Celluloid Heroes

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Sojourner Starship & Vaneeesa Blaylock watching performance video in Sourjourner's screening room

KANDAHAR, 24 March — Friends dancing at a mountain site featuring Betty Tureaud’s immersive light and space installation, and managing not to break or twist anything regardless of how wild their improvisation, evoked today the bittersweet reverie of classic rock track Celluloid Heroes, here in the rocky Afghanistan mountains a kilometer above sea level.

I met Sojourner Starship at Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education (VWBPE) last week and we had a chance to hang out today… chat about new media in education… chat about shoes… We watched a trailer for her virtual performance company, in her private screening room… and then over at Gallery Xue / Kandahar, she was so inspired by Betty Tureaud’s remarkable light & space installation, that she broke into a spontaneous free-form dance fusion improvisation… at the end of which she commented that unlike her typist, her avatar never twists her ankle dancing…

Sojourner Starship & Vaneeesa Blaylock at Gallery Xue / Kandahar

And I suddenly realized that Avatars… are a little bit like Celluloid Heroes… as Kinks singer/songwriter Ray Davies wrote in 1972:

I wish my life was a non-stop Hollywood movie show,
A fantasy world of celluloid villains and heroes,
Because celluloid heroes never feel any pain
And celluloid heroes never really die.


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