Archive by Author


I apologize for these sporadic postings… my dissertation has been keeping me busy, although I have to say that I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m about half way done combing through my hefty stash of data (over 1,000 pages of transcripts collected over a year and a […]

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Virtual Orchestras

Van’s proposition to turn my “childhood dreams” into virtual world reality got me really excited. And what do I do when I get excited?!?! My OCD kicks in :). So, I’ve been spending some time looking into virtual world (SL, specifically) orchestras and am amazed at what I’m finding. I’m sure some of you are […]

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Childhood Dreams

Maybe it’s all these great diary posts Van has been doing on her grad school performances, but I’ve been thinking a lot (and missing) the creativity of my more creative years. Don’t get me wrong, I love the academic path I’ve taken, but sometimes I feel like there are way too many rules to obey […]

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Enter Heidegger

Given that I am using a Hermeneutic Phenomenological approach, it must come as no surprise that Heidegger’s work has had a profound impact on my thinking. With that said, I think that his theories on Being (Dasein), especially two of his most basic neologisms used to describe various attitudes towards things in the world,  can […]

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Pride & Prejudice, Dissertation Remix

Given our discussion yesterday on stereotypes and prejudices in SL and other virtual worlds, I thought I’d share this section of my dissertation on the subject. If anything, it gives good references 🙂              Persistence of social norms in virtual identity exploration. Identity and role identification in MUVEs, as argued by Cleland (2008) is malleable in […]

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Pride & Prejudice

Reading Ravanel’s fantastic article on identity in online gaming environments reminded of my initial shock at the RL stereotypes in virtual worlds. As I have previously discussed, I entered SL with little knowledge of the community and found my niche in cultural/educational groups within the virtual world. With that said, I did not come with […]

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Data Crunch

I know, I know, I haven’t been as prompt with my blog postings this week. Here’s the deal – a paper of mine, based on my dissertation work, was accepted for presentation at the Qualitative Report Conference next year. The acceptance got me excited and when I get excited, I become a little OCD. So […]

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The Monster Within

I don’t think that I would be exaggerating if I said that I’ve always loved to write. While I don’t consider myself to be a brilliant writer, I’ve always felt like I could express myself better through writing than any other means. With that said, I’ve been writing what started as little stories based on […]

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Virtual Reality of Theater

I can’t deny that I am a huge fan of Antonin Artaud’s oeuvre, or that his conceptualization of the theater has formed a basis for my thesis on performativity in virtual worlds. Artaud did, after all, more or less coin virtual reality back in the 1930s in his essay The Alchemical Theater: “All true alchemists […]

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Cut Up Reality

I don’t know why I’m suddenly so sensitive to the notion of time and reality, but it seems that since I’ve been thinking about virtual reality in terms of time measurements, I’ve been experiencing RL situations a little bit differently. Here’s what I mean – last night, I was at a Dirty Projector concert with […]

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Boredom in the Fourth Dimension

If I’ve learned anything so far from this research, it is that virtual reality and “real” reality are not that different. Virtual environments, after all, are based on our conception of reality as well as physical quantities. I started pondering this over the weekend after experiencing time pressures simultaneously in both virtual and physical worlds […]

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Team Paglia

Kris’s inclusion of a quote by Naomi Wolf in her last post (see “This is my body!”) immediately made me think of good old Camille Paglia. Like I said in a comment to Kris’s post, I am not the biggest fan of Wolf’s. While I am not entirely “Team Paglia” either, I can somehow relate […]

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What Would Cindy Sherman Do?

While I have been focusing on Marcel Duchamp and/or Rrose Selavy for the last couple of days to illustrate (for lack of a better word) my ideas on identity in virtual worlds, the work of Cindy Sherman crept up in my sub consciousness earlier today. I mentioned in my post earlier today that Rrose Selavy […]

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A Game between Me and Me

I came across this clever YouTube video yesterday while brushing up my knowledge of Rrose Selavy (Duchamp’s pun on Eros, c’est la vie). What particularly struck me (and which I always admired in Duchamp) is the playfulness of his art, but also its depth. The concept of a game between a person’s personas is a […]

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The Identity Factory

In the wake of all these great posts on identity in virtual worlds (and RL – thanks, Kris!), Vaneeesa and I started talking about the ease which virtual environments such as SL allow for identity exploration. As many with an Art History background know, identity exploration has been a pivotal theme in twentieth century art, […]

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Beauty is the Beast

For the past couple of days, I’ve been dissecting/overanalyzing/pondering Kris’ performance/post “The Bald and the Beautiful.” What an inspirational and powerful piece! Like many great art pieces with a message, it made me think (and want to think) about key issues affecting our lives, bodies, sanity, society, etc. Most of all, it made me ask […]

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Usability a dirty word in SL?

At the risk of sounding like a total noob (yes, I have been a SL “resident” since 2008), it kind of hit me yesterday how not user friendly SL is. As I’ve said on this blog before, I don’t really have a separate identity in SL; my avatar basically looks like me and I use […]

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LEA or Bust

Yesterday, I received an email from Rowan Derryth that the Linden Endowment for the Arts (LEA) was accepting applications for Land Grants. At first, I thought nothing of it, and made a mental note to revisit the email and attachment at a more convenient time. Later that day, it hit me – is it just […]

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The Power of Touch

  As some of you may have noticed from my posts, I’ve had an innate fascination for linguistics all of my life. While it is not a field that I have ever pursued formally, it is something that has sort of “leaked” through every aspect of my work, research, thinking, etc. With that said, I […]

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Half Lives

For obvious reasons, a recurring theme in art history since the beginning of times, and in every culture, has been death. The discovery of death is a turning point in many children’s’ lives, including the life of one of my all-time favorite authors, Elias Canetti, who described his persistent fascination with death in Crowds and […]

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