VB Previz #37 – The House with the Ocean View / Burn2

For twelve days, from Friday 15 November to Tuesday 26 November 2002, Marina Abramovic performed The House with the Ocean View at the Sean Kelley Gallery in New York City…

For nine days, from Saturday 16 October to Sunday 24 October 2010, VB/CO will perform our adaptation of The House with the Ocean View at Burn2 in Virtual Black Rock City.

The conditions for Marina Abramovic’s original performance were as follows:

This performance comes from my desire to see if it is possible to use simple daily discipline, rules and restrictions to purify myself. Can I change my energy field? Can this energy field change the energy field of the audience and the space?

Duration of the piece: 12 days
Food: No Food
Water: Large quantity of pure mineral water
Talking: No talking
Singing: Possible but unpredictable
Writing: No writing
Reading: No reading
Sleeping: 7 hours a day
Standing: unlimited
Sitting: unlimited
Lying: unlimited
Shower: 3 times a day

use telescope
remain silent
establish energy dialog with the artist

The clothes for The House with the Ocean View were inspired by Alexander Rodchenko. The color of the clothes were selected in accordance with the principles of the Hindu Vedic square. The boots are the ones I used to walk the Great Wall of China in 1987.

The conditions for the Vaneeesa Blaylock / Company adaptation of The House with the Ocean View are as follows:

Marina Abramovic’s work has often been considered thru a feminist lens. While there are compelling reasons for this perspective, I have often found the Mother of Performance Art’s work to have heroic, aggressive, challenging, and at the risk of being simplistic, “masculine” qualities.

By contrast, the father of performance art Allan Kaprow’s work always had a certain nurturing quality, and dare-I-say-it, a “female” sensibility.

In VB22 – The House with the Ocean View, we propose to perform our adaptation of Marina Abramovic’s work with some of Allan Kaprow’s lightness and effervescence. Further, the performance will consider that it is not being held inside a NYC art gallery, but outdoors in the barren heat and festival atmosphere of Virtual Black Rock City, Nevada.

Once during my studies with Kaprow he gave a group of us teaspoons and in one person’s spoon he put a teaspoon of water. He asked us to pass the water from person to person, spoon to spoon, until it had made a circle in the room.

This took a while and you could palpably feel the great care as each person passed the tiny quantity of water to the next person. When finally the circle was complete, not a drop had been spilled.

Kaprow then told us some stories of his time studying with John Cage at The New School for Social Research in 1957 and 1958. Kaprow had learned from Cage, and was trying to share with us that,

Anything, looked at carefully enough, becomes interesting.

I think Kaprow and Abramovic share this impulse. In a way they want us to slow down and experience more fully, more deeply. I can’t imagine either of them ever putting it this crudely, but since I’m an avatar with an excess of energy, I might say that they ask us to “slow down our Western egos.”

BTW, a few years before working with Kaprow at New School, Cage had taught at Black Mountain College and staged his first, of what Kaprow would later call a “Happening,” there. So perhaps our performance in Black Rock will channel a little bit of Black Mountain as well.

Duration of the piece:
9 days – unlike Abramovic who physically lived in the Sean Kelly Gallery for twelve days, we avatars have typists who occasionally have their own agendas. Our definition of living in the house for nine days then will be based not on time, but on location. Participants in this performance have no minimum number of hours to be present, it may be a lot or a little, rather they have a place requirement, that for the nine days, whenever they are in-world, they are not at any other location than the house, and that they are always in the house, with their feet never touching the clay ground of the playa.

Flying: No flying
Food: Typist’s business, not ours
Water: Typist’s business, not ours

Yes! The power and courage in Abramovic’s performance was extraordinary, but we would like to be a little bit less spartan. Perhaps this will render the experience less deep, but we seek an easier, more familiar connection to our audience.
• Unlimited Local Chat
• Unlimited IM

Singing: Possible but unpredictable
Writing: Yes! Daily Blog Posts!
Reading: Yes! Daily surfing of Marketplace.SecondLive via the dining room “Big Screen TV”
Sleeping: Possible but unpredictable
Standing: unlimited
Sitting: unlimited
Lying: unlimited
Shower: at cast member discretion

Our “House” has four rooms:
• The Dining Room / Marketplace.SecondLife Room
• The Dance Room
• The Sex Bed Room
• The Nursery

While Abramovic moved freely between her three rooms, we will inhabit each of our four rooms for one quarter of the day:

The Dining Room: Noon – 6p
The Dance Room: 6pm – Midnight
The Sex Bed Room: Midnight – 6am
The Nursery: 6am – Noon


The Dining Room has a "Big Screen TV" / Web Browser that can surf Marketplace.Secondlife to consume products (SL VIewer 2 or Kirsten's required)



The Dance Room has a dance ball courtesy of Pennyroyal Calamity and panning spotlights.



Tucked in-between the Dance Room and the Sex Bed Room is the shower corner.



The "Sex Bed" features poses like this mediation pose, and yes, it also has those other ones. IDK if anyone will actually click on them, but who's to say what might happen in the nether-time of the SLT night.



The "tiny" playpen in the Nursery room.


kk – now to see if I can somehow explain the conversions from FLT to SLT to RDT without completely confusing the living crap out of you.

FLT  (First Life Time) = SLT (Second Life Time) = PDT (Pacific Daylight Time) = GMT-8
RDT = Region Default Time where a day passes in 4 First Life Hours.

The good news is that your viewer shows “Linden-Lab-centric time” no matter where you live. So even if it’s 10pm GMT, your viewer will say in the upper right “2:00 PM PDT” (or possibly “14:00 PDT)

A Physical World Day lasts 24 hours; an SL Virtual World Day lasts 4 hours.

