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  • Vanessa Blaylock 8:58 am on January 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply
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    Katrina’s Birthday! 

    photo of Katrina Schaag with her chin propped on her palm and overlooking a cake with candles burning. The photo has a orange glow from the candlelight which casts half of Katrina Schaag's face in a warm glow and half in shadow

    It’s Katrina’s Birthday on Sunday!

    OMG, Katrina’s turning 29 tomorrow! Happy Birthday Katrina! Have a wonderful year!

     
  • Oscar 5:25 am on November 24, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    For Piano & Violin 

    Violin & Piano

    Dear Berries, I’ve been so busy lately, what with trying to reduce my Carbon Footprint and studying Seitz’ Concerto No. 5 for piano and violin, that I’m only now getting a chance to respond to Vanessa’s invitation to think over how to proceed in 2015.
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    • Vanessa Blaylock 8:46 am on January 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      It’s been so great meeting you in 2014 (and maybe late 2013) Oscar!

      Forgive me, I know you’re not a “marionette,” but you’re certainly no “dummy,” I’m not sure how you refer to yourself?

      However you do, I think as an “avatar” I have some things in common with you. I must say, you’re far better at typing than I am at speaking! Do you have special keyboard? Or do you just use a full sized one? Anyway, when you mentioned having to fight to have your voice heard… I felt kind of silly doing “Video Hangouts” since I can only type. What I found though is that it’s nice in some ways. Instead of waiting my turn to talk, I can be typing while listening to someone else. And then I kind of love that someone else, like Christa or maybe Molly will, at some times “speak for me” and read what I’ve read. Sometimes no one voices what I’ve said and that’s interestingly not bad at all. I’ve discovered a little bit, just how many unnecessary things I say! It’s “humbling,” but “humbling” is too dramatic a word, I don’t mean it in a big or emotional way, just that it’s surprisingly fine to have some things passed over. And sometimes I respond to a point but by the time the speaker finishes the conversation has moved somewhere else and it’s nice not to have to drag back to my earlier me-too-ism.

      Other times though, when someone does voice my words for the group they can seem smarter or more important than I thought they were. It is supposed to be a “group”, a “community” if we can get that far, and I find I like having 1 facility less and being a little bit reliant on others. Has your experience been at all like that Oscar?

      I’m not aware of the full breadth of your oeuvre, Oscar, but I’m quite impressed with all you’ve accomplished in the brief time I’ve known you. And, BTW, your speech at the climate summit brought tears to my eyes, literally.

      I love that photo on your website Oscar!
      http://www.oscardevent.com/

      You always seem to look so happy. Like no matter what happens you’ll find a way to make the best of it.

      Have a great 2015 Oscar!

  • Vanessa Blaylock 5:42 am on November 15, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    My Boring So-Called Virtual Life 

    sepia-toned photo of Vanessa Blaylock sitting on a bench on a London terrace overlooking Trafalgar Square and with the superimposed typography: "My So-Called Life" and with inserts for "Boring" and "Virtual" indicated so it reads "My Boring So-Called Virtual Life"

    Activity No.11

    Activity No.11 – Vaneeesacam

    24 livestreamed virtual hours in the (boring) life of an avatar.
    Sat-Sun 15-16 November 2014
    Noon – Noon PST / 20:00 – 20:00 GMT

    #vaneeesacamtwitch.tv/vaneeesab

     
  • Vanessa Blaylock 8:20 am on November 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    About 2015 

    Dear Blueberries & Mixed Berries,

    Happy Holidays!

    Hangout-Katrina

    The MOOC that launched our 3 websites: .Re/act, .Re/search, and .Re/cipes plus our Slack chat space, Practice Based Research in the Arts, from Leslie Hill & Helen Paris at Stanford / NovoEd, ran from 9 Oct – 11 Dec 2013. At it’s end the Blueberry group decided to continue with once-a-month Google Hangouts. A few of us drifted off, others joined in, and Ciara rechristened our group Mixed Berry Shake.
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    • xtaforster 12:16 pm on November 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Vanessa, Thanks for getting the conversation started. I’m thinking about it, mulling it over while I eat my lunch here in Houston, and I will post more shortly. However, I heard that you have a performance this weekend in Virtual London, and I’m wondering where I can read more about THAT! LMK. (I couldn’t find info easily about it on your blog). TTYL. xta

    • Michael J Masucci 4:23 pm on November 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I think that continuing the monthly meetups is a good idea, even though the attendence is sporatic, and people understandably come and go.

