Re: [-empyre-] > 1. Re: the Times and SL (G.H.Hovagimyan)

hi ana,
i did some "women in black" silent protests in the palace with desktop theater some years ago (2000-01 i think) - we used black shrouded avatars and "marched" silently thru public chat rooms & left signs. avatar body collision did similar interventions as part of "dress the nation" (2003) where we dressed the audience in identical women-in-black avatars & went into public chat rooms & engaged people in discussions about the imminent war in iraq. the silent protests were very interesting as many of the people in the chat rooms found our presence quite disturbing & uncomfortable, especially when we would not be provoked into speech. with "dress the nation" we did engage in & initiate conversation, which occasionally became quite confrontational, altho mostly people just wanted us to go away so that they could carry on chatting. sometimes we had a more welcoming response.

it seemed to me that these were quite important actions to make as the public palaces (at least the ones that we were going to) seemed to be mostly populated by people who really didn't give a shit about the war or politics in general & didn't know that much about what was going on (i think they were mostly north american but it's not possible to say for sure). our protest probably didn't reach huge numbers of people but i think/hope it made at least a few move out of their comfort zone at least an inch or so ...

h : )

I agree with GH in many of his posts regarding the danger of seeing SL
as a "full fledged" universe where Art, Activism and Politics engage
to enlight a broader audience.
I participated these days in a International Conference of Women in
Black,, in Valencia, Spain.
We were 400 women from different parts of the world and listened to
each other testimonies and tales. We discussed with women from Irak
and Afghanistan how to empower them and to strenghten their links, we
discussed the possibility of using virtual tools to help them. "If"
they had computers at home (the most women there had not a computer at
home", "if" they had not electricity shortcuts every day, "maybe" it
could have been interesting to test SL ability to work as a virtual
square where we, women from countries not in war (yes, we are in war
because we are the providers of the weapons, but it's another story)
could "meet", at least virtually, women from countries invaded by
armies or in distress (it were Palestinian women at well and Saharaui
women living in refugee camps in the vast inmensity of the Sahara
desert since generations).

SL is a vast illusion in itself but I care more about real blood,
sweat and tears than about simulated ones. The Art market sell
commodities, SL provide commodities to sell as well.
But the real Art, the Art which can change worlds, which can provide
people with tools to understand the world and beyond, where is it?

Where is SL's Guernica? Or SL's Mona Hatoum? Or SL's Alfredo Jaar? Or
SL's Susan Meiselas? Or SL's Sebastiao Salgado? Or SL's William
Kentridge? Or Carlos Capelán? Wilfredo Lam? Yes, we can have museums
where we can show what they do, but are we not discussing the role of
the museums and galleries in the "real life"? Why are we not
discussing their roles in the virtual worlds as well?

Ana, posting about the Women in Black event in


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