9:05 PM Houston The Devil Wears Second Front.- In Parallel with My Night Your Day

•March 9, 2012 • Leave a Comment

On 3/8 2012, Second Front was asked to do a piece for the Lone Star Performance Explosion at Diverseworks in Houston.  Called “The Devil Wears Second Front” Fau Ferdinand built a huge Prada showroom with shoes and feet with a giant golden calf on the top.  We came as Maquiladoras, socialites, and suffragettes.  At first, we prayed to the calf, then went to the sweatshop, and then returned to the calf.

HOWEVER, since a car was on fire in Houston at the festival, we decided to add something for our Houston friends. We took a 59 Cadillac, put it on top of the calf, got in, set it on fire, and drove it off a cliff into the ocean and stayed there, ablaze. 

That is where the story ended. In a James Dean Prada meltdown.


Eden Unluata Arrives to see the work.

•March 9, 2012 • Leave a Comment

At about 9:30, another of our co-facilitators, Eden Unluata (Chicago) showed up to check in with us.

I’m Man, Eden’s Bohemian.: Part of our conversation went like this.

Another interesting thing is that we have had all the Wester pricip-als here, which is good.
[07:38] BohemianBalloon: cool cool
[07:39] Patrick Lichty (man.michinaga): My question is: “Is the gesture the point?” or is this it?
[07:40] Patrick Lichty (man.michinaga): We sit waiting for the iranians to arrive, with them held at the cyber border
[07:40] Patrick Lichty (man.michinaga): Would it have been better to be in public with Hijab?
[07:41] Patrick Lichty (man.michinaga): Will more people see this virtually, or woudl we have been more visible in public?
[07:42] BohemianBalloon: i think hijab would have gone out of context
[07:42] Patrick Lichty (man.michinaga): Likely.
[07:42] BohemianBalloon: wearing the hijab in the US or in second life contextually goes off message
[07:43] Patrick Lichty (man.michinaga): especially for a male
[07:43] BohemianBalloon: it becoems an issue of religious freedom
[07:43] BohemianBalloon: so it would have subverted your point
[07:43] Patrick Lichty (man.michinaga): true.



Patrick as Pillar of fire

•March 9, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Patrick as Pillar of fire

At Hour 14.

•March 9, 2012 • Leave a Comment

As I begin writing this, it is 8:37 Am, about 14 hours after we started.
Been quite a ride, with some things we wanted, and some things we didn’t.
First ofall, I’m the Second Life Veteran, and everyone had to get up to speed so we could have transparent communal communication.  Andrew met me with a basic avatar, but as you can see, he has morphed already into a more sophisticated one.  Allie, (to the left) had some initial issues logging in, but with Andrew’s help, she got her voice working and got a new look for her avatar as well. Andrew’s partner and co-facilitator of the project, Morehshin, spent some time with us as well.

At 9, I split my avatar into two and went to appear at the Houston Performance Art Bienniale, which I’ll post about next.  Afterwards, members of Second Front came back to the tent to meet the members of the project.  Shortly thereafter, I curled up next to my laptop and slept.


This morning, I seem to be the only one awake, as Andrew and Allie are Away From Keyboard (AFK) and slumping in their chairs.  What is (not) surprising is that none of the Tehran team has been able to get here.  During my time in Turkey, I had to use Internet Proxy servers to process my Web requests outside of the country, and I think, given the current tensions between the US and Iran, i would not be surprised if firewalls would not let them enter.

This morning, I’m waiting for Andrew and Allie to “wake” but I also have a lot of work to do, even confined in my studio.  It’s amazing that i feel this restricted, given that I only gve myself this minor constraint.  Havign been to the Near East, I’ve seen much greater restrictions, and it’s a good reminder.

By the way, I also just turned myself into a giant pillar of flame.  I wonder what my partners will think when they wake. 

Hour 14

•March 9, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Hour 14

My Day/Your Night Confinement begins.

•March 9, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Confinement begins.

It is just after 6 PM CST on March 8th, 2012.  Andrew Blanton, Allie Pohl and I agreed to confine ourselves in response to the challenge from our Iranian compatriots in the project to feel some sort of restriction, if only for one day.  At first, I was going to confine myself to the bathroom with my cat and basic staples, but mainly for access to equipment to document the process of the 24 hours, I have chosen, like Andrew, to confine myself to my studio.  While the point may nave been for inconvenience and discomfort (at least for me), I have decided that it will be more about discipline and isolation.  As you see, I am now logged into Second Life, and sitting in our tent, waiting for the others.

