close up of human eye with "a Steven Spielberg film" superimposed on it

The Minority Report on SaveMe Oh

image from film "Being There" of Peter Sellars / Chauncey Gardiner walking on air above the White House

LONDON, 30 March — Like Peter Sellers’ “Chauncey Gardiner” in Hal Ashby’s 1979 film Being There, artist savant SaveMe Oh has once again, knowingly or otherwise, advanced the cultural dialog through her work. Few in virtual space have had the accidental vision or unintended clarity about 21st century new media that Oh regularly stumbles upon. With her echolalic mantra “ME ME ME” as deafening as it is repetitive and one-note, she provokes, indeed demands, a consideration of coping mechanisms in the century of new media pollution. If not its Banksy, then she surely is the virtual world’s Chauncey Gardiner.

close up of human eye with "a Steven Spielberg film" superimposed on it

Stephen Spielberg’s 2002 adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s 1956 short story The Minority Report has been legendary for it’s prognostication on our visual culture future. When, in the fullness of time, Spielberg’s vision becomes a vision of the future, now past, and almost necessarily mostly “wrong” in it’s “predictions” about culture, the film will exist as little more than a minor footnote. It will have been much more than that. This film is a focus on ideas and concerns about how we will navigate the coming augmented reality forest.

image from film "Minority Report" of Tom Cruise using "multi-gesture"

Envisioned for ages, but realizable only in 2007’s nexus of hardware, software, and display, multitouch exploded onto the public stage that year with 3 remarkable devices: Apple’s iPhone, Microsoft’s Surface, and Perceptive Pixel’s 16 foot long multitouch computing wall. When I met with Jeff Han, formerly of NYU and later founder of Perceptive Pixel, in 2007 I, like so many who spoke to him, brought up Tom Cruise in Minority Report. Han explained to me, for the millionth time no doubt, that while Cruise’ “Multi-Gesture” was very cinematic, that it was, in fact, not the way we’d really want to work. “We don’t want multi-gesture, we want multi-touch.” Considering our corporeal, tactile nature, I replied “oh, like a surgeon, you wouldn’t want her waving a scalpel in thin air, she’d want force-feedback against a surface.” “Exactly,” replied Han.

image from the film "Minority Report" showing close up of Tom Cruise wearing a bandage that covers one eye and reveals the other

Beyond multi-gesture / multi-touch, Minority Report’s other bold vision was a world polluted by a personalized, augmented reality forest. To escape imprisonment via retinal scan, Cruise’ character has eye replacement surgery and moves through a future-tech mediated space being constantly mis-identified as the former owner of the eyes, and shown advertising targeted to that person. Perhaps our identity has always colored our experience of the world, and perhaps, paradoxically, no two people have ever experienced the same events the same way. When I see red lips, is my perception, and my lifelong experiential milieu different from yours? A little? A lot? When Rush Limbaugh and Al Franken hear a political speech, do they each hear a different speech? What about when Limbaugh and Franken both hear a symphony? Is that “neutral” experience also colored by their ideological frameworks, aesthetic sensibilities, and lifelong weavings of cultural experience, sensitivity and appreciation?

All of which is an overwrought, dramatic, indeed bombastic way of saying that for the 1st time in my 3 years of virtual life, I “muted” someone today. I was more relieved and calm after I erased SaveMe Oh and her visual pollution from my experience of our performance at Trafalgar Square, but it was unsettling in that I was taking the “real” virtual space and making a “fake?” version of it for my personal consumption. For all my immersion in virtuality, for all my “setting time of day,” this felt somehow “wrong.” In the past the Limbaughs and Frankens have always experienced the same event differently, in the future we will not only perceive the stimulus differently, but we will redesign the stimulus to evoke the perception of our choice. The “earbud army” has already sonically reengineered the landscape for some time now, but the radical alteration of visual space is, I think, a much more emergent phenomena.

Today artists tinker with Augmented Reality, placing The Goddess of Democracy in Tienanmen Square… or Tahrir Square… tomorrow our every step in physical or virtual space will not only receive an onslaught of visual media from artists, but from governments and marketers galore. The ability to “mute” SaveMe Oh, like the crappy privacy settings on Facebook, is but the first step in the coming age of finer grained and more complex “visual perception settings.” It was my sense today that the majority of participants actually enjoyed Oh’s “show,” so they wouldn’t need to adjust her settings. For those who didn’t want to see it, or in my own case where we were attempting to participate in the global, 6-continent event Dance Anywhere and I wanted to see and document the work in Virtual Trafalgar Square, a single click revisualizes the space.

As I’m new to “muting” or “blocking” users, relaxing at Gallery Xue / London after the performance, I practiced muting and unmuting on gallerist Xue Faith. The images below are from Firestorm 4.0.1 and are essentially the same with Exodus or Viewer 3.

When you wish to no longer see an avatar's image, text, or in SaveMe Oh's case, their visual material, you simply right-click them and select "Mute" or "Block." SaveMe Oh "wears" all of her visual effects so that she can present them in spaces where she doesn't have rez permission, therefore muting her immediately terminates all of her effects.
As you see, after selecting "mute" or "block," the avatar, their text, and all of their visual appliances disappear from visual/virtual space, and your "block list" appears for your review and management.
If you ever "wonder what you're missing" you can easily bring up your "Block List" by clicking the small gear on your Friend List in Firestorm / Exodus / Viewer 3, and toggling any avatar on or off.

Speeding down a highway today you can attend or not attend to a billboard, but their sheer scale demands, at least for the moment of passing it, some degree of retinal attention. Tomorrow, like an army of visual ants, we may opt-in or opt-out of myriad visual possibilities. In today’s media world it is less common to actually pay for content, and more common to get it “free” for the price of viewing ads or being data mined. Perhaps tomorrow our enhanced vision will come at the price of required opt-in of visual materials.

