Ars Virtua hosts CADRE Speaker Salons



James Morgan speaks to audiences in real and Second Life.

The Ars Virtua New Media Center (Dowden, 45,59,51) has been simulcasting a series of Speaker Salons taking place at the The CADRE Laboratory for New Media at the School of Art and Design at San Jose State University. I attended the most recent, featuring CADRE lecturer James Morgan.

Known in Second Life as Rubaiyat Shatner, Morgan is the creative force behind Ars Virtua. His talk showcased several of his real life projects including an urbanized rendition of MacBeth via cell phone, and a Karaoke performance based on Einstein’s theories of relativity. He reviewed the history and highlights of Ars Virtua projects and announced its future as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization – perhaps the first that is based in a virtual world, or, more accurately, the first that did not originally exist in real life then migrate to SL. (Please correct me if I am wrong about this.) He also discussed ‘anthropomorphic hegemony’ – a term he uses to describe “the preference for humanoids and the difficulty of creating non-humans that is hard coded into the avatar creation system, and the propensity toward human norms in all things SL.

Morgan ended his talk with the screening of a fresh-from-the-editing-room machinima called Looks Very Tidy, in which he and fellow artist John Bruneau (J0E Languish in SL) vacuum the premises at the New Media Center. This piece will be part of the Our Man in Havana: The Vacuum Cleaner in Art exhibition at the Gallery Aferro in Newark, New Jersey. (Look for an unplanned guest appearance by yours truly; I dropped in to say hello and found myself in the middle of a vacuuming frenzy!)


Rubaiyat Shatner (right) and J0E Languish take a break from their chores.


The talk was followed by a Q & A from both CADRE and SL audience members. There are still two Salons remaining on the roster. No preregistration is required for attending in SL.

2 Responses to “Ars Virtua hosts CADRE Speaker Salons”

  1. If you would like to view other images from the salon series simulcasts please visit my Flickr Collection at:

    aka Humbert Xingjian (SL)
    aka Thomas Asmuth (CADRE)

  2. The Vacuum Cleaner show was inspired by, among other thing, the sad condition of the carpeting in Gallery Aferro’s current building, a donated former furniture store.

    There is something highly pleasurable about viewing two artists ceaselessly vacuum an immaculate, dust free space. I may have cala lillies on our front desk for the opening reception to match the digital ones I saw in their machinima.

    Emma Wilcox
    Newark NJ USA

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