Posts Tagged ‘transition


I Am Transreal, pt. 2 []

I am becoming something else. In this moment, this being-in-transition, I am willfully stepping into the unknown. I am between realities. I can only imagine what I want to become, and then choose to become that new thing, but it is radically ungraspable, inconceivable. I can never know the reality of what I am choosing to become, desiring to become. My decision to transform can never be the right one, because it is always based on an illusion, a fantasy, a false conception with only a few points of data, not the rich details of an embodied life. As the transformation unfolds, those unknown events begin to occur, like seeing my breasts in the mirror for the first time after shaving my chest closely, feeling the movement in my orgasm change into something new or just walking down the street for a moment as a girl, unnoticed and not needing any special attention. My decision to become something else is always a decision to become mythopoetic, because the reality of the new state is always unknown, imaginary, a construct, a fantasy. Yet I don’t seek to decry this radical state of uncertainty but to embrace it. The very moments of everyday perception are also simply intersections of a real materiality with my symbolic and imaginary processing engines making sense of them, down to the way that I understand what pleasure is and what pain is and when the two become too close so as to be confused. And a choice to not transform is of course still a choice to transform into a different state, as our bodies are all in permanent transition, aging, training, consuming, producing, perceiving, creating new folds in our craniums.

Read the rest at and leave a comment! I’d love to know what you think of this writing…


Becoming Dragon on cover of the San Diego Reader and at Open Studios

Guess who’s on the cover of the San Diego Reader this week? ME! So pick up a copy and check it out, or read it online here and leave the author a comment!

I’m very happy, and very annoyed with this article on the cover of this week’s issue of the major San Diego weekly publication. I’m happy that the project is getting so much exposure. I’m very unhappy that the author chose to ignore my choice of pronouns, present the whole project as some mad scientist project “at tax payer’s expense” and put a ridiculous picture on the cover instead of one of the many photos and second life screenshots from the performance. At least the author had the courage to admit at the end of the article that I told him what pronouns to use and that he chose not to. Overall, I think that he quoted me at length, and accurately, on the core issues on the performance, which I really appreciate.

Also, if you’d like to see documentation of Becoming Dragon, life size, up close and personal, come to Open Studios at UCSD next Saturday, April 4th!


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.


More RL photos of Becoming Dragon

Here are some more real life photos of Becoming Dragon, including the last few days, the closing party and the very last moments of the performance.


Online-world immersion probes ‘possibilities of transformation’

Today’s Sunday paper featured Becoming Dragon on the front page of the morning edition! Read the article below…


2 days later

Hello everyone,

The end of the performance was wonderful. Friends stayed in world until the very end. I am so grateful to everyone.

It is two days after the perfomance and I feel much better. I saw my doctor and my blood pressure is a little high and my vision is back to 20/20. I don’t feel 100% better, but mostly better. I think it’ll only be a few days.

I just wanted to post this video that calit2 made. Enjoy…

Watch it in HD here! (It looks much better in HD)


thoughts on becoming, day 16

Something came to me yesterday that is important to me, and forgot to tell people many times, so I’m posting it here.

Many times people have asked me if I feel more like a dragon, and now that I’m coming to the conclusion of the performance, I’m sure the question will come up even more. An important part of this performance to remember is that it about Becoming almost more than it is about Dragon.

What I intended to do with this performance was to look closely at becoming and transition, and someone like myself who is permanently in transition, not on a trajectory towards an end point, not in a teleology, but inhabiting and exploring the liminal state as much as possible.

This is part of why the Shamanic tradition was interesting to me and has become very important to me, in relation to performance in particular, as a practice of entering a liminal state.

So, when someone asks me if I feel more like a dragon now, my answer should be something like this. Yes, I do growl, snarl and roar more ften in response to questions, and I do so by calling up my Heads Up Display and pressing the button for growl, snarl or roar. I have been exploring the state of becoming by inhabiting the liminal space of Second Life. So, as a Second Life dragon, I can shapeshift by calling up forms from my inventory, I can teleport to places by activating landmark cards I have been given and I can make my body glow by going into the build window and increasing the glow value to 0.50. I do feel more like someone who is becoming dragon using virtual worlds, I am used to dealing with my heavy VGA and USB twisted tail, and am used to the soreness of my forehead, nose and eyes.

Just as with gender, I am interesting in exploring and inhabiting forms and modes of being outside of the binary, just as I am not male or female, I’m not human or dragon, but a Second Life dragon, or being-dragon-in-second-life, to think of heidegger and modes of being in the world, or the multiplicity of virtual dragons unfolding from potentality into and from the plane of immanence, to invoke Deleuze and Guattari.


