Posts Tagged ‘mixed reality


Becoming Dragon in MFA Conversations II at I-5 in LA

MFA Conversations Part II

2100 N. Main St., #A-9 (in the Atrium at The Brewery), Los Angeles, CA 90031
Director: Nancy Ramirez. Curator: Marla Koosed
Web site:
Gallery hours: Fri.-Sat., 12-4pm; & by appointment

Conversation: (NOUN) 1. An informal spoken exchange of thoughts and feelings; a familiar talk. 2. Social intercourse; close association. 3.Rare. Close acquaintance, as with an object of study.

I-5 is pleased to announce the first in a series of shows being offered this summer through the fall of 2009. MFA Conversations Part I (May/June) and Part II (July/August) explore the abundance of MFA and MA programs in the Southern California area from San Diego to Santa Barbara. Despite their shared geography, these programs represent a range of diverse offerings, foci, students, and work. While such diversity yields richness, it can also have an isolating effect on students from these institutions, who do not have many opportunities to interact in the greater southern California arts community.


Becoming Dragon in LA and San Jose

Whew! I have a super busy week with two events where I’m presenting Becoming Dragon. If you’re in LA or San Jose or the bay area, come see me! Today I’m finishing installing a large installation with prints and video at Supersonic 2009, the show of southern california graduating MFA’s from a number of different schools. That show is at the LA convention center and is open to the public on Thursday the 22nd and stays up until Sunday the 25th.There are so many amazing artists in this show, you have to come see it!

Also, I’m giving a talk about my experience of Becoming Dragon in San Jose, on Thursday the 22nd at 11:30am at the Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality conference put on by the Society of Photonic Imaging Engineers. It’s at the San Jose convention center.


afternoon day 6

Today is day 6 of becoming dragon. Again, I feel that its a real accomplishment ot have made it this far.

Day 5 was hard. Very hard. There was a big performance symposium at ucsd, with performances going on all day all around campus, so most mf support people were occupied with that most of the day. At 6pm I told the people who were here for hte performance that I didn’t need any real food, just snacks, because I thought that other support people would be back soon.

I also have this persistent experience that I’m not hungry. I think its a combination of not burning many calories in here, being distracted by SL all day and having my body on a kind of alert mode because whenever I take off the visor I’m pretty dizzy and my face is very sore and red.

So, around midnight I realized that I hadn’t eaten or drank much of anything since 6pm, so I called some friends who showed up around 12:30 with food. By 11:30, I was starting to feel very bad, disoriented, tired and grumpy. People were still being so generous and taking me to amazing places, but really, by the time I got to Teal to see the Second Life servers recreated in SL by Jopsy Pendragon, I felt pretty confused when I arrived there. It probably didn’t help matter much that I was hanging out with Kathryna watching Dragonball Z explosions that filled the screen for about half an hour.

By the time I ate, I was seriously tired and the food mostly made me feel full in a gross way. Fortunately, once I took off the hmd, brushed my teeth, washed my face and laid down to sleep, I started feeling better. This morning I felt much better after a good night’s sleep, even though I generally feel dizzy when I first open my eyes in the mornings now.

Still, day 5 had great moments. I deeply enjoyed doing another poetry reading for “Something is Happening” and there was a good sized audience here IRL. I read “notes on becoming, 2mg of estradiol” ( and “between questions now and answers then” ( I did the reading at The Nameless Isle ( whic corresponds so well with the notion I’m exploring of how we can think about subjects in transition that we don’t hav names and labels for, subjects that are valid but don’t have nameable identities. Perhaps I’ll tyr writing some more poetry today, some immersion poetry, full of distraction and overstimulation and bodily discomfort…

I spoke to a trans persno who lives in the south of wales, they said they live in a very country town and that they like the fact that I’m a dragon because dragons are shapeshifters. They like that idea because they change genders numerous times a day, because they said that if people in their town knew they were trans they would likely be “beaten to an inch of death”. It was again like the tgirl from Missisipi, showing that SL can be a place for social connections which are not possible IRL.

I also got invited to a goth club by a friend who’s new to SL. I pole danced until I got kicked out by the bouncer, apparently only paid performers can be on stage. She later invited me to an S&M dungeon, which I went to for a bit, but I felt rather out of place, since a dragon doesn’t fit on the torture table anyway, and I left soon after I arrived.

I also visited the “one thousand and one” knights of sand arabian sim, where the second person in my time here told me that I am a sexy dragon. That was interesting to me, because it seems to me like dragons are mostly outside of the anthropomorphic economy of sex in Second Life. Sandy Stone asked how a dragon gender fits in with desire, and apparently that is how. Perhaps it is the sleekness or the shape, or the color or the notion fo dragons as powerful? The person from wales told me that becoming dragon was interesting in contrast to changing gender because dragons seem to be respected, while people changing genders are commonly lose respect from many.

Ok, enough blogging for now. Come and visit me. I’m adding additions and objects to my space in SL. I’m happy to say that the motion capture and head tracking are both working again this morning. I think I may be working out a system for having the motion capture be more reliable.


day 3 reflection

i’m going to write a bit about my day now because so many amazing things happened, and i want to write about them while i remember them in detail. you can see a lot of this in the photos on my blog, but here’s a summary of some of it.

first the san diego city beat article came out today, and early in the morning a tgirl in dc saw it and teleported into my space in sl. she invited me to a lounge in sl for trans people. that has been so surprising and great, that so many trans people have come to talk to me. it makes me so happy and i hope they keep coming. a lot of trans people are stealth in sl because they can be, and i was for a while too, but obviously not any more.

right before the afternoon event mokoko took me to the Space Studies Institute, where they construct models in SL of real world space vehicles for space startups and test the physics of the vehicles using the virtual world. that is an amazing mixed reality performance.

in the afternoon sandy stone came to my space for an in world voice chat. its hard to summarize, because once we got the sound issues solved (i have to mute my mic after i talk for events like this in the future) the discussion was amazing. i am so honored that sandy came to my space, and we got into some great issues about the possibilities of gender, the relationship between gender and power, the daily reality of violence that gender nonconforming people face, the relationship between gender and species and transgender and transspecies, the tension betwen positionality and transition, language as mediation for the body and the constant variation of degrees of mediation, and so much more. it was amazing. thank you sandy.

later, anya gallacio and her partner showed up in world and we sat in relic for a while enjoying the scene, listening to the waves. Fau from Second Front came and did a wonderful performance of riding on my back! Angelbeast also took a turn riding me, which was great fun.

In the evening my brother teleported in from miami and we chatted. now that he knows how sl works he can show the rest of my family there my performance. we hung out in relic too. i’m really hoping that more people will share more great places in sl with me so i can share them with people as part of my performance.

the motion capture worked for a while today and the audience still gets to see the stereo projection, which is great. tonight we’re going to work more on getting stereo running in the hmd again. tech issues are a constant problem, though, of course. the head tracking keeps crashing my whole machine, which i’ve emailed emagin about and hope they can help with. the voice is an issue because i need more legibility sometimes, so i tweak it a lot.

i feel good. mostly me face is sore from the weight of the device. i need some small foam or fabric piece for my nose i think. the hard part now is when i take off the visor, my balance is not good. i’ve been eating regularly but one strange sensation i have is that i’m never very hungry. having this digital world in front of my eyes must keep my brain in attention mode, because i don’t feel hungry. i also haven’t had much down time for writing, but i’m sure that will come.

thank you to everyone who keeps visiting me. keep coming back.


Visit the performance space in SL

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