[-empyre-] week three: Pain, Suffering, and Death in the Virtual

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Wed Oct 17 08:37:15 EST 2012

dear all, 
thanks to Sandy and Alan, for inviting me to be on this discussion,
and you probably saw that I had joined on occasion since week one,
when  responding to Monika's work and some of the postings here. 

Then i decided to follow the later discussions more quietly, just listening, there was
much brought forward here that surprised me as it seemed of a personal nature.
Then again, after listening to Sandy and Alan, and Ana as well,  and Jonathan's very interesting
chapters from his ethnography of the lives, pains and joys on a maillist, I realized that I probably would
have little to say about either the personal & directly experienced (i think it's not for me
to discuss my private emotions here), nor do i work very much with avatars and in the Virtual, or have long feuds with people i know or don't know on some maillist.

So as i had told Alan initially, my role can only be to share some questions or some stories, but lately 
i also wondered, given both the gravity and the sincerity of this month's discussion, which I respect much,
I wondered (following my initial queries to Monika) who the audience or the community is *here* and 
how a few people get to enjoy talking to each other via a maillist (international scope, over a thousand subscribers)
about private matters for a whole month?

Now, as we addressed some public or performed private works or alternate areas of operation (SL or other games or virtual
environment), the issue of private and public gets naturally more entangled, and I shall perhaps be writing on that matter in the next
days, in Valeska Gert spirit I hope ("the poster is present"), whether in regard to ritual and commemoration as initially proposed via Monika Weiss's work  (and re:history of theatre or civilizational historical terms),
whether there are phenomena of catharsis today (after Greek tragedy and what Aristotle thought), whether they are addressed through this debate, whether some of the other questions
(Alan's from yesterday: "how do we live with ourselves"?) are addressable through work, performance, and telling. 

I stop for now. I wanted to thank everyone for their offerings here, it was strong reading.
I particularly also enjoyed seeing Diane Gramola's posting and wish to return to it, and thank you Sandy for remembering, on Sunday,  some of the questions i raised

I heard a question as well about Antonin Artaud. 
Yes, I am sure Artaud posed that question to himself, Alan ("how do I live with myself"), and he
answered it in so many ways, screamingly and torched, corrosively and breathtakingly. His radio broadcast ("Pour en finir avec le jugement de dieu") is scary.

Johannes Birringer

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