[box type=”info” style=”rounded” border=”full”]Yesterday, 11 January 2014, was Ze Moo’s 7th Rezday. (It was also Betty Tureaud’s 7th rezday)(it was also the anniversary of Aaron Swartz death) There was a 12-hour rezday party at LEA16. When I logged in the next day – today, 12 Jan – Ze and Bibbe Oh were still there dancing! Ze and I wound up having an IM conversation about art and virtual life which I’ve reprinted here with his permission.[/box]
[07:51] Second Life: Ze Moo is online.
[08:07] Ze Moo: BTW, that outfit is classy kinky IMHO
[08:07] Vanessa Blaylock: you’re awake!?
[08:08] VB: and thankies! 😀
[08:08] ZM: yes just got up hehe
[08:08] VB: I’ve been watching you sleep
[08:08] VB: very romantic!
[08:08] ZM: hahah
[08:08] ZM: aww
[08:08] ZM: sweet thing to say to a real lover isn’t it
[08:09] VB: 😀
[08:10] VB: so, what’s the future of Art, Culture & Creativity in SL? Or elsewhere? Is it all over except for the rezday parties?
[08:10] ZM: btw I have had complicated questions lately about our FB status… haha!
[08:12] VB: oh gawd
[08:12] ZM: 99% of people don’t get the ‘artplay’ we do (something like ongoing performance art roleplaying or something)
[08:12] VB: yes
[08:13] VB: is that all art? Kandinsky and his moving triangle of culture, etc?
[08:13] ZM: Ze Moo is just one of my alter ego’s, its is a surplus identity, inspired by parts of the fleshtar character magnified
[08:14] VB: “surplus identity”
[08:14] VB: you’re such a charmer!
[08:14] ZM: hehe that just came out of my fleshy fingers
[08:14] VB: I’m sure it did
[08:15] ZM: dunno exactly 100% yet what that means
[08:15] ZM: but it just feels so natural to me
[08:15] VB: so the “artplay” / performance art roleplaying… is sort of “Hacking Identity”… ?
[08:15] ZM: yeah kinda,. maybe
[08:16] ZM: it’s a research too
[08:16] VB: yes
[08:16] ZM: of identity culture
[08:16] ZM: and such
[08:16] ZM: things 99.88% of people take for granted
[08:17] ZM: they are conformed to think everybody should have just one identity
[08:17] ZM: but we don’t
[08:17] VB: and what do we do with all the people here who want to show their “creative” 2D / 3D projects? Celebrate their creativity? Laugh at their naivety? Ignore them and move on?
[08:18] ZM: we have different identities for colleagues, friends, family, and individually for each relationship right?
[08:18] VB: Well
[08:18] ZM: and never mind the bureaucracy
[08:18] VB: according to your pal Mark Zuckerberg
[08:18] VB: these identities are all converging
[08:18] VB: to one
[08:19] ZM: ha good questions!
[08:19] VB: but then peeps like Michael Wesch & danah boyd wouldn’t call it “convergence” but “context collapse”
[08:19] ZM: actually I have joined with alts ‘roleplaying’ into the 2D arts scene in SL, been fascinating for a while
[08:20] VB: maybe I should become a collector of “great” 2D art!
[08:20] ZM: ‘scanning’ 2D paintings, import into SL and go into the 2D gallery world in SL
[08:20] ZM: haha yes!
[08:20] VB: maybe I should open a gallery of it
[08:20] ZM: my 2D career in SL was going very well! haha
[08:20] ZM: especially the hot female alt 2D artist
[08:21] ZM: it was too easy…
[08:21] VB: I don’t suppose your alt would like to write that up in a post for iRez?
[08:22] ZM: well they were my 2D ‘paintings’
[08:22] ZM: hm I’m a bad writer
[08:22] ZM: maybe in interview form
[08:22] ZM: anonymous haha
[08:22] VB: you don’t have to do it… but if you did want to… you could write “bad”… and I’d be happy to work it into something nicer
[08:23] VB: or an interview
[08:23] VB: anonymous is ok
[08:23] ZM: there is a
[08:23] VB: perhaps at one of their gallery exhibitions
[08:23] ZM: RL anecdotes connected as well
[08:24] ZM: she got into PL exhibitions!
