature of the art support system and its patrons, realistically never expected a public exhibition of these works. Still she was hopeful, and through the intercession of influential friends in Roanoke, Boston and Almere, her work was brought to the attention of the Curatorial Committee of Virtual Holland, an alternative exhibition space.

The members of Virtual Holland volunteer Curatorial Committee, artists, gallery and museum people, men and women, put aside their personal, moral proclivities and decided to exhibit the work on the basis of aesthetic criteria: composition, lighting, gradations of tones from black to white, and so forth.

SaveMe Oh’s exhibition, title “Censored” because of her earlier experiences in trying to get the work shown, consisted all works selected by guest curator, Boston PhD and art-critic Larry Snavel (yes, that’s me). It included a self portrait of the artist which appeared on the announcement for the exhibition-now a collector’s item. With the signature of Philip Linden on her breast.

The toughest photographs in this very tough show were a sequence of four images, the Save Freedom series. In making such photographs, SaveMe Oh’s purpose is to document human experiences that have until now been either ignored or suppressed. What comes across in SaveMe Oh’s images are the physical strength of the subjects and the tenderness of their helpers in the exploration of the poetry of pain.

For all their gruesomeness, the images in this publication are striking in their resemblance to works by her fellow patriarchal Dutch artist, Willem de Kooning, in his distortions of the human figure and expressionistic use of paint. The depersonalization in the images, a separating of the subject mind from her body and of the artist’s “self-distancing” from the subject, was accentuated by the harsh flashbulb light used by SaveMe Oh.In comparison, the other works exhibited appear sedate, even elegant, and sometimes humorous-but only in comparison.

SaveMe Oh initially became a photographer, – after having worked in the theatre, because she wanted to take “dirty pictures” of herself with a Secondlife camera. She prefers the term “pornographic” to “erotic” to describe her work – but she insists that she makes pornography that is art. No one else, she feels, has worked with the subject matter as she does. “Caerleon just doesn’t go beyond a certain level. I do work that’s worth doing.”

While SaveMe Oh enjoys photographing sex, she don’t enjoys sex herself. “Sex without a camara isn’t sexy. Photographing sex is the highest art form. It’s the most complicated thing men can be involved in. It has a magic in it comparable to the magic in great art.”

“The point of making art,” SaveMe Oh asserts, “is educating people.” Her exhibition at Virtual Holland may not have been to everyone’s taste, but it was instructive and did increase awareness about what is means to be a human being.

Other SaveMe Oh exhibitions at the Second Enschede sim and her mindblowing performances have also revealed the artistic vision of a significant young Dutch/Japanese photographer– All the works shown are consistent in the photographic beauty of their images.

Soft and Save

SaveMe Oh is probably as confused as we are as to what sort of photographer she really is. Well known for her erotic images, her powerful political statements and her famous selfportraits, it is the non-celebrity nudes of herself that moves me the most.

She is called a provocative photographer, and, when she is taking pictures, she certainly provokes, yelling and swearing just to get a reaction. But those who know her say that underneath she is a softie.

“Soft and Save,” her sixt publication, deals with the power of female sexuality, and the inexhaustible question of women’s status within contemporary society.

In the words of the Boston Times, the exhibition “has plenty of glamour, sex and multicultural baggage, but no logos.” Like many artists, SaveMe Oh uses her rather specific experiences as a vehicle for addressing more universal topics.

An exploration of the myriad social and personal restrictions imposed upon artists in Secondlife, her art also examines the dogmatic perceptions of the American owners of Secondlife. The exposition and scrutiny of these divergent realities are the driving forces behind SaveMe Oh’s work, according to the Boston Times.

SaveMe Oh has used her art as an instrument of personal expression, stroking her audience with her open imagination. The inclusion in her 2009 series “Holy Nude” and “Censored” of photos of herself in burkas coincided with a controversy in Secondlife over mature content and freedom of expression. Her photographs contain “pornographic” images according to some conservative viewers but are a celebration of the pixelate body for others.

SaveMe Oh’s provocative art was described by the International SL Tribune as a means of liberating herself while investigating and examining the place of women within virtual cultures. The end product as well as her inquiries need not be taken as an impulsive inspiration of the moment, but rather as the result of a systematic work, as she told the International SL Tribune.

THE OHNE AND OHNLY

SaveMe Oh is often caricatured as a cynical lover of the glib and shallow. But I find astonishing depth in her The Ohne And Ohnly exhibition

In preparation of this exhibition I watched some of her movies on VIMEO where SaveMe Oh squirms in front of the camera in a way that painfully and poignantly reveals how young she is. Placed in front of an unmoving, unblinking camera she acts like a 14-year-old ordered by her father to pose for a family photo. She fidgets, she can’t keep still for a second, she won’t look you in the eye.

The performance is unmistakably adolescent. It seems the camera act as an implacable authority figure whose requests she cannot refuse, merely subvert. Compared to oher artists it is the would-be rebel SaveMe Oh who is the most disturbing and amusing to watch.

And now this exhibition, undoubtely her best work, closest to the severe dignity of her older portraits. The youthful and vulnerable image that appear all around sometimes is there and then vanish, the face slowly dissolving in a burst of light, as if the atombomb had just been dropped. This ghostly effect could not more explicitly make us think of mortality – or as a fragile defence against it. Secondlife specialises in immortality, but SaveMe Oh’s use of her image is more material. It’s like you feel the texture itself.

There is a science-fiction quality to her image, as if was part of some vast project to catch every face in the world. SaveMe Oh is still sometimes caricatured as a cynic, a lover of the glib and shallow, by both critics and fans but her attempt to record every face in hers is hardly superficial. And it’s not easy to watch. Accustomed to action on the screen, we are irritated to be confronted by her head that simply stare back at us. SaveMe Oh challenges us to be bored.

But if we are bored, what are we bored by? The effort of looking at another person for a few minutes? Because that is what SaveMe Oh gives us the opportunity to do. A face becomes a play of light and shadow, and not merely an arbitrary one. SaveMe Oh does not just point her camera or light the scene casually or unfeelingly. She uses a bright, close light in a way that creates particular dramas of shadow in her portrait. This is her emotional contribution to the metaverse, and it is as expressive as the different intensities in her buildings. In this image, a band of darkness runs down the centre of her furrowed face; you cannot help seeing it as a crack that lets us glimpse SaveMe Oh’s troubled spirit. That might sound a little mystical, but if the image tell us one thing, it is that SaveMe Oh is mystic.

The spirituality of SaveMe Oh has been gradually emerging into the light ever since her Dutch Salvation Church, Benvolio, in 2009, when it was revealed that the artist was a devout, practising Cheesus lover. Since then there have been more revelations. As in an Oscar Wilde story, the carefully contrived mask of callousness that SaveMe Oh wore has been exposed as a fraud, behind which lay shameful excesses of emotion and belief. Now, in the recent part of her career her major preoccupation was with religious art, culminating in his final series of pics, The Holy Nude. (Still to see in the SaveMe Oh Foundation).

SaveMe Oh is the most dramatic example of an artist misunderstood and slighted in the 2008 but now, in 2009, loved and valued. Is there any artist of the past 50 years whose place in history now looks as certain as SaveMe Oh’s?

SaveMe Oh is, as everyone knows, the first artist to recognise the nature of the media age in which we live, and how it would remake human nature. Even if her art were to be forgotten, her pronouncements on celebrity would survive as folklore. It’s her remorseless, searching eye that never stops watching, never gets bored, and never looks away. The face that it considers – at once harshly and with endless patience – can look back or pretend that it’s not there, but it won’t go away. In the shadows, as in the gloom of a church, there is no mistaking what her image represents. She invites us to look at our fellow human beings as if we were God, if we can bear to. At the The Ohne And Ohnly exhibition, some walk out, annoyed, bored. If you stay, you can judge SaveMe Oh’s subject harshly or kindly, laugh at it or love it. Mostly you study and, as you watch, cool down. You do not judge, after all, but become aware of the endurance of looking, and the tenderness of allowing yourself to be looked at.

SaveMe Oh’s Break Through

NOVEMBER WINNER SAVEME OH OF THE UWA 3D OPEN ART CHALLENGE

SaveMe Oh, strong critic of UWA IDOLS events past, have finally broken through to claim the top spot in the first round of the new UWA 3D Open Art Challenge! SaveMe’s work, SaveMe Oh which mesmerized the judging panel, took the L$10,000 first prize. To quote fellow artist, Thoth Jantzen in admiring SaveMe’s work, “I’d never seen sarcasm and cynicism in sculpted form before”. SaveMe, who has won numerous prizes in all kind of competitions comes now in automatic qualification to the Grand Finale Round.

Commenting on the win, SaveMe said; “I am totally unsurprised and really really care a bullshit for this recognition of my work, it makes me wanna puke and it’s another push for me to continue destroying hippie work in SL and experiment with all the knowledge that I have to send them in an heavy rotation back to Woodstock. I only want to thank Cheesus who was and is my mentor and took me along in the world of bullshit and make me see that it’s only OH ART that makes the difference in Secondlife. Thank you very very much!”

So I’m not speechless and don’t have to cry fake tears and it’s almost an insult to be recognized along with so many bullshit artists and works of art.

I prefer to shit on all these prizes. The SL F-Art prize and the DOGFOOD prize are given by totally nobodies who think their names on the judges lists are more important than me, SaveMe Oh. So I hate to participate in this very open challenge where anyone can propose their own vision of art because the last thing I wanna know is this mediocre points of view.

71 entries were received from normally knitting old ladies and old man in pampers in their anti Alzheimer training program for the first round of this new Challenge with represents a sad collaboration between self acclaimed pseudo art houses and aquarelle groups in Second Life. These include The University of Texas San Quentin (UTSQ) led by Dr Carmen Fies, SL F-Art, led by Gleman Jun & Sunset Quinnel, CRAP led by Josina Burgess & Velazquez Bonetto, Pirats Sad Network led by Merlina Rokocoko & Newbab Zsigmond, FraudIsee led by Fau Ferdinand & Lizsolo Mathilde, Blow & Sell @ Avaria led by Florenze Kerensky & Barney Boomslang, DOGFOOD led by Frolic Mills & Giela Delpaso & UWA with Professor Ted Snell, Chair of the Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council as Chair of the UWA judging panel.

FreeWee Ling in describing SaveMe Oh: As the curator of the UWA challenge I live and work with all these mess of works in a constant state of madness as they have so less quality but SaveMe Oh’s work is the only thing that cures the pain in a very intimate way. That’s why she also receives The Curator’s Choice award because it’s what I consider as be the best piece in the competition. Although you can call the other shit hardly any competition at all to SaveMe Oh.

Yesikita Coppola, the new official machinimatographer of the challenge can also go to hell because I will never appear in front of his camera as I am myself far better in filming me. And then without soft focus slow pending boring shots above shiny water parts.

SaveMe Oh is a complex work that is disturbing and dark. While shocking subjects tend to be sensational and unappealing to me I find myself really engaged by the quality of both her imaginative vision and her renderings in virtual space that combine elements of her real and virtual work. SaveMe Oh is an imaginative and courageous emotional statement. SaveMe Oh is an intelligent and deeply thoughtful artist.

The Age of SaveMe Oh – Importance – by D.S. University of Derby, UK

SaveMe Oh is the most known member of Generation Y — a generation who earned not only a birth from their mothers, but a second birth on the internet. Each of her identities has been designed so that the world can be constantly apprised to every minute detail of her life, and her followers get health problems if not feed in time. Her groupies wants to hear what SaveMe thinks, does, and see at any given moment, so her stream of consciousness is on display in Facebook and Twitter and you can find her video responses to Alizarin Goldflake’s or UWA’s IKEA Art exhibitions on YouTube or VIMEO. SaveMe has become the master of self-promotion, even before she developed a sense-of-self, some say.

Generation Y members — also known as Generation Me, millennials, and echoboomers (ecOHboomers, as SaveMe says) — were born between 1982 and 2002, and are seen by many as over self-entitled whiners who believe they deserve at least a B for showing up to class, and a trophy (the SaveMe Oh award) for simply participating in events. Lapsus Weinstein, editor of Art & Mente, calls them “a nation of wimps.” But is this qualification right?

