RMB City at Alternate Realities at Spencer Museum of Art

Alternate Realities:
Installation explores themes of Second Life

Time: April 4, 2009
Venue: 20/21 Gallery Conversation Wall & Process Space

An upcoming exhibition at the Spencer Museum of Art invites viewers to consider how art and virtual worlds overlap and enhance one another. Alternate Realities, opening April 4 on the 20/21 Gallery Conversation Wall, will present images that address avatars, social networking and constructed realities. Visitors can also access the Spencer’s Second Life ® Island at a computer station in the gallery’s Process Space.

“We’re exploring the ways that we can combine different learning styles and new technology like Second Life® to create an engaging museum experience,” Jessica Johnson, IMLS Grant Project Coordinator says.

Second Life ® is an online virtual world where participants create avatars to interact with others. On the Spencer’s Second Life ® Island, visitors can learn more about current exhibitions Climate Change at the Poles and Trees & Other Ramifications: Branches in Nature and Culture at the real-life Spencer by watching videos exploring climate change, listening to a traditional Inuit story, and viewing replicas of Patrick Dougherty’s tree-branch sculptures. Johnson says incorporating Second Life directly into the gallery space provides viewers with another perspective on the issues Climate Change at the Poles and Trees & Other Ramifications: Branches in Nature and Culture present.

Alternate Realities incorporates works primarily from the Spencer’s collection to explore ideas from Second Life®, such as avatars and social networking, but also includes borrowed works such as the Qi of RMB City—a video filmed entirely in Second Life by Chinese artist Cao Fei. The piece follows Guangzhou-based artist Huang He (Second Life: Master Q) as she investigates how one would apply feng shui, the ancient Chinese spatial methodology, to an entirely virtual space. With interactive installations and performances Huang He creates her own modern mythology and explores ways to manipulate the qi (invisible energy flow) of RMB City and the digital realm. Cao Fei’s video goes one step further to experiment with the notion of performance, ritual, spectacle and narrative involving this project upon the greater stage of RMB City.

“I hope it helps people learn something new about art and about themselves in ways they might not have contemplated or expected,” Johnson says.

Spencer Museum
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Gallery hours
Tues., Wed., Fri., & Saturday 10 AM—4 PM
Thurs. 10 AM—8 PM
Sun. Noon—4 PM
Closed Monday
Museum Shop closes 30 minutes before the galleries close.

• Free parking in Lot 91 after 5 PM on weekdays and all day weekends, excepting home football games.
• Parking garage adjacent to Kansas Union is $1 per hour weekdays, free on Saturdays and Sundays (but unavailable on home football games).

Blog,Events,News,RL Events — Nokan Vlodovic, April 9, 2009 @ 2:18 am

Save the Date:Portrait of Self-Exile(Part 1) @ The Shop

Portrait of Self-Exile(Part 1)

Opening: 4pm, 11th April (sat.) 2009
Location: the shop

Performance: Lee Kit, Knowles Eddy Knowles

You will encounter these art works in Portrait of Self-Exile(Part 1):
Pak Sheung Chuen: Lost in Torino
Duan Jianyu: On the path to silent, I meet a rabbit
Cao Fei: Nu (Anger)
Heman Chong: Star (Imploded)
Chu Yun: Black Label
Hu Xiangqian: Sun
Zhou Tao: Obstacle
Xu Tan: Keywords—Life, Existence, Survival
Zheng Guogu: Punishment of illegal land use
Koki Tanaka: How to Draw a Line On the Road

the shop
Address:B1-1503, Building 15, Jianwai SOHO,39 East 3rd-Ring Rd.,Chaoyang District, Beijing, 100022, China,Tel/Fax:0086-10-59004374
For Press
More on

