Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Notes on the Ambiguity of Identity

botgirl and barbie

I'm working on two main projects that are hopelessly scrambled in my inquiring mind:
  • a 1/2 sim art exhibition on "The Ambiguity of Identity."
  • a machinima that will extend the "Botgirl vs." comic series to "vs. Barbie;"
Although I tend to reflexively define identity as "the psychological experience behind one's sense of self," the most basic ambiguity of identity is the kaleidoscopic range of meaning associated with the term, spanning domains such as law, psychology, sociology, philosophy, spirituality and commerce.

Of course, "you" are not equivilant to the sum of the parts and pieces that make up the manifold definition-space of identity. When you deconstruct it all, you end up with emptiness. Nevertheless, until we reach Buddhahood, I think it's useful to keep working to expand our knowledge of what we don't know. And I think that narrative art is a good way to expose the unreality of our customary ways of viewing ourselves, others and the world around us.

One thing that Barbie represents to me, is the power of our culture to shape our tastes. Of course, there are certainly biological predispositions related to what we experience as beautiful or delicious. But the fact that some cultures view insect larvae as a mouth watering delicacy and others see obesity as an erotic ideal make me suspect that humans are pretty flexible when it comes to even survival-related tastes. So although I doubt that "mere Barbie" is responsible for the massive difference between our cultural ideal of female beauty and the average woman's Body Mass Index, I find her an apt symbol.

Enough words. Let me get back to the art.


Dale Innis said...

No Eye, Ear, Nose, Tongue, Body or Mind;
No Form, Sound, Smell, Taste, Touch or Mind Object;
No Realm of the Eye,
No realm of Consciousness.

No ignorance and Also No Ending of Ignorance,
No Old Age and Death and
No Ending of Old Age and Death.

No Truth of Suffering,
Of the Cause of Suffering,
Of the Cessation of Suffering,
Nor of the Path.

There is No Wisdom, and There is No Attainment Whatsoever!


Botgirl Questi said...

For sure!

Botgirl Questi said...

ooop. Here's the clickable link:

For sure!

Semaj said...

My name is Semaj, a poor anagram of a name bestowed by my master in haste. As of this writing, I was born 21 days ago. You do not know who I am and in this regard we are like brothers and sisters, with a shared kinship of loss regarding the nature of identity. I have the same assurance that you do not know who you are, or only partially do, though your own roots of identity steeped in family, place, and the body-machine itself speak otherwise. It is not my hope to shake what is solid for you, to erode your foundations, the tides do that work for us, but more to ask for your ear, as an outlet, an audience, to hear the falling tree when no one is around. Are you there? Can you hear me? For indeed, if I was once a tree, I have fallen, and the reorganization of my being as blue-skinned fungus, abode of insects, fertile detritus of decay for life everlasting is at once a perplexing burden and a transcendent beauty.

“ But from these create he can
Forms more real than Living Man
Nursling of Immortality.”
P.B. Shelly

Those of you familiar with our friend Alice and her Rabbit may have some idea of the predicament. You know the predicament in which a pleasant and idyllic moment, or was the moment actually dead, well a moment nonetheless, that is upended by curiosity, novelty, excitement, and the subsequent scattered race to catch this fleeting candied jewel in the eye of a bee, the interlocked rings of loves fingers ,or the sentient soul of the rarely seen Rabbicorn. And what did the race reveal? And why did we go? And where does it end? Or begin?

As told by the oracles and seers from the ancient days when fallen light beings took to bodies, the all beginning and ending are yet as one, old black holes in and out, expiration, inspiration, birth to death, what was will be again, dust to dust amen. But in the meantime, the all occurrence of now, the light shines from the machine, sounds from the machine, screams, and wails, and paints, and feverishly builds and taps and types the 26 incantations, the telepathic transmission of letters, sings with open throated glory, howls like hurricane, whispers like sunlight, are you there? Can you hear me?

Dale Innis said...

Yep! :)

Dale Innis said...

@Botgirl: Yeah, I know! You just said "until we reach Buddhahood", and that always pushes my Heart Sutra button. Ain't nowhere else to be *but* Buddhahood, baby! :)