Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Problematic Utpoia: Second Life & The Utopian Image

As the boundaries between flesh and virtual worlds begin to merge we have begun to move closer and closer to a digitally represented society, a society where the cores of our personalities and characteristics are represented in digital space, in a conceived “Utopic” representation of life free of the socially constructed boundaries or norms of the flesh world. Or is it? With this systematic blurring of flesh and digital spaces there has been a transference of ideologies established within the flesh world, that seem to go against any representation of a Utopic digital society. The internet, and virtual platforms a like have under gone an identity crises, the notions of free social democracies and loving Utopic societies have vanished under the realizations of users that the so called 'freedom of the net' has been severely limited and has created its own discriminations and conflicts, often reflecting that of the flesh world.

In this project I will attempt to explore the roles of identities on the virtual platform of Second Life, dealing with the notions of gendered identities and tackling the lack of the 'Utopic Digital Society' that has been marketed since the conception of the internet and virtual reality simulators a like.

While the core concept of the project has been established its execution is still a little blurry but will most likely adhere to some form below:

1.Appropriation of Vanessa Beecroft's VB46 within a Second Life virtual installation. This installation however will celebrate the differences in gendered identities by showing all the different forms of gender within flesh space and cyber space.
1.Could take form of avatars posing within the virtual installation space, each taking on a similar appearance to Beecroft's VB46, yet uniquely different in its celebration of varying gendered identities.
2.As a gallery installation the viewer would approach a computer setup that would be logged onto a 'gendered neutral' avatar and walk about the installation space virtually through the use of the actual computer installation.

The goal would eventually be to place this into an installation in the gallery space and allowing viewers as I said, to log on to the virtual installation and view the piece. There would also be plans to engage the people already connected in Second Life too – this plan would change over time.

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