When Bouguereau painted his "Indigent Family" in 1865 is was a convenient image for the viewer, making homelessness not so bad, and not such a pressing problem. In the coming world of rose-colored-glasses we will no longer require the compliance of the artist, but will simply have the ability to view and perceive reality in any way we choose.

As we become Tom Cruise in the augmented reality forest, perhaps our visual future will contain both fine-grained choice of the visual content of the spaces we inhabit, as well as media sponsored and government enforced visual coercion similar to that experienced by Malcom McDowell’s character Alex in Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 film A Clockwork Orange.

The character Alex receiving eye treatments in the film Clockwork Orange

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

81 thoughts on “The Minority Report on SaveMe Oh

  1. Yes, you are right off course and I would not have acted otherwise I think.
    I sometimes even would want to be able to mute or derender myself, but that’s another story 😛

      1. Actually I’m hoping todo this in my physical life. Just disappearing with a single click on some device and then go out and enjoy the world not seeing me, but me seeing everything and everyone 🙂

  2. I was there for one VB/CO production at which SaveMe Oh circled, protesting on her hobbyhorse. (yes, literally) i wonder whether her thirty-SaveMe army has recursively turned into a funhouse mirror of herself, or of VB/CO? Would you mute every SaveMe? Is their very existence a form of griefing? Or do they serve to make us question her very me-me-me-ness?

      1. Thanks so much for participating Apmel (you were really looking sharp! 🙂

        I’m sorry if my handling of Oh created more stress or seemed inappropriate.

        As I suggested in the post above, I have been really excited about Augmented Reality recently, and blown away by the power of work by peeps like John Craig Freeman and 4Gentlemen.

        But the AR “amusement” of artworks today could easily turn into a crushing wave of corporate and state visual pollution as the interim act of holding-a-cell-phone-in-front-of-the-world becomes replaced by glasses, contacts, or retinal implants. So Oh has elicited a consideration of how this space might be experienced and negotiated.

        Interestingly, while the visual pollution level is likely to go up, the physical pollution level could in time go down. Just as the “phone booth” has experienced the extinction pressure of the cell phone, perhaps even road and building signs and their need to be maintained and updated will give way to the ease of digital management.

        The future it seems, may be a wild ride.

        Anyway, in case I digressed, thanks so much for joining us and joining Dance Anywhere.

          1. I am the artwork, I am SaveMe Oh and have no other option then to be what I am, when you invite me you get me with my performance that is already running for more than 5 years. If you want to discuss this matter I advise you all to speak with one of my alts, better not with the 36 other SaveMe’s as they all do their best to be like me, but some of the others. Who they are??? Sorry, I can’t tell as they are part of the performance.

    1. Seasprite Lives! Yay! Aww, so nice to hear from you! 🙂 I think this might be your first comment here since… well, since “here” was a Blogger blog! In case you missed it, Ze Moo made me move from Blogger to WordPress on ideological grounds (open source). I saw his point and made the change, and discovered not only that, but a dramatically more robust platform.

      And yes, I still keep wanting to delete *that* post, but your reply to it was so brilliant that I keep having to let it stay.

      Anyway, yes, I remember the performance well, it was VB14 Gingham over at Carina Larsen’s place Amacci. You were upset with me because you thought I’d brought “my friend” SaveMe Oh in for some antics. Actually I hadn’t. I think it was that troublemaker Fau! (hahaha) that TP’d her over. I guess that was actually the first time “we” had experienced Oh’s “improvements” to our work.

      Even though I didn’t bring her to VB14, I did “sing her praises” a year ago. Apparently I have some sort of “blog about Oh in March” tradition:

      I called her “Banksy” a year ago, and refined that to “Chauncey Gardiner” in this post. I do think it’s worth considering that applying a graffiti texture to a wall in virtual space has essentially nothing to do with the power of “real” street art, arguably the most important art movement in a long time.

      If you asked “what would a street artist do?” I think it would be something more transgressive like Oh’s oeuvre. In their technophillic book “At The Edge of Art” Joline Blais and Jon Ippolito argue that there’s nothing culturally provocative in “breaking the rules of society” in Tony Hawk Pro Skater 4, by *following* the rules of the game designer… vis-a-vis a “real” kid in Dublin grinding the city with her skateboard and “really” redefining space/culture.

      I guess what’s finally worn me down is that while tagging is legitimately important both as cultural critique and as practice space, you’d think that when someone had been tagging for as long as Oh has, that they’d eventually put out a brilliant mural like Saber or Retina, or a politically compelling work like Banksy or Zevs.

      1. PS Thanks for keeping that post. It has drawn me back into the salon where I stand on the edge of the conversation, tentatively poised, wondering where to buy a new power suit.

        1. I have to join in .. 🙂 This is an interesting conversation. The ability to manipulate one’s own view of a physical or virtual world gives us much to think about. BUT.. we already do it. People already “see what they want to see” and “hear what they want to hear” using only the power of our own brains. I will be fascinated to see how things progress and allow us to alter our perceptions in more radical ways.

          And as for SaveMe… 🙂
          She is the pea under the pile of mattresses that keeps everyone uncomfortable enough to look at and think about things we might not otherwise examine. I love this.

          Conflict conflict conflict.. this is the essence of any good story!

          Besides, I have found that a reasonable rational request often has a much greater effect on her displays than one might think.