      In time, I hope that more on-going collaboratibve teams are formed from within the group, and that a number of single project collaborations are tried as well.

      It’s been a great learning experience for me to meet you all, and the few things that we’ve done together, like ONE Night and the LACMA proposal have shown me the way to even better such collaborations in the future.

      But I also understand how precious time is fro everyone, and that some may not see the same benefits I’ve seen. So perhaps a number of options, allowing to some to keep meeting regulatly, others to come and go as thier time and interests dictate and others to simply float away is a way to go.

      For 2015, my New Year’s resolution will be to go back and writing regular short essays for PBR and to look to find more ways for us to collaboarte from our differnt regions. I think there is something important going on here, even if it is still after one years, in its infancy. I hope that together we can find a way to make it grow.

      And I do think another LACMA proposal is a good idea.

      • Vanessa Blaylock 6:55 pm on November 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        SHOW ME THE MONEY

        I know artists who believe that teaching is an unwise distraction from their work. That artists should focus on production, make, show, and sell work, and earn enough to support yourself.

        I know artists who believe that sales are corrupting and that your career is better served by having an income from an activity like teaching, and they your art work isn’t beholden to some revenue stream.

        For sure both choices have legitimacy. Personally, I favor Choice #2.

        HOWEVER…

        In thinking about all the great work, ideas and charisma in Mixed Berries, to say nothing of our many amazing PB-RITA classmates
        http://blog.virtualpublicart.com/tagged/classmates

        I wonder if seeking funding for our work might not be the Magic Dust, the Glue, the Catalyst, we need. Christa has written about the power of deadlines, and getting someone somewhere to believe in your creativity enough to fund it can also be challenging and valuable.

        In a busy world we’re all challenged with focus and priorities. Collaborating on funded projects might give both internal and external legitimacy to our work. It might give us a chance to bring more of our PB-RITA classmates in on projects.

        Michael has the LACMA Art+Technology grant proposal, and Christa’s threatening to look some up in the next week. What if we tried to identify a slate of 6 grants to apply for in 2015? And let that work, applying and hopefully executing these projects, be the focus of our Hangouts?

        Michael’s multi-city interaction projects seem idea in some ways. And Rebecca’s City project seems like it or aspects of it could fit with some of Michael’s ideas.

        Funding might be the cohesive core around which our hangouts could develop more focus around specific projects. Michael and Andrea have talked about the bias of Art History. Getting institutional validation would help to move our ideas and work a little closer to official narratives.

        What do you think?
        Do you know about any funding opportunities we might apply for?

    • xtaforster 5:56 pm on November 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I agree that meeting monthly and continuing to pursue ways to collaborate is a valuable practice in and of itself. I was thinking that perhaps a group of us could commit to individually writing something for a future issue of MOOC magazine, and we could give ourselves a specific deadline (I love deadlines, as you all know) to make this happen.

      Van do you have any content on your mind that you’d like written for a current or future issue? If not, then perhaps we could brainstorm for a theme that we could all write toward.

      I also want to continue to add content to our websites and keep in touch and share resources through slack chat. Furthermore, in addition to LACMA, we might be able to search for some other RFPs and work with deadlines to try and come together around an idea for (potentially) funded projects.

      Over thanksgiving break, I’ll do a bit of research for some other RFPs so that I have something to share at our holiday party on the 8th.

      Thanks a million to Vanessa for keeping us going and organized and motivated. I suspect she’s got lots of other projects that are driving her harder than this one, and I really do appreciate the energy she continues to share with us. Furthermore, I really want to hear more about her Avatar Field Guide — what IS the difference between the avatar classifications — af̱toportréta and fo̱tográfos móda and fo̱tográfos koultoúra? I looked at a couple of the different examples, and I am too uneducated to discern the differences at this point. I want to learn more. Is the performance in Virtual London related to this project? How can we attend?

      xoxoxoxo xta

      • Vanessa Blaylock 6:02 pm on November 14, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks Xta! Actually “Vaneeesacam!” is a different project from “Avatar Field Guide”. You can attend “in person” by having Ysidora login to SL and hangout… or you can watch live at
        http://twitch.tv/vaneeesab

        The scoop is here:
        http://virtualpublicart.com/events/activities/11

        BTW Michael, this broadcast formula I finally came up with using XSplit Gamecaster to feed 1080p HD video to the Twitch.tv streaming service looks pretty good. If we ever did something like ONE Night again, it might be a nice way for you to project HD video without having to have a “cameraperson” (logged in, in-world user) on site.

