VB31 – Demo Days
Gallery Xue / Palestine
21 January 2012
Are avatars “real?” What about the text-only MUDs of yesterday? What about the Star Trek “Holodeck?” For some, climbing a mountain in a “holodeck” is “fake” and therefore meaningless. For others the text-only world of a MUD was as fully immersive as the “text only” world of the novel. For 400 years the novel has given us access to other lives, and works like Samuel Richardson’s 1748 novel Clarissa have accompanied The Enlightenment, The Rise of the Middle Class, and Western Liberal Democracies. The Novel has always had a unique consciousness of its own artificiality, and in Demo Days we avatars playfully consider our own artificiality.
In a recent blog post, I Wore a Mesh Dress & I Liked It, I asked whether a more realistic world is more real, or whether the immersion of a more participatory world is more “real.” In VB31 participants dove in and literally pulled at the seams of their own bodies. Even though you can make your own clothes in the virtual world, most of us don’t, we let “professionals” create them for us. In Demo Days Agnes Sharple leads us on a DIY dumpster dive of virtual fashion as we celebrate the reality of fake and consider the fakeness of “real.”