[08:24] ZM: I had a female friend actress volunteering to act at her opening
[08:24] VB: actually… that IS pretty interesting… but it’s also sort of critiquing the past, which granted is the present for a lot of peeps… but is there some line of investigation that “we” are really still pushing forward?
[08:24] ZM: and she got a role as an extra in a Dutch movie
[08:25] VB: nice
[08:25] ZM: hm good questions
[08:26] ZM: and true
[08:26] ZM: our past which is present for many people… hm
[08:26] ZM: for many it will get stuck there too probably
[08:28] ZM: but critiquing which past? I have never been a ‘2D’ artist, even though I have made 2D art in PL, I always used those as props in ‘3D’ interactive installations and performances
[08:28] ZM: well I was a 2D ‘artist’ as a kid of course
[08:30] VB: well, I think the “banal reality” that many live ISL or IRL is “interesting” in that it is human culture, it is the human organism. In a way, Pop Culture IS Culture. But I also think the elitist / snob perspective does have value. I’m not interested in a lot of things the general public loves, like Sports or Television, for simple examples. So pursuing ideas that 98% don’t get – I’m not eager to ignore so many, maybe there’s a way to be more inclusive – but I’m also not interested in pandering to simplistic / obvious / past aesthetics.
[08:30] ZM: when I went to art school, I hadn’t drawn or painted (with paint) since I had been a kid. I painted my last painting at the end of the first year at art school called ‘My Last Painting’
[08:31] VB: nice
[08:31] ZM: ok right
[08:32] ZM: so you don’t watch ‘television’ at all?
[08:32] ZM: not even about art?
[08:32] VB: no
[08:32] VB: I don’t have television
[08:32] VB: obviously I do see stuff on Vimeo & YouTube
[08:32] ZM: ok yes thats tele-vision too
[08:33] VB: and the commercials on YouTube drive me crazy… it’s like Television recolonized in the new world
[08:33] VB: “PL”?
[08:33] ZM: yeah
[08:34] ZM: PL = Physical Life, that part of RL that isnt digital/electronic
[08:35] ZM: in the header of my blog http://zemoo.live.nu/ you see this crazy equation
[08:35] ZM: “RL = PL + EL + ML + X”
[08:35] ZM: which i already started developing before SL
[08:35] VB: oh nice
[08:36] ZM: (and i totally suck at maths haha)
[08:37] ZM: EL = Electronic life: (communication)media, like radio,tv, internet and telephone. But also movies, games etcetera
[08:38] VB: I used to dislike the term “RL” since, of course, the virtual is “real” too. But all the talk of “First Life” and “Physical Life” etc, etc, I think just confuses the conversation more, and probably alienates the uninformed and further marginalizes virtual culture. So, I’ve made my peace with “RL”, it may not be a perfect term, but it’s easy and everybody knows what you mean.
[08:38] ZM: ML = Mind Life: thoughts, emotions, fantasies, imagination, knowledge, identity, etcetera
[08:38] ZM: psychology
[08:38] VB: and the X factor!
[08:38] ZM: I dislike the expression”First Life” very much!
[08:39] VB: it’s a well-intentioned term, but it doesn’t work
[08:39] ZM: eXactly!! that X factor, the unknown,… God? Aliens? Telepathy? Generations of data in our genes?
