Archive for the ‘clinics’ Category

Art of the Placebo – I Shall Please

November 4, 2011

We finally got a chance to fully test augmented reality prescriptions for patients with smartphone addictions. We were given the opportunity to open a small clinic at the “Off Label Festival”  at Open Space Gallery in Victoria, British Columbia. The effect seemed to work well with volunteers wandering throughout the gallery during the opening, October 27. Many of our subjects still want to spend a good deal of time talking about the nature of virtual drugs and their involvement with smartphones.  At one point it was noted by a patient that I was continually holding my iPhone. I proceeded to place it on the table and fully admit my own over identification with this object. A full portfolio of some of the visions can be viewed here. We don’t really use placebos in our studies but we thought we’d give a nod to the title of our portion of the event by translating “Art of the Placebo”  to its derivation “I Shall Please“.

Researchers Identify Origins of VR to AR Breach

July 16, 2011

Researchers at Virta-Flaneurazine Laboratories report that, in an effort to identify the exact time and place that the fabled leap from online virtual worlds to augmented reality accrued, they have uncovered evidence that this phenomenon was associated with early VF clinical trials in Los Angeles, Belfast and Xi’an from 2008 to 2010. One of the first documented breaches was the emergence of a giant Bufo Virtanus AR Toad in MOMA, October 9, 2010 and the subsequent spread of colonies to Chelsea, NY, Boston, Australia, Venice, Italy and other worldwide locations. Artifacts can now be detected at these locations using AR detection software on consumer quality handheld mobile data collection instruments.

Test subject Virta-Rat spotted outside the former Fringe Exhibition space in Chinatown, Los Angeles, July 16, 2011.

King Bufotoad

March 7, 2011

The King Bufotoad finally makes his appearance in Maria Hernandez Park.

Virta-Flaneurazine:, Maria Hernandez Park, Bushwick, New York, NY, U.S.A. March 5, 2011. Posted by Agent Priestman.

Legitimacy of VF

July 21, 2010

Staff of the VF Clinic presenting at the recent DAW 2010 Symposium in Xi’an, China. Photo: Rasmus Vuori.

In public forums we often get questions about whether and how we hope to cure Internet addiction. Sometimes, and now is again one of those times, we are put in the midst of questions about the legitimacy of our entire project. First, since we are in the process of clinical trials, we do not know if Virta-Flaneurazine is an effective treatment for Internet addiction or WDD (Wanderlust Deficit Disorder), only that we have designed the drug study to address these issues. We are also well aware that Internet addiction, as a disorder, is itself a question. If there is a doubt raised by treating a disease with something of the same order, we need only look at the concept of inoculation.

If the question is whether this study is a hoax, as has been raised on and in the last day or so, We would have to answer clearly, no. We are Artist/Doctors. We have an actual programmable drug that works if you follow the proper procedures. When we have put the clinics into operation, three times in the past years, and all documented on this blog, we have interviewed scores of clinical volunteers who have taken VF in our guided presence. We have tried to conduct things in a manner that conforms to the highest clinical standards.

If the question is about the morality of introducing drugs to the virtual world, as was particularly raised in our past interview by W Radio from Bogotá, Colombia (see “Reality Addiction” blog entry),  we need only respond by pointing out that gaming programs such as Grand Theft Auto allow users to steal cars and kill people willy-nilly. The very goal of VF is not mayhem and social disorder, but release from increasingly habitual virtual daily habits.

If the question is about the relationship of virtual and real lives we need only look at online stock market fluctuations and economies or gaming modules and military drones. These days, what happens in the virtual world, happens in the real world.


July 19, 2010

One of our trial patients at the Xi’an clinic, when asked how he was feeling under the influence of the drug, repeatedly knocked his hand to his chest area and complained that his heart was empty. He said he felt very lonely and cold. He had seen no one on his travels. This has happened only a few times before with other patients and we usually explain that some of the areas of the Second Life world are not always populated. They are if there are treasure hunts, baby showers, dance parties, musical drumming raves, sex orgies or marketing events. Even though avatars spend a lot of time making elaborate buildings and environments, they are not always there. Dr* Freeman always asks the question, “What happens to your avatar when you are asleep?” This empty feeling held by some patients might well be related to issues in their lives or perhaps the general question about whether the internet is alive or just a place of traces, memories, advertisements and monuments. Perhaps this is why Tempo Strom and Susi Vaccano started playing the “Skyscraper Endgame” (ie throwing trash of a high skyscraper just to watch it fall) in the eteam’s “Prim Limit“.

A City Born of Wanderment

July 14, 2010

Located at its eastern terminus, an early subspecies of Homo Erectus once traveled out of Africa along what would one day become the Silk Road to present day Xi’an.

