16 Minds

The project uses the online game Second Life, to expose real humans as virtual objects in the art exhibition space. In Second Life avatars are going to be paid for standing still and answering personal questions, which are asked by the same script that pays a certain amount of (real) money every 10 minutes. Caught in this situation the question about the “real” person behind the digital image comes up. Furthermore it becomes clear that this is a surveillance situation and the value that is paid for is the information people reveal.

In the real exhibition space the piece is shown on a laptop standing like a shrine on a pedestal. On its screen one sees the 3D installation in Second Life: In the virtual space there are 16 objects (spheres) inside a big white cube. On the walls of the cube stands the following text: “This is an artwork. These avatars are exposed. Avatars Are artificial humans. They are paid for being in this situation. Behind every avatar there is a real person. They have to live out Information about themselves. If they stop reacting to the system, they will be ejected.”. In the middle of the cube there is a pedestal on which the avatars will stand in rows (like soldiers). While the avatars are standing there, they get paid automatically per 10 minutes. At the same time they have to answer questions per chat, which the exhibition visitor can read. The visitor also will have the option to chat with the avatars – as an “off voice” like Big Brother.



About Cyberspace:

In the age of information data are the most valuable commodity, the internet the mightiest tool for the efficient use of resources. With web 2.0 an image/electronic reproduction of the real world is growing, on Flickr, Myspace, Youtube or Facebook people share their ideas, thoughts and daily impressions with the whole world. Networks are created. On Google Earth you can watch the world from above. With every upload or every search in a search engine another part of us becomes virtual, saved and set free for common use or for sale. We are seduced by the wish to share, or to be “someone special”, to present a virtual image of ourselves…open to be tracked, analyzed and archived… The cyberspace is just a tool, chances and danger depend in which way it is developed.

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