Estimated reading time: 4 minutes —
THE BLOGOSPHERE, 13 August — Meet Pamela is one of the greatest films never made. It’s the fictional fiction film being made by the fictional real film crew in François Truffaut’s love poem to filmmaking, Day for Night. Today we have Meet iRez, a brief hello to a few of the real people who participate in our virtual salon.
Exactly 100 years ago, the world’s most famous physical salon, Gertrude Stein’s apartment at 27 Rue de Fleurus in Paris, was a big conversation about art, culture, and ideas. Today in the iRez virtual salon we have a global conversation that exists in a virtual place. Here many salon participants explore new perspectives on reality in the 21st century using The Avatar, The MMO, and other Cultural Venues as sites of identity, experience, and community.
For the past 4 years Botgirl’s Identity Circus has been, well, a “three-ring” exploration of identity in the 21st century. Sometimes it takes a “good war” for a peace activist to find their voice, and the “Hitler invading Poland” of The Nymwars, Vic Gundotra’s hunt to Out and Ban pseudonymous identities from Google+ provided an enormous creative burst of works from Botgirl.
♦ Botgirl’s iRez Home Page
Like Ravanel, Eva’s an MMO Blogger I learned about through the Newbie Blogger Initiative. Her blog, Image Heavy is a celebration of glorious photography. But that’s actually not how she came to be an iRez author. It was our lone voice from that category defining MMO, World of Warcraft, Ironyca, who said how much she loved Eva’s blog and thought she’d be a wonderful addition to our conversation. (and help Ironyca in the iRez WoW:SL author ratio! 😛
♦ Eva’s iRez Home Page
Ironyca is a long time World of Warcraft player and blogger. Her blog, Ironyca Stood in the Fire, received significant community response even before she became a co-host of The WoW Factor a highly popular transmogrification competition held live in-world and streamed online. I’ve personally spent time with Ironyca in 5 worlds: World of Warcraft, Blue Mars, Cloud Party, InWorldz, and Second Life.
♦ Ironyca’s iRez Home Page
It feels like art & technology have a unique resonance in our contemporary moment. Yet the quest for lapis lazuli or the invention of equal temperament tuning were at the nexus of art and technology long ago. Either way, I’ve never, RL or VR, met a computer & information science PhD candidate with anything like Kathleen’s extraordinary knowledge and love of art and culture. I can’t wait to hear where her mind, and her dissertation, will go next!
♦ Kathleen’s iRez Home Page
Like so many of us, Kristine has long struggled with identity and body image. When she first created her avatar Gracie and entered Second Life, she said that she felt like herself, for the first time in her life. A long time RL painter and VR performance, photography, and media artist, most recently she’s created a number of engaging Mixed Reality pieces where people and experiences in physical and virtual space interact.
♦ Kris’ iRez Home Page
Along with many in VR space, I’ve been a longtime fan of the performance series The Extraordinary Adventures of Kikas & Marmaduke, and a follower of his inspired Flickr photostream, but to be honest, when I asked if he might like to participate in our “World Today” photo challenge, I really hadn’t imagined that he’d become the #1 photographer on iRez, posting a magnificent series of amazing images from exotic virtual destinations.
♦ Marma’s iRez Home Page
A player of and blogger on 3 virtual worlds: Lord of the Rings Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Mass Effect, Ravanel describes her blog Ravalation as the diary of a gamer girl on a screenshot spree. She’s also managed to explore the identity potential in a single-player world, and how that transforms in the different levels of narrative and community in MMO spaces. Look for Ravanel’s amazing 5-part Avatar Adventures series coming to iRez soon!
♦ Ravanel’s iRez Home Page
Fashion, lifestyle, and photography blogger, store or PR manager for several of Second Life’s top fashion retailers, social media junkie, and helpful tutorial writer, it’s fair to say that Berry is the Queen of All Virtual Media! Busy as she is at StrawberrySingh.com, Zaara, Le.Look! and Maitreya, Berry’s been gracious enough to join iRez and share a bit of that glorious fashion and lifestyle sense with us.
♦ Berry’s iRez Home Page
My virtual life has been filled with serendipity. Or drunk walks. Or drunk dialing. Somehow “serendipity” and “drunk” feel so different, yet both suggest a path that makes so much sense in retrospect, but isn’t obvious in its discovery or unfolding. I love the Museum of Jurassic Technology’s motto, …guided along as it were, a chain of flowers into, the mysteries of life. My experience of Community in MMOs has been so unexpected and so rich.
♦ Vaneeesa’s iRez Home Page
One of the ways that Yordie describes herself is “cheerleader,” and it’s the description that I like the best. Oh, believe-you-me, if the sim-crossings on the Blake Sea are less than perfect, the expletives will fly in Linden Lab’s direction, so a “corporate shill,” she is not. Still, while peeps like Botgirl or myself are analytic or critical, Yordie has that magic quality of belief. Like a great artist or orator she possesses an authenticity that can’t be manufactured.
♦ Yordie’s iRez Home Page
If, as you’re reading this, you’re thinking that you should be an iRez Guest Author, well, you’re probably right! Leave a comment below and let us know what you’d like to post about.