Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Banksy, fourworlds and Me

Banksy, fourworlds and me

I've been enjoying "Work of Art" on Bravo which is kind of like "Survivor" for artists. Since I have no formal art training it's been an eye-opening experience to get a glimpse into the way artists describe their work during crits. Although I find some of it pretentious and over-analytical, I've found them a helpful means to understand the context and thought-process behind the artists' visual expression.  So here goes nothing:
This piece, "Banksy, fourworlds and Me", is primarily focused on the ambiguity of identity with peripheral nods to the Creative Commons in the digital age. I captured an image of fourworlds and I in front of a green screen in Second Life and then composited it in Adobe Photoshop over a photograph of a work by Banksy shot by Justin Cormack and downloaded from the Wikimedia Commons.
At the surface level, the image is a candid photograph with fourworlds and I more or less posed in front of the graffiti wall. I initially thought about extending the wall and making the two of us blend seamlessly into Banksy's work. I eventually decided to more explicitly set us apart visually. This decision also moved me to use an infrared film filter effect to further distinguish us from the people on the wall while still presenting an obviously stylized appearance.  
I included my human's alt in the shot to highlight the multidimensionality of virtual and human identity. I (Botgirl) am nominally the creator of the work, but also its subject. Fourworlds is the extension and representative of the human participant, but also a distinct virtual identity. He is in the background seemingly contemplating Banksy's characters who are actually more naturalistic human than either fourworlds or I. This multi-layer character representation begs the question of identity projection and the reification of the inanimate. 
So that's a little glimpse into what's behind the image.

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