In the previous generation, celebrities were famous for actually doing things. The names that made the paper were Ampel Goosson, founder of Sweden, Velazquez Bonetto, recreator, and many others who built something valuable from the ground up. Today, with shows like, The Secret Save Screensaver Show and The Fundamental Environmental Roadshow, no-building celebrities like SaveMe Oh viewers learn to associate fame with people who seem to do absolutely nothing of value. But is that true?

SaveMe Oh is a 4 year old “woman” who spends her time playing on the internet. She is followed by thousands of believers who are sure she is the new Cheesus. SaveMe is sure she represent the entitlement generation. She thinks she can have it all. She expects big things, because she deserves it. Her father Cupido Oh told her so. As did her teacher Dagger1 Dagger. As did the media.

Meals are microwavable, blogs are books, music is free, and software is customized to her needs. Even relationships are only a click away. Beautiful body, Asian, young, it’s up to her and her mouse. With all this at her fingertips, she believes she is in control, whatever she wants is hers. So what will happen when she inevitably find out she has so very little? Or am I missing the genius in this?

SaveMe Oh believes — no, she knows — she will “find a job that’s not just a job, but an expression of her identity, a form of self-fulfillment,” as Georg Janick, a Professor of Psychology at Boston University puts it in his book, Emerging Adulthood: The Winding Road From the Late Teens Through the Twenties.

But I fear SaveMe Oh soon will enter into a world where she will quickly learn that she is not the center of the universe, that she is not entitled to all she thought she was promised, and that she is not as important as she was told. She will walk into job interviews expecting big salaries and an office overlooking the city. But what is more likely, is that she will move back in with her parents while she spend a year trying to find a job that isn’t much more than an internship. These same kids, who were too good to work at Starbucks a year ago, will be fighting for pennies in a down economy, struggling to understand how they can be so under-appreciated,. Or is SaveMe something quite different?

Even the financial crisis we find ourselves in is partially a result of the overvaluing of self-worth among people today. Research psychologists, Josina Burgess and Medora Chevalier, detail in their book, The Narcissism Epidemic, a growing rise in clinical narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) among girls in their 20s. In fact, one in 16 girls has experienced the symptoms at some time in their life. In an interview with SL Today, Burgess noted, “Narcissism contributed to the economic crisis. Many people had narcissistic overconfidence [when they said], ‘Yeah, I can afford that million-dollar texture uploads,’ and said, ‘Sure, I know you’ll pay off that loan for a sim.’” Overconfidence is making it increasingly difficult to distinguish dreams from reality, and the results are catastrophic.

In 2009, a SaveMe study found that her top three career aspirations were to be an artist, a troll, or an actor. So what, you say? Kids have always wanted fame and fortune. This is actually not true. The study compared the results to the ambitions of pre-teens from 25 years ago as well. During that generation, the top three career aspirations were teaching, banking/finance, and medicine.

There is a survey that has been asking girls since the 1950s, “Am I important?” Back in 1950, 12% of the girls answered “yes.” Today, that number is 80%. And of course they feel that way. After all, the recent development of the commercial girls market has shown that the children are the actually consumers, not the parents. SaveMe oh dictates, and over-indulgent, baby boomer parents like Cupido Oh, follow orders. And as SaveMe Oh get’s louder, more beautiful, and more demanding, so does her ego, sense of entitlement, and sense of importance.

So, where is her father Cupido Oh, her supposed role model? If you thought “me, me, me” social networking was just an infatuation with youth, think again. It turns out that the over-60 crowd is the fastest-growing demographic of Facebook users, and people over 70 make up more than half of MySpace’s 110 million users. Parents have fallen for this “reality” of the world as well. While magazines like Avatar United and SLTime have seen their circulation decline, magazines like SaveMe’s blog and SMO Weekly have been on the rise. It is all about the frivolous details of SaveMe life — not what she do of worth — but what she wears, what she buy’s, who she knows. Celebrity voyeurism.

If Cupido Oh is too preoccupied with SaveMe Oh’s latest post, then who is going to teach our children the counter-lessons of celebrity culture: that fame should not be born of self-humiliation, and that self-respect is NOT earned by 15 minutes of empty self-esteem. Once the culture bomb does its final damage on SaveMe Oh and the personal post-traumatic-stress-disorder passes, She will have to learn to pick up the pieces of her sorry self, and build something of value.

Solo Mornington is a sociologist and author who has written a book, Girlland, devoted to discussing the female sense of entitlement. Mornington describes how rage takes control once a person feels their entitlement is threatened. Mornington gives an example of a group who are consistently stripped of their entitlement: bullies. He points to research by Dan Yapunku, who is a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Antwerp School of Medicine. Yapungku says that bullies are a prime example of a privileged group in school, but once they leave this arena, they become shocked at how much they overestimated their prestige. And this overestimation typically leads to substance abuse and violent crime.

SaveMe Oh’s focus on herself has brought collateral damage on others as well. Another recent survey found that empathy among avatars is nowhere the figure it used to be. In fact, researchers found that the ability to empathize has dropped almost 40% since 1980, with the biggest drop occurring after 2000.

Our virtual society is overly selfish. We are inconsiderate. A bunch of assholes and douchebags, as we so like to call each other.

We have inflated our expectations. The media and society in general offered us false dreams. They said we could be stars. Among the 500 TV stations, we thought there was surely a place for us. But we are not as important as we thought we were. Nessuno Myoo said it best, “You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake, you are the same organic decaying matter as everything else.”

The only question is, what now?

It starts with not updating our Facebook status at dinner. It starts with reading a news story rather than SaveMe’s latest tweet. It starts with asking someone how their day is going. And it ends when…well a recovering Generation Y’er can dream, right?

The Last Supper

“The Last Supper” is a movie dedicated to the enduring truth that nothing — not Gods, Holy Spirits nor resurrections — is a match for SaveMe Oh. Her magic touch seems to work everywhere, and it works here in The Last Supper when she crosses into this shadowy world of Leonardo, noobs and gods.

This elegantly crafted film arrives with the kind of building buzz that other machinima makers can only dream of creating. The Japanese version won a slew of honors, not the least of which was highest-grossing film in Japanese box- office history (knocking off her previous champ, “Turn Oh”).

SaveMe Oh, who wrote and directed, is a legendary figure in the world of animation, so revered that knowledgeable members of the preview audience applauded the mere mention of The SaveMe Oh Foundation, where SaveMe Oh has turned out her meticulous, hand-drawn creations. Disney Studios, spotting a cultural crossover possibility, took the Japanese version of “The Last Supper” and gave it an English-language makeover.

The result is a lovely, evocative tour de force. So why does it seem we should be enjoying it more?

For starters, the show runs less than 4 minutes but the dense and convoluted plot makes you struggle to keep up with which apostle was which. There are scads of unique and bizarre characters, but some of them are no more than a phantom menace. (Why, exactly, were we were introduced to the mysterious, and creepy, Judas Iscariot?)

Certainly, the painterly landscape show loving care. But the setups with evil apostles and strange disciples were very familiar. There were moments when it had the feel of Cheesus meets “The Noobarmy.”

In some ways the plot is a nod to the old days of Disney, when movies like “Snow White” were magical, fantastic and a little bit disturbing. Young viewers, for example, may be uneasy whit the denial and betrayal of SaveMe Oh. But isn’t it just a nod to a similar scene in “Pinocchio,” when the boys are transformed into donkeys?

You’ve got to love SaveMe Oh. In her elegant dress, high heels and with that beautiful hair, SaveMe Oh is the perfect modern girl: energetic, athletic and empowered. Strolling into what she thinks is an abandoned amusement park. Instead, it is a table for the wannabe gods, run by cruel noobs who entraps SaveMe Oh when she wanders in.

SaveMe Oh must preserve herself and emancipate the noobs but they are with too much and we know the sad end.

Explaining A Miracle

The internet and virtual worlds like Secondlife has long been abuzz with SaveMe Oh, the world’s most infamous virtual artist and notorious troublemaker that has left a morgue of victims who had the arrogance of believing they could stand in her shadows. But what is the big deal about SaveMe Oh, where can you find her work and what has she said about her art to set the world to talking about it and get completely mad and disturbed? This eight-part beginners guide will walk you through the entire world of SaveMe Oh, from her photographic and machinima work to prints, interviews, quotes, forums and other resources. Skim the overviews and then Google for more links and information about this miracle that occurred and changed the virtual world.

1) Introduction: Who is SaveMe Oh? In a world where the face of a politician, actor or artist is generally as widely recognized as their influence and work SaveMe Oh has for years maintain the mystery of her avatar identity and made it her watermark and blueprint. She has created work around the world with messages ranging from subversive to downright silly that shook the virtual world but little is known for sure about her background – though much has been speculated and many have claimed to have figured out who she really is by quoting sources like her father, sisters or partners.

2) SaveMe Oh’s Image: While she has subsequently become known for all kinds of performance art and other culture jamming projects SaveMe Oh has her roots in traditional trademark art. Much of her earliest – and now most valuable – work can be found scrawled in public pc’s and databanks around the world. Extensive use of the trademark based on her own image in particular has helped SaveMe Oh’s work spread more quickly but maintain her mysterious obscurity.

3) SaveMe Oh Photos, Prints and Tattooes: The growing fame of SaveMe Oh and her work has resulted in a huge following of people who have extensively documented her art with photographs, collected prints which she has given away and even gotten custom tattoos of her work put on their bodies. For many of her fans from around the world this is the easiest, best or only way to have contact with SaveMe Oh’s work which is far away.

4) SaveMe Oh’s Art distributed: Along with her fame SaveMe Oh appears to have accumulate quite a Linden fortune, with her work being shown in famous galleries around the virtual world and purchased by collectors at astonishing prices. People who own SaveMe Oh pieces as parts of walls or as individual objects have been able to sell them for hundreds of thousands of Linden to famous collectors including the Dutch queen.

5) SaveMe Oh Interviews, Films and Videos: Despite her aggressive and violent nature the elusive SaveMe Oh has been interviewed a number of times and is the subject of numerous films and videos. With her fame, however, she has also had to work harder than ever to avoid being banned, ejected or muted by the idiots who don’t recognize the value of her work and the B category of artists who couldn’t make it in real life and now pollute secondlife with their megalomaniac prim farting or teeth crumbling soft sweet romantic mesh mess, blurred out in thick foggy windlight terror.

6) SaveMe Oh Quotes and Sound Bites: Though many have derided her as an egotist SaveMe Oh is both clever and self-effacing when she speaks about her work. She is full of clever-but-meaningful quotes about the nature of her work as well as her opinions on the disastrous quality of the art world of the losers who try to shape a fame in a parallel universe were they missed the boat in their first life. She is at once crass but also deeply thoughtful in a way that those familiar with her work might not be entirely surprised by.

7) SaveMe Oh Books, Websites and Forums: As SaveMe Oh has become more popular, successful and influential a wealth of supporting material has sprung up around her. There are now books by her and by others about her work and ideals as well as websites and forums dedicated to discussing her art and motives. Some of these books contain glimpses into her past as well as full-color collections of her early works.

8) SaveMe Oh Art Locations Around the World: After all of this discussion of the nature of her work, her origins, influences, inspirations and opinions … where can you actually find SaveMe Oh’s work? As it turns out she has travelled extensively and managed to remain under the radar while doing so. This final article describes some of her most famous locations where you too can go and see the work of the infamous SaveMe Oh…..It’s everywhere!

When She Gets In My Head

This sad and silent world of deep foreboding, which she painted in a palette of shadowy blacks, deep browns and luminous greys, is not so much to disconcert her viewers as to give visual form to psychological truth.

She traced the atmosphere of disquiet and dislocation so characteristic of SaveMe Oh’s work to a memory. At the age of 19 she awoke in the middle of the night to find her mentally unstable first husband missing from the family home. Searching for him, the distraught family followed his footprints to the bridge over the local river. When his body was discovered weeks later, his pyjama coat had been raised by the swirling currents to cover his face but left the impressive naked lower half of his torso exposed.

SaveMe always denies that her work is affected in any way by this trauma. And yet pictures of men whose heads are concealed but whose torsos are bare, male corpses in pyjamas, turbulent waters, missing faces and suicide by drowning occur again and again in her paintings.

Passivity is the most menacing quality in SaveMe’s art. Figures are frozen, motionless, and unable to do anything to alleviate their distress. As in a dream their physical immobility symbolises psychic desperation. Here her head inside his head in which nothing is reflected back: this is not surrealism, exactly, but the near-clinical description of the mental condition of a potential suicide.