Why do I look like a Mexican bandit?  Because there will be an action I will do with my other group, Second Front, for the Houston Performance Art Biennial in Second Life at 9:05 PM CST tonight.  There we will perform “The Devil Wears Second Front”, where we will worship golden calves, sew Maquiladora products, play in giant Prada pumps and avoid the barbed wire of consumerism.

In real life it just turned dark, I am cleaning a spot on my couch, and just spilled a bag of tortilla chips, while my avatar waits for Andrew and Allie to join me.  I am so hoping that the Persians will find a way to hack over to the Western nets and join us.


Your Day/My Night: Round 3: Pressure Valve/Virtual Confinement

•March 7, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Your Day/My Night: Round 3: Pressure Valve/Virtual Confinement
March 7, 2012, 3:48 PM – March 8, 2012, 3:50 PM (SLT/PST)
An American/Iranian Dialogue
Second Life URL:

For the past six months, two teams of artists, Iranian (Negin Ete, Sasan Abri, Vana Nabipour) and  American (Andrew Blanton, Patrick Lichty, and Allie Pohl), and one Turkish translator (Zeren Goktan),  under the facilitation of Morehshin Allahyahri and Eden Unluata have been creating an artistic conversation by creating texts for one another from which the other team responds through the creation of bodies of work.


This is the third round of our conversation, where the rules were to abandon the mediation of the translator and try to directly interact for the creation of a work. In this case the Iranian team wanted the Americans to somehow experience the pressures they feel on a daily basis.  This is the text they sent us (in Farsi, translated through an online site):


“We chose the theme, the constant psychological pressure – sometimes there are tangible physical consequences – that the Iranian middle class people as a natural part of everyday life and being, and perhaps other Adyshdn Frt not sense, but there is continuing pressure is. This pressure can cause a variety of self-censorship, constantly watch their behavior and divided into two parts and is underground. It’s more pressure on women and the banned area is larger, perhaps more typically violate her.”

“We recommend that your group, this pressure as a tangible experience. You secretly a completely normal life and do not feel guilty, so I put on it and discovered that the act is a crime punishable by law and will be fined. For example, drinking, or kissing, or even a dress is too tight or open Partnrtan. And knowing that this move is illegal, and you can go to prison or flogging Bhkhatrsh eat. Or you can get a dress and with different sizes and all day Bhtn yourself with your shield. Or the belt tighter than usual to close the two numbers, or wear tighter shoes all day with your life.”

“We want you to experience this one day, that might seem a minor issue, but continue to be imposed, it can be as seemingly insignificant issues can become a serious problem.”


The American team was baffled at first.  How do we restrict ourselves while reaching out to the Iranians directly?  We decided to confine ourselves to a single room (studio, bathroom, etc.) for 24 hours (Sundown/Sundown) while extending our presence in the online virtual world of Second Life.  It is our hope to meet with our Iranian counterparts and dialogue while we are also likewise confined to a tent in Second Life.  This is the pressure we impose upon ourselves, in an attempt to understand, however slightly, in solidarity with our Iranian counterparts.


About Your Night/My Day,Your Day/My Night
Your Night/My Day,Your Day/My Night is a collaborative project curated by Morehshin Allahyari and Eden Ünlüata which excavates the process of the cultural exchange – or lack thereof – between Iran and the United States. The works generated through this project will highlight the dysfunctional nature of cultural exchange between these two cultures.

Presently, there are no direct diplomatic, trade, official artistic or intellectual contacts between the US and Iran. All such communication and exchanges take place through third parties which further complicates the relationship and feeds the distrust while making both sides vulnerable to the agendas of third parties.

For this project, the process of art making is based on a series of invitations from the curators Morehshin Allahyari and Eden Ünlüata, called Inspiration Notes featuring 11 topics broadly interpreted in multiple cultures. These topics include: tea and coffee, games, shoes, hands, fruits, stickers, fortune telling/future telling, private and public shared lives, time, modern media – TV/Internet and visiting.

Through the Inspiration Notes, teams in each country will be asked to write instructions in their native language for the opposite team to perform and document on a given topic. However, before the opposite team receives them, the instructions will travel through an artist/ editor from Turkey who will put them through the Google Translator (Farsi>Turkish>English / English>Turkish>Farsi) and edit them as he/she sees fit – For further information and details please see ‘process’ document.

Using this 11-part series, we are not only seeking to decipher and depict the nature of the dysfunctional dialogue between Iranian and American cultures, but also seeking to reveal paths through art that may lead to a better understanding between the two cultures.



For more about the project, go to: