VB Previz #23 – A Wedding

Previz: A Wedding

VB cast member Rebekah Newall is getting married! The lucky girl is Kira Macalroy. I couldn’t resist titling this “A Wedding” both in homage to Robert Altman’s 1978 masterpiece, and, as you’ll see in the minimal nature of this design, in counterpoint to it.

FIRST QUESTION: What’s the wardrobe?

Two Brides… who gets to wear the white?


Yes Rebekah should wear white. Yes Kira should wear white. Yes the wedding party should wear white. Yes, the entire assembled group should wear white. Let’s all be a part of this joyous vision.

SECOND QUESTION: What’s the venue?

SL has lots of wedding chapels, but I’m drawn to something more formal for this profound occasion. What about one of SL’s great gothic cathedrals? Oh yes! If we’re going to be in a great cathedral, maybe we shouldn’t be at the normal altar… I actually find myself drawn to some corner of the cathedral under, perhaps, a statue of Saint Thomas Aquinas.

Well, apparently there aren’t any SL cathedrals with statues of Aquinas. According to my search results, there is only one place in all of SL that has anything on Saint Thomas Aquinas — The Museum of Philosophy. This beautiful museum and gardens has, in the top-left corner of it’s bookshelf, a purple volume: a Project Gutenberg EBook of Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica.

And why does the shadow of Aquinas feel so right for this wedding? Well, “Saint” Thomas Aquinas – so a big star in the pantheon of the church, right? Well… yes… and no… in 1277, three years after his death, he was posthumously excommunicated for heresy… half a millennium later, in 1879, Pope Leo XII stated that Aquinas’ theology was the definitive exposition of Catholic doctrine. Perhaps patience does prevail.

Even though performance art has a rich history IRL, it is little practiced, and little respected, in SL. Just this week I had the self-proclaimed “biggest artist in SL” tell me that our work was “spam.”

Since there is chauvinism IRL, it should come as no surprise that there is chauvinism in SL. Racism, misogyny, and homophobia are hate crimes IRL, and like all other aspects of RL, their spirit finds it’s way into SL. This may sadden me, but it certainly does not surprise me. What does shock me is that there could be chauvinism toward nekos, the sweetest creatures I’ve encountered in SL. This, I still can’t believe.

As we were sitting around after VB04, Rebekah and Senban told me that yes, this chauvinism is real. Senban said that she’d been dancing at clubs and seen guys come thru, giving nice tips to every dancer in the place, but skipping over every neko and giving them nothing. It was that night that our upcoming December extravaganza VB11-NEKO! was created.

So… The Philosophy Museum! It has, just underneath that purple Aquinas volume, a magnificent grand central staircase. What better a place for a neko/human wedding, than on these glorious stairs, under a book by a heretic/saint, in a wedding designed by a spammer/artist.

THIRD QUESTION: What’s the ceremony?

Our work is often minimal. I do believe that less is more. And weddings, such enormous days, are often devoured by the complexity of the minutiae. I don’t believe this wedding requires a million little gestures. A glut of manufactured moments. In fact, I wonder if one gesture isn’t sufficient. In our performances we often simply stand with each other. It is a simple, powerful connection between people. I can’t think of a better way for Kira and Rebekah to join together, than simply to stand with each other, to stand with their friends and loved ones, to stand before the world.

The minister/officiant doesn’t necessarily have to recite all that stuff… she could simply say after an hour of standing, “I pronounce you wed.” In fact, perhaps even that is unnecessary…

If you read this blog, you can probably guess that I am fond of language… still… language as disembodied words can turn the visceral, the powerful, into the superficial. Kira and Rebekah can, of course, have all the words they like in this ceremony… but I’d suggest as few as… none…

If they stand on that staircase… with each other… with their “family”… before the world… really, what else is there to say? They have physically, viscerally joined, nothing needs to be said.

FOURTH QUESTION: Where’s the party?

Just outside the museum is a beautiful courtyard: a central fountain is surrounded by flowers, a sculpture garden, plenty of seating, open space for dancing, an ideal reception space!

What’s to eat?

I don’t do catering!

Whether it turns out to be this wedding design or something completely different, I’m so excited for Kira & Rebekah! I wish you guys a great wedding, and a wonderful life!

As a virtual public artist my work invites avatar communities to express their identity, explore their culture, and demand their civil rights.

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