Networked_Performance

Berkeley Big Bang Update

Update! Berkeley Big Bang 08 :: Big Bang ’08 is very happy to announce that Philip Rosedale, Creator of Second Life and Founder and Chairman of the Board at Linden Lab, will be giving the plenary talk at Embodiment: A Symposium on New Media and the Body, June 2, presented by the Berkeley Art Museum and the Berkeley Center for New Media. Embodiment is a public discussion and inquiry into the relationship between the human body and new media, and Second Life is an emerging theme of the symposium.

Hubert Dreyfus, Berkeley Professor of Philosophy will deliver the keynote talk on the same day in which he analyzes Second Life from a philosophical perspective, exploring how thinkers such as Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, and Heidegger would respond to the virtual embodiment enabled by such systems.

On June 1, the Big Bang festival will showcase early cinematic work by media artist Lynn Hershman Leeson, who will visit the theater live from Second Life throughout the event.

The opportunity to hear Philip Rosedale and Hubert Dreyfus, along with a host of thought-provoking artists and scholars, in the same room on the same day will provide the public an unparalleled opportunity to be hear diverse perspectives and participate in the discourse about how new media impact our lives. Seating is limited, register online soon (for a low $3.00)!

Recent Press: Daily Californian http://www.dailycal.org/article/101784/art_and_film_festival_seeks_to_displa y_and_reflect

Contra Costa Times http://www.contracostatimes.com/arts/ci_9404488?nclick_check=1


May 30, 14:06
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One Response

  1. Greg:

    BAMPFA’s Big Bang event today featured a debate between Hubert Dreyfus and Philip Rosedale, the founder of Second Life, but I left a bit disappointed. Rosedale, the forever-12 poster child, had plenty to say about how Second Life will “make all business travel unnecessary”.He also had plenty of pictures of virtual breasts to show what kind of business he was referring to. Dreyfus, not much less charming but far more sophisticated, referred to the low tolerance for risk that SL users seem to exhibit. Too bad he did not move on to say that SL was for Wussies.

    Nevertheless his point is crucical. SL is a virtual play-pretend, escapist candy-land managed by a single corporation. I am not against art and entertainment that offers escapes, even ones which are managed. Linden Labs exerts total control over scripts and models created by its users and has no problems turning user-created content off at will. This is not, in my view, the main problem with SL, because there are many different companies doing similar things, allowing for some cultural breadth in the aggregate.

    Not being able to leave one’s dream world is a lamentable psychotic state, but it is the stated goal of SL. The main problem with SL is in its claim to substitution. Rosedale’s self-declared evangelism promotes SL-brand escape as a permanent (or final?) solution to real-world problems.

    The language Rosedale employs to describe SL is geared to making SL indistinguishable from the real world, just better. If SL is so great, why did Rosedale come to Big Bang in person? Why did anyone come to Big Bang in person? Because, despite Rosedale, we experience the world we live in as bodies among bodies, it is how we exist, it is how we are here. And if we already exist, we really don’t need a substitutive simulation for existence. What we do need is more courage to make our existence matter here and now, not more opportunities to hide. Hiding is just a cultural anticipation of our own demise.


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