Posts Tagged ‘VF’

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“.

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Sunset on Sunset

May 6, 2011

33 1/2 RPM Sunset Colony from Will Pappenheimer on Vimeo.

A evening moment with the 33 1/2 RPM Sunset Bufo Toads in the process of colonizing the ICA Boston. apparently they have adopted a record skip associated with the “Record” show there.

Sex and Death Colony explodes

April 16, 2011

It seems that the Sex and Death Colony hatched quietly in the Sydney Botanical Gardens has gotten out of control and is spreading to a series of smaller Australian towns (d/lux MEDIA ARTS). Colonies seem to be appearing westward and southward with no apparent rhyme or reason. My colleague there, Warren Armstrong, (the organizer of (Un)seen Sculptures), is vigorously monitoring the situation and calls weekly on Saturday nights to let me know the conditions. It’s uncanny that this subspecies should spread in a country that has been plagued by its ancestor. This is I suppose, a similar sort of infestation, with all good intentions of those of us at VF, looking for a means to free internet living. Warren has ambitiously set up a site to track what he calls “Bufo’s Progress“.

Grief and Ecstasy

April 27, 2008

 

While Dr Freemont and I were working on the VF pill casing at Morris Sandbox we were “attacked” by “griefers”. We attempted to finish our work but movement eventually became impossible. This event was very memorable and brings up many issues that we will perhaps return to in this blog. Despite the opinions of some that griefers are “terrorists,” which we feel dilutes an already fuzzy term, the practice seems more like “noise bombing”. 

For myself, the whole experience was quite spontaneously beautiful. One even might say that it was a liminal experience, removing one temporarily from the pragmatics of making things to an experience of being. The cacophony of visual, audio and textual information was in its own way, ecstatic. However, the important Wired magazine article on this practice introduces a cacophony of questions not only concerning it’s practitioners but also the nature of virtuality. Strangely, the injection of emotional categories into the dialectics of web vs real world epistemologies, strikes us as an odd development on both sides of the issue. Griefers (aka goons) want virtual participants to lighten up about the silliness of taking the virtual world too seriously. Goons often employ virtual violent disruptive means to inspire humor. It is interesting to consider whether Griefer’s see themselves part of the larger hacker community and hence connected to the alternative value system of hacker ethics or simply operate from internal drives such as the Pleasure Principle. 

On the other hand, the emotional suggestion that virtuality is silly, unreal or impotent seems increasingly irrelevant in the context that it is now inseparable from many real world activities and institutions. A virtual bomb on stock market data exchange would have a very real set of catastrophic consequences that might not be so funny. Conversely, a Mercedez Benz is no more real value in terms of its material than a Tata car, its all about surplus value. But try telling the police to lighten up after you have just rammed a Mercedes-Benz CL or to the nicely dressed hacker who has just taken a high paying job at Microsoft and is the proud owner of the car.

 

We are aware that the development of a drug like VF could similarly be viewed as antisocial, or “disruptive” (as Dr* Fremont likes to call it). After all the affects cause aimless wanderings across the use oriented grid of Second Life. It gets hard to see property formation, social order and profit through the lens of hallucination. But that’s what makes our study so intriguing. And we are also a clinic- as interested in administering the drug as addressing its affects.