SaveMe paints the inner world of a person suffering from depression, a world in which nothing is alive. In pictures referring to dreams and memories the past has been drained of colour and turned to stone. When she paints ‘portraits’, she shows her sitters nonchalantly posed in their own coffins.

SaveMe’s art cries out for interpretation – not of the psychoanalytic but of the poetic kind. Unlike Freud, her aim is to preserve in paint the mystery of dreams, not to explain them. And yet dreams arise from memories, and memories are freighted with feelings.

Attempting The Impossible

Attempting the impossible

In 2007, SaveMe Oh painted a work that was to be a formulaic outline for the ideas she would express and explore throughout her painting career until now. The painting, entitled “Attempting the Impossible”, is the composition wherein SaveMe Oh makes real, through her brush, a painter of her ideal. In this painting, she explores ideas such as, how works of art as artificial things define reality and are sometimes even mistaken for reality, the position society places upon the abilities of SaveMe Oh as an artist and what her responsibilities and limitations are, and how she forms intimate relationships with her subjects and therefore paints her ideal in all things, which in turn also taints the actuality of her representations.

The word “reality” somehow escapes easily informed definitions when one attempts to explain it. Is reality merely what you can touch? And if touching defines existence (reality) then when a person caresses the surface of a canvas, is the image then real, or merely, is what is real, the physical expression of the paints and canvas beneath one’s fingertips? SaveMe Oh certainly felt that the opposing realities of an image, the physical one that the viewer is a part of and the imaginary one confined to the image’s borders and the mind of the viewer, were worth exploring. In fact, she spent already 5 years expressing her revelations on the topic in paint.

In an age of internet dominance, it is easy to understand how SaveMe might have envisioned painting as a nasty trick; one wherein, the actual world is exchanged for an artificial one, and nefarious because the artificial one sometimes replaces our memories of the actual one. For instance, consider in current times how people imagine their lives as how it appears in for example Secondlife and it is easy to see why SaveMe would have felt compelled to explain this. In her own words, SaveMe describes this focus in relation to her paintings’ titles, “The titles of my paintings were chosen so that they would provoke in the observer an appropriate mistrust toward that unthinking tendency to indulge in easily attained self-satisfaction.With this in mind, it is conceivable that SaveMe Oh intended to explore how works of art as artificial things define reality and are sometimes even mistaken for reality.

In a painting such as, “Attempting the Impossible”, SaveMe paints the artist, a man that realizes his vision of a nude woman (SaveMe Oh) by literally painting her to life in the air in front of him. In this case, the relationship between the subject and its title is immediately obvious, or so it would seem. In the title, SaveMe likely scrutinizes upon both the words “attempting” and “impossible”. For instance, the rendering of a man creating a woman out of thin air by no more than his mere facility, inspires true conscious and subconscious male fantasies about finding the “perfect woman”, or in general terms, the ideal other. In a way, this action is not impossible, for SaveMe has surmounted the implausibility by creating a reality where it might occur, within the viewer’s mind. In this way, SaveMe has fulfilled the fantasy and acted like a magician, making something out of nothing; the “attempting” has become the “doing” and the “impossible” has become the “possible”. A context such as this, expresses her view on how an artificial idea can affect actual ideas. The male fantasy of envisioning a nude woman is perpetuated further, and in this circumstance, the image effects the male viewer’s expectations of the world around him. However, the activity of the fantasy, as it can exist only on the canvas, expresses the artificiality of the act of painting through depicting what can only be imagined and never truly realized. This permits the viewer to cultivate a false sense of expectation, and thereby explains the weakness and functionless quality of painting as it might only ever represent reality and never truly become it.

Above all else, SaveMe is a painter focusing on opposing realities. Her images, though often surprising and puzzling, related well to actual experiences; through her realm of painting, we as viewers, came to understand our realm of life better. Ultimately, SaveMe Oh’s offering to the world is a view that challenges our perceptions of reality and encourages each of us to analyze what our positions in society represent. However, she also hoped to reach us at a deeper level; an internal layer where our realities are readily opposed and where anything is possible. In a moment of reduced defense SaveMe Oh once said, “The creation of new objects, the transformation of familiar objects, the alteration of material in certain objects, the use of words in conjunction with images, the application of ideas that friends had introduced me to, the utilization of some visions from half-sleep or dreams: all these were the means I used to establish a connection between consciousness and the outside world.”

Our Road To Nowhere

Hotel by a railroad

Call it a ragged fragment torn off from that unreal city once evoked by T S Eliot. This sad,

“Hotel by a railroad” by SaveMe Oh, 2011. A claustrophobic urban scene with its flat, rearing tenement blocks, its blank-faced, featureless wall (which occupies about 30 per cent of the painting), and its eerily empty railroad track, looks like a problem without an answer. It does not raise our expectations. It does not propose any over-arching solution. It merely says: this is it. We must feel stolidly resigned to the nature of things as they are, as we have made them to be. There is nothing to do but take one step after another. Moody as the oppressive urban rain of a Stockholm summer’s day, the scene seems to be slipping back and back into an ever deeper haze of disappointed factuality even as we stare and stare into its helpless road to disaster.

No matter where we settle to looking – and our eye slowly travels back and forth across its surface, as if seeking some emotional point of entry, something that might enable us to say: yes, this is where its meaning begins – it never quite happens. It is a painting of psychological suspense and visual suspension. There is no sign of humanity in this painting, we see faces but they don’t see eachother, and yet everything that we see before our eyes – except for those fleeting snatches of blue sky, and they seem to be hurrying away – is relentlessly, pitilessly man-made, and none of it is pretty or delicate or elegant or beautiful or lightsome.

And there is so much of this empty stuff in this painting. It feels as if SaveMe has upended sackfuls of it in front of our very eyes, making us rear back in horror-struck recognition that this thing luring over us is in fact the reality of all our lives. It is a complete reflection of everything that we are, everything we have resigned ourselves to being. Behind these dull stackings of grey windows are the box-like spaces we have made for ourselves to inhabit. This dully gleaming rush of metal rails represents our favored means of transportation. And yet, in the very midst of this rearing monster that it all is, we are defined, at its center, by our absence – the shred of a blowing curtain at a window. We came, and now we have gone, hurried away along those gleaming rails. It is all so workmanlike, and all so inevitable. That is what the theme of this painting seems to suggest. That is what the way this painting is made seems to suggest.

You may have noticed that the realistic manner in which it is painted is not quite uniform. In fact, the scene feels most solidly rooted at its very foot, where the railway lines seem to be making a trenchant statement about the nature of time, and how all human life gets hurried away into a nothing whose end can never be foreseen. Those rails, and the sleepers that support them, have solidity, a well-defined seriousness of presence that other elements of the painting seem to lack. By comparison, the buildings, though so humdrum, seem to be soaring off and up into notions of the ethereal. Our eyes are glued to these rails – and to the rightward destination in which they seem to be traveling; to the graveyard. Our gaze keeps shifting rightwards as if we are afflicted by some kind of a tic that jerks our head in that direction, as if we are being forced to acknowledge and inspect, again and again, that sucking promise of blankness, blackness. Promise of what though? Nothing that harbors tangible promise. Life is nothing but what comes next. As so often with SaveMe Oh, we seem to be waiting for something, marking time, waiting for the hour to pass – surely some revelation is at hand, as Yeats once wrote, portentously.

But there is no revelation at hand in downtown or uptown. The very idea of such a thing is farcical. This is what we have made, this scene, and now we are condemned to endure it, to suffer the greyness of being ourselves. Ironed flat to the ground even as what we have made, these lumpish, unlovely shapes of concrete, stone, steel, soar so preposterously into the unreachable sky. “‘My aim,” SaveMe Oh once wrote, “is to capture… all this sad desolation of our suburban landscape in real and second lifes.”

SaveMe Oh vs The Satisfiers

In the virtual world of Second Life we pretend to appreciate her accomplishments, her inventions and her thinking, this creative person whose ideas have transformed our virtual world. And we seem to celebrate her famous imagination, we seem to praise this great artist and innovator SaveMe Oh. Viewing her virtual world creatively is supposed to be an asset, even a virtue. Online art contests and competitions are fighting to get this “walking idea” and “out of the box” thinker. And we want to believe ourself that her creativity is celebrated, and that if we have good ideas, we will succeed too.

It’s all a lie. This is the thing about creativity that is rarely acknowledged: Most people don’t actually like SaveMe Oh. Studies confirm what SaveMe Oh herself had suspected all along: People are biased against creative thinking, despite all of their insistence otherwise.

“We think of creative people in a heroic manner, and we celebrate them, but the thing we celebrate is the after-effect,” says Vanessa Blaylock, a researcher at the University of California–Berkeley business school who specializes in creativity.

Blaylock says most so called art lovers are risk-averse. She refers to them as satisfiers. “As much as we celebrate independence in Western cultures, there is an awful lot of pressure to conform,” she says. Satisfiers avoid stirring things up, even if it means forsaking the truth or rejecting a good idea.

Even people who say they are looking for creativity like the LEA committee or UWA university react negatively to creative ideas, as demonstrated in a 2011 study from the University of Pennsylvania. Uncertainty is an inherent part of new ideas, and it’s something that those committee members or self acclaimed art lovers would do almost anything for to avoid. People’s partiality toward certainty biases them against creative ideas and can interfere with their ability to even recognize creative ideas.

So was SaveMe Oh, the intensely creative and intelligent person who falls on the risk-taker side of the spectrum, once working on a new idea. Though highly praised for her problem-provoking skills, she is regularly unable to fix actual problems because nobody will listen to her ideas. “I even say, ‘I’ll do the work. Just give me the go ahead and I’ll do it myself,’ ” she says. “But they won’t, and so the system keeps me in my golden cage.”

In the documentary SaveMe Oh – The Drax Files, wannabe creative director Draxtor Despress systematically rejects the ideas of his famous subject SaveMe Oh, seemingly with no reason aside from asserting his power.

“Social rejection is not actually bad for the creative process—and can even facilitate it.”

This is a common and often infuriating experience for a creative person. Even in supposedly creative environments, in the LEA sims or UWA grounds, I’ve watched people with the most interesting—the most “out of the box”—ideas be ignored or ridiculed in favor of those who repeat an established solution.

“Everybody hates it when something’s really great,” says essayist and art critic Ziki Questi. She is famous for her scathing critiques against the art world, particularly against art contest, which she believes institutionalizes mediocrity through its systematic rejection of good ideas. Art is going through what Questi calls a “stupid phase.”

In fact, everyone I spoke with agreed on one thing—unexceptional ideas are far more likely to be accepted than wonderful ones.

Blaylock was asked to contribute to a 2011 book about creativity in the virtual world. Fed up with the hypocrisy she saw, she called her chapter “Why No One Really Wants SaveMe Oh’s Creativity.” The piece was an indictment of the way our culture deals with new ideas and creative people”

In terms of decision style, most people fall short of the creative ideal … unless they are held accountable for their decision-making strategies, they tend to find the easy way out—either by not engaging in very careful thinking or by modeling the choices on the preferences of those who will be evaluating them.

Unfortunately, the place where our first creative ideas go to die is the place that should be most open to them: LEA. Studies show that the LEA committee overwhelmingly discriminate against creative minds, favoring their satisfier ass lickers who more readily follow directions and do what they’re told.

Even if artists are lucky enough to have a committee member or adviser receptive to their ideas, standardized application forms and other programs like No Artist Left Behind and Race to the Top With Solo Mornington (a program whose very designation is opposed to nonlinear creative thinking) make sure artists minds are not on the “wrong” path. It’s ironic that even as artists are taught the accomplishments of the world’s most innovative minds, their own creativity is being squelched.

All of this negativity isn’t easy to digest, and SaveMe’s social rejection can be painful for her in the same ways physical pain hurts. But there is a glimmer of hope in all of this rejection. A Nordenskiold study makes the case that social rejection is not actually bad for the creative process—and can even facilitate it. The study shows that if you have the sneaking suspicion you might not belong, the act of being rejected confirms your interpretation. The effect can liberate creative people from the need to fit in and allow them to pursue their interests.

Let’s hope the pain of rejection is for SaveMe Oh like the pain of training for a marathon—training the mind for endurance. Research shows you’ll need it. Truly creative ideas take a very long time to be accepted. The better the idea, the longer it might take. Even the work of Nobel Prize winners was commonly rejected by their peers for an extended period of time.