The Lantian Man (called Lantian Ren; 蓝田人 in Chinese) skull and mandible fossils are believed to come from two females who lived about 530,000 to 1 million years ago. They were discovery in 1963 approximately 50 km southeast of the city of Xi’an.


July 13, 2010

Our translators, Yuan Mengchen and Zhiqiu Du, working with us as translators though trial patient experiences and interviews, made possible detailed note-taking consistent with previous trials in other countries. Amongst the notable answers recorded were an unexpected recognition of areas in the virtual world reminding our subjects of landscapes in China. The reproduced note page below documents one such example where the patient experienced the recognition of Guangdong Province in the southern coastal area of the Chinese continent.

Photo of coastal area Guangdong Province, People’s Republic of China.

Recognition of places, objects and personages in the virtual world reminding us of memories and experiences in RL is a very important component of these trials. The journey patients take on VF is of course as much a psychic journey as any we might take in our  conscious or dream-state lives.

Another colleague at DAW2010, Sue Thomas, De Montfort University, UK, informed us of her particular interest in metaphors of nature in cyberspace. Her blog, The Wild Surmise chronicles her interesting observations and  revealing interviews with some of the pioneers of computer media. We might hope to cross correlate our trial findings and analysis with her inquiry in the not-too-distant future.

Un clavier qui pousse…?! (Graphism & Interactivité)

I-Ching Hexagram 56 – Lu – The Wanderer

July 11, 2010
The Wanderer. Success through smallness. Perseverance brings good fortune to the wanderer. When a man is a wanderer and stranger, he should not be gruff nor overbearing. he has no large circle of acquaintances, therefore he should not give himself airs. He must be cautious and reserved; in this way he protects himself from evil. If he is obliging toward others, he wins success. A wanderer has no fixed abode; his home is the road. Therefore he must take care to remain upright and steadfast, so that he sojourns only in the proper places, associating only with good people. Then he has good fortune and can go his way unmolested.
From the Wilhelm-Baynes translation of “The I Ching or Book of Changes
The trigram above – LI – The Clinging, Fire
The trigram below – KEN – Keeping Still, Mountain
The mountain, KEN, stands still; above it fire, LI, flames up and does not tarry. Therefore the two trigrams do not stay together. Strange lands and separation are the wanderer’s lot.

Virta-Flaneurazine test subject JC Priestman’s sojourn at Lily & Honglei’s Great Firewall and Sunken City.


Xi’an China Clinical Trials

July 6, 2010

We are pleased to announce the opening of the Virta-Flaneurazine Clinic at the exhibition, “Tangible Spiritualities,” in the West Galleries at the Xi’an Academy of Art in China. The 10 meter square clinic is the largest yet with 4 clinical assistants, tea and social waiting room space for the rather long list of test subjects signed up for trial experiences. The exhibition will test comparisons of Internet addiction and wanderment between our mutually interdependent cultures, east and west. The exhibition continues for two weeks in conjunction Digital Art Weeks 2010.

Preparing the clinic for trials at Xi’an China during Digital Art Weeks, 2010.

Virta-Flaneurazine clinic at the Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts


Virta-Flaneurazine, Digital Art Weeks, Xi’an 03

Clinical Assistant Mo Mingqing (莫茗清) and Du Zhe (杜哲) welcome volunteer test subjects to the clinic.

Head Clinical Assistant Yuan Mengchen (袁梦琛) and Clinical Assistant Du  Zhiqiu (杜志秋) assist Artist/Doctor Pappenheimer with a trial in the exam room.

Virta-Flaneurazine, Digital Art Weeks 2010, Xi'an

Volunteer test subject receives 127 KB of Virta-Flaneurazine.

Virta-Flaneurazine Clinical Trial Results panel at the “Intangible Materialism And The Tangible Spirit” Symposium.

New Dose for the Belfast Clinic

August 4, 2009

JCP Mov 10c

As the opening of the ISEA Belfast clinic approaches at the Golden Thread Gallery in Belfast, Ireland, we have on hand a new version of VF. This one is quicker to take effect  but not as long lasting. Its only problem is a few new visual side effects. But these can be brought under control a bit later. Above is a rare picture of the test subject JC Priestman under the influence of the new dose of VF. It actually shows him as he sees himself in the moment. Not as we would see him.

Doses will be available at this weblog at: Clinical Trial Instructions

Doctors hours:
Golden Thread Gallery portal,  Second Life doctors hours will be August 7 – Sept 6th:

Tues, Weds, Friday:
4:00 – 5:00 pm UTC/GMT Belfast time
11:00 – 12:00 am EST
9:00-10: Linden Time

3:00 – 4:00 pm UTC/GMT
9:00 – 10:00 am EST
8:00-9:00 am Linden Time

ISEA Conference, Waterfront Hall, August 26 -29:
Daily- TBA