Motion Capture Second Life Script

Tonight we posted the code for Stereoscopic mode in the Second Life viewer to the SL developer’s list, here:

Also, below is the code for the Second Life scripts that handle our motion capture interface for Becoming Dragon. This script simply reads an XML file over http, extracts the coordinates out and moves the object that contains this script to those coordinates. Then, one only needs to attach the object to your avatar and click on the object to start the motion capture. I left in my comments and debg code. In the next few days we’ll make our code for reading the live Vicon motion capture data out and translating them into XML.

Really, this would be most useful if you use a few objects to represent your avatar and make your avatar invisible. With such a system, by getting the base coordinates right for each body part, you could have full body motion capture. We simply did not have the time to get multiple objects working and mappe into a dragon body, so we only used one coordinate to do position tracking within the room at CRCA, mapping into the room in Second Life.

Since the vicon code is separate, these scripts could easily be used with a Wii, if you use a program like aka.wiimote or Darwiin remote to get the four points of mocap data from the wiibar and translate them to xml. Then these scripts could read that xml over http and viola! wii Second Life motion capture.

Here’s the code:

integer in_world = 0;
key http_request_id;
float timer_secs = 1;
integer moving = 0;
integer moves = 0;
integer max_moves = 60;

//begin xml reading code

list markers;

parseElement(string line)
if(line == “<markers>”)
//llOwnerSay(“markers line found, starting new markers list”);
markers = [];

// determine type of element
string element = llGetSubString(line, 0, llSubStringIndex(line, ” “) – 1);
element = llToLower(element);

// parse known elements

parseMarkerElement(llGetSubString(line, llStringLength(element) + 1, -1));

parseMarkerElement(string line) {

//llOwnerSay(“parsing line: “+line);

if(line == “</markers>”) return;

// parse attribute name/value pairs
list parts = llParseString2List(line, [“=\'”, “\’ “, “\'”, “>”, “<\/”, “\'”], []);
integer n = llGetListLength(parts);
integer i;

// set default values
string position_x = “”;
string position_y = “”;
string position_z = “”;
string visibility = “”;
string marker_name = “”;

// loop through name/value pairs
for(i = 0; i < n; i += 2)
// read name/value pair

string name = llList2String(parts, i);
name =
name = llToLower(name);
string value = llList2String(parts, i + 1);

//find content of marker node, slightly hackish
if(value == “marker”) {
value = name;
name = “name”;

// assign known values
if(name == “position_x”) position_x = value;
if(name == “position_y”) position_y = value;
if(name == “position_z”) position_z = value;
if(name == “visibility”) visibility = value;
if(name == “name”) marker_name = value;

// add new item
if(visibility == “true”)

markers += [marker_name];
markers += [position_x];
markers += [position_y];
markers += [position_z];

//end xml reading code

default {

state_entry()  {

if(in_world == 0)
llOwnerSay(“Hi, I’m the new movement object xml!”);
in_world = 1;



http_response(key request_id, integer status, list metadata, string body)      {

//if ( moves < max_moves ) {

list coords;

//llOwnerSay(“http response received…”);

if (request_id == http_request_id)  {

//llSetText(body, <0,0,1>, 1);

// parse out xml elements
//list lines = llParseString2List(body, [“/>”,”<“, “>”, “\n”], []);
list lines = llParseString2List(body, [“\n”], []);

// loop through elements
integer n = llGetListLength(lines);
integer i;
for(i = 0; i < n; i++)
parseElement(llList2String(lines, i));

//llOwnerSay(“markers: “+(string)markers);

//move by offsets in html body
//= llGetPos();

vector position;
vector offset;
list thiscoord;

if(llGetListLength(markers) > 2) {

//llOwnerSay(“using marker “+llList2String(markers, 0) );

//change these numbers, after the +’s to your origin in your sim
offset.x = (llList2Float(markers, 1)/1000) + 183;

offset.y = (llList2Float(markers, 2)/1000) + 16;

offset.z = (llList2Float(markers, 3)/1000) + 33;

if(offset.x > 0 && offset.y > 0 && offset.z > 0)

llMoveToTarget(offset, 0.1);

//llOwnerSay(“+++ Moving to “+(string)offset.x+” , “+
// (string)offset.y+” , “+
// (string)offset.z);

llSetText((string)offset.x+”,”+(string)offset.y+”,”+(string)offset.z, <0,0,1>, 1);