          1. Is waiting for an answer on a reasonable reply 🙂
            As an act it is well done and unbeatable.
            But I do not need a conflict myself to be able to think about things we otherwise might not examine. I’d rather have that reasonable input and discussions on the edge of that. Conflicts are being overrated as need for common sense. In most cases it only makes things worse when no one steps out of that conflict and I have the strong impression that’s a fact in al these so called educating lessons on art or whatever. Humiliating for instance is a sign of weakness. Been there, done that myself enough times in my life (and yes with great regrets) to be convinced it does not help a case.

            1. Everyone misses the point with SL – that YOUR SL is only in YOUR browser on YOUR computer. You have complete control over the weather, the light, who you see, where you go, what distance you render, etc. Muting is not a serious issue. It is only when you ban and eject people that you are imposing your arbitrary will on others. I would always prefer to be entertained by SaveMe at most of the boring SL events I attend and if her attachments annoy me at a particular place I can mute/derender her temporarily. She will then be like cosmic rays: all around me but unnoticed. Each human being is a UNIQUE perception machine and our virtual perception extensions are equally unique and should not be subject to the limitations of ejecting or banning any of the amazing and wonderful pixel phenomena that can exist there. Let’s widen our worlds – not limit the new view to one individual’s antidiluvian and parochial world picture based on irrelevant notions of real life “decorum”, “real estate”, and “ownership.”

  3. To My Dear Ex Inworldz Wife Vaneeesa

    When you would do a performance in RL at Trafalgar Square in London tomorrow, I had to know it, book an airplane, hire a container vessel to ship my huge attachments, with the result of arriving a year to late to interfere. You would have done your performance, filmed it and shared it already with your huge crowd of followers of 30 people in the world.
    But it was not in RL. It was in a virtual world where people are together with complete different intentions. In the London Sim were we came together some people want to buy a virtual bikini, others want to have anal sex with child avi’s or a horse, some want to get rich by playing Zyngo and others want to be virtual policeman, ruling, ejecting, muting and banning. In your case you want to do a performance but what makes your intention leading at that moment? Why I have to watch on my screen for hours you hanging on poseballs with your friends, what forces me into being a spectator and you the performer? Why I have to watch the bad constructed London walls around the Trafalgar Statue instead of contributing to your performance with beautiful changing environments that wakes your already bored visitors up. In other words, is it not much more exiting and interesting how we can all together create a virtual experience that brings together people from all around the world for some hours to share something before it is poofed into oblivion? When you want it exclusive for yourself, buy a sim, rebuild London, call your friends and film it. When you want it in the open space accept the interaction. (An in my opinion, be incredible proud that you generate interaction or are worthy the personal attention of SaveMe Oh, Aruba Decuir would thank the Lindenlord on her bare knees for so much attention).

    1. The questions you ask are only legitimate and fair, if you ask them yourselves first.

      *Why I have to watch on my screen for hours watching a Save Me Oh interaction, what forces me into being a spectator and you the performer?

      *Why I have to watch the bad moods of Save Me Oh?

      *Is it not much more exiting and interesting how we can all together create a virtual experience without playing the non valued artist?

      But let me add a new question as well for you.
      Why use/abuse a public of someone else? Sure, a public sim is open to everyone. But the people that comes to watch a certain performance (may it be good or bad, not the point at all and tastes are as different as people are) is not yours . . .
      You force them to be yours, In fact you act exactly in the way you accuse other performers of. You do not want to feel forced to watch someone’s act in a public space, but you make others do so yourself.

      And no, I do not think that is legitimate. You could say off course: well, I just show a mirror and that’s my legal right to do so in public space. But with that way of thinking and trying to make your interactions legitimate, you forget the most important aspect: mirrors only produce fake images. Of yourself and of others. There is no interaction possible with a mirror, nor with the person who shows the mirror, because of being too focused on being seen and heard in a forced way and not in a cooperative way which enables mirrors to blend into something new and beautiful.

      I only experienced one disruption myself some time ago on the Nordan om Jorden sim.
      I did not respond to any of the fuzz that went on at that moment, but found it all rather pathetic to be honest. Especially for visitors who just want to enjoy something going on and feel totally bashed and blasted away because of your dominance and somewhat childilke behaviour: I want attention and I want it here and now. You seek trouble is my conclusion and if that makes you happy so be it, but not my cup of tea thank you very much.

      1. BTW, I have also borne witness to SaveMe Oh’s fortuitous arrival at a so-called art opening (unrelated to VB/CO) of astonishing pomposity, as reflected by the size of the works and size of the sycophant parade offering random sex acts of adoration (as evidenced by the chat stream.) In a few short minutes, SaveMe Oh’s questions completely punctured the ridiculousness and asked of the artist only a few answers. That day made me see SaveMe Oh in a new light. Cranky, yes, self-obsessed in a way worthy of ancient emperors or 21st century media moguls, yes, but astute, aware, and seeking some semblance of truth in an age of smoke and variable mirrors.

        So now I see the attraction. But you were married? Really? Did I miss that one too? I really must leave my private sim-on-a-stick and get out more often.

        1. Yes well, there’s nothing wrong with criticism off course. That is not my point. But the ways to do so need some variation one might say. As boring or bad a performance or art whatever can be, as boring is the repetetive way of disrupting I would like to say. A more constructive and less agressive way helps, this does not really help, but just divides people in a YES and NO camp with admirers, haters, or ignorant people. Not much of a result I call that.

        2. And I am not an artis, but a consumer, so my point of view is more from being a member of the crowd, the public and do not visit some event to be to be brainwashed by someone else than the one I choose to see or hear 😉

  4. Yup, internet search and viewing is indeed heading this way. We’ll get less and less “challenged” in our opinions. Further and further we’re moving into comfortable information bubbles, where everyone has the same world views as us.

    Quite interesting that you can “erase” a whole avatar in SL. Does that make them a ghost?

