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Walking, not Running, and Getting Nowhere

Walking, not Running, and Getting Nowhere is a series of mixed reality performance explorations which explore an immersive experience for my avatar and myself as my avatar through a first-person point of view.

Above: Walking, not Running, and Getting Nowhere (Exploration #1)

In Walking, not Running, and Getting Nowhere (Exploration #1) my avatar is set to animate a walk on the spot in Second Life on top of a screen broadcasting a live video feed of a walk from ‘real’ life. Alongside is a heads-up display (HUD) showing my ‘real’ life position as the walk occurs. My ‘real’ life walk is source media/experience for my avatar, augmenting its Second Life experience and inverting what is often the purpose of virtual worlds, augmenting our ‘real’ life experience (e.g. through Second Life social networking etc.).

The result is a mixed reality experience for my avatar walking in a visual space beyond its own yet with no control or actual locomotion, extended as a result of streaming lag, augmented in some ways yet futile in others.

Above: Walking, not Running, and Getting Nowhere (Exploration #2)

In Walking, not Running, and Getting Nowhere (Exploration #2), my avatar is set to animate a walk on the spot in Second Life on top of a screen broadcasting a live video feed of a walk on the Moon in Google Earth around the perimeter of the Apollo 11 landing site (Google Earth API, 2011). Exploration of the perimeter of the site reveals one of a few locations on the Moon which is documented in detail and has a distinct edge/boundary where photographic detail is of a noticeably lower quality outside the site. This site and its boundary are reminiscent of ‘virtual’ worlds, notably traditional gaming worlds, which often have a boundary that hems the user in.

The Moon walk is source media/experience for my avatar, augmenting its Second Life experience. Unlike Exploration #1 where Second Life and ‘real’ life are mixed, here another ‘virtual’ world, itself a representation of ‘real’ life, is employed and folded into Second Life.

The result is a ‘virtual’ reality experience for my avatar, already within a virtualised world, walking in a visual space beyond its own with no control or locomotion yet constantly reminded of the limitations of that ‘virtual’ experience.

Walking, not Running, and Getting Nowhere

Above: Images of both performances, click to view.

To view more images of this work and others from the Yoshikaze “Up-In-The-Air” Second Life Residency please see the Yoshikaze Residency set on Flickr.

Except where noted, works on asquare.org are copyright Garrett Lynch 2018 and licensed as CC BY-SA 3.0.
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