    • Rebecca Longworth 3:13 pm on November 20, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I’m torn — I definitely would like to keep our chats and our contact going. It often seems that the chats are a little too short, so longer hangouts less often might be nice… on the other hand, I know that the fact that they’re monthly has made it easier for me to join when I can.

      Perhaps it would help to keep the one-hour every-month schedule, but to hold ourselves to a schedule within the hour. For example, we could spend 10 minutes per topic, or give each participant the floor for a set time to let us know what they’re up to, and for others to ask questions. One of those timeslots could be free-form conversation; and those who are available can always stay past the hour mark to chat further. It might sound very formal, but a time pressure also might help us each think of what we most want to impart to the group, and ask questions of each other.

      In other news, I’ve started a dedicated site for my project, City Creature:
      http://www.citycreature.wordpress.com. And I’m looking at word-cloud software to help display/interpret the answers to my questionnaire. Let me know if you have suggestions! Fun times.

      Best
      Rebecca

    • Ciara Finnegan 4:55 am on November 24, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve really enjoyed the dialogue and interactions .re/act has supported over the past year and, while the Hangouts do present a challenge in terms of scheduling, I believe they also add value to our exchanges. I quite like Rebecca’s suggestion that we occupy 10 minute slots during a hangout and think that structuring the format in this way is worth experimenting with in 2015.

      Vanessa, thank you for all the work you’ve put into creating this space and for your generosity toward the group. I mentioned to Michael that I affectionately refer to the Berries as my “semi-imaginary” friends:-) – thank you all for keeping the energy flowing this year – being involved has meant a lot to me. I also think that Michael and Kate have been instrumental in bringing others to the conversation and in orchestrating (directly and indirectly) meetings in Real Life. For this I am hugely grateful.

      I’m looking forward to the December 8th party!! Have been practising my disco moves;-) Or maybe it’ll be more Mardi Gras…where’s that feather boa I started off with????

  • Vanessa Blaylock 1:52 pm on October 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    October Hangout 

    Screen cap of a Google Video Hangout

    Molly Ross & colleagues

    Full house for today’s Hangout!

    Rebecca Narum
    Rebecca Longworth
    Molly Ross
    Michael Masucci
    Kate Johnson
    Ciara Finnegan
    Oscar Devent
    Christa Forster
    Hugh Mcelveen
    Vanessa Blaylock

    More images from today in our Flickr photo group

     
    • Rebecca Longworth 9:39 pm on October 19, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Hello friends! How lovely it was to see you last Monday and hearing your news! I have a couple of links to share…

      And Hugh, I’m hoping you’ll share some of your links on Arabic vs Middle Eastern art.

      Speaking of the Middle East and collaborating across borders, you all might be interested in this project from Golden Thread here in SF: http://www.goldenthread.org/alo/

      I am about to embark on a long-term exploration about personal relationships to cities. Working title: City Creature. I’m fascinated by the ways in which we imagine the places we live as living beings, and the relationships we have with them. One of the first “ways in” that I’m exploring is to collect some imagined creatures of others. I love worksheets and filling out forms, so here’s a City Creature worksheet:

      http://goo.gl/forms/Z1lv3qZrqS

      I’d be delighted if you all could share a bit about your city there.

      Until soon!
      Rebecca L

      • Vanessa Blaylock 12:18 pm on November 7, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Just filled out your cool survey Rebecca! Sorry it took me so long, but definitely had a nice time on it.

        Will you be attending the Nov Berry Hangout on Mon? If so, would you like to talk about City Creature?

  • Vanessa Blaylock 1:12 pm on October 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Flickr Photo Group

    I made a Flickr group where we can share:
    1. pix of our hangouts
    2. pix of our collaborative projects
    3. pix to discuss in the next hangout
    4. pix of projects any of us are working on

    https://www.flickr.com/groups/pbrita

    Please join the group and add any pix you like!

