“Orientation” by Nebulosus Severine and Arahan Claveau

This is the first piece I referred to on the broadcast I taped tonight:

Just thinking about it some more – I think one of the things I was struggling to say is how the piece so successfully incorporated camp and this sort of over-the-top ridiculousness in a way that wound up being so much a comment on the absurdity of Second Life as much as a critique of consumer culture or the pressures to conform that one encounters in real life.

And there is something inherently campy about Second Life – something that we barely acknowledge and go on to pretend isn’t there in our usual encounters in the environment. Such that, by the end of Orientation, when you are lead to the room with the meat grinder and the boxes of soilent green, it seems perfectly in line with everything else you encounter there, and it implicates you. Here you are, you’ve accepted this world entirely on its terms – you’re at peace with the “fact” that the person you’re talking to has green skin or a tail or can fly; you’re ok with the idea that you can be rocking out at the bottom of the sea one moment and then next, be 300 meters in the air at a house that floats on nothing; so if you’ve accepted all that, don’t you also have to accept that you’re in a room that’s turning your fellow man into food? No? Well, then – why the hell did you blindly suck up all that other stuff that’s been passed your way since you’ve been here?

Anyway, here are some of the references I made in describing it:

EBN, a sorely missed industrial group.

This is Spaghetti Man by Paul McCarthy:


~ by amyfreelunch on October 6, 2008.

19 Responses to ““Orientation” by Nebulosus Severine and Arahan Claveau”

  1. […] orientation and I’m going to try to find out if i can go see it in person right now. Read what she has to say about it, and i’ll see if i can find a way that you can listen to this timeshifted– Amy told me […]

  2. Hi Amy,

    I really enjoyed hearing your thoughts and impressions of Orientation in yesterdays radio show and value your insights. You’re right when you mention the absurdity of Second Life and in some ways Orientation was indeed a commentary on that and what we all have come to accept as normal. Despite the many problems with the way SL is managed, there is still no other virtual world that gives artists the same freedom to explore their imaginations, there really are no limits (aside from censorship).

    Orientation was on a PG sim, which may or may not be important, but I think it is the first work Arthole has collaborated on that was suitable for all ages, yet still it managed to be subversive.

    I was not familiar with EBN’s work, but that is a compelling video. Personally, I was influenced very much by Terry Gilliam’s film Brazil and in SL by Gary Bukowski and the EVA Project that happened in 2005. Although the tone and narrative of Gary’s work was totally different to ours, EVA had that wonderful element of surprise and dark humour that we also wanted to experiment with.

    In total around fifty invited people took part in Orientation over the two live performances, it was something we intended to be transient and that only a small number of people would witness. Most of all we wanted it to be a fun and unique experience for those that made the effort to attend and play along.

    It was originally staged for Club Goodbye Dollar that took place live in virtual and real Amsterdam, and then again last month it was filmed by PLANETART gallery and shown at Picnic 08, again in Amsterdam. Chantal Harvey filmed the alternative version you linked to above.

    Here’s some footage from Picnic, Orientation is playing on the screens.

  3. *the embed code is screwed above, here’s the direct link to the Picnic footage – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXqRyA_Sclg

  4. […] https://amyfreelunch.wordpress.com/2008/10/06/orientation-by-nebulosus-severine-and-arahan-claveau Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)In the spotlight […]

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