} //end if coords

} //end if (request_id == http_request_id)

// } else {  //end if moves < 5

// llSetTimerEvent(0);
// llOwnerSay(“Newmove  : “+(string)moves+” moves! Stopping movement.”);
// moving = 0;
// moves = 0;


timer() {

//llOwnerSay((string)timer_secs + ” second timer elapsed, sending http request…”);
http_request_id = llHTTPRequest(“;, [], “”);


touch_start(integer total_number) {

if(moving == 0) {
llOwnerSay(“Touched! Timer starting. sending http request…”);
http_request_id = llHTTPRequest(“;, [], “”);
moving = 1;
} else {
llOwnerSay(“Touched! Stopping movement.”);
moving = 0;
moves = 0;



And here’s a sample xml data file…

<?xml version='1.0' encoding='ISO-8859-1'?>
		<marker position_x='316.474' position_y='213.859' position_z='42.4289'visibility='true'>Default:Marker1</marker>
		<marker position_x='540.871' position_y='125.609' position_z='44.586'visibility='true'>Default:Marker2</marker>
		<marker position_x='602.447' position_y='263.058' position_z='47.1262'visibility='true'>Default:Marker3</marker>
		<marker position_x='634.26' position_y='337.013' position_z='48.9091'visibility='true'>Default:Marker4</marker>
		<marker position_x='0' position_y='0' position_z='0'visibility='false'>wand:Marker1</marker>
		<marker position_x='0' position_y='0' position_z='0'visibility='false'>wand:Marker2</marker>
		<marker position_x='0' position_y='0' position_z='0'visibility='false'>wand:Marker3</marker>


Night, day 13

It is the night of day 13. I’m having another tired day, and I got some crappy news about a friendship of mine not doing so well so on top of being exhausted, I’m sad. Aside from that, it was a good day. Trevor from the music department stopped by tonight from the christmas party. They bought me a holiday tree for my space in sl, which was so nice of them! I love it. I need more plants around me.

I explored some more great builds today that I found on the Not Possible in Real Life blog, the wastelands and tainted hearth. I also accidentally stumbled into Alan Sondheim’s The Accidental Artist, which is amazing to experience in person… In the Wastelands, a friend of mine tp’ed over and read me (with voice) an amazing anticapitalist poem by Tiqqun in front of the ruins of a bank.

This morning I talked to a great builder who gave me some nice scripted objects and who told me that he wishes he could do what I’m doing, living in Second Life. He said a few times, “you’re the first one!”, which may be true. The funny thing is that my mother always wanted me to be an astronaut, and now I guess I am kind of a cybernaut of sorts, hah.

Brooklyn is Watching posted the show today! We met and discussed my project as well as another art installation in world. See and hear it here.

Yesterday was amazing, though. Let me preface this by saying that I’m a trained computer scientist and nowadays I’m very strongly secular, i consider myself philosophically a materialist, and have a hard time with vague notions of “spirituality”, while I do acknowledge that science doesn’t even claim to have a complete picture of the universe.

Yesterday, day 12, was also the Grand Cross, a very rare astronomical occurence where 4 planets are all at 90 degree angles to each other, that only occurs something like once every century. But, here’s what happened with my day…

In the morning, an Anthropology grad student showed up who studies shamanism and spirit mediums in the carrbiean. I told him of my interest in shamanism, but my reluctance to coopt indigenous traditions I know little about. He told me that he feels that trance states like shamanism and spirit mediums are a panhuman occurence, common to all cultures, and acknowledged that there are links between this kind of durational performance and shamanism. Then, J’s friend Nikyta came by, who’s writing her thesis on Shamanism and Transitional living spaces, and further encouraged me to consider that there isn’t just one practice of shamanism, and said that she felt strongly that what I am doing with this performance is exactly like shamanistic practices, inhabiting two spaces at once, liminal space, acting as the transmediated other. Then, Ricardo and Amy showed up, and Amy was the person who had recommended to me Michael Taussig’s book “Shamanism, Colonialism and the Wild Man”. Then, for the final coincidence which Nikyta insisted is not a coincidence but a shamanic indicence, I stumbled across Alynna’s “Shamanic Journeying Blanket”, which contains journey drum sequences with different tempos for portions of the journey and you can select your length, from 10 minutes to infinite.