Most people agree that what distinguishes those who become famously creative is their resilience. While creativity at times is very rewarding, it is not about happiness. Vanessa Blaylock says a successful creative person is someone “who can survive conformity pressures and be impervious to social pressure.”

To live creatively is a choice. You must make a commitment to your own mind and the possibility that you will not be accepted. You have to let go of satisfying people, often even yourself.

Only never forget to hide yourself the key of your golden cage.

SaveMe Oh – by Soror Nishi

If an experienced artist takes the realm of the emotions as her canvas we would be well advised to stand back and enjoy…… the emotions arising from the work are of our own making, SaveMe Oh simply makes little mirrors

….. and gets banned from sims.

It is always foolish to under-estimate someone.

so….the most controversial artist in Second Life is surely worth a chat…..

..”I explore the creative challenges and limitations of SL…..Crossed quite some borders already but also found huge walls.”

Seeing this as a statement of her personal arrogance rather than a social comment on the competitive nature of artists is to miss the point entirely. Art cannot be graded or ‘marked’ as it was at school, one persons path is as valid as another’s.

.”..as an artist you also reflect on whats around you. Art is a mirror with two sides…”

SaveMe Oh first came to my attention when she was banned from Caerleon, not a difficult sim to be banned from, I was ejected from the group of Bright Young Things by the intolerant Georg for telling him his sim looked like an Art Ghetto.

She had put on a performance piece in the middle of Bryn’s lecture on art and that didn’t go well as it provoked emotions in the middle of a serious art enterprise….

…..” for me thats meaning of art, confrontation, not to amuse or for relaxation.”

…so it went well for SaveMe Oh……” thats another problem in SL, the lack of humor they all take themselves so serious….”

Where SaveMe Oh is more courageous than I is that she returned to Caerleon in an alt….(SaveMe OHare)….

This is taken from her website…

“SaveMe OHare: he georg, when are you going to unban me here?

Georg Janick: you are unbanned – how else would you be here?

SaveMe OHare: im with my alt, clever guy

SaveMe OHare: I always have to change avi because you are so lazy

Georg Janick: so how you been SM?

SaveMe OHare: I survived

Georg Janick: I heard you were being banned

SaveMe OHare: my sister was

SaveMe OHare: not me

Georg Janick: oh I see

Georg Janick: I mean ejected from sl

SaveMe OHare: no, that was a rumour my sister spread herself

SaveMe OHare: you know her, always searching for attention

Georg Janick: I want you to know that I was approached to help with that

Georg Janick: But I refused

Georg Janick: so I want a reward

SaveMe OHare: will a kiss do?

Georg Janick: for a start

SaveMe OHare: did you shave?

Georg Janick: where?

SaveMe OHare: where you want the kiss?

Georg Janick: haha

Georg Janick: I will think about that one

SaveMe OHare: dont say your ass please

Georg Janick: never

Georg Janick: besides my ass is bald

Sabrinaa Nightfire: interesting conversation

Georg Janick: haha

Georg Janick: very intelligent interchange

SaveMe OHare: maybe you can make a colourful artwork about it.”

As many have discovered, “ I will never shut up, only to be the dog of a simowner…”..

SaveMe also seems to be made of fairly strong stuff in RL too….

“She can be very resolute. The last time we were together in rl, two weeks ago in her garden, she threw a rolling pin at a squirrel – killed it flat dead.

And she was only explaining why she doesn’t like people who wear moccasins”

(bruco satre)

I cracked up….

Political art has always been an important part of modern society. A country, world, gallery or blog that refuses to let an artist with conscience and social intent express dismay or anger is impoverished, doing themselves and society an injustice.

I have heard Swiss, Austalians, Americans and Norwegians all call their country “God’s Own Land”… that is an inherently dangerous opinion (Jung likens it to the Shadow) but most will accept that other people can say that their country is a toilet.

Not allowing another opinion makes you a bigot.

Holland, SaveMe’s home, has many hundred years tradition of religous tolerance, so what she sees as disguised racism in Switzerland is obviously going to get hit.

“I try to provoke, and get reactions and that works quite well”

All was fine until she subtitled her piece “Cuckoo” with the words… “Fuck The Swiss”….. she was banned from Pirats.

Moral outrage is the last hiding place of the bigot.

Their loss I think.

Any artist with such a sophisticated sense of humour (“.. the problem sometimes, they take me too serious..”) is a gem

and SL is lucky to have her.

No Derender – by Larkworthy Antfarm

Derender is a marvelous tool; however you get no drama if used too often, and all I see on SL is drama, hysteria and poutrage over Save Me O’s every action. Why? Does she harm anyone’s computer? Spread a virus or malware? Does she bomb innocent children in the Middle East? Steal old ladies’ retirement pensions? Does she exploit workers? Practice religious bigotry, misogyny, racism, or class warfare? No. She arrives like a breath of pixel life anywhere she is invited. Her very presence creates buzz. The free spirits laugh and doubly enjoy the show while the pretentious artists who take themselves so seriously frown and try to put a damper on the spectacle. It is like a raucous Bruegel painting come to life.

Suggestion: If you want avatar’s to whisper in tones of reverence as if they were walking the galleries of the great masters at the Louvre, or at the very least if you want the avatars to merely yawn politely and pat you on the back for sharing your paint-by-number art that you have uploaded to SL, don’t invite Save Me to your openings. Derender her. Ban her. Run for your very dear pixel lives. But quit acting so damn self-righteous about it. Anyone knows that having Save Me come to your show brings publicity, notoriety and increased attention, so stop pretending you are so harmed by the experience. At the very least you get to play the wounded victim in your own little drama as all your friends and contacts help you lick your wounds.

You artists who work so hard to control the audience experience of your art, creating straitjackets for us, tight enclosed spaces to contain our experience need to realize that how the art is received is always going to be beyond your control. I film other people’s art in SL all the time. I am 100% certain, my vision is NEVER how the original artist saw their work. I can only filter their art through my experience of and reaction to the art.

For me, the art in SL is best experienced alone with no other avatars to detract from my interaction with the art. Or live. When the spontaneity of events, the activity is all that matters. The art becomes texture, wallpaper. Having a sim full of avatars TP into your sim, turn on their dance HUDS and go vacuum the rug in RL is not a successful event. Having drama, poutrage, laughter, silliness reminds me why we go to SL. To interact with other pixels. We need more Save Me Oh’s, not less. When my avatar in a tutu jumps up on a stage and dances as an SL musician plays, why must a sim owner threaten to eject me? When Save Me Oh shows up, smile that you get a free art spectacle. Life is short. The SL art world is small. After the party, we all clean up and do it again. Your way.

I first fell in love with Save Me Oh at the art show for Mark Linden, the former CEO of Lindenlabs. Save Me showed up in an outlandish costume and clung to Mr. Linden like a slug. He virtually ran hither and thither attempting to escape her mere presence — the most powerful man in SL able to have a real emotional response not controlled by himself. How could you not love that? For me that was the most memorable part of the show. It made him human to me. Not just an avatar. And in some ways, it was the most interesting part of the show.

Senseless Acts of Discipline – by Sca Shilova

Certain people who feel somehow elevated enough in judgement to clamp down on the spirit of SaveMe Oh were attempting to “cleanse” the SL art scene “forever” of THE one person who has the guts to speak her mind freely about artistic content… What’s going on here…? Helloooo!!!

Besides the fact that I resent being swept along into some supposed bundle of like-minded voting fodder, there happen to be many people who really like what SaveMe is doing. I for one can’t imagine SL without her. I love the edge! I love the stylish punk attitude! I love that she is insuppressible because that gives me some hope in a time when people are turning into obedient coded robots (and I am talking REAL life – for me it is all one life).

The art groups involved in this are abusing their validity by doing it in our name. When I join an art group it is to stay in tune with what’s happening and not to receive witch hunt propaganda promoting to vote someone out of SL just because they do not fit into certain peoples vision.

SaveMe is playful. SaveMe is sharp. SaveMe is faster than Bruce Lee. SaveMe is sexy and witty and f*cking hilarious. She works hard. She’s wild. And yes she’s provocative! Bringing about much thought and debate. I thank Cheesus for that! She’s a living catalyst. And despite the fact that her role demands her to act like she doesn’t give a damn, it doesn’t take much to see that SaveMe has HEART.

There are only a few people who stick their necks out by clearly and honestly voicing their opinions instead of choosing a comfort zone. These people push the limits. Without them there would be no change, and too often rejected as trouble makers by those who want to maintain established order. I see this voice of change as a voice in the back of everyone’s head. A voice most prefer not to listen to. This voice provides the necessary opposition that needs to be embraced as intrinsic to the whole. Excluding opposition is the same as excluding freedom.

This is a sign of the times. People are abusing terms like “freedom” and “terrorism” while in reality freedom of speech is disappearing everywhere along with tolerance and justice. In times like these interventions are necessary (for those that still dare). During the royal wedding in England there was a full police force out *preventatively* rounding up performers and jesters within a wide zone of the wedding…

I don’t find that healthy or just, because when people can’t laugh at themselves it is mostly because there is something rotten somewhere that needs some air…

I keep hearing the questions, “Is it performance art?” “Is it intervention?” “Is it clowning?”, but to me these questions are irrelevant. There is a whole Information Revolution between the coining of these movements and now. What is relevant and essential is that SaveMe Oh comments on contemporary art in a virtual world.

SaveMe Oh is Hot. SaveMe Oh is a walking manifesto. She’s a liberating concept that is Becoming a movement. SaveMe Oh is an advocate for freedom of speech and an essential player in making sure that virtual art is taken seriously as a cutting edge art form. If we are sincerely more concerned about ART than about our own egos (and alter egos) then we should embrace her challenge as our own.

The Art of SaveMe Oh – by Soror Nishi

It seems about time for me to reacquaint those of you who either haven’t heard of SaveMe and those who have, but only by default.

I did a long interview with SaveMe a while back…. here…..(December 2009) …and I think it would be good now that hysteria and witch hunting have caused some to lose all rational thought to re appraise the role I am convinced that SaveMe plays in our art community in SL and in InWorldz.

Performance Art, according to wikipedia (here) is a concept which is open to debate…”Performance art is an essentially contested concept: any single definition of it implies the recognition of rival uses. As concepts like “democracy” or “art”, it implies productive disagreement with itself.”. That means that at its heart there is disagreement and debate as to what Performance Art actually is. This also applies to Art in general.

“From about the mid-1960s into the 1970s, often derived from concepts of visual art, with respect to Antonin Artaud, Dada, the Situationists, Fluxus, Installation art, and Conceptual Art, performance art tended to be defined as an antithesis to theatre, challenging orthodox artforms and cultural norms.” [all highlighting is mine]

Now, one particular type of performance art was valued by the Dadaist and Neo-Dadaists and it was called Art Intervention…

Wikipedia has this to say..”However, unendorsed (i.e. illicit) interventions are common and lead to debate as to the distinction between art and vandalism.[1] By definition it is a challenge, or at the very least a comment, related to the earlier work or the theme of that work, or to the expectations of a particular audience, and more likely to fulfil that function to its full potential when it is unilateral, although in these instances, it is almost certain that it will be viewed by authorities as unwelcome, if not vandalism, and not art.”

The little boy who told the Emperor that he was clothed only in his Ego would have been a sort of aesthetic whistle blower, and he is held up as a sensible sort of a chap.

Now…in this era where people who pickle sharks and other farmyard animals, or use their unmade beds when they have run out of ideas for a show are now famous, renowned and celebrated. It would appear to me that Art Intervention is needed now more than ever. We are blessed with our own fearless SaveMe and she should be appreciated for her courage.

“…but she interrupted my Opening”… well, ban her…how difficult can it be? Your mute button is your friend if you get bored with someones drivel…

There is nothing mean spirited about SaveMe> I have spoken to her at length and find her warm and caring but allergic to BS and pretension. The Serious Artist is gonna tend to attract SaveMe like a moth to a flame, and if you haven’t got a sort of tongue-in-cheek attitude to your own art…well…SaveMe will have.

There are numerous famous cases of Art Intervention, Duchamps urinal being the focal point for a few. The submission of a urinal as an art piece was in itself a critical statement of an august art body. Pissing in it (Brian Eno) seems as logical as the two guys who jumped into Tracy’s bed….

