Saturday, 4 July 2009


In view of my decision to present my final show of work in my Second Life Wellington Railway Station, I have begun to make further exploration of the potential within my station build space, to investigate the areas of interest which have recently emerged for me. These have been brought into focus for me largely through my thinking and development of concepts for the conference papers that I have had to prepare and present.

These concepts are: Embodiment of Surfaces, Screens and the consideration and investigation into traces and residual inscriptions and signification. I am exploring ways in which these might articulate visually and how they are instruments or records of the passage of time in Real Life and Second Life. The images on this post reflect the exploration into composition in the SL station with regard to activating trace elements of the existing station crowd.

The first two images above represent clots or condensed groups of people. I was investigating an echo of the very directional existing crowd below on the station floor here. I moved on from this because I found the station walls created a convincing block to the stream of the trace crowd and could not reconcile their being brought to a halt. By placing the trace crowd more evenly around the space in the compositions below, I have 'peopled' the space with a collective personna of residual memory - echoes, still, but more of a wholesale capture of the trace elements. I have floated this additional crowd because I wanted the trace crowd to appear as the 'other' crowd, still referencing the original - distinct and separate from the one below yet ethereal and slightly disturbing , like dust motes caught in sunlight in an old attic. References here to the original 'Murder of Crows' entities in the station.

This brings me to a related area of interest which is to explore the ways in which the removal of my present self in my performance work in Real Life through the making of video, may offer up on the screen myself and associated RL information as RL avatars. What is an avatar? How is one created?

Avatar, def: an embodiment, as of a quality or concept; an archetype; a temporary manifestation or aspect of a continuing entity; a new personification of a familiar idea; a person who represents an absurd quality; an embodiment of the qualities of a god; an embodiment in a new form (especially the reappearance or a person in another form)

'A temporary manifestation or aspect of a continuing entity'; 'an embodiment in a new form'; both of these descriptors are accurate in defining for me, the place I believe I am occupying at present, with my SL and RL avatars. I am suggesting that one does not need to enter a MUVE such as Second Life to encounter an avatar. I am thinking that if we define avatar as a virtual description of our surrogate self, then my digital video self can fit this description. So in the mixed-reality of my SL station I am combining and relating RL avatar inscriptions; movement, visual signatures, environments, with my SL avatar. I am suggesting that 'avatar' can be defined as 'trace'; an example of my residual self inscribed on RL 'virtual' surfaces (video screens) as well as SL 'virtual' surfaces/screens.

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