    1. Oh gawd, *search*… I hate-hate-hate the new Google “personal results.”

      It’s funny, I imagine most people like them… if you type “pizza,” you very likely want the place down the street and not the one on another continent, nor a cultural analysis of pizza. Google personalized results have actually clarified for me that when I search, at least a part of my interest is to gain a wider cultural understanding and perspective. I already know what culture down the street is like, I want search to help me understand how culture across the globe is similar or different.

      Most disturbingly, I have recently clicked Google’s “Show Personal Results” / “Hide Personal Results” buttons and in at least a few cases for both “Everything” and “Image” search seen nothing change when I toggle, even though some of what is shown almost certainly must be “personal.” Google, once the encyclopedia of the universe, is becoming the marketer of the bubble.

      In a world of massive information overload, filtering is essential to both productivity and sanity. But when Google filters what I can see, the filtering occurs at the source, and my view is permanently blinkered. I’d prefer my results to include pizza across the planet, and, if it must be, SaveMe Oh video too, and then I can take the unfiltered source and filter it locally to suit my specific circumstances.


      Yes, I believe that when you mute someone they disappear. If you click on the pix in the article you can see larger versions — in the first frame you see Xue sitting (upside down as is her wont) in the chair, and her name above her… after I select “mute” from the pie menu, her avatar, her name, and in SaveMe Oh’s case, her video show, disappear.

      I don’t have much muting experience, so I’m not certain if different viewers today or in the past functioned differently… I think a long time ago Senban showed me that if you muted someone they froze into an outline in space, just a little bit like the famous homicide chalk outlines on the ground. If anyone knows more about mute/block effects, please chime in. I’ll look if there’s more or variations, but as far as I know, it is as in the article pix, they just vanish. Then I suppose those who haven’t muted them would have, relative to you, a “sixth sense.”

      I see muted people.

      It might be interesting to do a performance / experience where, say 20 avatars were in a confined space, a room or a park, for one hour, and at the start each avatar randomly muted any 10 of the avatars, and then interacted with whoever *they* could see for the next 60 minutes.

      1. It might be interesting to do a performance / experience where, say 20 avatars were in a confined space, a room or a park, for one hour, and at the start each avatar randomly muted any 10 of the avatars, and then interacted with whoever *they* could see for the next 60 minutes.’

        It would be even more interesting yo make a performance in which someone else would monitor our reality in SL. Not only by muting, but also by letting the avatar act in a way you do not choose and monitor yourself. It only can be done by people who totally trust each other in temporarely giving the password login to each other’s account or with a device (if they exist) that take over the AVI. Comparable things are being used by vampires somehow (non voluntary) and Restrained Love devices (voluntary). No experience with either of them but the Restrained Love comes closest to what I mean. In trust we would be able to let someone else rule and shape our reality for a while. Reality being controlled and shaped by someone we do not like or trust is much more frightening and irritating. That’s a bit the case with Save Me Oh, though not in the way like taking your AVI over off course.

        1. As i already feel the complete abcense of good drama during another boring 20 avatar parking project of Vaneeesa I promiss that when I am invited I will take care that at least at the screens from the people who have not muted me it will be a visual orgasm! In the mean time the old hippie researchers can mute eachother and watch their clocks.

        2. I tried something like this, by muting Solo Mornington while several artists were arguing with him over the banning of SaveMe. It was funny to me for a while, to see their chats getting more and more frustrated and angry without being able to see the avatar or what he was saying, but it quickly became boring because it was just a typing exercise. Muting experiments are probably a limited sphere. But that is not really the issue in this conversation: This is about the blanket banning of SaveMe Oh from all of the, Linden donated, free art areas, the LEA sims. That is the unconscionable action in question.

    2. Oops, I guess I was wrong about that… I guess we didn’t see Xue’s name because I had names turned off for shooting video of Dance Anywhere. Apparently in Firestorm 4.0.1 if you mute someone you still see their name and they turn into a green cloud! So yes, you guessed it, it makes them a ghost… a green ghost!

      1. I use Exodus and Nirans (the best IMHO) and both work by ‘Block’ = turn them ghostly or gray and eliminate chat & IM and then ‘Derender’ = they vanish, including names, groups, etc. Both those viewers are based on Linden Viewer 3 code. So it’s possible to eliminate someone entirely from your experience. I don’t know about Firestorm – heard it was buggy. I think that groups inclined to ban and expel artists like SaveMe Oh should redirect their negative energy into a little education for their members on how to manage their own viewing experience.

  5. Vanessa you forget that when you mutes a person is only you who can not see and see what happens, so just take a black cap and say now it’s gone, or like the ostrich sticking head down in a hollow and hope its will disapier.

    1. Betty, that is exactly the point – anybody who wants to see SaveMe & her stuff can and anyone who doesn’t can derender. It is THEIR choice, not the LEA committee or the landlord or the Furhrer.

      1. Ed, anyone who wanted to see SaveMe Oh’s stuff could come down to the LEA Art Sandbox where she’s been rezzing stuff for at least a year. And had you been interested in knowing that her artwork was rezzed somewhere (which you clearly weren’t), you would have thanked the LEA for keeping an open mind about her work.

        However, Ed, what you really enjoy is not any artwork she can rez. What you enjoy is the utterly predictable drama generated around the utterly predictable reaction to her transgressions. If you’re a fan of SaveMe Oh, you’re not a fan of anything she has built or coded or really even worked all that hard at doing. You’re a fan of the fact that she will hate on people predictably, and thus give voice to whatever it is that’s in you that needs to abuse some random person for having been reasonable.