[08:39] ZM: and more…
[08:40] VB: hahaha
[08:40] VB: I reject god
[08:40] ZM: ‘First Life’ refers to ‘Second Life’, which i see just as a very stupid product name…
[08:40] VB: I reject aliens
[08:40] VB: I probably reject telepathy
[08:40] VB: data in genes… eh…
[08:41] ZM: yeah there are theories that we store memories over generations , kids know more stuff every new generation and such
[08:42] VB: I’ve never disliked the name “Second Life” as much as you do, but I do agree “First Life” is too specifically referential and geeky and problematic
[08:42] VB: I don’t think kids are genetically “smarter” I think they just grow up in different technological milieus
[08:43] ZM: i don’t want to reject ‘God’, nor aliens, nor parapsychology and such. I don’t want to close of those possibilities in my equation, that would be too rationalistic dogmatic
[08:44] ZM: I think “Second Life’ is the wrong product name for multiple reasons, including business reasons for Linden Lab
[08:45] ZM: I actually explained that to former CEO Mark Kingdon over drinks,
[08:45] VB: I subscribe to a reductionist biologist perspective on existence. I am NOT a dualist. (except, of course, in virtual worlds I am) I am an atheist. Kind of a “fundamentalist atheist” even. I do my best not to disrespect other people’s beliefs, but personally speaking, God is bullshit #1.
[08:46] ZM: Mark didn’t get it, his reply was that the latest market research showed that ‘Second Life’ was a relatively well know brand
[12:21] Ze Moo: .
[08:47] VB: Just as I’ve made my peace with terms like “RL” and “IP” (I believe that if it’s “Intellectual” it isn’t “Property”, but that linguistic battle is over)… so you might as well make your peace with “SL”… the “product” obviously isn’t changing names now…
[08:47] ZM: oh i like “SL”!!
[08:47] VB: oh wow
[08:47] VB: that’s a great story! 😀
[08:48] ZM: actually, my advice to LL was to abandon ‘Second Life’ and entirely market the product as ‘SL’, which is it popular ‘street’ name
[08:48] ZM: because, ‘SL’has no other meaning really
[08:50] ZM: the problem with ‘Second Life’ is that they are two very much used existing words, separated even (unlike Face Book) which have too many associations for people to have room for a new meaning
[08:50] ZM: brand names like ‘Google’ and ‘Skype’ are brilliant IMHO
[08:51] ZM: they even became as new verbs! so powerful!
[08:51] ZM: If SL would have had such a brand name, I am sure it would have been much more popular
[08:52] ZM: a new word, that gains its own definition is much more powerful IMHO
[08:52] VB: yes
[08:52] VB: how did they make up “Skype” BTW?
[08:52] ZM: Facebook is and exception to this theory, but that’s because the concept is pretty simple and low tech for users
[08:53] ZM: but ‘FB’ already is becoming popular instead of saying ‘face book’ each time
[08:53] ZM: ‘FB’ had no meaning really
[08:53] ZM: neither did ‘SL’
[08:53] ZM: two letter new words
[08:54] ZM: no of course Second Life wont be renamed anymore
[08:54] ZM: yeah good question how Skype was made up
[08:54] ZM: by non-Anglo-Saxons
[08:55] ZM: I think Skype is originally developed in Estonia or so?
[08:55] ZM: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skype
[08:56] ZM: It was “written by developers Ahti Heinla, Priit Kasesalu, and Jaan Tallinn (Estonia), Janus Friis (Denmark) and Niklas Zennström (Sweden) who had also originally developed Kazaa.”
[08:56] ZM: so yes, non native English speakers
[08:56] VB: FB is such an interesting (and by interesting, I mean awful) space. I think I get it: people are busy, and its one easy place to catch up with everyone, keep in touch, share baby / vacation pix, etc. So it’s great. And it’s social media and new media, yet it totally encompasses all the banality of old media. I think I get it’s value to so many peeps, but I really hate / reject the pedestrian simplicity of everything there. FB is 2D art scanned into SL. 98% may live on FB, but I reject it as a platform for anything substantive. Except in that pop culture way that banality eventually accretes to a sort of substance.
[08:57] ZM: encompasses all the banality of old media. <3 [08:57] ZM: >)
[08:57] ZM: .)
