Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Transworld Identity Exhibit Highlights Independence of Avatar from Virtual World

Hanging out at media preview of The Caerleon Museum of Identity
People experience avatarian life in different ways. For some, it's merely an extension of atomic identity with an overt connection to the underlying human. Others create a pseudonymous digital identity that takes on a life of its own with no public connection to its atomic counterpart. Although many of us tend to think about those two ways of approaching virtual identity as binary poles, they are really waypoints on a continuum that transcends our best attempts to place the mysteries of life into nice little boxes.

Art and story offer a way to escape the clutches of our categorizing and reductionist mentality. I think that as a group, the exhibits at The Caerleon Museum of Identity offer a more mind-opening look at virtual identity than any collection of academic papers.

After wrestling for a year with what I would contribute, I finally decided to focus on the transworld nature of avatar identity:
Avatar Identities that were born in Second Life now extend into other virtual worlds, MMOs, social networks, blogs, media sharing sites and atomic human consciousness. Every work that I included in this exhibit was created either completely or primarily outside of a virtual world to illustrate the independence of avatar-based identity from any particular  platform or medium. Artist's Statement for my Transworld Identity exhibit in The Caerleon Museum of Identity.
The works include drawings created on an iPad, an action figure photo comic, and a composited conversation between a virtual Botgirl and a RL ventriloquist dummy. Although they do not form a linear narrative, the conceptual approach weaves its own story of a virtual muse that has escaped into the physical world.

I invite you to come see the entire show for yourself.  It opens this Saturday at 12:00pm SLT on Caerleon Isle and will continue through the month of October.


iliveisl said...

nice post. not only was my avatar born in Second Life and transcended into other worlds. it now only exists in other worlds and no longer in Second Life

how do i mark my birth when the place i was born canceled me? it's an odd feeling to no longer have a place that i am "from"

Michele Hyacinth said...

I experienced the same thing in the atomic world after my parents passed on. It's definitely strange to wonder how you came to exist when the source - in my atomic life, my parents - is no longer present in the way you're used to it being present. But then you realize again that you exist because you do. You are.

Atlantis Jewell said...

This is a gem of an exhibition! A excellent representation of who we are as Avatars in Second Life! Highly recommended go and see! Atlantis Jewell