Vanessa Blaylock & Merriam Galaxy walking in "New Hampshire Rebellion" t-shirts

Dear Xanni (NH Virtual Rebellion)

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6 avatars walking in the Virtual Rebellion for the  New Hampshire Rebellion on 20 Jan '14 from Canterbury to Concord, NH
Vanessa Blaylock, Merriam Galaxy, Izzy Medici, Caitlyn Clawtooth, RMarie Beedit, Trilby Minotaur. NH Rebellion, 2014

Hello Xanni,

I wanted to tell you how pleased Merriam and I are to be joining the New Hampshire Rebellion walk for the 2nd year. Our participation is a bit different from most of the other walkers, but it is profoundly important to us, and so I thought I’d send you a note explaining our walk.

Who We Are #

Vanessa Blaylock Company is a group of VR Avatars who participate in a wide range of Public Art Activities. We held a candlelight vigil in virtual Moscow during Nadya Tolokonnikova’s hunger strike, and we joined the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) for Project Secret Identity. We’ve collaborated with RL artists in “mixed reality” works like I Want a Dead One with performance artist Owen Perry at ]performance space[ in London, and video pioneers Michael Masucci and Kate Johnson of EZTV for the University of Southern California’s ONE Night at an outdoor park in Los Angeles.

Virtual Rebellion: NH Rebellion, last year #

Vanessa Blaylock walking on a treadmill deskLast year, on 20 January, Merriam Galaxy and I virtually walked the 10.2 miles from Canterbury to Concord, New Hampshire, at the same time and pace as your RL walkers. Merriam and I walked the full distance, and 11 other avatars joined us for part of the walk. We walked on VR treadmills in a “Virtual Rebellion”, and my “typist” also walked 10.2 miles on an RL treadmill at the same time. I’ve been on a big push for Treadmill Desks for a year now. We live in a world with so much screen time, and we’ve come to learn that Sitting is the New Smoking.

Virtual Rebellion: NH Rebellion, this year #

This year Merriam and I will again join the New Hampshire Rebellion walk on 20 January for the 12.5 mile walk from Canterbury to Concord, New Hampshire. We’re hoping to get more than 11 others to join our Virtual Rebellion walk this time around. I’ll still be pitching people to use RL treadmill desks at the same time. We’ve also created AVtrak, a sort of Fitbit for avatars, so those avatars who walk all or part of the 12.5 miles with us can track their exact distance walked.

Truly Representative Government #

Obviously we will be much warmer than you. As far as I know, none of our participants are from New Hampshire, but many of us are from different US states, and others of us are from many countries around the globe. What unites us, besides being avatars, is a deep belief in truly representative government. I don’t necessarily speak for everyone here, but for me these are very interesting times. I see so much bad news. But I also feel like I am living in a unique time of heroes. People like Aaron Swartz, Chelsea Manning, and Edward Snowden have paid so dearly for their convictions, still in spite of the sadness their treatment bring me, it is truly inspiring to live in a time that produces such remarkable individuals.

The New Hampshire Rebellion is as brilliant as it is simple. A walk. A good walk. A long walk. A plea for the people to take back what they lost when they weren’t looking. You can pick your own corporate power, but for me, entities like Citigroup and Comcast have, in their success, achieved a level of power that is terribly destructive to democracy and freedom.

The Walk #

5 avatars walking on treadmills in the Virtual Rebellion in solidarity with the  New Hampshire Rebellion 2014
VR New Hampshire Rebellion, 20 Jan 2014

Our Virtual Rebellion will be following your exact schedule on Tuesday, 20 January. Are you anticipating a faster pace this year? Last year you planned 5-1/4 hours for the 10.2 miles, or about 2 miles / hour. This year you’ve planned 4-1/4 hours for the 12.5 miles or about 3 miles / hour. I’ll have to step up my treadmill pace a bit this year!

We’ll plan on the same walking time and distance as you: 8:45am – 2pm EST (5:45am – 11am PST / SLT; 13:45 – 19:00 GMT).

And we’ll also be live streaming our Virtual Rebellion walk on Twitch.tv/vaneeesab. Obviously you will be on the road and unable to watch our stream, but anyone on a computer can check our progress on the stream or on AVtrak.

Tuesday, 20 January #

DAY 10 – CANTERBURY to CONCORD
Total Daily Mileage: 12.5 miles
Estimate Walk Time: 4 hrs 15 min
Starting Point: Canterbury Shaker Village, 288 Shaker Rd, Canterbury, NH
Route: Shaker Rd, L on Lesmerises, L on Old Shaker Road, L on Mountain Rd, R on Eastman St, bike path across river along I-93, right on Institute/Delta Dr, L on Commercial Street, R on 202W (0.1 mile), L on North Main, L on Gulf St.
End Point & Tonight’s Lodging: The Capitol Center for the Arts, 44 South Main St. Concord, NH.

7:30 AM: BREAKFAST

8:45 AM: DEPART/WALK

LUNCH: On the road!

2:00 PM: ARRIVE at The Capitol Center for the Arts, Concord

Thank You! #

Thank you Xanni! Thank you all the New Hampshire Rebellion organizers and all the walkers. That this walk exists at all is reason for hope. Now let’s work to make this 2015 New Hampshire Rebellion walk, and the 2016 walk, really matter and really return governance to the work of the people.

“Warm” Regards,

Vanessa Blaylock's signature

About Vanessa Blaylock

I was the Choreographer at Vanessa Blaylock Dancers and the Artistic Director at Vanessa Blaylock Company. Today my work focuses on Public Art projects. I’m interested in the mediation of perception and mixed reality performance works. I’m passionate about community and civil rights in cyberspace.

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