Cyberfeminists IRL and Online
The Australian based girl-group VNS Matrix participated in the symposium MEME at the Ars Electronica in Linz (Sept. 3-7, 1996) with a presentation of their prototype CD ROM project targeted for girls. They also made appearances at DEAF (Dutch Electronic Art Festival), and ISEA (International Society for Electronic Arts) in mid-September.
Pop FEATURE - VNS Matrix & Gashgirl
Gashgirl replaces foggy theories that try to improve the world. Her character is provocative, and as the name suggests sexual. Her many characters make things more perfect and beautiful with her intense and playful manipulation of willing subjects. Like many of those who have become addicted to online communication and the MOO experience, Gash began her virtual presence rapidly, and found herself living most of her life online. Athough she appeared to be a hermit IRL (in real life) she was busy exploring and building a new existance in VL (virtual life). The result is that in addition to her well known online persona Gashgirl, Francesca also logs in under one or more of the following: Puppet Mistress, Orphan Slut, GenderFuckmeBaby, Oracle Snatch, Brenda Walsh, rentboy, or Madame de Clairwil. Her nine rooms in LambdaMOO are equally as seductive, and include HiveMind, The Puppet Quarter, Therese's Caravan of Iridescent Dreams and Subliminal Shift (a portable room from which one can move around to other rooms, a hub of sorts).
Gash's online companions are the source of inspiration for her texts, in which she recounts, rants, and reveals her relationships in virtual space. This online world is not for everybody, and some may not identify easily with the scene. But, hers it is an active and multi-leveled world, full of characters who discuss topics like Netsex and share erotic fantasies. For pure provocative fiction, a collection of her writing has been archived on a server in Northridge, California, maintained by an online friend who she met briefly IRL at the last Virtual Futures conference.
I am my own freak show. My devoted puppets do my bidding. I am Gash Girl...Puppet Mistress... Exquisite Aberrant Intelligence These are my stories. I will not remain silent. hey are all true. I am not mad. I have wept enough
In addition to her online presence, Francesca da Rimini recently completed a videotape on the subject of women and madness entitled WHITE, made with VNS Matrix sister Josephine Starrs. Her writing project, an online novel which will be called either _A Smear of Roses_, or _Fleshnet_, is presently at the core of her artistic consciousness. When asked, she states that the rationale for her online activity...is its "...ability to tap into emotion and play" and "...to have intimate relations that are easier to maintain than in daily life."
pop~Access - The MOO experience with Gashgirl
To enter a MOO, it is necessary to telnet to one of hundreds of address that take you to a specific data base that maintains the text based environment. This is a social cyber community, otherwise known as a virtual space, where many people jointogether in conversations, and describe their movements and feelings with words. Everything is described by text: the character of the participants, the size and the shape of the room, and the theme of the place. Inhabitants also create objects, which they might carry with them, or leave in any one of their own, or other rooms. The MOO becomes a very real experience, and the more expertise the authors and inhabitants exhibit, the more interesting the MOO becomes for the visitors and guests who often stay online for 10 hours or more at one sitting (all who are logged in - and for how long - is immediately available by typing the command @users from within the MOO). Gashgirls nine rooms....
She might instructs us to "...teleport to my hub room, Truly Madly Deeply by typing @go #81885.
Here is a complete list of her rooms: #81885 Truly Madly Deeply #93927 Marquis de Sade's insatiable lust for Brenda Walsh's magnificent ass #2024 Therese's Caravan of Iridescent Dreams #71587 Last Tango in Paris #86201 GenderFuckMeBaby's Palace of Unparalleled Cynicism #93618 HiveMind #93923 The Puppet Quarter #14266 Home of the Puppet Mistress #63214 Subliminal Shift
Subliminal Shift is my portable room like the Tardis in Dr Who, which you can enter, then journey n, s, e, w to move around my other rooms. If other characters in the rooms you visit you can stay in the sub and eavesdrop on them. To get out of the sub to enter a room type "exit".Francesca di Rimini
Gashgirl, by creating nine rooms in LambdaMOO, has become the most recognizable online personalities of VNS Matrix. She describes the MOO experience as fascinating- dazzling, impressive-aggressive and also as an exceptionally astonishing experience to have. Although quite often for guests and newbies (new persons to the MOO) the conversations are just about getting familiar with the way to move, emote and speak to one another, life in the MOO has something for everyone.
There are many different MOO worlds, and quite a few are theme environments that cater to special interests like science fiction, ancient lore, fantasy worlds, and the like. Many MOOs are located on university servers, and attract young people (especially young men with high sex drives). The building of a character seems to be one of the contitions that very often is mentioned as the reference for the development of an online personality. This concern crosses many theories, and has become a point of reference for the online writier and cyber-mysticist Eric Davis. At the MetaFourm III conference in Budapest (October 11-13) he referred to avatars and focused his interests on the new digital territories. It doesnt seem to be a coincidence that Davis, in his religious analysis, chooses MUDs as a concern. Davis's 1994 text It's a MUD, MUD, MUD, MUD WORLD, is one of the most vigorous online account detailing personal experience.
The relation between online new age and digital mysticism is also part of the environment that is created in MOOs, and of the personalities that you meet there. (Margarete Jahrmann and Kathy Rae Huffman)