Ra-ra-rambutan

Just back from the ISEA conference in Singapore and a side trip to Thailand. What bliss to step from the hamster wheel to the wheel of Enlightenment. Or at least the freewheel of capital. Our panel, “Mediated Hauntings,” was fun. I realize how much I miss working with old colleagues whose thinking has so much influenced my own. Alice Jim was the only person I haven’t worked with before—she gave a great paper on Second Life and True False Creeks, which is a project on False Creek, Vancouver and False Creek, Dubai that Henry Tsang and Glen Lowry are working on. What happens when the virtual “prints out” in real geography?

Drank Singapore slings at Raffles Hotel, ate fish head curry in Chinatown, rambled through the Indian and Muslim quarters on the last day. Caught a lot of papers on electronic art—one on cyberfeminism that I particularly liked. Went to a handful of exhibitions and openings including a sound performance by Spektr! and Experimenta Play, an exhibition of new electronic art. Loved the shy photograph, in which the subjects run away if you approach too closely.

We went to Koh Samui for an island holiday afterwards. After all those conversations with David and Diyan about the cultural possibilities of SE Asia, I chose the beach. Needed the beach. And did not much for days but lie on the beach, swim, eat rambutan and mangosteen, and stare at the sky! And try not to get too dragged down by the infrastructural horrors of contemporary western tourism. On the last day we went kayaking and snorkelling in An Thong National Park. We were delayed somewhat by a rather spectacular fire caused when a truck careened into the local 7-11.

Later this week, I’m off to Toronto, where Little Pear Garden is working on a dance/opera production of Salt Fish Girl.

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