In this talk, Marc Gafni and Megwyn White talk about the possibilities that Google Hangout offers us in terms of enhanced intimacy, creating authentic we-space and being an artist.
Listen to the audio and read the transcript below:
Marc: Google Hangout.
So we’ve done a call on Skype, like the six, seven principle of Skype. We did that in an earlier dialogue and we’ll come back and do another dialogue on by itself. But now we’re talking about Google Hangout. Here’s my thought – Megwyn White, my digital intimacy, holy ecstatic, brilliant partner, maybe talk to us for five minutes about the experience of five, six, seven experience of Google Hangout, what that’s about. From your experiential sacred holy feminine technology, and then maybe I’ll talk about it in kind of a meta-sense and we get like a ten minute dive into Google Hangout. That sound good beloved?
Megwyn: Sure. That sound great.
Megwyn: Let’s just start off with why is it different than Skype? The people out there that are not familiar with Google Hangout, Google Hangout is basically a collaborative project between Google and YouTube. There is a link between… you can have something which is called Google Hangout on Air which is very interesting because it allows the normal, common folk to basically create their own network. And the other thing that’s very interesting about Google Hangout, is they realize that people are affected by aesthetics and lighting. People want to experience something that is aesthetically pleasing and framed beautifully. And Google Hangout has really thought in terms of how people are presented and look. So you’re doing a normal call on Skype and it’s just maybe more flat, it’s just really what’s there is what you see. Inside Google Hangout, you can do things like change the background, you can adjust the smoothness, the lighting. You can basically enhance the way you look inside of the Google Hangout. The reason that’s quite interesting to me is that it is starting to invite the normal person out there that has something to say, something that actually can make a difference to come forward and to share that in a very large context. Google Hangout has this other platform called Google Plus. And Google Plus basically allows you to connect to a larger audience. Inside of the embodied art project, we’ve done Google Hangouts that are not only seen by people inside of our circle but actually seen by this public audience that Google gives you.
Megwyn: I see the Google Hangout as being a template structure for the dawning of a kind of a new era where anyone who has an idea, or something to talk about, can create a forum that’s bridging the distance gaps, that’s bridging cultural gaps and that hopefully that we’ll actually be more empowered in a more democratic way to begin expressing ourselves and entering into dialogues that are rich and juicy. Beyond these dialogues, the other thing that I really discovered, specially since I’ve been using within our embodied art project is that it is a stage. It can be not just a place for doing dialogues, it can actually be a place to have performance and to create art. That’s something that we’ve been exploring. That’s exciting because that means as an artist you can really create beautiful works of art and collaborate with people that are amazing and not be limited by where you live. And then of course we’re not adding to global pollution, we don’t have to travel distances to do this kinds of collaborative projects. It’s exciting on so many different levels that I want to lay down the framework of what it is, why it is a little different.
Marc: Yeah, that’s awesome! Let’s just go over a couple of things, let me try and reflect back. So one is on Google Hangout – you get on Google Hangout and how many people can be on it at the same time?
Megwyn: You can have up to ten guests.
Marc: Up to ten guests. And one person initiates it?
Megwyn: Yeah, one person initiates it.
Marc: And in order to do a Google Hangout, you need to be just on Gmail? What do you need?
Marc: You’re allowed to do it. So you need a Google Plus account and a YouTube account. You’re actually setting that up for me with Lesley. We actually saw it takes a little bit to get it set up.
Megwyn: This has been sort of the issue. It’s great of a platform as this is, but it’s so new. I think it’s only about a year old. Let’s just be honest, there’s a lot of bugs right now inside of the system. I wouldn’t necessarily tell people that this is a no-fail system. There’s been a lot of issues with it, but as buggy as it is, I can still see power in it. And I’m grateful that they’re doing this because… And now with Facebook, buying WhatsApp for 19 billion dollars. I think that there’s going to be this battle between Google Hangout and Facebook and WhatsApp because they’re integrating a lot more of this web cam technology. So it’s the future.
Marc: WhatsApp is a web cam technology?
Megwyn: WhatsApp is a platform for sharing videos and images and text. I don’t actually use WhatsApp so much, but I know that a lot of my friends are using it because it’s a great way to share videos. It’s a great way for people who live far away to do that sort of sharing.
Marc: Awesome. Awesome. I wanted to say I’m totally with you. Google Hangout…. You also said that you can actually play with the kind of lighting. You can kind of, in a certain sense, amplify yourself in Google Hangout in a way that you can’t do in a normal Skype call.
Marc: Right. How do you do that?
Megwyn: There’s an app that’s embedded inside of Google Hangout, which is called Google Effects.
Marc: Right, got it.
Megwyn: Yeah, and it’s very simple. They keep it pretty simple.
Marc: Cool. On a Google Hangout, you can have a conversation. You can have a dance party, where everyone sees each other dancing. You could have a dialogue. You can have a meeting. So you can use it for both kind of, what we might call, the purposes of creative commerce. You can use it to run your business. You can use it to have an art show. Whoever brings a piece of art, and they’re sharing and talk about their art. You can use it to have a dance party. Or you can use it to have a kind of meeting of anyone of different kind. You could use it to have a poetry reading, where one person – you start with person one – one person reads or makes up the beginning of a poem then everyone going to add to it, then you can type it as you’re going. So you could be making a live poem as you went. For example, I just made that one up.
Megwyn: Oh, I love that. I’d love to do that.