Portrait of Self-Exile begins loosely from a re-reading of Jack Kerouac’s The Dharma Bums; this thread is allowed its errantry, its errancy. Last summer British artist Sigrid Holmwood’s traveled to a hippie community in the Western United States and her resultant group of paintings manifests a shade of Dharma Bums existing in today’s world. At the same moment, Pak Sheung Chuen wandered the environs of Torino, Italy, trying to lose his bearings. Chu Yun had his friend bring up his nearly empty reserve bottle of “Black Label” whiskey from Shenzhen to Beijing, and the remaining contents were consumed. The normal course of daily events was detoured with subtle maneuvers by Koki Tanaka. Xu Tan’s Keywords school picked up the recurrent and the granted that lay in our ordinary language. For the duration of summer, Hu Xianqian’s naked body absorbed the Southern sun, darkening languidly on a dilapidated porch.
These and other occurrences may co-exist but take co-existence as a condition to test; not with a declaration but through everyday engagement. To impose exile on oneself is a manner of opening up another space, and searching for alternative ways of life, of measuring the various depths (or volumes, or scales) of alternatives. The individual who begins this gesture does so from his or her own position, thereby plotting a portrait.
Portrait of Self-Exile, loose and divergent, comes together, depositing a new geological layer on the shifting terrain of the shop, under Jianwai SOHO.

A reading event of the Chinese translation of Jack Kerouac’s The Dharma Bums will be arranged to take place in the shop in May, and is conducted by Yan Jun. Please check back for further news.

Note: Portrait of Self-Exile (Part 2) will be open at Vitamin in Guangzhou from June to September 2009.
There will be a book launch of 2 new books published by Vitamin in CIGE:
1. Battery City: A Post-Olympic Beijing Mini Marathon (Conducted by Hans Ulrich Obrist);
2. Master Q’s Guide to Virtual Feng Shui (a special project by Huang He for RMB City)

For Chinese Press Release, press here

Blog — Nokan Vlodovic, @ 2:10 am

Virtual 茅台酒 (Maotai Triptych)




Blog — Miniature Tigerpaw, April 7, 2009 @ 1:14 am

Digital Guqin


This upcoming event looks quite interesting – a mixed-reality event during a music conference in Taiwan that features a tour of a digital Guqin (traditional Chinese instrument) museum in Second Life.

SL: Swann Jie is involved; RMB Citizens may remember her from her participation in Mian Mian’s “Love Letter to an Avatar” project.

It seems like some part of the digital space is up already?

More information here – maybe we’ll carpool from RMB City to check it out?

Virtual World @Taiwan guqin conf 『古 琴、音 樂 美 學 與 人 文 精 神 』 」 跨 領 域 、跨 文 化 」國 際 學術 研 討 會, 2009, April 25th 14h30-16h30; rl music :: Chine-France

A tour of the Digital Guqin Museum will be presented infront of real life Master guqin players and scholars from around the world at “Intercultural International Conference on Guqin, Aesthetics and Humanism, 『古 琴、音 樂 美學 與 人 文 精 神 』 」 跨 領 域 、跨 文 化 」國 際 學 術 研 討 會”, TaiChung, Taiwan. DGM live demo and tour, April 24-25, 14h30-16h30, 2009

Swannjie will be sent to do the live demo and maybe with a special guest doing live performance. The time will be from 14h30 to 16h30 Taiwan time, April 25th 2009.

Blog — Miniature Tigerpaw, April 3, 2009 @ 8:17 pm

Filthy Fluno, Facilitated

The New York Times has previously covered RMB City (“Flying Avatars Admire the Artwork,” Mar 12, 2008), but a few weeks back, they published another foray into the strange territory where “Second Life” and “art” overlap.

In “Portrait of an Artist as an Avatar,” writer Sara Corbett profiles Filthy Fluno (RL: Jeff Lipsky), a painter who uses Second Life to sell his Real Life canvases. The article is admirable for its depth of research into its subject, and for sketching out a picture of how at least some SL art could work in a somewhat traditional “commercial” model.