        Anyway, Vaneesa is correct that there is an interesting gray area around griefing and trolling and hijacking of art on the virtual stage. And of course it’s rude and egocentric, and also clownish and mocking and perhaps even a valuable critique. For instance SaveMe’s ‘loneliness’ video is completely spot-on. And yes, reactions to trolls could, in fact, give an interesting platform for understanding power inequality and so forth, if handled in a way that actually expanded on the issue rather than shut it down.

        But the most important question is one that hasn’t been asked in this discussion: Why is SaveMe’s BS more important than anyone else’s BS? Because she adopts the role of artist? Why does she deserve that role more than anyone else? I ask this last question rhetorically because she doesn’t, and her BS is just BS, like everyone else’s.

        The problem is that her BS manifests as abuse. Telling people to ‘just mute her,’ is like telling people to just ignore the domestic violence in the next room because the violence is just an expression of someone’s liberty. Just tune out the injustice; you don’t need to concern yourself with it. SaveMe’s an artist, so the fact that she’s slagging someone isn’t ever a problem. For Ed anyway.

        Another metaphor to consider is that of civil disobedience. The consequence of acts of civil disobedience are that you could go to jail. But of course the act of being jailed is material for the future of the cause. So therefore, if we look at such trolling as SaveMe’s as an act of civil disobedience, we must wonder: WTF is the ’cause?’ SaveMe wraps herself in a flag of liberty and artistic license, but really it’s just self-serving claptrap. Her cause is herself, and nothing else. And that’s not very compelling art. What *is* compelling is that it’s dramatic and many people mistake drama for art, including SaveMe. And you.

        1. The above comment from an avatar representing an anonymous person is really quite presumptuous – telling me what I know and what I enjoy and who I should thank and what I am interested in – and also it is completely ERRONEOUS.

          I am a good friend of SaveMe and have seen all her work in many venues and participated with her and Kikas and Marmaduke and Rose and many others in the making of cooperative machinima, which is my specialty.

          The use of cliched language such as ‘grief’ ‘troll’ or ‘drama’ to describe SaveMe automatically brands her negatively. What do these words mean?

          That is a rhetorical question. They mean whatever the speaker desires … they are SL cant referring to something a resident doesn’t like … they have no hard and fast meaning – one man’s troll is another man’s beloved dominatrix.

          The point of all of SaveMe’s work (if I may speak for her as a friend and collaborator), is that what is customarily considered ‘Art’ (another ill-defined term) in SL is mostly stale, warmed over replication of so-called ‘Art” from RL. We maintain that since SL is a limitless 3D space where people are represented by weightless avatars with physical and mental superpowers, that a true advance in ART should blossom in the actual INTERACTIVE world that we have been so graciously provided with by Linden Labs. That would be an unfettered art where we are not “parked spectators” (as SaveMe would say) sitting or standing in idling animations, typing “ooh” & “aahhh” & “cucu” inside of ersatz concrete pixel palace walls.

          According to my calendar, Second Life was started in the electronic arts of the Twenty-first century, not the salons of the Nineteenth. It is not a physical place, although it fools our senses into seeing it that way. It is rather an individual perception of a shared experience which is completely under the control of each user for their own experience in their own browser. SL is what it is, and not a replica of any physical part of the world. When you look inside an avatar you see the two-dimensional skin of the prims or mesh it is made from. When SaveMe makes a parodic image of someone’s avatar there is no “pesonal” “violent” “attack” because it’s all pixel art (good or bad that’s to taste) no one dies or goes to hospital from “violence” in SL. Most avatars are not even identified with any real “persons.”

          Banning the art of anyone like SaveMe Oh is tantamount to stifling 90 percent of the creative potential of Second Life.

          In the words of the late S.J. Perelman: “Spare me, I pray, your turgid rhetoric!”.

          1. Aaah right! I can only say OOOOH and AAAAAH! So you know exactly and even without knowing me what my comments were, are and will be? Wow! Speaking for myself: that’s . . .

            really quite presumptuous – telling me what I know and what I enjoy and who I should thank and what I am interested in – and also it is completely ERRONEOUS.

            All those Saveme Oh adepts and addicts are suffering from that new disease in art: Overestimating of themselves as gods, protectors of good values, the one and only real artists, freedom guru’s without even considering that their freedom takes away someone else’s freedom to make art or whatever they like to do in their way.

            But thanks for the great blablashow.

            1. I don’t believe I mentioned you. I was talking about “Solo Mornington” who referred directly to my comments. Sorry if I offended you. I do think you have it reversed though: “… Overestimating of themselves as gods, protectors of good values, the one and only real artists, freedom guru’s without even considering that their freedom takes away someone else’s freedom ….” is a perfect description of the arbitrarily appointed LEA committee who exclude artists from the FREE areas for petty personal reasons. Happy to entertain you. That is my art.

              1. No I am not insulted, I know my own critical mind to have no reason for that, but I’m just showing you how your general view to the specators seems to be, because yes you referred to them. And as I’m one of them I think it’s good to point out that such a view is narrow minded.
                As for freedom. I had expected that answer. I always read this in de drama’s around SM and fans. Yes a free zone is for everyone. No, a free zone is not to be abused and that’s what’s the case again and again. Freedom is just a concept. It cannot exist without some rules for behaviour. I live in a free country, but without rules it would soon end up in an anarchy and we all know that. Coming back to the art scene here in SL, I call it a very smart but misleading focus to call upon something simple like: but its free so we have a right to use it. It pretends freedom has no boundaries, where freedom does have and in fact needs those boundaries, to function in a way people will not be or feel unsafe. The performances and attitude of SM are insulting, humiliating and make people flee, abandon or even leave SL because of non stop bullying.
                If that’s freedom to you, fine, for me it’s virtual torture and virtual abuse. Freedom is about respecting some kind of common sense. As respect does not appear in SM’s dictionary, and is being called something she detests, well, then there’s nothing more to talk and nothing to expect. Live with that or leave I would say.

