About Oriscus “Oz” Zauberflote

Contact Oz

I arrived in the virtual world of Second Life 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) or “Primcutter.” 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. I maintain a very modest storefront for Kithara Associates as a sort of museum of musical instrument on the main square at Neufreistadt.

In real life I am a musicologist, print artist, web developer, and curator of virtual arts. My education includes a graduate degree in musicology. For 10 years I was a public information coordinator and web developer for the University of Kentucky School of Music/College of Fine Arts. Prior to that I was an executive assistant to the director of a state arts commission. 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 create a web database of over 2200 roadside Kentucky historical markers. 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. Working in virtual worlds 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.

This website/blog is a catchall for looking at the latest in technology as it relates to the arts, ideas, and creativity.

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