Archive for the ‘lab staff’ 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“.


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)

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

Presentation of Results

July 25, 2009

On October 11, 2008 Dr* W Pappenheimer and Dr* JC Freeman,  speaking for our four member team on the in and out-world, presented our preliminary procedures and findings in the VF clinical studies so far at the New Museum in New York. We were happy to be present at the request of our original venture  Investment sponsors,,  though it was not easy to gauge the reception of an “art” audience.

Movie Documentation: VF at Rhizome Commissions panel, New Museum

Transgenic Mutations

July 25, 2009

Test subject JC Priestman has been showing increased signs of transgenic mutations, including protruding facial features, large rounded ears and his tail elongation has increased. We are hoping our gene splice will eventually produce a good transgenic rat specimen. The doctors will continue to monitor and document the situation.


Trials and Recruiting

September 30, 2008

The last few weeks of open clinical trials have been quite busy and yielded a considerable amount of experiences and reactions to VF.  Much of our attention has been devoted to recruiting new subjects and then guiding them through the careful administration of the drug. The general reaction has been positive, generating reports of renewal, outside of body sensations, cosmic tourism and interesting graphics. Most participants seem comfortable with resigning themselves to the flow of wandering, which is of course the main effect of VF.  Interestingly few report to engage in this kind of activity on a weekly basis in their “real” lives. There have also been quite a few responses best described as discomforting. Disorientation, frustration, phobia and limited graphics summarizes the reports of some trial participants. One or two patients have reported continued after effects in this range. However, this is to be expected from a study this early on in clinical development. Besides any psychoactive drug from those deemed to be illicit to widely prescribed antidepressants is known to produce such ” negative” results in some patients. Future reports of our pre-and post-trial questionnaires will detail some of these patient accounts as well as correlate some of the data.

Dr* Pappenheimer recruiting potential clinical trial for disciplines in the Fringe clinic opening night.

Fringe Clinic Layout

September 23, 2008

The layout at Fringe Clinic seems to serve its function quite well. The real world clinic is similar to the SL clinic and allows for the dispensation, consultation, monitoring and evaluation of volunteer subjects experiences. The installation includes a comfortable multi-position patient chair, exam area, a waiting room and live SL projection screens for patient and public viewing. It is important to study the relationship of real world to virtual experience since the two are inextricably linked. We are not interested in mirrors or simulations.

The waiting room area allows clinical trial patients to relax  while waiting for an appointment to try VF under doctor’s supervision.  Participants  also use this area to fill out documentation of their experiences prior to and after taking the drug. The Fringe Clinic is open 12-6pm PST Thursday through Saturday,  September 25-27 and  of October 2-7. Contact Fringe Exhibitions, 504 Chung King Court, Los Angeles, CA 90012, (213) 613-0160


VF Launch at Fringe Exhibitions, LA

September 3, 2008

Press Release:

Virta-Flaneurazine at Fringe Exhibitions

Exhibition Dates: September 6 – October 4, 2008
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 6, from 6-9 PM PST

Virta-Flaneurazine (VF) is a potent programmable mood-changing drug for Second Life (SL). It is identified as part of the Wanderment family of psychotropic drugs because it automatically causes the user to aimlessly roam the distant lands of online 3D worlds. As the prograchemistry takes effect, users find themselves erratically teleporting to random locations, behaving strangely, seeing digephemera and walking or flying in circuitous paths. Many users report the experience allows them to see SL in a renewed light, as somehow reconfigured outside the everyday limitations of a fast growing grid of virtual investment properties. VF derives from a formula which the authors of this study, Dr* JC Freeman and Dr* WD Pappenheimer, synthesized some time ago. The clinical study will include an exhibition that dispenses and evaluates the drug for volunteer subjects. The installation includes a comfortable multi-position mechanical chair, exam area, a waiting room and live SL projection screens for patient and public viewing.

Remote Time Experiment

July 27, 2008

Extremely slow performance in distant clinic operations has led the research team to experiment with remote temporal operation. The use of ARD’s sliding temporal shifts has allowed substantial performance increases at satellite clinic stations. Undoubtedly, temporal memory plays a significant role in every aspect of this study.

Remote Time Experiment 1bitmap

Remote Time Experiment 1bitmap

Our fastest results were achieved in the 1988 timeframe, but the lack of detail distinction, for all intent and purposes, made the data unusable. 


Test Subject

July 27, 2008

Our initial test subject, JC Priestman, arrived at the clinic today for pre-trial screening.