[08:57] ZM: actually I <3 your whole quote there! [08:58] VB: 😀 [08:58] ZM: I wish I was so good in phrasing thoughts as you are, I envy you! [08:58] ZM: even in Dutch I feel limited... [08:58] VB: aww [08:59] VB: well, you "get it" [08:59] VB: I don't know anyone else who "gets it" with the depth and power that you do [08:59] ZM: but maybe for the better I am a bad speaker/writer, otherwise I would probably have ended up a (corrupt) politician, not an artist ,) [08:59] VB: why else would I put up with all your playboy antics!? 😛 [08:59] ZM: hahaha [09:00] ZM: hahahahahaha [09:00] ZM L O L [09:00] VB: 😛 [09:00] ZM: and aww!! [09:03] ZM: Jesus why is your intellectual stroking of my ego soo damn sexy! [09:03] ZM: hahaha [09:04] VB: oops [09:05] VB: I din't know anyone was doing any stroking [09:05] VB: and is Bibbe your alt? [09:05] VB: are you Beck's mom? [09:07] ZM: haha [09:07] ZM: i wish Bibbe was my alt!! [09:07] ZM: and who is Beck [09:09] ZM: are you really a little geeky/autistic/naive that you don’t realize you are so charming? [09:09] ZM: which is charming as well hehe [09:10] VB: who is Beck? [09:10] VB: is that a real question? [09:11] VB: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkCg-3nxT8E
[09:11] ZM: you know, I had developed some alts, and then it met people who really loved those (pretty 1 dimensional) characters, and then I came out (sort of) and donated the alt account to them, and they are living it further
[09:11] ZM: which is really fascinating
[09:11] VB: oh wow
[09:11] VB: THAT’s a great story
[09:11] VB: another post for iRez!
[09:11] ZM: is maybe a bit liking having a kid, and then letting it go
[09:12] VB: you have to document / publish this stuff someplace!
[09:12] ZM: but dunno, because I don’t have RL kids ( as far as i know, officially)
[09:12] ZM: also I have SOLD an alt
[09:13] ZM: not just selling a ready made avatar with looks and all, but also its profile with the (simple) character exposed, and a blog
[09:13] ZM: as if its a ‘RL’ persons ‘second life’
[09:15] ZM: many people in SL don’t get what is the artist about me, because I don’t produce much 2D/ 3D art, I am not a 3D painter like Bryn Oh or Werner or a drama artist like SMO (who creates some of the best machinima IMHO BTW)
[09:16] ZM: I’m an Information-Jockey, an I-J, I remix/rearrange information
[09:16] VB: yes
[09:16] VB: maybe we can just publish the whole transcript of THIS conversation on iRez? 😀
[09:17] ZM: and creating ‘alts’ with characters, is part of that
[09:17] VB: yes
[09:17] ZM: hahaha
[09:17] VB: genius!
[09:17] ZM: I was waiting for you to say that!
[09:17] VB: genius? or publish?
[09:17] ZM: haha both
[09:17] VB: ah
[09:17] VB: double play!
[09:17] ZM: the publish part actually
[09:18] ZM: with you I feel good reflecting who I really am as an artist
[09:18] ZM: better then anybody else I suppose
[09:18] ZM: and I talk too much about myself now…
[09:18] VB: aww
[09:19] VB: well, somebody’s gotta do it
[09:19] VB: but seriously…
[09:19] VB: the “avatar hacks”
[09:19] VB: 2D Virtual Artist
[09:19] VB: Donated Alts
[09:19] VB: these are compelling ideas
[09:19] VB: have you documented them on your blog, or anywhere?
[09:20] VB: documented / discussed?
[09:20] ZM: not much really
[09:20] VB: then they don’t exist!!!
[09:20] ZM: I mean, not in a meta way at all
[09:20] VB: oh gawd
[09:20] VB: if YOU don’t go META
[09:20] VB: WHO will???
[09:21] ZM sucks at documenting
[09:21] ZM: I have no time to document, I want to move on!
[09:21] VB: but seriously
[09:21] VB: art that isn’t able to be
[09:21] VB: seen
[09:21] VB: shared
[09:21] VB: experienced
[09:21] VB: discussed
[09:21] VB: where does it get our culture?
[09:22] ZM: I only document in the way those characters would document their art. but that is mediocre… ( as belongs to those characters ha)
[09:22] VB: If your investigation is real, it needs a way to exist… you give life to an avatar you pass on… but not to the larger new media trajectory that act develops?