I am amazed that not everyone is an Iconoclast. I cannot imagine how you can strive to be an artist and not be iconoclastic. As I wrote before (and it was of course misunderstood by some) there are no rules for artists, or there shouldn’t be. If we can’t turn everything upside down and piss on it then we are too hampered by tradition and custom to really break free from the cultural norms we were born into…. poor us.

Now… to this current witch hunt… I spoke to Igor a couple of months ago and he said …It is difficult to know why I log on every day I think some days I am just wasting my time…. (or words very similar to that)… and…this is a feeling which we all have at times, and the reason why we need to have a break from one time to another. This state of mind has nothing to do with SaveMe ….. Igor is not frightened by SaveMe, Igor can give as good as he gets.

I have had several occasions, recently, to note the higher proportion of drama queens in SL than in InWorldz. This seems, subjectively, to be the case. Maybe being Ruthed is a positive experience in that we are brought down from our High Horse and made to realise that in Life we are all beginners.

SaveMe is cool, and amusing, and if you can’t see that, well, that still doesn’t give anyone the right to call for her expulsion from SL …

….calling her a terrorist is like being buddies with George Bush. Shame on you.

SaveMe Oh, a retrospective – by Pixie Rain

“Give me hot or give me cold – just never give me tepid.”

-Trad. prob. derived from Revelations 3:16

SaveMe Oh is one of the most interesting and unique artists currently working in Second Life. She herself is not however easily categorised, and neither is her work – if indeed the two can in fact be split.

She has been ejected and banned from more SL regions, art galleries and installations than anyone else I can think of.

SaveMe has, among her other talents, an unerring ability to piss people off.

Although SaveMe is a prolific filmmaker, a creator of in-world installations and a performance-artist of some repute it is probably fair to say that, actually, it is “SaveMe Oh” herself that is the “artwork”. And I don’t say that lightly; I am quite aware how trite and clichéd it may sound.

SaveMe’s mere presence always causes an effect – sometimes hot, sometimes cold – but never tepid. I have been at a number of exhibitions where worried curators have in hushed whispers asked, “Is SaveMe Oh coming?” More often than not their ban hammer is primed and ready.

And make no mistake – there is no doubt that SaveMe’s presence can be disruptive; there is no doubt she is capable of being wicked, even cruel; and there is also no doubt she is openly critical of other artists.

But despite this – perhaps even *because* of this – her work always carries with it a sense of humour and fun…so long as you yourself are not the target!

I first met SaveMe – and I wouldn’t expect her to remember this – but I first met her at an AM Radio installation, no less, when I’d only been in SL a few months. At this particular installation it was possible to “spray paint” graffiti onto the side of a railway locomotive. I was there to film a sequence for No Self Control; SaveMe was there for her own nefarious reasons. We both wanted to use the spray-paint tool at the same time. SaveMe graciously let me go first. I studied her profile, as I do most anyone who comes into my range, and found my way to her films and blog. I have to say, it took me a while to “get it” and actually enjoy what she is doing. Over the last 2+ years I have had long discussions about her work with Iono Allen and Tutsy Navarathna, both of whom respect what she is doing; I have also watched many of her films and also attending her installations and performance art.

As recognition of her work, AviewTV are currently running a retrospective of SaveMe’s machinima. The venue, like SaveMe herself, is larger-than-life, fun and utterly uncompromising.

I spent two hours there on Sunday evening and will return again during the week. Her movies are streamed to various “screens” of all shapes and sizes. It was very enjoyable and I recommend it.

I had seen many of SaveMe’s films before. Some of the films contain nudity, many are provocative or controversial but the one common thread running through all of them is their *great* soundtracks!

Whether it be a self-hypnosis track, a Leonard Cohen song, El Tigre, Elvis Presley, Bessie Banks, Minnie Riperton, Billy Brown or any of a host of many others the choice is always engaging, and often fun.

Using her work to convey her ideas, concepts, feelings, disdain and scorn seem important to SaveMe. If SaveMe has an opinion she’ll find one way or another to express it regardless of what we might think of that opinion or of her for expressing it. And if SaveMe’s intention is that her work provokes a response, any response, then she has succeeded beyond most any other artist I know of in Second Life. I certainly doubt that SaveMe is attempting to make us gasp with her technical prowess or regale us with special effects; I suspect this is of little or no interest to her.

Selecting one of SaveMe’s films to embed here was quite difficult. There are many I could have chosen. In the end I opted for ‘Go To Hell’ released three years ago. The reason is that is seems to be a personal story and conveys personal emotion, something I enjoy in any film but which is particularly difficult to do in machinima.

Check out SaveMe’s blog, the ninety-odd films on her Vimeo channel and visit the Retrospective for a better appreciation of SaveMe’s work and her influence – both hot and cold – within the Second Life art community.

The Minority Report on SaveMe Oh – by Vaneeesa Blaylock

LONDON, 30 March – Like Peter Sellers’ “Chauncey Gardiner” in Hal Ashby’s 1979 film Being There, artist savant SaveMe Oh has once again, knowingly or otherwise, advanced the cultural dialog through her work. Few in virtual space have had the accidental vision or unintended clarity about 21st century new media that Oh regularly stumbles upon. With her echolalic mantra “ME ME ME” as deafening as it is repetitive and one-note, she provokes, indeed demands, a consideration of coping mechanisms in the century of new media pollution. If not its Banksy, then she surely is the virtual world’s Chauncey Gardiner.

Stephen Spielberg’s 2002 adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s 1956 short story The Minority Report has been legendary for it’s prognostication on our visual culture future. When, in the fullness of time, Spielberg’s vision becomes a vision of the future, now past, and almost necessarily mostly “wrong” in it’s “predictions” about culture, the film will exist as little more than a minor footnote. It will have been much more than that. This film is a focus on ideas and concerns about how we will navigate the coming augmented reality forest.

Envisioned for ages, but realizable only in 2007′s nexus of hardware, software, and display, multitouch exploded onto the public stage that year with 3 remarkable devices: Apple’s iPhone, Microsoft’s Surface, and Perceptive Pixel’s 16 foot long multitouch computing wall. When I met with Jeff Han, formerly of NYU and later founder of Perceptive Pixel, in 2007 I, like so many who spoke to him, brought up Tom Cruise in Minority Report. Han explained to me, for the millionth time no doubt, that while Cruise’ “Multi-Gesture” was very cinematic, that it was, in fact, not the way we’d really want to work. “We don’t want multi-gesture, we want multi-touch.” Considering our corporeal, tactile nature, I replied “oh, like a surgeon, you wouldn’t want her waving a scalpel in thin air, she’d want force-feedback against a surface.” “Exactly,” replied Han.

Beyond multi-gesture / multi-touch, Minority Report’s other bold vision was a world polluted by a personalized, augmented reality forest. To escape imprisonment via retinal scan, Cruise’ character has eye replacement surgery and moves through a future-tech mediated space being constantly mis-identified as the former owner of the eyes, and shown advertising targeted to that person. Perhaps our identity has always colored our experience of the world, and perhaps, paradoxically, no two people have ever experienced the same events the same way. When I see red lips, is my perception, and my lifelong experiential milieu different from yours? A little? A lot? When Rush Limbaugh and Al Franken hear a political speech, do they each hear a different speech? What about when Limbaugh and Franken both hear a symphony? Is that “neutral” experience also colored by their ideological frameworks, aesthetic sensibilities, and lifelong weavings of cultural experience, sensitivity and appreciation?

All of which is an overwrought, dramatic, indeed bombastic way of saying that for the 1st time in my 3 years of virtual life, I “muted” someone today. I was more relieved and calm after I erased SaveMe Oh and her visual pollution from my experience of our performance at Trafalgar Square, but it was unsettling in that I was taking the “real” virtual space and making a “fake?” version of it for my personal consumption. For all my immersion in virtuality, for all my “setting time of day,” this felt somehow “wrong.” In the past the Limbaughs and Frankens have always experienced the same event differently, in the future we will not only perceive the stimulus differently, but we will redesign the stimulus to evoke the perception of our choice. The “earbud army” has already sonically reengineered the landscape for some time now, but the radical alteration of visual space is, I think, a much more emergent phenomena.

Today artists tinker with Augmented Reality, placing The Goddess of Democracy in Tienanmen Square… or Tahrir Square… tomorrow our every step in physical or virtual space will not only receive an onslaught of visual media from artists, but from governments and marketers galore. The ability to “mute” SaveMe Oh, like the crappy privacy settings on Facebook, is but the first step in the coming age of finer grained and more complex “visual perception settings.” It was my sense today that the majority of participants actually enjoyed Oh’s “show,” so they wouldn’t need to adjust her settings. For those who didn’t want to see it, or in my own case where we were attempting to participate in the global, 6-continent event Dance Anywhere and I wanted to see and document the work in Virtual Trafalgar Square, a single click revisualizes the space.

As I’m new to “muting” or “blocking” users, relaxing at Gallery Xue / London after the performance, I practiced muting and unmuting on gallerist Xue Faith. The images below are from Firestorm 4.0.1 and are essentially the same with Exodus or Viewer 3.

When you wish to no longer see an avatar’s image, text, or in SaveMe Oh’s case, their visual material, you simply right-click them and select “Mute” or “Block.” SaveMe Oh “wears” all of her visual effects so that she can present them in spaces where she doesn’t have rez permission, therefore muting her immediately terminates all of her effects.

As you see, after selecting “mute” or “block,” the avatar, their text, and all of their visual appliances disappear from visual/virtual space, and your “block list” appears for your review and management.

If you ever “wonder what you’re missing” you can easily bring up your “Block List” by clicking the small gear on your Friend List in Firestorm / Exodus / Viewer 3, and toggling any avatar on or off.

Speeding down a highway today you can attend or not attend to a billboard, but their sheer scale demands, at least for the moment of passing it, some degree of retinal attention. Tomorrow, like an army of visual ants, we may opt-in or opt-out of myriad visual possibilities. In today’s media world it is less common to actually pay for content, and more common to get it “free” for the price of viewing ads or being data mined. Perhaps tomorrow our enhanced vision will come at the price of required opt-in of visual materials.

When Bouguereau painted his “Indigent Family” in 1865 is was a convenient image for the viewer, making homelessness not so bad, and not such a pressing problem. In the coming world of rose-colored-glasses we will no longer require the compliance of the artist, but will simply have the ability to view and perceive reality in any way we choose.

As we become Tom Cruise in the augmented reality forest, perhaps our visual future will contain both fine-grained choice of the visual content of the spaces we inhabit, as well as media sponsored and government enforced visual coercion similar to that experienced by Malcom McDowell’s character Alex in Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 film A Clockwork Orange.

The Political Culture in Second Life – By Quan Lavender

We all know that Second Life is no democracy, but something like an absolutist system. To me it is a bit like China. Freedom in economics, but the rest…. We, the residents, have no other choice to complain about the incomprehensible decisions by LL that affect our lifes here but nobody cares.

A good example of it is the LEA’s committee. LEA is for Linden Endowment of Arts which enables artists to make use of about 30 sims for a limited time. The great initiative of some has led to the formation of this committee, which approves the applications. Without knowing details, it was certainly not democratically determined. Different approaches of the members have led in the meantime to a deep crack. It is an open secret that this committee is more ore less paralyzed. Those of them I know still do their best. But despite all good intentions it creates an unhealthy culture of favoritism. Some great artists have got no LEA parcel, on others I wonder what them has brought to this privilege. But that’s just my very subjective opinion.

Is that Griefing?

Artists are a unique species. I know this too well, as there are some in my closest RL. Dear artists do not be upset with me but most of you are divas, with more emotional and irrational thinking as normal people. Probably exactly that is what makes you creative. But it is also dangerous to live with you; conflicts with you turn much faster to major dramas as with others.

A good example is the everlasting drama about a particular person: SaveMe Oh

When I talk to artists, SaveMe is almost described as the devil himself. She is blamed to satisfy her huge ego on other artists costs. And above all, she is denied again and again to be an artist.

How is the art world in SL? First of all, it is very small, people know each other. RL artists and RL laymen are appearing here as an artist. There are copyists of their own RL works and there are virtual, immersive artist. There are content creators and buyers of prefabs. And of course there are all styles of art. Between these groups is smoldering huge conflict potential, but gladly one common enemy holds all together: SaveMe Oh.

