virus: Virian Art!

Ken Pantheists (
Thu, 16 May 1996 11:41:04 +0000

I feel compelled to respond to this one, since Virus theatre is becoming
my pet project.

Andy Cheyne Service-LL wrote:
> A posting that leakes accidentally onto the list recently hinted at the
> possibility of establising an Internet-based Virus Theatre.

Yes. I accidentally responded to the list when I meant to send the note
to Richard.

I have made no "great big" announcement of Virus Theatre because it is
still in the concept stage. If you want to see what we've come up with
so far, visit my homepage. The link is in my signature.

> characteristics would this, or any other Virian art forms take?

Virus Art could have many characteristics- potentially all of them ;).
We are not concerned so much with the product as we are with process.
Memetics has a lot to contribute to the "Process" of making art.

Postmodern (A wierd word that means different things to different
people) art seemed to relish in deconstructing narratives, in fracturing
contexts and discovering new meanings through juxtaposition of imagery.
Virian proinciples are another way "in" to this. Largely because it
ian't one more theory of aesthetics, one more definition of beauty (we
really haven't had that since the Moderns). Memetics address the purpose
of a narrative, ideal, discourse (all these are words that now, in my
mind, fall short of Meme.)

> guess that most of us could recognize Christian or Islamic art when we
> encountered it, although I'm sure it is far more difficult to construct a
> definition of the attributes that make art "Christian" or whatever.

Christian art would be a transmitter of christian memes.
In an odd way- "anti-" christian art is too, because it carries memes
that catalyse with christian memes.

Socialist theory has changed the way we look at art. I think memetic
theory will too.

> the purpose of Virian art - presupposing that such a thing is possible -
> to be celebratory? Evangelical? Educational? Aesthetic? Challenging?
> Some or all of these?

All of these. All of the things that art presently does Virian art will
do to. The important thing is to do it consciously.

Dave and I have been trading mail and thinking up ways to host
colaborations and ways to get artists together on the net. One idea that
popped up is to host a script writers group where members can read, be
read and offer critiques.

Another idea- with the growing number of multi disciplinary
collaborations involving film. video, live performers visual artists.
computer graphics and animation, there is no reason why a certain amount
of somebody's work can't be done on the net- transmitted from the studio
in Berlin to the rehearsal hall in San Francisco.

These are just dreams right now. But maybe you know someone who can help
us make it a reality?

> ______
> On a related subject, I'd be grateful for a few pointers.
> Twentieth-century philosophy, with Wittgenstein at its apex, has focussed
> on verbal reasoning and linguistic communication. In my view, the concept
> of the meme (no, Im not following THAT thread just now :-)) contains at
> least a nuance of the verbal. But what of the non-verbal? What is the
> Virian view of the emotional response? Those
> feelings-that-you-can't-put-into-words? The gut reponse to a work of
> art? They certainly exist, but how do they fit into a memetic view of
> the world?
> Andy Cheyne {}

We actually just closed a real stimulating thread on that topic. I don't
know how easy it would be to find it in the archives. We (me included)
aren't very disciplined with our titles.

We started off discussing the mystical, the imaginary and the spiritual
and near the end we were getting right down to the sublime and
aesthetics. (At least in my mind we were :) )

"We are all here on earth to help each other, 
but what the others are here for, God only knows."

- W.H. Auden ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Ken Pantheists