Building a community

You know, I have been thinking about community a  lot lately.

A few weeks ago, Vaneeesa posted an interesting commentary on Facebook. In Feeding the Zuck she stated “When you participate at Facebook, yes you have easy, free access to the world’s greatest baby photo sharing site, but you don’t really build a community, you mostly just Feed The Zuck.” I tend to disagree.

Community to me is family, friends, like minded people who you build relationships with, hang out, talk about anything and everything, share and are there for support. I belong to many communities of different people from social networking sites like Facebook and Plurk, to Second Life and its diverse communities, to my RL art world communities to my day job community.

Especially on Facebook, I have developed some really amazing friendships with some brilliant people. I have been able to network and  communicate about like-minded subjects from art, technology, spirituality and day to day venting that communities are built on. I have become the person I am today because of these friendships and relationships. My RL family has a secret/private Facebook group. We are able to communicate and stay in touch with each other like never before. I used to maybe talk with some of my cousins once a year if that. Now because of Facebook, we have formed a community of family.

I wanted to post about community, because I have a wonderful friend who I met in Second Life a few years ago. Sadly, he passed away last December. From time to time I go to his Facebook page to remember him. Today a friend on Facebook, posted an amazing picture that I thought my friend would love. I tagged him in the pic and went to look at his FB wall. People STILL post on it. It is really amazing and brought me to tears today. This community of Facebook, while it may be  making Zuck rich (or not depending on how long the stocks are going to hold out…LOL) it is  also making me rich. Not in money, because to me money is nothing. It is making me rich in love. To see how communities are built using social networking sites like Facebook and Plurk (I am not on Twitter as much to really share my experience there) is really heartwarming to me.

In May I did a very fun installation performance that was influenced by the idea of community. Like Paris of the 1920’s where ex-patriot artists,  musicians, writers and so many others were brought together because of war I feel like Second Life (and even Facebook in a way) is a community where people get together to escape. What they are escaping from is for each individual to figure out. I have always felt the art community is  like Gertrude Stein’s Saturday night salon’s where people  hang out shoot the breeze and share ideas. I wanted to share the  video that was made for the event…

Kristine Schomaker is a new media and performance artist, painter and art historian living and working at the Brewery artist complex in Los Angeles. For over 14 years she has been working with various interdisciplinary art forms including online virtual worlds to explore identity and the hybridization of digital media with the physical world. Whether virtual or physical, the object-based work Kristine creates combines elements of color-based gestural abstraction, animation, pattern and design, neo-Baroque and Populence. Using installation, text, photography, mixed media, video and performance for her ongoing conceptual project My Life as an Avatar, she visualizes a narrative/dialogue with her virtual persona, Gracie Kendal. Kristine then documents her experiences on her blog. In 2012, exploring ideas of community, Kristine turned a local gallery into a modern day creation of Gertrude Stein’s salon of the 1920’s with a live mixed-reality dinner party merging the physical world with the online virtual world. Over the summer she also performed The Bald and the Beautiful in which she had her head shaved as a statement to challenge society’s standards of beauty. Currently, Kristine is working as an Artist-in-Residence through the Linden Endowment for the Arts creating an immersive virtual environment which she is planning to bring into the physical world via sculpture/public art work.

3 thoughts on “Building a community

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.