Therefore, between Noon SLT Saturday, and Noon SLT Sunday, there are 6 sunrises and sunsets. Yes, you could argue that our performance will last not 9 days, but 9 x 6 = 54 days! 9 is a very typist-centric number!

Within SL’s 4-hour day it turns out that the hours are non-linear. The daylight hours are longer than the night hours. This isn’t actually important for our performance and discussing it really hurts my brain a lot.

All you really need to know is that we’ll be in the Dining Room at virtual noon, go to the Dance Room in the afternoon and experience sunset and night there, go to the Sex Bed Room at virtual midnight and experience night followed by dawn there, and complete our 4 hour day in the Nursery till virtual noon again.

So, whether AM or PM, we will be in these rooms at these SLT/PDT hours:
• Dining: 2-3, 6,7, 10-11
• Dance: 3-4, 7-8, 11-12
• Sex Bed: 4-5, 8-9, 12-1
• Nursery: 5-6, 9-10, 1-2

Or to put it even simpler and make you sorry you read everything above, but not as sorry as I am that I wrote it, at the top of every hour, we move counter-clockwise to the next room.

To experience the “natural” passage of SL days, set your viewer to:
World >> Environment Settings >> Revert to Region Default

We believe these four rooms do a pretty good job of representing a lot of the activity in Second Life: Shopping, Dancing, Pixel Sex, Babies / Families


The shower is located in between the Dance Room and the Sex Bed Room and may be used during either of those time zones.

A fifth prominent SL activity is renting apartments and homes. This is addressed by the entirety of the House on the Playa.


The "Knife-Ladders" that connect each of the 4 rooms of the house to the ground of the playa are constant reminders that while our house is close to the earth, it is impossible to enter or leave the house during the 9 days.


While less austere than Abramovic’s performance, we still seek exploration and growth for our audience. In addition to conversations with the cast we will have an “About My Avatar” Questionaire / Notecard where audience members can contemplate on and return thoughts about their life in this world. As our week on the Playa progresses, the words and images of our guests will become the exterior walls of our home.

In Abramovic’s performance a long line bifurcated the space into Abramovic space and public space. To demarcate our space, our House is surrounded by a ring of fire. Arranged in a circle around the house, fifteen “Watcher’s Mounds” are dug into the ground of the playa. Visitors may sit down in the hole and observe life in the house. Yes, they can even sing “I fell into a burning ring of fire” if they really want.

Since Abramovic’s clothing was inspired by Alexander Rodchenko, it immediately seemed that ours should be inspired by Andy Warhol. Perhaps the colors would come from the colors in his portrait of Marilyn Monroe. After a bit of consideration this choice seemed perhaps too obvious and superficial.

In considering the remarkable number of dance clubs in Second Life that continue to relive 80’s music, and the equally remarkable glam culture to be found there, it seemed clear that the artist to inspire our wardrobe must be Patrick Nagel, and that the painting could only be his 1982 cover for Duran Duran’s second album, Rio.

Abramovic’s “prison jumpsuits” are way too humidifying for life on the Playa. Instead we will wear denim shorts and tops in, as Abramovic had done, six colors rotated thru the performance time. Here are the six colors from the Rio cover and the tops manufactured in these colors.

Saturday 16 October Duran Duran Earring
Sunday 17 OctoberDuran Duran Lipstick
Monday 18 OctoberDuran Duran Goth
Tuesday 19 OctoberDuran Duran Gold
Wednesday 20 OctoberDuran Duran Night
Thursday 21 OctoberEmeraldGate (formerly known as DD Teal)
Friday 22 OctoberDuran Duran Earring
Saturday 23 OctoberDuran Duran Lipstick
Sunday 24 October EmeraldGate

These images depict the female version of this wardrobe. A set of Male Avatar Compatible or “MAC” tops and shorts is currently in production at the VB/CO factory in Hong Kong.

Footwear, if any, will be left to each individual. Abramovic wore the boots she used to walk the Great Wall of China in 1987. I certainly have nothing that extraordinary, but I do have the flip-flops I walked the 34 regions of Burning Life ’09 with, and I will wear those for the nine days of VB22.

VB/CO will provide each performance participant with a complete set of tops and enough shorts to last the week. (Shorts and Tops are “Yes Copy” so you can always have fresh clothing to wear) Beyond the tops and shorts, cast members may add any accessories, tats, etc, of their choosing. Below is an image of me in the EmeraldGate top and denim shorts with a hat and canteen – very helpful in Playa conditions! Since I lack the moral fortitude for “real” tats, I’ll be wearing henna during the performance.

These clothes (or less, by participant choice) will be worn in three of the four rooms: Dining, Dance, Sex.

In the nursery we will be Tiny avatars. All participants will be given a Tiny Bear avatar that Agnes Sharple found for us. You have four choices in the nursery:
1. Be the Tiny Bear
2. If you have your own tiny baby avatar, you may wear that
3. If you have any tiny avatar, you may wear that
4. If you have your own prim baby, you may wear your adult avatar in the color of the day and carry your prim baby.


Be the Tiny Bear



Tiny Babies! (potty time)



I love my prim baby!


Everyone is welcome, whether you have performed with VB/CO previously or not. The only commitment we seek is that for the nine days of Burn2, however much or little you are in-world, that the entirety of those minutes be spent in (or on top of) The House with the Ocean View at:

The above LM is for cast arrival in the house. For audience arrival on the playa:


If you are interested in joining this group, or have any questions, please contact, in-world:
macar00n Earst, Casting Director, VB/CO
Forceme Silverspar, Stage Manager, VB/CO
Friday Blaisdale, Managing Director, VB/CO

Her name is Rio and she dances on the sand
Just like that river twisting through a dusty land
And when she shines she really shows you all she can
Oh Rio, Rio dance across the Rio Grande

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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