At night yesterday we had the Otherkin communty discussion. It was fascinating to talk to so many otherkin including: a dragon, a horse, a wolf, a fox, vampires and a fae. They described in great detail their experiences, some of them since as young as 7, feeling like they should be in the body of another species. Some of them described feelings of phantom tails or wings. The horse told me of the Equine Dream foundation, dedicated to creating possibilities for Species Change, calling for morphological freedom for all. Some of the Otherkin told me that they’ve been diagnosed as schizophrenic for these feelings, which made me think of how transgender people have been thought of as insane in much of western culture and are still considered to have a disorder, and of how homosexuality was seen as insane and criminal. I wonder about the possibilities in the future. I really look forward to meeting more Otherkin in person and learning more about their experiences. Sandy Stone told me that for her transabled people really introduce a lot of complexity to transgender theory, and I also feel like Otherkin present some amazing challenges to current thining on identity, agency and gender. The opinions differed, some Otherkin felt that gender is related, but some didn’t. Generally they agreed that since they want to be in another body anyway, they don’t feel tied to their sex. Its hard to gague over a chat how people really feel, but I was so honored to have people sharing their very personal stories with me, and to be a part of the community they were sharing with.

Tonight I tried on a steam dragon, which has amazing features like steam, fire and sparks. I wish I could give my friend a steam hatchling, but SL’s awful copy restrictions make it impossible without using a third party website. Yet I still have more affinity with my astral dragon. I’ve begun using the adult dragon since I’m spending less time in the lab space, and I especially love the astral aura…


night, day 10


It is now the night of day 10. i am tired. i didn’t expect the incredible effort of expending social energy towards people literally all day every day. from when i wake up to when i go to bed, i have people coming in rl or sl, knocking on the door or sending me an IM. It is actually tiring now, maintaining one or more conversations, all the time. We’ve had lots of interesting visitors in the last few days because of the Cinegrid conference, but it hard being on public display for so long. As someone said the other day, it can feel like the “Dog and Dragon Show” (as opposed to pony).

Today at 7pm I had some friends here, and I asked someone to leave the physical space because public hours were over. He proceeded to stay for about 5 minutes more and it really bugged me. Obviously, I’m tired and grumpy.

But it was wonderful to see mary and nikki. I was sooo happy that they stopped by.

Last night, as I said in my earlier post, were again, amazingly fun. I went to some of the places on Koinup’s list of top 10 places of the week. First we walked around a winter wonderland of reZone, which is a very nice build. The music, the water and all of it are very soothing, which is what I need right about now.

After that, Calder invited my to MyBase, the new Air Force base in Second Life. At first, I was so disgusted to see more United States jingoist propaganda crap reproduced in second life, with the music and all, but then I quickly realized what fun we could have there!

We burned the flag, we setup our own Air Force posters that said “Join the Air Force: Travel the world, meet exitoc people and kill them”, we set off rockets (much better than the rockets there help up by sticks), we had a jolly time, doing just what we would want, using virtua worlds to realize our dreams. Thank you air force! LOL…

After one last dragonball Z shot into the heart of darkness, we went on our merry way. It was late by then, and tired we went with Hibiki Ochs to see the Beat Cafe and art exhibits at the University of Columbia in Chicago, which are amazing and you should check out.

Today’s panel with Brian Holmes and Rubaiyat Shatner on “Biopolitics and Second Life, The Challenge of Imagining New Worlds” went great, and is pictured above. Since Brian had a slower machine, we just used text, which turned out to be more democratic anyway, since everyone could chat together. I’ll post the chat log soon.

Now I’m just happy to relax for a bit and write this blog post. Looking forward to the home cooked soup brianna brought me this morning! Oh, and Dr. Dominguez brought Ze by today, which was also wonderful. Ze is Ricardo’s little boy, I think he is about 2 now? He liked the dragon a great deal and immediately began making up reality bending stories about it, and the magical scroll he found on the floor, and the pokemon stick he found outside, all made better by his new dragon force power.


Good news came tonight in the form of an SL photomodel, Callie Cline,  who IM’ed me to say that she thinks my project is interesting and she wanted to take a picture with me. Apparently she was the first avatar to get a modeling contract for a RL company, pontiac. Interesting, but her contract is up now. Still, she makes great clothes and she told me that the dr dobbs story about my (a repost of the calit2 one) and the city beat article were headline news on the front page of That’s good news. Although since we were discussing the problematics of one corporation running SL and the need for more opensim servers at our event today, its a bit ironic. I was also very happy about Frank’s Waag Society blog post, since they do such fascinating work.


Visit the performance space in SL

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