     
  • Christa Forster 10:49 am on October 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    "Local, Supportive Community (Like This One)" 

    I appreciate what Michael is up to with his paper for the Art Historians of Southern California, arguing for “Hacking the Timeline” in order to widen the scope of women artists’ role in art history. And I also appreciate what Kate Johnson is doing in this mode as well with her documentary, “A Dancer’s Journey,” which will air November 20 in LA on PBS and nationwide on PBS in 2015 (schedule to come).  One of the concrete things I learned while working on my recent performance “What’s on [My] Mind?” is how hard we have to fight for our story to make it into “History.” And it IS a fight — often, frankly, a war — that determines whose names will be remembered by the generations to follow.
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    • Christa Forster 10:52 am on October 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      When I say God’s job, I really mean the job of gods

    • Vanessa Blaylock 11:21 am on October 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Awesome Xta! I sadly can’t remember the author who said this, but here it is:

      Men write about important things, like war; women write about unimportant things, like family.

  • Vanessa Blaylock 7:07 am on October 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Rocktober Hangout 

    Hatsune Miku & Pharrell Williams dancing

    Lets Hangout!

    Even if we’re not quite as cool as Hatsune Miku hanging out with her pals like Pharrell Williams & Lady Gaga, a Mixed Berry Shake is still a pretty great way to spend the 2nd Monday of the month. Please join us for another inspiring global conversation!
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  • Vanessa Blaylock 3:35 am on October 1, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    MOOC Certificates

    Interesting twist for Site Dance II MOOC: Certificates ONLY for Signature Track. Regular Track: no virtual paper for you!

     
  • Vanessa Blaylock 2:23 pm on September 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    It’s About the Box!

    As Christa can testify, I’ve been thinking about the wonder and compelling nature of things like Cornell Boxes. And the amazing, immersive bookfulness of books. And records, amazing records like Camille’s Le Fil or The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper.
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    • Vanessa Blaylock 7:49 am on September 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I think this is an interesting and worthy goal. One thing to note, is that in a way what I’m trying to create is “preciousness” in a time of Abundance. Abundance is a good problem to have, at least compared to the alternative, Scarcity. But in a time of Scarcity, almost anything can be precious. In a time of Abundance, there’s just so much competition for Attention. Entities like Art Galleries and Churches all try to create the experience of Preciousness, and in our time of Abundance, they’ve really got their work cut out for them!

      • Christa Forster 2:01 pm on October 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Van, I’ve been wanting to comment for several days, but finally I have the time.

        Perhaps one of powers possessed by a Cornell box or any precious object in the non-internet world lies in its ability to arrest, to STOP us in time. The object captures us in a way that allows us to experience it in time, but the object itself has a kind of permanence to it, a stasis: the object itself does not change. Because we can return to the object (artwork, album, poem) over and over, we both are relieved by its constancy (not everything changes; what a relief), AND, also, we have time to notice how WE have changed in relationship to the object (artwork, album, poem), and this may be the REAL draw of the physical thing: we are more curious about ourselves and our own lives than we are about the lives of others, and these static objects help make ourselves clear to ourselves.

        Who hasn’t felt the “whoosh” effect of FB, or Twitter, or the internet in general — move along, move along, move along — there’s more, always more — to see, to learn, to do, to watch, to read? It’s exhausting! But these static objects — the Cornell, the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s, the epic poem (currently, I’m reading The Odyssey again for the 10th time in 20 years) — do not “whoosh” us along; WE may whoosh, but they restore us; they give us back to ourselves, despite the way the world takes us away from ourselves over and over and over (so like the internet — life). The object’s stasis is the very thing that provides this restoration: it offers us the time and space (constant, reliable) to be moved emotionally — at our own pace, in the directions we choose (or that our unconscious minds choose).

        The internet moves similarly to the way the unconscious mind moves, but I think we feel that we’re being moved from without rather than from within, and this makes all the difference.

    • Vanessa Blaylock 11:05 am on September 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Objects

      Although I am a Documentation nut, I am not a Object maker. My work is in Ephemeral Experiences. Hopefully these are engaged and immersive experiences. Participants at these experiences may have some of the “Box” like experiences I’ve described. I do wonder if my yearning for this “Box” like experience isn’t a sort of desire to turn the ephemeral experience of performance art, or cyberspace, into a sort of virtual object?

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