Archive for the ‘wanderment’ Category

Free Mobile Phone Dose offered at the Sydney Biennial

August 3, 2012

dLux MediaArts sponsored an event with for the August 3rd Art After Dark night of the 2012 Sydney Biennial with Warren Armstrong, Andrew Burrell and Virta-Flaneurazine. On Pier 2/3, the Sydney electronic collective, Filthy Children, played as free prescriptions of the mobile version of VF were handed out to willing participants. Apparently hundreds have taken the experimental medicine and benefited from its results. If you are there, the secret is you can get a drug dose simply by downloading the Layar Augmented Reality application and searching for the layer, “Dose”. In fact the best way to take the drug is to access the layer “Bufo Colonies” which will reveal a small outgrowth of the Stedelijk Museum colony Bufo toads which can be licked on your phone screen or iPad.

Remember also, that although the experience has pleasurable side effects, the medication is primarily developed to help with problems of Wanderlust Deficit Disorder (WAD), a form of Internet addiction. This is an unapproved virtual medication and at this point Virta-Flaneurazine cannot take responsibility for its use or affects.

Strange Uber Occupy Wall Street toad

October 17, 2011

October 9: Video documentation of Occupy Wall Street colony breaching the barriers set up at the NYSE with mounted police. Later strange clump-like behavior above the drum circle at Zuccotti Park, with a very large rising uber OWS toad.

Gagosian Gallery Infestation after effects

March 3, 2011

VF betaAR

November 3, 2010

A new variant of Virta-Flaneurazine, VF betaAR, has been successfully developed. It is produced from the skin secretions of bio- engineered and programmed hybrid Bufo toads. When areas of these toads are touched, the resulting reaction causes a wandering viewer to see things appearing from virtual worlds and other sources on the Internet. This appears to be an integrated and compelling conscious experience. This perception can be simultaneously viewed on an iPhone or Android device using Layars or other augmented reality software.

Because of the surprising success of our first test at MoMA, October 9, we will be entering a wider human test phase November 14 at BETA Spaces 2010 in Bushwick, Brooklyn (NY). The drug tests will be part of an art program, Bushwick AR Intervention. Though the parameters of the effects are somewhat limited at this point, this appears to be a very important step towards complete integration.


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.


Wandering Chinese Poets and Virtual Stasis

July 9, 2010

The translation of “Virta-Flaneurazine” to 虚 拟 信 步 治 疗 法, xǔ nǐ xìn bù zhì hàu fǔ, means roughly: a remedy of affinity for virtual wandering. The phrase includes the characters,  信 步, refering to an important Chinese literary tradition, 闲 庭 信 步, xián tíng xìn bù, known as, “love (or trust) of wandering in the garden” which resonates with the flaneur. Poet Li Bai (712-770 AD) of the Tang Dynasty was perhaps one of the most well known. The wandering poets were often interested in landscape, social commentary and intoxication through drinking wine.

Here’s a nice stanza reminiscent of VF from the poem “Three—With the Moon and His Shadow” by another of these poets, Li Po (701-762).

I sing, the wild moon wanders the sky.
I dance, my shadow goes tumbling about.
While we’re awake, let us join in carousal;
Only sweet drunkenness shall ever part us.
Let us pledge a friendship no mortals know,
And often hail each other at evening
Far across the vast and vaporous space!

Stasis: Server Blockage

When we arrived in Xi’an and launched our connection to the virtual world of Second Life, the important effects of Internet wanderment characteristic to the programmable drug were increasingly blocked by the Chinese networks. This caused the drug to be virtually ineffective, the test subject to be confined to the virtual clinic and a poetic experience such as in the stanza above to be be unattainable. It was not until we discovered virtual techniques for transcending these limitations that we were able to resume and carry out the trials.

European Market Potential

August 3, 2009

Judging from a rather extensive  reaction in Europe to the launch of the Virta-Flaneurazine in September of 2009, it seems to be the case that in the United States, few people wander without purpose or objectives, with the possible exception of George W. Bush. Now that the election is behind us, we might see if the Obama Administration creates different atmosphere. Will people consider other modes of living other than the straight line to cash or overworked economic productivity? Of course Europe has a long-standing tradition of considering a wider view of living and enjoying life. Paris is of the quintessential site of wanderment and the 19th-century flâneur: 

Liberation, Paris,  “Cosmique trip sur Second Life.” Marie Lechner

Download article: PDF translation: PDF

There was also an astounding number of  posts in the Spanish speaking world. Perhaps it was led by the following article or possibly something  embedded in Spanish linguistics; distraído, errante, itinerante, correteo, viaje, distracción, divagación, estraviado, delirante.

El Pais, “Dos estadounidenses crean una ‘droga’ digital para Second Life,” R. Bosco and S. Caldana

Download article: PDF translation: PDF

We might also well consider the reference to doctor Mabuse here, that is, the character of fiction who hypnotizes his patients to carry out  his various schemes.  The question might be whether the Internet has begun to hypnotize its audience into various social network business schemes and a free labor source of seeming do-it-yourselfers. Clearly the reference cannot be applied to VF or its research team, since the drug has no scheme or purposes it sets its users to fulfill. The medical use of hypnosis, nowadays, has been shown to assist in the improvement of various mental disorders. That’s the purpose of VF, to set its users free. Sleepwalking, the method of mobility in the wonderful film classic, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, is a great model for our desired effects.