                1. Interesting post on a topic that deserves a lot of consideration Not the topic of SaveMe Oh (no offense to the artist), but the larger question on filtering. On one hand, filtering is essential in a world where the gap between available information and capacity to absorb it is increasing exponentially. On the other hand, since we can almost completely avoid “the commons” and limit ourselves to channels that reflects and reinforce our own point of view, filtering can also create an echo chamber that creates tribal fragmentation and ideological balkanization.

                  The question is a bit different when it comes to people versus information, but it still comes down to time and attention. You have a right to speak your mind. I have the right to ignore you, even to the point of muting or blocking.

                  1. Yes absolutely! The real problem here is not blocking or derendering, but the banning of one artist from all the FREE Lea regions/sims by a dubious committee which eliminates the rights of others to hear the banned ones speak or perform. Despite all the circumlocution here, that is the issue over SaveMe or any other avatar who is banned INDEFINITELY from everywhere for being an unpleasant confrontation to a style of art as practiced by the self-styled guardians of “civilzed art” – there has been no violation of Linden TOS or “private property” here.

                  2. Yes! The legendary “Walter Cronkite” moment, was a rare blip in human history where a large percentage of a media-saturated nation all had a common information/culture consumption experience.

                    For eons before that… and now once again… we see a multiplicity of divergent voices.

                    danah boyd, the internet sociologist commented a while back (a while back enough that MySpace still mattered! 😛 Actually I think she said this during that span where MySpace & Facebook were roughly equal in size… and were there was a degree of rite of passage that you used MySpace in High School… and then “graduated” to Facebook when you went to college. Actually that was a nice moment to have different platforms for different phases / aspects of your life)

                    Anyway, boyd said that the Born Again Christians on MySpace thought MySpace was a Born Again Christian website, because that’s all they ever saw there… and the Neo-Nazis on MySpace thought MySpace was a Neo-Nazi website because that’s all they ever saw there… etc… so exactly as you suggest Botgirl, even in a “big tent” we have a powerful ability to sit at the table with the peeps who think like us.

                    I haven’t done anything with AR yet, but I’m excited to try it. Your Blue Mars / iPad / Google Earth piece was very cool. A lot of my point in this post was to think about how things will be when the present “novelty” of AR becomes a ubiquitous visual glut, as suggested by the YouTube clip from Minority Report.

                    1. Yes Vaneesa, in principle, but, I think like SaveMe Oh, about the exciting possibly of virtual art, and I can’t sit at the table with her because she is totally banned by some obscure Politburo who are abusing their power.

                    2. It’s pretty wild to think about how this would play out in a totally AR future. If everyone viewed the world through some sort of computer-charged contact lenses, you might (optionally) see people you meet in RL as computer enhanced versions of themselves or even completely different avatar forms.

                    3. Yes Botgirl, by crazy coincidence, Ironyca and I were just talking about this the day before the Google Project Glass announcement

                      We were talking about how you could “skin” your boardroom meeting with a WoW or Crysis 3 or any other scenario you wanted. Perhaps you’d even make intimidating adversaries smaller in stature.

                      I do think we will “enhance” each other soon enough… and that in time first private business, and later (bankrupt) governments will stop installing physical signage and do it all through AR.

                      When a high enough percentage of the public has “glasses,” it will be cheaper for the gov’t to mail free cheap ones to the remaining percentage, than to continue maintaining expensive road signage.

                      Today it is illegal to drive without “glasses” if you have less than “normal” vision… in the future it may be illegal for everyone to drive without “glasses.”

                      Obviously this is not a near-term scenario… but it does seem like where AR will, in principle take us, sooner or later.

                    4. By being highy interactive and “forcing” people to engage Saveme ensures that the people around are no longer passive audience but engaged in interactive art, whether positively, agressively or however. The reality is so engaging that people can’t mute Saveme without amputating such a huge chunk of reality that it all makes no sense anymore. So there lays the difference. For that reason muting Saveme doesn’t work. With the master of ceremony muted, phrases would become increasingly disconnected. She is like a politician and we are all part of the experiment which, thanks to her relentlessly accurate role, should stand the test of time.

                    5. Winks at Sca and says: I AGREE (to disagree ) 😉
                      I rest my case now on this subject. It’s clear that this will never come to a solution or even close to a solution. But hey! That’s human too. . . just accepting that not everything will turn out the way we like and just let it go . . .
                      How boring life would be if we would agree on every little or even big issues.

                    6. It is not a value judgement for or against Saveme. I’m just pointing out that through the high frequency of interaction Saveme provokes, muting her excludes the muter as much as excluding the muted.

                    7. And they are just more than happy with that than without the excluding, because negative obsessive, compulsory behaviour is not adding space, but taking away space by force by abusing the concept of freedom as the ultimate but not legitimate excuse. Freedom is to be treated with care,, not with force. And the one that keeps provoking will be the one who has to take the consequences. Simple as that.
                      I understand your point but there are some boundaries in how someone enters a space at the cost of other people. We do not live in an anarchy and I feel quite happy without obsessive art/acts 🙂
                      But I would rest my case . .