[09:23] ZM: true, but some stuff is out there, and some stuff is still under development, and some stuff I’m very insecure about…
[09:23] ZM: I count on the NSA documenting it all and Snowden starting an art magazine ,)
[09:23] VB: “Snowden Art”
[09:23] VB: I like it
[09:24] ZM: hehe
[09:24] VB: did you see the Snowden Airport project last week?
[09:24] ZM: no?
[09:24] VB: it was great
[09:24] ZM: And who is Beck
[09:25] VB: peeps around the globe went to airport arrival terminals and held up a sign for arriving passengers that just said “Edward Snowden”
[09:25] ZM: oooooh coool!!
[09:25] ZM: great activist art performance
[09:25] VB: organized on that platform of banality, no less
[09:26] ZM: haha
[09:26] ZM: sure, why not
[09:26] ZM: I can be very pragmatic about FB
[09:26] ZM: BTW I also should dive into Tumbler, haven’t had time for that yet
[09:26] VB: https://www.facebook.com/events/1448773218676476/
[09:27] ZM: So you miss me in SL?
[09:27] ZM: ‘Ze Moo’
[09:27] ZM: thanks
[09:27] ZM *click*
[09:28] VB: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIrG6xBW5Wk
[09:28] VB: yes honey-bun
[09:29] VB: of course I miss you
[09:29] VB: and poor Agnes cries herself to sleep every night
[09:30] ZM: whahaha
[09:31] ZM: awww I love her tooo
[09:31] ZM: she is one of the very few awesomest people I met in SL
[09:31] VB: she misses you
[09:31] VB: and Trill also
[09:31] VB: and all the gone people
[09:32] ZM: Agnes actually met a (simplistic) kinky alt of me first, but she impressed me so much I let her moved to the Ze Moo level
[09:32] ZM: .)
[09:33] ZM: Agnes now knows about 5 of my alts I think
[09:33] VB: oh wow
[09:33] VB: moved to the Ze level!
[09:33] ZM: ( I have about 35)
[09:33] VB: that’s gold!
[09:34] VB: that’s all?
[09:34] ZM: hahaha
[09:34] VB: I heard you had hundreds!
[09:34] ZM: hahah
[09:34] VB: I guess the real man is always smaller than the myth
[09:34] ZM: hahahahahaaaa
[09:34] ZM: LMAO
[09:34] ZM: duh!
[09:35] ZM: that’s part of manhood, to be always smaller then myths
[09:35] ZM: I mean, most of the time..
[09:35] VB: yes dear
[09:35] VB: of course
[09:35] ZM: hahahahahaaa
[09:36] ZM: if we weren’t already married, I would propose now ,)
[09:36] VB: aww
[09:36] ZM: hahahaha
[09:36] VB: we can renew our un-vows
[09:36] ZM: hahahahahahah
[09:37] ZM cracking up
[09:37] VB: actually I thought it’d be nice to do a divorce ceremony… have lawyers instead of priests, etc…
[09:37] ZM: hehe
[09:37] VB: Best Litigator
[09:38] VB: Appeals Council of Honor
[09:38] VB: and of course the Warrant Server Boy
[09:38] VB: and Deposition Girl
[09:38] ZM: .)
[09:38] ZM: hasn’t that been done yet?
[09:39] VB: no doubt
[09:39] VB: but ours would be funnerer
[09:39] VB: and / or stupiderer
[09:39] ZM: haha
[09:39] VB: Bibbe sure can dance!
[09:41] VB: she must win the dance marathon
[22:50] Ze Moo: you really look like some Film Noir actress , at a party drunk, just before getting murdered
[22:50] Ze Moo: ,)
[22:50] Ze Moo: on the way home
[22:51] Ze Moo: haha sorry. no offense
[22:51] Bibbe Oh: lol
[22:51] Bibbe Oh: hahahaha
[22:51] Bibbe Oh: perfect
[09:42] VB: aww
[09:42] VB: you say the sweetest things
[09:42] VB: I love you too honey bunch!
[09:42] ZM: lol