I’m currently showing performance documentation of Between Saying and Doing within the context of the exhibition Liminality: The Space Between Worlds at Antena (http://www.antenapilsen.com/current.html) in Chicago (RL) and in Second Life at I AM Columbia Island (http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/I%20AM%20Columbia/136/189/22). The show runs until Saturday the 1st of May so if you can try to pop along to one location or the other.
The ‘location’ of the work in Second Life was yesterday (12/04/10) also the site of the second performance, On Exactitude of Similitude, in a series of Second Life performances dealing with ideas of the artist, identity and being and is now premiered and documented only within the Second Life part of the exhibition.
What follows is an extract of the statement from the new performance:
By positioning my Second Life avatar Garrett Lynch, a representation of my real life (RL) identity Garrett Lynch, in front of my own art work Between Saying and Doing (http://www.asquare.org/works/between-saying-and-doing) in Second Life, itself a representation of my identity within a representation of a space, this performance continues to purposefully play on ideas of layering and framing between what is ‘real’ and what is ‘virtual’.
In addition to wearing the placard worn during the first performance, my avatar wears a head device with a video stream of my RL face in real time, as if attempting to become me. Visually similar to the type of helmet worn by a deep sea diver or an astronaut my avatar attempts to submerge in the unknown. Simultaneously we see both ‘me’s’ through the helmets surface and on it’s surface. Is my avatar simply wearing a mask of me or is this a natural reflection? Does my avatar see me as I see my avatar?
This mixed representation of me is however not me, it is still unquestionably an avatar and not even forcibly a better/closer representation of me, just a different, reconfigured and perhaps more complex layered assemblage of that representation. A copy of an original, a simulation of the ‘real’ or a map of the territory, no matter how faithful remains a copy and discussion of the level of similitude is inconsequential. Yet how and with what measure do we and can we without a suggestion of doubt precisely determine and know which is the copy and which the original?