                    8. The whole act is just an addiction to me. Wanting to be the savage and not being able to give up that act. It would feel like being the loser and it’s far more easy to play and be the bad person, than being an artist who does not need that overkill of attention. Fans and followers expect nothing else anymore and leaving the status of savage would be disappointing to them, would take away all reasons to blog and destroy, would turn SM into average . . .
                      THAT, off course is unthinkable, because SM cannot be average anymore. It would make all previous acts and blogs a fake 🙂
                      Like Geert Wilders all of sudden saying: I like Islam after a good night sleep and want to have a cup of tea with them 🙂

                    9. Even outside the virtual worlds you all force me to play my role. Now look what you are all doing to poor Vaneeesa’s blog by commenting and commenting and commenting. Give the poor thing a break and also comment on her other posts and not only on post who are about me. Or you think it is normal this is comment number 60 on the subject of SaveMe Oh?

                    10. Sure, that’s what I would say too when there’s no better answer.
                      Good luck with your self chosen role.
                      Consider the time you can save by not playing the victim . . .
                      That would be a hell of an act 😉

                    11. Me a victim???? Victim of what?? I feel you need me and I love to do that for you. I am blessed instead of a victim.

                    12. LMAO. I do like a certain sense of humour in your avie and act, sometimes, but need . . no, lol, thanks a bunch. Happy as I am without the needs.
                      Have a nice day anyway 😉 I may be against your approach and ongoing ‘not my cup of tea’ ways of behaving, I’m not the hate and destroy type. More the: Oooooh please stop and let’s have an ice cream to cool down type.

                      In fact I do like the psychological aspects of this drama / acting. activism or whatever we/you like to call it. It shows how far people go into their own needs for survival or will to destroy, ban or mute. Always interesting, but some new flavours into that also would be nice and less boring. It has al become quite predictable for all sides in fact.

                      A ‘real’ artist could maybe choose a new strategy . . a fresh one, a more diverse approach, less predictable. Art and acts lose their power when being the same all over again IMHO .

                      Anyway . . I really must shut up and rest that/my case I already brought up a few posts ago. Otherwise I will start to look like an attention addict as well and get very predictable in never knowing when to stop . . 😉

                    13. Dunno. I see Saveme as challenging virtual “artists” to stop re-enacting RL and to wake up to the possibilties of a virtual world, but she does it in practice and not with a book full of theory. To my mind she’s created a documented timeline of people’s reactions to a virtual obstacle in a virtual world so to me it looks like an experiment. Because her role is consistent it also works like an experiment. If she constantly changed her role or conformed to anything else than SMO, then the art work that she is would turn into a kind of muddy mess. But you already rested your case 😀

                    14. You know . . this is what I feel when people are bashing each other, no matter who started, no matter if it’s kind of legitimate and for a good cause. Humans are the worst species on earth and the most beautiful as well. I struggle with that all the time …

                      This short Neruda phrase can make me cry. In fact I want everything to stop, just silence, experience the true person behind all facades and feel ok with that and nothing more . .

                      ‘What I want should not be confused with total inactivity’

                      Here’s the poem. Don’t take it to dramatically here, but yes, I love Neruda and his views on the world and humans.

                      PRAYERS FOR THE EARTH | Pablo Neruda

                      For once on the face of the earth let’s not speak in any language

                      Let’s stop for one second and not move our arms so

                      It would be an exotic moment without rush, without engines.

                      We would all be together in a sudden strangeness.
                      Fisherman in the cold sea would not harm whales

                      And the man gathering salt would look at his hurt hands.

                      Those who prepare green wars, wars with gas, wars with fire,

                      Victory with no survivors

                      Would put on clean clothes and walk about with their brothers

                      in the shade doing nothing.
                      What I want should not be confused with total inactivity,

                      Life is what it is about.
                      I want no truck with death.

                      If we were not so single minded about keeping our lives moving,

                      And for once could do nothing,

                      Perhaps a huge silence might interrupt this sadness of never
                      understanding ourselves

                      And of threatening ourselves with death.

                      Perhaps the earth can teach us when everything seems dead
                      and later proves to be alive.

                    15. I like the experiment Vaneeesa suggests.

                      We all mute subsonsciously when we cant (or choose not to) deal with things, or apply built in muting because of preconceptions or judgements. The stories that go down in published history are always reality that has been resonstructed according to power structures and the available integrity.

                      What if everyone mutes everyone? would that be like parallel universes? Hmmm bla hmmm.

          2. Quoth: “The use of cliched language such as ‘grief’ ‘troll’ or ‘drama’ to describe SaveMe automatically brands her negatively.”

            Yah, and her use of names like ‘Idi Amin’ and ‘Hitler’ and words and phrases like ‘Ass-licking’ and ‘Nazi’ cast me in an overwhelming beatific glow, don’t they? I mean, sheesh.

            Quoth: “What do these words mean? [..] That is a rhetorical question. They mean whatever the speaker desires … they are SL cant referring to something a resident doesn’t like … they have no hard and fast meaning”

            No, the terms ‘grief,’ ‘troll’ and ‘drama’ are not arbitrary. They are words with meaning, and those meanings are the ones I’m using. Troll, for instance, is a term widely used on the internet to mean someone who’s deliberately disruptive, in a negative way. Its etymology comes from fishing, where you troll for fish by dragging a line behind a moving boat just to see what you can catch.

            Thought you sophisticated internet people would be aware of that. Read up:

            Quoth: “one man’s troll is another man’s beloved dominatrix.”

            I had a friend who used to say “One man’s grief is another man’s visually appealing display.” He’s not on SL any more. Oh well.

            Anyway, a ‘beloved dominatrix’ operates in a world of consensual power play. Trolling is the opposite of that. If you’re a BDSM top, then find someone to play with who likes playing along. Otherwise you’ll end up falling into the ‘sociopathic’ pidgeonhole and become un-beloved by anyone. And rightly so.

