Grokmaster Billy.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

— Robert Frost (1874–1963). Mountain Interval. 1920.

Nicholas reinvented a “real” person from history, BIlly the Kid. As you’ll see on his page, in his interview, in his XtraNormal video and in his vlog above, it was a really nice project. Watch his vlog, it’s a really nice analysis of our online culture.

This week on Counterfactual Living:
Nicholas Anderson IS Billy the Kid
Alyssa Anna IS Angelina Marie
Gladys Barron IS Angela H. Spurlock
Melissa Chavez IS Carolyn Cruz
Isabel Fidel IS Jane Granger

OMG Alyssa, really? You named your P10 page “P10” and not “Anna-Alyssa-P10” ouchy! Just begging for a page collision with 219 other peeps 😦 Oh well… at least your project rocked! 🙂

Carolyn Cruz is 5’10”, a fashion model who’s 10″ taller than Melissa.

Don’t expect to learn Jane Granger’s secrets if you don’t know the password to her blog!

Many of you had the insight that the people you encounter on a social site like Facebook “might not be real” or “might not be who they seem to be.” What about “normal” life… the physical world… Can “real” people be “fake” too? Where is “the real?”

I asked a clicker question a while back, and it might be worth asking again: When you “ride” a social network like Facebook… or a roller coaster like Space Mountain at Disneyland… is the “ride” more about YOU, your relationships, your life? Or is it more about Facebook or Space Mountain… and you’re “the passenger” taking the turns of Space Mountain… fitting your life into the templates of Facebook… ?

It seems like a lot of you enjoyed this project. And it seems like you drew many different conclusions: some thought about how little you sometimes know about people… others thought about how important “fake” people can be, whether they’re famous like Huckleberry Finn, or personal like that alter-ego who’s been tagging along through your life.

In one way or another, all the films we’ve used as jumping off points for our lectures this term, Inception, The Matrix, Altered States, The Razor’s Edge, Avatar, The Reader… ALL think about what is “real” or where the “real” is or what has meaning. Maybe it’s US that makes the real. On Thursday I used the word “desire.” Could it be that human desire creates reality?

If you think about someone that maybe you once loved, and today sort of can’t stand: the person you once knew, and the one you know today, where is the difference? Are they different? Or is the difference in YOUR mind? Is it your perception? Is it the dynamics of the relationship between you that makes the very same lump of flesh someone to love… or someone to despise.

One thing’s for sure, WAY MORE of you than just Nicholas, Alyssa, Gladys, Melissa & Isabel did awesome, awesome work this week! Thanks so much for your effort. It looks like many of you had a lot of fun and it seems as though you had a chance to think about a number of ideas about art, life, culture, and the media of our time.


Oh wow… and then I stumbled upon videos by Rachel Youdale & Jo Calderone… neither Rachel nor Jo were in my grading batch… but they’re pretty impressive videos, so I thought I’d include them:

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