Marc: Right, so there’s an enormous amount you can do with this, okay? And it’s this new form, so what we’re looking at is, why this is important to Megwyn and Marc? Because what Megwyn and Marc are committed to, is transforming the digital realm from a realm of alienation to realm of intimacy. And this part of the conversation, Megwyn and I are having really all over the world where we basically both recognize independently, that actually people are complaining so much about the digital realm, as the realm which is dead. The realm which is alienated. The realm which is impersonal. What we’re trying to do is say “No!”. That this digital fate is actually a new destiny of intimacy. There’s actually a new invitation. What we’re doing in all of our conversations is showing how different digital tools are actually invitations to intimacy. And just like Skype, has seven principles of Skype and take a look at the link in the transcript to this talk. You’ll see a link to this talk on Skype. Two, Google Hangout isn’t a just way of Commerce. It’s not just a way to kind of “Oh let’s just get ten people together”, but you actually ritually enact it. You actually bring consciousness to it. You actually bring intention to it. You actually go step-by-step. You invite. You step in. You witness the other. You begin to create what I’d like to call an evolutionary we space. It’s an evolutionary we space that allow for new possibilities of intimacy.
Marc: And for the first time, someone in Beijing can be talking to someone in Manila, who is talking with someone in Idaho, who is talking to someone in Tel Aviv, who is talking to someone in Paris. And they’re united in a particular, either Commerce project, a kind of Conscious Capitalist Enterprise, or they’re involve in Social Activism project. Or they’re involved in an art project. And all of these are forms of art. Business, Conscious Capitalism is a form of art. Social activism is a form of art. Painting is a form of art. A dance party is a form of art. A kind of play of Eros. You could have a kissing party, which everyone kisses their hand. And everyone witnesses someone else kisses their hand. We actually witness the kiss party. Or you could have two people in each Google Hangout sharing something of their intimacy in a sacred way. For example you can have two people in each one of the Google Hangout where each is touching each other’s forehead. And people are witnessing the way they touches each other’s forehead. Then reflecting back to them what was our experience if you’re touching each other’s forehead? So you are actually witnessed your intimacy in this kind of stunning way. You create a community of intimacy which is able to draw its own sacred boundaries and create this kind of larger space of Eros. And so there’s this enormous invitation here, which is really exciting. So Google Hangout becomes, Megwyn as you described it so beautifully, it becomes a new sacred technology of digital intimacy. How exciting!
Megwyn: Yeah, yeah. And it’s only going to get better. That’s the beautiful thing about technology, is that it can only improve and it can only get better, faster, in terms of the speed in which people can experience each other. The look of how people are experienced inside of the Google Hangout. But the more people that do it, the more people that going to get comfortable with sharing themselves. There’s something beautiful about kind of returning back to this more raw way of showing up. The TV networks are so based on everyone looking picture-perfect, camera-perfect and now we’re seeing this move towards just people showing up as they are, sort of in more regular form. There’s a beautiful invitation right now, I think to people in general to start inviting themselves to exploring this new technology and becoming more and more comfortable with it. It’s a move towards that self-enlightenment to being able to… You’re actually inviting yourself to be completely free and not holding yourself back.
Marc: Yeah. Totally with you. Again, one of the delights of our digital intimacy dialogue is that we get to kind of go back and forth. I’m completely with you on every word other than the word ‘self-enlightenment’. In other words, enlightenment is a very specific word. It means a very specific thing. It’s a very particular process and I wanted to be kind of careful with it. Because it’s actually a technology which is not only about sharing yourself but holding a particular field of awareness in a sustained way which becomes the center of your essence. I would say this is a way of self-expressing. Tell me if this works for you, I’m going to offer an ammendation to you and either you do track changes or a dialogue.
Megwyn: Yeah. No, I would like to respond to that.
Marc: Totally. Actually if you use it properly as a sacred technology, it can participate like anything can, towards your enlightenment to a thousand percent.
Megwyn: Right. Yes. That’s more of what I was saying in regards to that. I think that allowing yourself to become witnessed in a space of really being free and showing up more full and working through those blocks that surrounds fear, it’s a huge piece and being able to create a fuller space to be more and self-enlightened. Because enlightenment also, I don’t think personally is just an independent thing. It’s about actually being connected to the whole. This platform allows you this kind of portal into connection to the whole.
Megwyn: Right now I see that a lot of people are very intimidated, they don’t think that they’re good enough, they’re not perfect enough in order to share themselves.
Megwyn: I think transitioning people into seeing the perfection also the imperfection, and then the uniqueness is going to be a huge way people are going to become empowered around their own uniqueness.
Marc: Beautiful. And completely received. Maybe just to add the last piece. Enlightenment of course is never just an individual process, that’s absolutely true. Enlightenment always has to express itself and relationship to the ‘we’. The ‘we’ and the ‘I’ dance between each other. Autonomy and communion dance with each other. The radical first person, the ‘I’, the Tat Tvam Asi, Thou Art That. I am awakening that dances with we are awakening. We create a collective awakening. We create an awakening in which we meet each other, we find each other face to face. I’m enlightened when I actually see myself in the face of the other, and I allow the other can find himself in my face. So creating collective technologies that are invested with this sacred intention changes the world. Instead of it being a neutral technology, our commitment, Megwyn and mine’s commitment, our shared we space, enlightened commitment together. Loving each other through this project, this sacred project is to actually raise up this technology that can actually open up their inherent virtue. To open up their inherent gorgeous potentiated possibility. We do that by pouring our love into this darma, into this project and into the possibility that’s inherent in these sacred emerging technologies.
Marc: Wow, what a delight! What a delight! Amen