            Quoth: “We maintain that since SL is a limitless 3D space where people are represented by weightless avatars with physical and mental superpowers, that a true advance in ART should blossom in the actual INTERACTIVE world that we have been so graciously provided with by Linden Labs. That would be an unfettered art where we are not “parked spectators” (as SaveMe would say) sitting or standing in idling animations, typing “ooh” & “aahhh” & “cucu” inside of ersatz concrete pixel palace walls.”

            Agreed completely. Now: How do we negotiate this high-minded ideal into something that is edifying for everyone? That might require some *effort* on someone’s part, rather than the lazy approach of simply being a tedious troll.

            What you have to eventually come to realize, Ed, is that your pal is making bad art that will only be criticized as art by someone who’s not afraid of being bullied further.

            This leads directly to the essential stupidity of SaveMe’s art: She shows up and everyone freezes because she becomes the spectacle. Either they’re interested in what will happen next, or they’re terrified that they’ll become the next target. So it’s a bit of a Schroedinger’s Griefing. Rather than enabling people to participate in something delightful, she causes the problem she’s there to criticize. This leaves the poor administrator such as myself, seeing an opportunity for people to do something interesting completely wasted by poor execution.

            Quoth: “When SaveMe makes a parodic image of someone’s avatar there is no “pesonal” “violent” “attack” because it’s all pixel art (good or bad that’s to taste) no one dies or goes to hospital from “violence” in SL.”

            No shit, Sherlock. The ‘violent personal attack’ line is one that your bestest friend lied about. I never said that, because it would be an utterly stupid thing to say, or to repeat. Wouldn’t it? **points upward**

            Quoth: “Most avatars are not even identified with any real “persons.””

            …Other than the one that they’re identified with, of course. If you want to discuss the illumiative qualities of the virtual world in your high-minded paragraph above, where you believe in an INTERACTIVE world of ART, then you are declaring that avatars *are* connected to people. Otherwise there is no one INTERACTING in the ART, even if it’s in all-caps.

            Can’t have it both ways, no matter how much you want to justify sociopathy.

        2. By the way, another good friend of mine, the late Hal Ashby, would have loved SaveMe Oh and under no circumstances would he have found any similarity between her reasoned and controlled chaos and the unwitting behavior of the character Chauncey, written by Jerzy Kosinski.

          1. Quoth: “By the way, another good friend of mine, the late Hal Ashby…”

            I love ‘Harold and Maude.’ A much more humane story than ‘Being There.’ Tell SaveMe to abandon her persona and try on a Maude. It would be much harder work, but with a better outcome for everybody. At the moment she’s more like Albert Spica, right down to the pretense. Spica is a memorable character created by another film director.

  6. Why compare me with half the world???? I am SaveMe Oh and you better compare yourself with me! That must be quite a shock!

  7. OMG. all her other posts have an avarage of 0 till 6 comments and this one 60. Are you people all seriously ill and don’t have anything better to do than highjacking poor Vaneeesa’s blog with your sad opinions? Better join forces and blow up LEA, UWA, CARP, PIRATS and CAERLEON.

  8. If all these possibilities of muting would become true in physical life it must create a huge chaos. When I want to enter a space with or without certain elements and people, and 10 others would do it with their preferences, and we would meet again after that in the space without the ability of our own preferences, we cannot have a common experience anymore.

    In situation A you and for instance I, would have had a different conversation, than at the same time in situation B where one of us or both of us are not present. It would create some sort of parallel worlds, that never can interact together.

    If we could put those 10 different situations back together in a joined experience, some elements or people would have to split themselves up into 10 versions/realities.

    Even the ones that don’t speak or move in a preferenced set, will have trouble to catch up with that person or element that was interactive somehow.

    It will be like mashed potatoes, where no individual element or person can be ‘seen’ anymore and are all mixed up into linked worlds . .

    1. Yes Meandra, I think you’re right – the future might be crazy (like the past wasn’t?)

      But as others have said here and elsewhere, we already do that now! Yes, when the “input” doesn’t even reach your retina, that is a different level of “turn off” than when it does flow from retina to visual cortex but then isn’t attended to…

      Today Augmented Reality is a budding novelty… but I imagine it will one day be ubiquitous and we will have a palette of “Facebook-like settings” to adjust what we do and don’t experience.

      I’m sure you saw the Google Project Glass announcement. Ironyca and I were coincidentally musing about that the very day before the announcement, that you might “skin” your world view so that your board meeting looked like WoW, or Farmville, or whatever. Perhaps you’d even make intimidating adversaries smaller in stature.

      In my recent post on “Passing” I mentioned the remarkable artist Nikki S. Lee and in that context I talked about her “Projects” series. After “Projects” Lee’s next series was “Parts” which, I think, said something about the scenarios you imagine. The series was certainly not about AR per se, but I think she did tap into ideas that resonate with yours.

      In parts she created photographs, domestic moments, with herself and a man. Then she made large prints of the full image. Then she put the prints on a table, took a razor blade, and sliced the man out of the print. But not entirely. For example she’d eliminate his face, but his hand might still be in the scene.

      Here’s an example:

      1. Interesting project. Feels a bit like a dream in a dream in a dream in a . .
        But with every dream becoming smaller and narrowed down to that vanishing point we know from the Droste chocolate commercials already . . .
        We are reInventing the past with modern technologies.
        When will we vanish . . .
        I already feel myself totally lost often in this world full of heavy loaded intrusive media. .
        I will probably glue myself to my chair someday to not get lost in AR 😉

  9. GEEZUS H. F’ING KRISPY CHICKEN!! How’d I miss out on this comment extravaganza!! I don’t really have anything to say, just getting my comment on the record here.

    1. oh you know it sista! SaveMe is the real draw around here! Without her “enhancing” my boring performances, no one would attend at all! I owe her everything!

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