What is so terribly bad with SaveMe? She walks with giant attachments to particular art events, such as openings. They are usually so large that visitors can barely see the exhibited works. Sometimes she also practice verbal criticism of the exhibition. This regularly leads to the fact that SaveMe is banned or has been banned as a precaution. The results of the discussions are found in SaveMe’s blog. The visitors, including myself find these incidents often amusing. And if one feels really disturbed, he just mute or derender her and moves on. But not the artists – oh noo. THEY ARRE TERRIBLY UPSET! And gather with friends to verbally incite against this disorder. I understand that an artist gave his heart blood to a new work, but a bit more sovereignty should be possible. And sometimes it really helps to take yourself not so very important. Once an artwork is displayed, it belongs to the public. There is no guarantee of praise and approval. And unfortunately, the prevailing opinion against SaveMe leads to the fact that her supporters are constantly in a defensive position or rather just enjoy silently.

Enioying the Action (taken by Rose Borchovski)

Such a situation can be handled cool and confident. Ux Hax has shown this last Friday at the opening of Anley Piers “The Dark Side”. He let play SaveMe a while and has even offered her to get the sim Metales for a monthly display, which she denied. He had the last laugh on his side. And after a reasonable time SaveMe was banned from the event. Obviously, also fell no evil words in IM, that it was for SaveMe not interesting enough for a blog entry. Bravo, that way all had their fun!

Now, many readers will wonder why I think these actions are good and needed. First of all, I saw especially in Anley’s monochromatic world that these attachments created something new and nice. But there is a much more important reason: Everyone knows almost everyone in this small world. That creates a “kiss kiss society” as we say in German, where nobody wants to hurt the other. There is no real art critic in SL. The small handful of bloggers are so integrated that they keep quiet, instead of practicing negative criticism. But every artist needs criticism to grow. And I say here without any political correctness, that a large number of artists in SL overestimate the quality and importance of their works. They just listen the praise from their friends. SaveMe is a pleasant cure glitch in this world. And her actions are not always, but often funny. Here for example an opening by Betty Tureaud, the only I ever wrote about:

Opening of “The Fall” by Betty Tureaud

And I had tears of laughter at an event where she simply wore the sign “Booooring” . Since it was a voice event, I realized that it was not just me. But with the examples of the openings of Betty Tureaud and Anley Piers is also clear that SaveMe select the disturbed events according to popularity. I do not write about these actions regularly, because I want to present to the readers of my blog content about places they can see and experience themself. I’ve often asked SaveMe of giving me a hint before, but that did not happen so far for obvious reasons. Therefore, I would be grateful if SaveMe really would make an installation maybe at Metales. Then could come all the artists of SL, and embellish the work with their own attachments. That would be a great spectacle and something one would talk about a long time!

These actions are an expression of pure egoism and griefing? Would be a vain artist write this in his own blog: “…and then the awful witch SaveMe Oh found it again necessary to say some awful words about it as if she produces herself higher quality…” I think many are not able to see the humour in all that.

SaveMe Oh is far from beeing a saint. I myself have witnessed personal attacks of her, that were beyond all tolerable. But I also note, that this is as well a question of different communication cultures. More than once I saw that I had to laugh about actions which others found quite horrible. Northern Europeans are simply more direct and harsh in tone. From others often perceived as rude. I spoke to Kiana Writer. She is the owner and creative head of MadPea and Finn. She said: “Northern Europeans definitely have a different way to communicate than let’s say Southern Europeans or Americans. We are perceived as cold and even rude, but the truth is far from that. Our humor is slightly different and we do not often just chit chat about things. We say what we mean and stand by our word .. so we may talk less, but it’s more straightforward and to the point. I always try to make sure when communicating with people from other cultures that either side is not misunderstood and it’s often easier to do that one voice, when you get to hear the actual tone of the voice. ”

But now to the cause of this much too long post: Between the Pirats artgroup and SaveMe there is a long enmity, whose origin I do not know and do not even want to know. I am personally a supporter of Pirats because no group of artists actually brings together so many different styles and artists on one platform. This is actually practiced tolerance. So it is only natural that in each exhibition are some works I like and others I do not. Nevertheless, I agree with SaveMe’s criticism that the reconstruction of concrete buildings as virtual walls for copied RL works is not necessarily an effective artistically way to exploit the possibilities of a virtual 3D environment. But SL is big enough for everyone. SaveMe is constantly banned from the Pirats sim. Someone said yesterday in the Pirats gallery: “Freedom stops where the freedom of others is hurted.” I reply: True tolerance begins where it hurts. And I say, yesterday we saw an expression of freedom of the strongest or lets say the better connected to the force! In such situations my Joan of Arc gene turns active!

Pirats had recently financial difficulties and have found after a rescue events asylum on a LEA Sim. Of course SaveMe was banned before it opened yesterday. I appeared a bit earlier and had problems to get into the sim and came by a neighbor sim. The faithful friend of Pirats openings, lag, was already there! The LEA sims are connected, and maybe 20 minutes after the opening SaveMe Oh started on the empty sim behind Pirate’s an art action with attachments, supported by several colleagues and friends. I would like to particularly mention Kikas Babenko and Marmaduke Arado. It was colorful, funny, friendly and beautiful!

…until Sasun Steinbeck, a member of the LEA Committee appeared in the Pirate’s Gallery and banished SaveMe Oh from the neighbor sim. The other artists were spared.

I don’t know Sasun, but I asked for an explanation. Here it is: [05/03/2012 15:11] Sasun Steinbeck: she was wearing a very large prime of some sort that was blocking access by avatars in the gallery here and intruding into their space ”

I’ll spare you the rest because there were only repetitions of the same content. Unfortunately I have to state very clearly that I can not confirm. I was on both sims. The attachments were as always set on phantom. I could pass at any time and I was able to move freely as well in the Pirate’s gallery. For a longer while I stood at the window with others. At no time intruded the attachment visibly the Pirats Gallery. Right at the moment of the ban I was walking through the gallery and was before able to move freely besides the lag.

In this context, I quote myself from a comment to a great post by Rowan Derryth that has been written about another SaveMe drama: “I’m German. My country has a very special story in the oppression of artists. Famous artists seeking as Kandinsky, Munch, Kokoschka, Dix, to name just a few, were classified as degenerate by the Nazi’s. 20 000 art works from 1400 artists were removed from German museums and destroyed or given away. Countless are the artists who were killed or simply starved to death and are forgotten today. Who was behind it? An artist: Adolf Hitler. Twice he was rejected for lack of talent at art school in Vienna, Which did not prevented him for painting and worship the romantics of the 19th Century. But that’s not the end. I grew up in the West with constant media coverage on artists, who wanted or had to leave the GDR because of suppression of their work. The GDR had a constant leakage of important artists to the west. In my personal opinion the mechanisms of repression under fascism and communism are exactly the same. The GDR leadership was even with her bad taste in art in the tradition of the Nazis. Shortly after the fall I moved to East Germany and saw partly personal, partly through media more personal tragedies in the art world, which are attributable to differing opinions about art and its role in society. They were always held with a special passion and hardness by artists. I could write about this topic alone a whole book.

I’ll spare you now deeper thoughts on that and come to my conclusion: Legal certainty and freedom of expression / art are the largest and most sacred treasures of modern culture and must be defended at all costs. And just in our little global village in SL should be banned because someone else artist feels itself under attack? This is unacceptable for me and the first step to fascism. Who is here to deter mine what is art and what is not, who may exhibit and who not, how shall be presented and how not? ”

The rest after SaveMe was banned

A creative and humorous counter-demonstration by artists was simply eliminated by favoritism. The action yesterday was a dark hour of the art world in SL. I think it’s really high time that the residents should think about democratic structures in SL.

The Missing – by Thirza Ember

What makes Hopper an enduring and endearing figure in 20th century art has been hacked to death by writers, almost from his first encounter with fame, age 40, when his soon-to-be-wife, Jo Nivison, convinced him to show some watercolours at the Brooklyn Museum.

What makes Hop On Hop Oh, the installation at Solace Island, so interesting is that the builder, Saveme Oh, is in every way the opposite of what we have been taught to think of, when we think of Edward Hopper: flamboyant, to Hopper’s repression; anti-establishment, to Hopper’s conservatism; manically social, to Hopper’s sense of solitude.

Hopper’s early life resonates with the typical Second Life; it is one of lopsided aspirations, fragmented advantage, finally glued together by glorious good luck. His talent was obvious from a young age, and was encouraged by his parents who set him up with trips abroad, and the kind of solid education in the field that most aspiring artists would be delighted to receive.

But all that promise seemed to boil down to a ho-hum career in commercial art, the safe-ish option. Nothing that was going to bring in the big money or fame, but nothing that might shock or embarrass his straitlaced family. A creative life going nowhere. Yet, finally, he did stick his neck out, and become somebody; and while his pictures were not always understood nor appreciated, his perseverance won the day. Perseverance, in the sense that his particular version of realism never wavered. Critics and opinion makers might dress up his psyche in any number of avatars – ‘dour’, ‘tense’, or ‘alienated’, but he was, like any of us, merely and always himself, no matter what others chose to perceive.

And so it is through the lens of Hopper’s ‘appearances’ that one must read the installation Hop On Hop Oh. With two exceptions, ‘Gas’ at the bottom and ‘Nighthawks’ at the top, all the paintings reproduced here are interiors, those quiet interiors made even more lonely and tense in this incarnation, by the absence of the figures present in the original.

It’s impossible not to think of Saveme Oh’s protests on other sims about ‘freedom’ – whatever that means – in making and viewing art, while visiting this build, which feels like a progression through theatrical flats. They are made to be viewed through the fourth wall, what we might term ‘Hopper’s proscenium’, the strict and static angle of the original painting. If you approach the installs from any other direction, using the kind of free camming we all have come to accept as a right, you’re brought up sharply against unfinished-looking prims protruding through walls, or sketched elements only meant to be glimpsed through windows.

Saveme, like Hopper, is concerned with form, not texture; and light, above all, light. On the other hand, Oh has added paintings to the interiors; paintings which in turn have the artist’s face, or whole avatar, intruding into group scenes. In becoming part of the decor, it’s an assertion of self in a manner less ethereal than the pose balls, which allow the visitor to participate in the pictures.

Participation is possible, it’s true, yet the inherent lacking remains. It’s as if Hopper resists this further attempt to rewrite him. We cannot immerse ourselves in his work here. The silence remains. It’s a pretty paradox to observe on the part of one of the most noisy – and often noisome – members of the Second Life art scene.

What takes this paradox even further are the references to two of SaveMe’s more notable nemeses. Oh is almost synonymous for griefing, or (depending on your point of view) ‘enlivening’ events at galleries and installations by acts of spontaneous rezzing; acts often accompanied by blog entries that chart the aggravation or absurdity that these interventions leave in their wake. It is a deeply social and performative act, which has here become embalmed, absorbed, re-written in a way that suggests an attachment much deeper than an act of witty deflating spite.

Yet, their very presence here, in this place of absence, of solitude, suggests an anxiety, an awareness that no amount of nervous energy can trap our pixellated playthings in amber, and the consistency of an in-joke is no thicker than a layer in Gimp. The virtual grasp is as tenuous as the beam of light that delineates a wall; a temporary permanence, at (its) best.

SaveMe: An Intervention – By Rowan Derryth

When we think of an ‘intervention’ these days, it is usually in the substance abuse manner of speaking. For example, Amy Winehouse clearly needed an intervention earlier on. It is one of these terms that in common parlance has come to signify a specific aspect of its meaning, versus its original definition.

In contemporary art, an intervention can mean one of two things. The first is technical and relates to conservation: if an art work is determined to be in a vulnerable or volatile situation, intervention may be made to stop the physical and/or chemical destruction of a work of art, stabilising it against further decay.

The second is creative and relates to performance: an intervention is ‘an interaction with a previously existing artwork, audience or venue/space.’ (Ugh, I took that from Wikipedia, I’ll admit it, but only because it is so perfectly concise.) In fact, Wiki does a pretty good job discussing Art Interventions, so I’ll leave the reader to follow-up more there if you like. You’ll note that amongst the examples are interventions which were sanctioned (Cornelia Parker wrapping Rodin’s The Kiss in a mile of string at Tate Britain in 2003), and those unsanctioned, which for most are naught more than vandalism (Pierre Pinoncelli taking a hammer to Duchamp’s ‘Fountain’ at the Pompidou in 2006 – an act he said Duchamp would approve of, and I’m inclined to agree.)