I was curious to learn more about the avatar Filthy Fluno, but was unfortunately a bit disappointed with the conventional style of most of his paintings. However, in his SIM/museum I did spot something of particular, funny interest to me — there is a sign prominently announcing that one sculpture/mannequin was “Facilitated by Taralyn Gravois”. The only other place I’ve seen that Facilitator role; besides our own city, which lists its beloved Mayor UliSigg Cisse as a Facilitator…


Blog — Miniature Tigerpaw, April 2, 2009 @ 11:38 pm

My blue skin


记得刚开始注册Second Life的时候,拿着有限的Linden Dollar 当然马上走去装身,Second Life 里面的成衣店非常多,但是我走访了近30家店,都找不到我想要的东西:一个能面(能乐演员的面具)和淡蓝色的皮肤( 穿什么衣服倒是其次)。在Second Life 里面, 皮肤如衣服,可以换。


以前曾经设想过做一个“造神系列”的项目,把不同的神的特征套在人的身上。Guy Ernest Dobord说基督教里神所应许的天家比地上的国更为重要,是一个“符号胜过实物、副本胜过原本、表象胜过现实、现象胜过本质”的好例子。所以把不少神的视觉形象/物质性抽出来,再强加在脆弱,最“肉”的人身上,是反其道而行了。不少神灵在历史上本来就是人,通过这个实验,希望可以通过刻画人-神-人这个圆,将历史的断层-叙述的剧变-做个切片检查。

在神的选择方面,除了黄大仙,天照大神等等,Krishna当然也是我心水,开始时考虑是否可以通过跟液体银的长期接触, 造成银中毒,再把左手臂变蓝(科学达人不要笑我),最后发现失败。听说美国一老人以服用液体/胶质银补身,导致全身变成灰蓝色-这是个不可逆转的生理变化。这样啊,唯有在Second Life暂时过过瘾。。。我去过SL几家有皮肤贩卖的商店,在选购过程中惊异于Second Life里面人们对皮肤想像力的缺乏,看来看去都是跟现实的黑白黄人种翻版,也有别的如红蓝绿,但是不属于主流选择。后来别人送了我这个不特别出色的蓝,看来最好自己开发个特别的蓝色,然后注册,好像克莱恩那样。以后你要用,需要问过我,哈哈。

Blog — Nokan Vlodovic, @ 2:03 am

Hear What the Mayor Says


RMB City interviewded its first mayor UliSigg Cisse, see what the mayor and also RMB City’s facilitator say about RMB City and being a mayor of it….

1.Why are you interested in RMB City? What attracts you about it?

Because I will learn. New concept, new technology, breaking new ground for old boring questions like what is the piece, where does it start, where does it end, what is an exhibition, what is a collectible item. Pushing the limits is my game. And I am the facilitator…. And besides I really like to work with Cao Fei and Zhang Wei: they are mostly fearless people.

2. Why did you decide to collect this particular virtual building (“People’s Palace”)? What does it mean to you?

If I collect I have to think big. It is the heart.

3. What ‘s the differences between this piece and other pieces in your contemporary art collection? Does it have a special meaning or function in your Chinese art collection system?

It is meant to extend the scope of my collection into new space – virtual and real at the same time, collecting a process, bits, and real pieces. If it will not [extend the scope], and if it will not make me sweat, I will be upset. Actually I perceive myself more a researcher who is just fortunate to have means to acquire some results of his research.

4. RMB City is an open project, full of possibilities and creativity. It welcomes the active involvement of art institutions and collectors. Are you planning to be involved in this project, and if so, how?

I already am. I am the Facilitator. Nobody knows what that means, it is so virtual, that we really like it… I am giving some ideas and some support to make it possible, that’s all.

5. How do you feel that the building you collected is going to serve as the RMB City Hall? As the City Hall of a virtual city, what function do you think it should have?

I like this idea even though it limits my own possibilities with my building. Which functions? A parking lot, an avatar-bar to get drunk in and envision new worlds, a mailbox to drop these visions… No hierarchy, no rules.

