About Oriscus "Oz" Zauberflote

Arrived in SL in November 2006. I had no idea what an investment I would be making when I signed up or I would have chosen a more lucid name. Please just call me Oz. (That my initials spell that name is entirely serendipitous.) I immediately set to building things. It took a while to find a home, but I found a number of generous people willing to let me hang out along the way. For over two years I've had a semi-permanent workshop almost directly above Music Island on Sea Turtle Island, part of the Cedar Island Community. For much of that time I have also maintained a very modest storefront for Kithara Associates on the main square at Neufreistadt.

In rl I am a musicologist and web developer. My education includes a graduate degree in musicology. I do public information work for the University of Kentucky School of Music. My employment history generally centers around technology support for cultural institutions (libraries, arts organizations, higher education).

I am a member and former newsletter editor of the American Musical Instrument Society. I have had a passion for the study of musical instruments, history, the arts, and comparative belief systems since I was a child. I am a grantee of the Kentucky historical Society for a project to put their database of over 2200 roadside historical markers on the web. I am a member of the Kentucky Museum and Heritage Alliance.

My interests in history, music and art stem from a curiosity about alternative realities. In order to understand the way people think, it's important to examine how they live: The cultural artifacts that they find significant, the spaces they build for themselves, the way design and materials are both a reflection of and an influence upon the way they interact with others and with the world. Immersive virtual reality is a highly useful test bed for experimenting with alternative realities. Living in a place like this helps define for us what is arbitrary and what it absolute. By challenging and allowing us to redefine the fundamental assumptions of physics, environment, the body, and identity, we are able to try on new ways of thinking and to easily discard those which don't appeal or don't ring true for us. If the immersion is of sufficient quality, we can momentarily shift consciousness from our biological bodies to our virtual ones. This experience promises to become the norm in the seeable future as technology becomes more powerful, portable, and ubiquitous.