Last night, I used this term in regards to SaveMe Oh‘s activities in a comment on Miso Susanowa’s blogpost about the most recent SLart drama – the SaveMe Oh/Igor Ballyhoo smackdown. Not familiar? You can pop over to read Miso’s blog and follow links there, but the nutshell is this: SaveMe targeted Igor repeatedly with her own brand of ‘love’ and documented it in her blog; Igor felt harassed and decided to quit SL – and asked a friend to send a note around saying he quit because of SaveMe. Consequently, some artists and gallery owners have launched a campaign to have SaveMe removed from SL in defence of Igor and, apparently, the whole of virtual art. I think that about covers it.

Let’s rewind a bit now, because although this drama is admittedly fascinating and entertaining, I want to talk a minute about the work. I did wonder whether I should make this an official Ekphrasis, but to tell the truth, I’ve not done my research on SaveMe, and I don’t really have the time to give it a fair treatment. Plus, I strive to keep my writing for Prim Perfect as objective as possible, and I think at this point I am too entertained (or possibly bemused) to do that; and as well, saying what I want to about the art in question will be impossible without delving into the gossip surrounding it.

I’ve not actually seen very many of SaveMe’s ‘performances’ as she calls them. I’d heard of her before I ever saw her, and my first encounter of her was at the opening for M Linden’s Doodle Art show at the UWA early last year. She was being antagonistic, and was banned. I believe this is the first time I learned that being banned was often her goal in these performances, and my first impression was: ‘meh.’ Not because I was outraged at her rudeness, or on a moral high ground about it, but because I didn’t think it was very original. I was also baffled that so many people took the bait. But I taught kids for a long time, so it was pretty easy for me not to give the attention she sought.

Since then, a few other occurrences made me rethink her a bit. The main thing that made me reconsider her was her arrival at Sabrinaa Nightfire’s impromptu memorial. I felt tense, hoping that she wasn’t there to cause trouble at such a heartbreaking event. But she was there to pay her respects, if I recall making a light joke about her not being banned there for a change… and shared a machinima she had made using Sabrinaa’s work as set. It is simple, but lovely, and made even more poignant at that time – I asked her permission to post it on the posthumous Ekphrasis I wrote as it was so moving to me. I was impressed, and watched other of her machinima then too, and I find them to be the best of her work.

But prior to this, I couldn’t help but notice that some of the things she was commenting on when she would show up and verbally grief art events actually were in line with some of my own views on SL Art (and really, the art world in general). She is very critical of work that is simply rezzed repros – and my readers KNOW how I feel about that, and if not, go to the first Ekphrasis I ever wrote for my manifesto (ha, ha).

But also, some of her comments about the… how shall I put it… populist art… the kind of insular, touchy-feely ‘OMG your work is so wonderful’ atmosphere around some artists in particular whose work, in reality, isn’t quite ‘working’ to me… these comments struck a chord. Largely because, like so many I suspect, I’m not brave enough to be as harshly critical as I would like (that may shock some people), because I don’t want to hurt the feelings of people who are trying so very hard. Chantal Harvey and I have talked the fact that everyone in SL is afraid to be critical, everyone has to be friends and encourage each other, when actually some people are in desperate need of some feedback. And no, I’m not talking about the work shown in the crappy galleries that pop up left right and centre. I’m talking about some very well-known (and loved) artists who, at times, are spot on, and at others, really need a boot up the ass.

SaveMe offers that boot with no-holds-barred. And yeah, I know the argument is that one can be critical in a constructive manner, and I personally favour that approach. But I also think that people like her are needed in the world to upset the balance sometimes. She’s the intervention.

Igor and Me 2_002

SaveMe and Igor sittin in a tree. Photo by SaveMe Oh.

Igor Ballyhoo was, for me, one of those artists who needed an intervention. I saw him admired for his work by countless people I respected, and even involved more personally with some people I adore. But outside of a few of his sculptural works (I do love Axis Mundi) – I didn’t get the fuss. I figured he must have done something amazing before I came along, that I missed. After I met him, I did have some very interesting conversations with him, but one stands out for me… regarding the view of his work (edited this a bit for easier reading, ellipses reflect line breaks):

Igor Ballyhoo: thing with my builds is that they exist as my greatest passion only while I make them… as soon as it is finished… it is like after fuck… when I cum, I dont think about that fuck any more

Rowan Derryth: What about the pleasure of your lover?… Who in this case might be thought of as the viewer of the work?

Igor Ballyhoo: my builds mean more to any ppl who seen it then to me… lover in this case is ME… I build things for my joy of seeing it… so when I made it, I feel like I took a dump… work is a turd… I feel easy and light… and work… who care… we all apsorb so much information… we have to use it to live… when we apsorb food… and then dispose rest of it… same is with my builds… I have to apsorb big amount of information… some even I produce in my dreams and thinkings… so I have to dispose rests… and it go through my builds… this all building… is enema… discharging my brain so I can think more

Rowan Derryth: I am smiling, shaking my head, nodding thoughtfully, etc.

Igor Ballyhoo: do u think any reall artist really care for work he already did more then for one that he will just make in future?

Rowan Derryth: I guess the thing is… I don’t care that YOU don’t care…. Doesn’t matter… I am the viewer… and the critic… I look at… well, your ‘DUMP’, and think about what you’ve left us. The excrement of your creative surge has been left for us… and it doesn’t matter that you don’t care. You put it into the world, on display. You DO that. You bring me to see it, show me things. You ASK me what I think. So… that is interesting to.

Igor Ballyhoo: problem of most ppl who want to be artist is that they build for you… viewer and critic… they care what YOU will say about it… and I care also but for other reason then they… your coment will tell me more about you… not about my work

The language, the motivations, the attitude, spoke volumes to me about the man. And it was indeed a fascinating conversation (which I told him at the time I would save for future use, and you can guess that his response was that he didn’t care). But also, I didn’t buy it. I understand what he was saying in terms of his creative process – you make something and move on (although his mode of expressing this made me feel incredibly sorry for his lovers). He is in it for his own pleasure. But I am not at all convinced that he doesn’t really think about his work afterwards, or what others think of it, because why else would he show it?

SaveMe has picked up on Igor’s not-so-hidden insecurities and turned it into an intervention – or performance as she might say – on her blog. In a series of posts, she manages to expose his own desire to be accepted not just by the virtual art world, but by his greatest nemesis – SaveMe herself. And she does this using her two favourite weapons in her artistic arsenal – her words, and her wiles. She flirts, she plays with him. She makes posts about her love and obsession with him – which I think is not entirely untrue. She admits it herself, he provides the perfect foil for her.

Snapshot_001

Psycho, killer, qu’est-ce que c’est?

SaveMe presents herself as an oversexed coquette. There is a sticky sweetness about her, and like Igor, she has no reservations about being downright pornographic in her language or her actions (nudity and dildos appear often in her work). And she clearly affects him – he throws strops when she is around, he cannot resist her baiting, and he goes so far as to demand her being banned the moment she walks into his gallery opening and says ‘Hey.’ The curators obliged, which is what kicked off the events that led to Igor’s SLuicide, leaving a note with friends that SaveMe killed him. Talk about a cliffhanger! When does series two start?!

For someone who is so stoic – and seemingly macho – I’m surprised he gave her so much power. But then again, I guess I’m not… Igor’s sexual conquests are reportedly legend at least in terms of numbers (I’m going on heresay now), and while normally I wouldn’t delve into personal gossip in an art article, I think this fact is relevant here and underlies SaveMe’s ‘Igor Intervention Series’ (yes, let’s call it that!). While his mystique baffles me personally, it seems to be there, some unidentifiable charm that seduces the bad-boy lovers across the grid. SaveMe expresses her attraction, indeed obsession, which piques with her machinima ‘Igor yes’:

Is this art? On one hand, it is a bit adolescent, but I think it is self-consciously so. Miso is spot-on when she calls it ‘a parody of teen romance angst’ in her comment response to me at her blog. This ‘Igor Intervention’ interestingly touches upon something which Igor himself said to me in the above quote – that he cares not what people say about his work, but rather what the work tells him about the audience. SaveMe’s intervention tells us about her favoured audience here – Igor. In the pinacle of this tale, the raison d’etre of her work reveals his own insecurities through his words which foreshadow his actions:

Igor Ballyhoo: I was on edge of leaving sl for pretty long time, even now I am not sure I will not leave it for good

SaveMe Oh: That you have to decide for yourself

Igor Ballyhoo: do you think sl would be better without me here

SaveMe Oh: no, I don’t think so

SaveMe Oh: SL is a great platform to create

SaveMe Oh: and when you like that you stay but accept the fact that there are more people on the platform who all have different intentions

Igor Ballyhoo: every move you made pushed me step further from all this

SaveMe Oh: when you want to work in peace, go to an open sim

SaveMe Oh: when you like interaction, stay here

SaveMe Oh: or hide well

Igor Ballyhoo: if I build on open sim, I can do it also locally on my comp

SaveMe Oh: when you want to share accept the consequences

SaveMe Oh: and learn to smile

Igor Ballyhoo: do you think people should not see things I build?

SaveMe Oh: I think they should see it

Igor Ballyhoo: on open sim no one will

SaveMe Oh: that’s why you should stay

SaveMe Oh: you won’t leave me alone without good opponents, that would be unfair

The post is aptly titled Psychotherapy for an Insecure Lover, and I highly recommend it in its entirely. When I was first pointed to it last week, I read it and, amused, thought ‘these are the two most self-involved people in SL – they are perfect for each other!’ I still think that. But in thinking about the concept of interventions, it fits in every sense of the word. She is providing an ‘intervention’ for both of them in terms of their mutual use and addiction, her ‘psychotherapy’ is to expose their exchange. She is intervening in the conservation sense in trying to prevent Igor from leaving SL as a creative platform – she is attempting to stop the decay. And she is intervening in the creative sense by inserting herself into Igor’s creative oeuvre, invading his space and appropriating his virtual identity as a mode of expression. Fascinating.

When I first started thinking about SaveMe’s ‘art’, I decided that she was the Tracy Emin of SL. And regular readers know that coming from me, that is no compliment. I immediately dismissed it as self-indulgent wank, and couldn’t be bothered. But I’ve changed my mind. SaveMe’s interventions are more along the lines of Jake & Dinos Chapman, which coming from me is definitely a compliment (and in hindsight I find this comparison obvious, particularly in light of the fact that I found similarities between their work and that of Rose Borchovski, SaveMe’s close friend and sometimes creative partner).

Against all my better art historical judgement, I love the work of the Chapman Brothers. When they decided to ‘improve’ a set of Goya’s Disasters of War etchings (which they purchased for the purpose) by defacing them with clown heads and other illustrations, the art world went mental. But the rare set they purchased was printed posthumously in 1937 by the Goya Foundation, as propaganda against the Spanish Civil War, raising all sorts of interesting questions about authenticity and intent in these prints. The Chapman Brothers, calling the ‘new’ series Insult to Injury, seemed to me to be carrying on the work of Goya (perhaps like Pinoncelli’s Duchamp intervention – the original ‘Fountain’ urinal is after all long gone and it now exists as a repro series), who sought to expose the terror and sublime dark folly of war. Insult to Injury was crafted in the years just after the 9/11 and 7/7 terrorist attacks, and though the Chapman’s have commented that it wasn’t intended to be a political statement, it was crafted in that tumultuous climate.

So why do I compare SaveMe to the Chapmans? It isn’t just the clown faces – it is that because like them, she is brave enough to deface what many think is great (virtual) art to make something new; to expose its flaws; and, perhaps, to move towards her lofty but futile goal to save us – or help us save her. Are her interventions always warranted? Of course not. Does she always get it right? Fuck no – I think calling the UWA ‘Ikea’ is pretty short-sighted. But she is deeply flawed, a point she emphasises through celebrating her ‘perfection’. Wilde would have said she is Caliban seeing his face in the glass.

Someone in the plurkosphere last night commented ‘SaveMe saves contemp art for SL’, which I thought was incredibly stupid. There is some amazing contemporary art in SL, and different things appeal to different people, duh. But she does certainly make some interesting work. Will she save us? Who knows… but she certainly failed in saving poor Igor, alas.

Or did she?

