Stephanie Rothenberg's Best Practices in Banana Time
December 3, 2011
This mixed reality talk show takes place simultaneously in the virtual environment of Second Life and in a physical theater. The show title is from the 1959 study “Banana Time: Job Satisfaction and Informal Interaction." In the study sociologist D.F. Roy observed the way in which factory workers created games out of their repetitive tasks in order to make their time more meaningful. In new modes of digital labor, work often happens under the guise of play through the use of social media “tools” that serve both our leisure and our labor. Merging Charlie Rose with Oprah, Best Practices in Banana Time sets out to identify what it means to work and live between the worlds of the physical and the virtual. Hosted by Rothenberg’s virtual doppleganger, Doctor Rodenberger, the show features Second Life residents as virtual guests who work the same job in both their real life and in their Second Life: doctors, musicians, architects, wedding planners, escorts, , activists and other diverse occupations. A webcam set up next to the stage will enable MASS MoCA audience members to participate in a Q&A with the virtual guests. Designed as a virtual TV studio, a Second Life audience is also present and responds to the show via text chat.