10
Dec
08

morning day 9

day8_0013

Today is day 9. It is morning.

I didn’t write much yesterday, as it was a busy day, a really amazing day. I do feel generally cognitively impaired though, so I think that my psychologist was right that I should think of this writing as a kinf of medicine, and I’m going to continue it, even though we’ve begun video documenting as much as possible.

On day 8 I did so much of what I really came here to do. For one, I talked to Stelarc. We chatted for an hour and he was very personable and generous and warm. His laugh makes us all laugh. We talked about his performances fractal flesh and ping body, as well as the prosthetic head and the third ear project. We talked a great deal about subjectivity and the line between the actual and the virtual, how that line is messy or false. We discussed the way that avatars can support or destroy a notion of a cartesian split between mind and body, and the notion of learning to live in an extended way with technological prostheses.

But also very importantly, I met Alynna and talked about the Otherkin. Alynna and Yaochi are part of a community here in SL and in RL that refer to themselves as Otherkin, meaning, they feel they are other than human. On Friday at 7pm we’ll be having a community discussion with and about Otherkin at Alynna’s treehouse ( http://slurl.com/secondlife/Kitsuhana/128/32/2 )

From the Otherkin faq: ( see http://kinhost.org/res/Otherfaq.php)

“The Otherkin are those people who believe themselves to be spiritually and/or physically other than human. While mythological species (elves, satyrs, fairies, dragons, and so on) are widely accepted as being included under the term “Otherkin”, many people in the community prefer to include aliens, vampires, furries, extraterrestrial humans, and other nonhuman races. A mythological or literary equivalent is not necessary to be included under “Otherkin”; there are types of otherkin that have not shown up in known legends or fiction (star-dragons, Elenari, etc.).”

So while I’ve been thinking and talking about species change surgery and my own feeling that I’m “something else”, I finally met a whole community of people who feel that they are truly, earnestly, painfully, other than human, foxes, dragons, cats. One of them told me that they identify as transgender IRL, and that they were on hormones but that they can no longer afford them, as they’re just looking for work now. But, they said, why bother, they still aren’t fulfilling, because what they really want is to be a Fox. They were interested to hear about my research into the possibilities and my hopes to continue researching the limits of biotech and body hacking for species change modifications after this project. It was very energizing to think about continuing this project, as I have always refferred to this SL stage as stage 1, hoping to go onto bioart work in the future, but also to continue really thinking and writing about transspecies possibilities.

Though I do feel a bit guilty talking to the Otherkin, as I myself do not identify as a Dragon. I think that if I identify as something, its as a shapeshifter, and thats why I like dragons. I think that an identity like fox or dragon or woman is just a point of reference, an attempt to unify the confusing whirl of experience that is subjectivity and intersubjectivity. I find myself choosing new identities and moving towards them, only to become more like them and then find that I have a new set of desires, and that is how I function, how I like it. I remember KRS one saying something about life as an artistic act of creating the self, but I can never find the quote, and that’s something I strongly relate to, a constant creative process of creation, which as Jackie pointed out to me also involves death and the death of old forms as new ones emerge. This morning I discussed this with ben/calder and he said that he thinks the notion of being in permanent transition seems important in that it can relieve some of the painful longing to have another body that one can’t have at the moment. I don’t think its that simple, but I do think that the notion of permanent transition (strongly related to the thinking of Bergson and Massumi) is very important to me, and something that needs much more thought and attention. Its also why I like Lacan’s notion of the mirror effect, thinking you are something and then trying to become that, as well as mcluhan’s notion of feedback between us and our tools, as I described in my project description.

In RL news, I finally got the shorts and tanktop that I had wanted to wear for this performance and I am very happy, I feel much more comfortable now and I think its important to be foregrounding the body as much as possible. I liked the motion capture suit for its otherness from daily life, allowing the viewer to possibly see as more alien and allow more slippage into the dragon, but since the markers are on the hmd, it became a sort of prop, and the motion capture actually works better without the suit, since its always trying to match markers to bodies.

My damn bloghud seems to be failing a lot. Perhaps its not working at all. It seems that most of my posts from yesterday and today are not posting, so I’m going to try to capture more snapshots and post them manually, but its a much slower process. I deeply hope that bloghud’s mail servers aren’t down or something. Can someone try to contact them and see what is happening? Post a comment if you have a minute to drop them a line… Thank you!

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