6. If you serve as the mayor of RMB City, how will you preside over the city’s development direction?

I would certainly look like an excellent mayor, but I am born lazy. And the first thing I would have to introduce is hierarchy and rules: eliminate enemies threatening RMB City. Define cultural values, determine bad artists and bad art, avoid central government intervention, deflect Linden-$ crisis. Of course, also open up borders, go green and elect RMB super girl. Attract the best avatarminds. Do many competitions! These are any mayor’s secrets.

7. What do you think is the relationship between this virtual city and contemporary Chinese cities?

Maybe none – but maybe we will be surprised and RMB City will be a role model. It will very much depend on the artist, the people collecting the buildings, and visitors. Will they still maintain their limitations ingrained by lifelong reality? Will they be able to think without boundaries? Then something new and useful for real Chinese cities may arise.

8. What is your concept of a Utopian city?

sinoswisszurichbeijing – situated in the alps but with Chinese food, and no avatar with more than one vote – that would leave nothing to be desired.

Blog — Nokan Vlodovic, April 1, 2009 @ 3:40 am

Matching Games: Who is China Tracy?

Last time we already revealed that China Tracy that showed up at the “marathon-dialogue” that take place in RMB City, was actually five people who are:

Hu Fang (SL: HuFang Scribe, creative advisor to RMB City),
Uli Sigg (SL: UliSigg Cisse, 1st Mayor of RMB City),
Alan Lau (friend of RMB City, may hold “high office” in RMB City soon…),
Mian Mian (SL: MianMian Sorbet, writer and artist of the “Love Letter to an Avatar” project),
Huang He (SL: queenshoe Voom, aka “Master Q,” RMB City’s own Feng Shui Master).

Let’s try to match the following texts which are the transcripts of the Marathon discourse on March 20, 2009 (the day of RMB’s installation in Serpentin Gallery) with the above-metioned people who played the role China Tracy on that day.
(Note: all the lines said by “You” are actually spoken by China Tracy)

[3:16] You: what you have seen here is part of the outcome after the opening of RMB City
[3:16] Hansulrichobrist Magic: as Dieter Roth said EVERYTHING the magazine of everything
[3:16] You: there have been different kind of cultural activities which are shaping the new life in rmb city

[3:19] You: daily life becomes the way that revolution exists
[3:19] Hansulrichobrist Magic: Lyotard did les Immateriaux after that he wanted to do a show on Resistance it remained unrealised
[3:19] Hansulrichobrist Magic: RESISTANCE IN SECOND LIFE
[3:19] JuliaPeytonJones Popstar: Revolve daily life
[3:20] Hansulrichobrist Magic: can Second Life be Resistance?
[3:20] You: for a revolutionary means of transport, do you want to try to fly?

3:25] Hansulrichobrist Magic: China Tracy are we a community
[3:26] Hansulrichobrist Magic: production of communicy
[3:26] Hansulrichobrist Magic: community production reality production
[3:26] Hansulrichobrist Magic: China Tracy did your identity change
[3:26] You: Don’t do things that I would not do
[3:26] Hansulrichobrist Magic: What does freedom mean
[4:04] Hansulrichobrist Magic: what is knowledge
[4:04] You: fabricated experience.
[4:04] Hansulrichobrist Magic: is RMB City art for all?
[4:05] You: it seems like it is…
[4:05] Hansulrichobrist Magic: what is RMB Citys relaton to the market?
[4:05] Hansulrichobrist Magic: it feels urgent that we have decommodified institutions
[4:05] Hansulrichobrist Magic: can RMB City be a decommodified CITY
[4:05] You: it doesn’t seem like it makes a lot of money..

3:55] You: we are chinese, we don’t talk about political things — we just do it.
[3:56] Hansulrichobrist Magic: anything else you would like to say
[3:56] Hansulrichobrist Magic: where is criticality to be found today

[3:56] Hansulrichobrist Magic: Warhol or Beuys?
[3:56] You: To marry Hans Ulrich!
[3:56] Steve Memotech is Online
[3:56] You: marry to Hans Ulrich in 3rd live
[3:57] You: life

Blog — Nokan Vlodovic, @ 3:33 am
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