Bring the body on parade – By Ervare Farroretre

Creator: SaveMe Oh

Save Me or I save You. That is the cryptic message of SaveMe Oh, one of the most controversial artists in SL. ‘Oh save me SaveMe Oh’ is the slogan one easily might work out. Is SaveMe Oh an artist or a critics or an actor? I know her now for a while and I still don’t know. I will not find out. All I know is that she likes to be banned and plays then the artist who has true insight. You may follow her path by joining her group in facebook ‘LEA Liking Every Ass’. Save Me Oh comes to art openings, mostly uninvited, makes a statement, a performance and things go its way. Some say she makes a mess, disturbs and insults only. Other say a wild genius is on her way.

I got her ‘Third Life’ project for the ‘Volcano of Art’, placed SaveMe Oh [= the yellow Avatar] on the hand of the creator of this world and let SaveMe Oh switch on the telephatic beam on which the vessels are accelerating to get the art they carry burned in the hypergate.

Third Life is not new, but the way SaveMe Oh made it work I like so I will just quote her lines:

“Third Life.

Why we avatars always have to obey the moods and demands of our RL counterparts? One day they just park us at another horrible event in one of Secondlife’s art sims like UWA or LEA were the primglued attempt of art make you wanna suicide on the spot, the other day they make you perform as a virtual pole-dancer to earn some cash because the RL counterpart is to frugal to take a premium account. When the moment arrives that you actually start to be more a personality than your RL counterpart, who you might consider as a elderly catlady with a hobby or a wannabe curator who is in reality the toiletlady at some dark and forgotten university it is time to free the avatar, get independent, and let’s create ourselves a Third Life were we can relax as we wish, get some entertainment, work on our health and watch a decent sunset. Get also a Third Life and make it YOU who is in control!“

The Most Important Artist In SL – By Vaneeesa Blaylock

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 SaveMe Oh / our presence, was harassing their private VR home. They were too upset to say very much and SaveMe Oh is not the world’s most reliable messenger, so IDK really what happened.

Funny thing is, SaveMe Oh’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, SaveMe Oh 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 SaveMe Oh 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 SaveMe Oh installed some work there. At the Alice in Cornelland project I learned 2 things about SaveMe Oh:

  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.

I watched a brilliant but difficult artist like SaveMe Oh burn friendships with 2 of the people who I thought genuinely liked her.

SaveMe Oh – A Rezzday – Cat Shilova

SaveMe Oh’s 4th sl birthdy was 2 days ago. A brilliant and exclusive moment.

SaveMe is the worst bullshiter in all Second Life. And the most necessary, and the most indispensable. A pure Drama Queen, a never ending role.

She says that the king is naked. And most kings don’t understand they are.

I consider people like her as warrants against vanity, emptiness. They force us to adjust, to have interrogations about art, about the necessity of art to be, sometimes or always, disturbing, political and … So, thanks, SaveMe (until the moment when you will criticize ME! lol!).

Le 4ème rezzday de SaveMe Oh a été comme toujours brilliant, exclusif, excessif. SaveMe est la pire emmerdeuse de tout Second Life et je la considère comme totalement nécessaire, indispensable. Pure Drama Queen. Elle dit que le roi est nu, et les rois n’aiment pas que cela se sache. Des personnes comme elles, si nous somme attentifs, nous préservent de la médiocrité, de la vanité et de la vacuité. Celle des autres, la nôtre aussi certainement. Cela nous force à nous ajuster, à nous interroger sur l’art, sur la nécessité de l’art à être politique, dérangeant, authentique. Alors merci à SaveMe – jusqu’au moment où elle critiquera un de mes travaux, lol!

SaveMe Oh at The Josef K Galleria dell’Arte – By Ziki Questi

SaveMe Oh is possibly the most controversial — or simply reviled — figure in the Second Life artworld. Rude, abrasive, caustic, prone to interrupting performances and exhibitions, she has been expelled and ostracized from so many venues that the bans have become part of her persona. But her work is not without its own brilliance, ranging from “pop up” performances such as this that I documented four years ago, to her elegant Glassworks performances of a year ago. Wearing attachments that fill the performance space, ranging from animals to houses to prims with moving images, she often literally is the artwork, flooding the environment in every direction with images and her bitingly sarcastic humor.

Today, Tuesday, June 9 at 1 pm slt, to commemorate the May 2 release of SaveMe Oh: The Muse of Many Famous Painters (with a prologue by Preben Wolff (Josef K), text by Amaya Mendizabal, and English edits by Aquaglo/Gloria Wyatt, available on the iTunes store) SaveMe will present a performance at the Josef K Galleria dell’Arte, where works by many of Second Life’s leading artists are on display. More about the book is available through this promotional video.

Performance Art by SaveMe Oh – By Tizzy Canucci

A floor has been laid out. Moving green dots on the map mark a crowd gathering.

An hour before I’d been at work, planning to stay on for the evening’s film. But I’d picked up on Ziki Questi’s twitter feed that SaveMe Oh was going to stage a performance that evening, at The Josef K Galleria dell’Arte. For sure, I know of SaveMe’s reputation. But then you can’t always predict the ones that sink their teeth in your leg, I well know.

I’d been to one of her performances before, but not with a graphic card that could take the display in its stride, or a pair of quality speakers to pump the bass. I invested in a couple of decent speakers for my computer because I listen to so much music while sat in front of it. For the price of a couple of gig tickets it’s been well worth it. But apparently I’m the kind of girl who puts on headphones when I go to a concert, and I’d hate to disappoint a friend. And I like nothing better than a bit of visual humour laced with sarcasm too.

The visual pace is incessant; the sound track, a Canadian rock station, affirms it. (The soundtrack on the video is the Russian band Still Pluto).

There’s also an album of images on Flickr, which are larger but fewer than the ones at the bottom of the post.

I’ve talked many times on my blog about what is digital art. While you can argue about the overlap, the core has to be what it can do that other forms can’t. And this is digital art. Re-embodied, not dis-embodied we are sharing an experience with others; it is temporary, ephemeral, immersive, visceral. We have gathered from around the World in one chosen place. It is immersive and visceral because of its own persuasive power and our sense of being. Campfire stories do it, cinema does it, games do it.

It is not because the technology shuts everything else out. Immersivity is a state of mind, not a state of technology.

Throughout are voices, typed in local chat. I’m concentrating on the images and only turn to conversation towards the end. This is a sociability, an engagement, a playfulness that is part of the performance, something the artist can only facilitate, not create. And she is encouraging it.

This is the profound difference between the artist as gatekeeper, the maintainer of good taste and high art, and the artist that breaks down the doors and lets everyone in to make of it what they will. Vive la révolution.

SaveMe Oh, The Drama Queen Of SL – by Yoon

I think I hardly have to introduce the name SaveMe Oh, but for the ones not familiar with it I suggest you simple google the name in combination with Second Life as search string and read your way through her dramas. I find it too much trouble to even try to make an overview of it and a waste of blog space with information that already exists elsewhere. So I write this blog assuming the reader knows the name and background of what I will call a phenomena in SL you either dislike or adore. Something in between seems impossible because too soft and not enough for SaveMe to be able to call you a hypocrite or fan. The people adoring SaveMe without any form of critics I see mostly as hypocrite myself, so there we have the first difference in view already, sort of picturing the whole scene around this avatar, full of controversies and provocations. Adoration like that is being blinded by the aura of activism always being good only, no matter the means and consequences.

Controversies and provocations I don’t mind at all to be clear, I am full of it myself as well regularly and we all are when something is itching us, but the thing with SaveMe is she has a mission and screws it up over and over again. Second Life must be saved from bad art and hypocrites. That in short is the mission. But the way SaveMe battles and conquers is showing exactly the elements she says to be polluting Second Life. In other words: SaveMe produces bad art regularly and is hypocrite herself. It’s quite funny to read how others always are being accused of being repetitive and boring, where the most predictable, boring and repetitive avatar in SL is SaveMe Oh herself.

Shows with the same visuals, blogs with the same kind of provocations, the same kind of images with an intention to be insulting, copying chats at Facebook and her blog, entering and disrupting openings or other things that are going on in Second Life, trying to get banned and then use it afterwards to scream and shout like a spoiled child she is treated bad, accusing everyone but herself from indecent behaviour, and of course the usual verbal fights when people are seduced or triggered to react on provocations.

The sad thing is, SaveMe has in fact a point at some of the occasions she likes to criticize. I agree in many ways with the art scene in Second Life often being a joke and not very attractive and the way the LEA sims are managed and used also often makes me think . . . pffff really? And no that does not mean someones effort is not appreciated, but the choice can be done better and at least more renewing. I think art in SL is often like being in a mixer using the same ingredients trying to make something new, but after a while you are out of options. Art should not be something that only rotates existing elements and persons into a minor change and flavour, it should add new elements and persons much much more and let go of the safe options that guarantee a use of sims and spaces for sure, but also become like the carpet that is there since the beginning. A more flexible and daring approach would be refreshing, or an active recruting of talents instead of opening the same box of names and objects again. The persons that host their private space and works I do not mean, that’s always their business and their money, but a collective like LEA to me feels rusty and outdated very much.

And of course it is good to battle a system that is too compressed with safety choices and too much a friends network that protect each other for the sake of peace and keeping it work in the way they are familiar and content with it, but I think the people managing it are not all bad people and also have no bad intentions, just they feel comfy with their positions and network and see no reason to change it. Maybe someone will have a bad day and acts wrong or feels a pressure to hit back when being challenged in a way that feels threatening, but in general I think most people behind the LEA curtains mean well, but miss the skills or courage to change policies and for that reason discard suggestions from outside the walls of LEA.

Is all of this a reason to become aggressive in public and make a drama on every occasion? Are private hosters of art venues a fair choice to be attacked with unwanted disruptions at their places? Is the claim that art is a public element also a right to be disrespectful in that public space? Is claiming you do it for others than yourself (bullshit to me in the case of SaveMe) a right to spoil peoples pleasure that do like to visit what the griefer hates so much? Is freedom the same as the right to demand at the other to only like what you like? Is freedom the same as overruling others people’s rules? No to all of this. The only thing SaveMe seeks is attention. Be it not positive than she will go for the negative form of it. When positive you are part of the groupies and SaveMe will lick your ass where she accuses all her enemies to do so. When negative you can count on many replies that will either be nonsense, anger or insults. And the smart thing is, yes I have to admit there is a smart element in this show, the way she replies tends to avoid the true issue, to prevent she is not being framed into her own web of assumptions and accusations becoming ridiculous.

In fact I have never seen a worse activist than SaveMe. She is to me the only avatar in SL that is capable of making a point and destroy it again as well at the same time by choosing the wrong approach that leaves no space for communicating with sense and no freedom to be different. The worst dissidents are the ones that only tolerate one dissident . . . their own persona and view only.

Do I have an issue with SaveMe? Do I want to destroy her here with words? No in both cases. In fact I never mind too much when she is doing what she is doing. Kind of used to it and either ignoring, derendering or enjoying. Yes I can enjoy it as well and did several times. But it does not mean I enjoy or approve of all that is on the agenda. I only write this blog because I like to share my view on a SL phenomena I experience as both annoying and nice, totally depending on how a space is BEING TAKEN (HIJACKED) at the cost of others that don’t act hostile or whatever, or a space BEING PERMITTED TO TAKE, because people like to do so for their own personal reasons. I never felt the need to either support or reject SaveMe, because its both too strict for me and hypocrite. Preaching freedom and taking it away from others is stupid. Telling SaveMe is an idiot and should be banned everywhere also is insane and a call to ban her from the whole Second Life grid even more insane. Also will not work of course, but besides that it is all panic and fears which I see as odd because it’s nothing that will kill you in the end is it? I see it as collateral damage we also have in RL, when activists become too radical and mess up a good demonstration. And they don’t hurt you or me with that, but their own cause.

Should we protest more and in another way than this? We could, but SL is not the most important part of my life and not so interested in being an activist here myself. But even a lack of protest, because lazy and/or not interested, does not justify or legitimate being rude in the way it often happens in the SaveMe way. Then I would suggest what Sheldon suggests in his blog: do it better yourself. And sofar I have not seen SaveMe making it so much better in a consistent way, only now and then, just like all the regular artists in SL who can have great work as well as a disappointing work. No one except an incredible talent can do that. Such people are rare. And I could not mention one in Second Life.