Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Liberate Your Avatar: The Revolution will be Social Networked

  • Author(s): Sermon, Paul
  • Gould, Charlotte
  • et al.

This paper brings together the practice-based creative research of artists Charlotte Gould and Paul Sermon, culminating in a collaborative interactive installation that investigates new forms of social and political narrative in multi-user virtual environments. The authors' artistic projects deal with the ironies and stereotypes that are found within Second Life in particular. Paul Sermon’s current creative practice looks specifically at the concepts of presence and performance within Second Life and 'first life', and attempts to bridge these two spaces through mixed reality techniques and interfaces. Charlotte Gould’s Ludic Second Life Narrative radically questions the way that users embody themselves in on-line virtual environments and identifies a counter-aesthetic that challenges the conventions of digital realism and consumerism.

These research activities and outcomes come together within a collaborative site-specific public installation entitled Urban Intersections for ISEA09, focusing on contested virtual spaces that mirror the social and political history of Belfast. The authors' current collaborative practice critically investigates social, cultural and creative interactions in Second Life. Through these practicebased experiments the authors' argue that an enhanced social and cultural discourse within multi-user virtual environments will inevitably lead to growth, cohesion and public empowerment, and like all social networking platforms, contribute to greater social and political change in first life.

Main Content
Current View