The second in a series of Second Life performances dealing with ideas of the artist, identity and being, On Exactitude of Similitude is a performance about performance and its representation. The performance took place in Second Life at I AM Columbia Island within the context of the exhibition Liminality: The Space Between Worlds at Antena in Chicago and in Second Life. 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 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 sandwich board 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?
Garrett Lynch is an artist, lecturer, curator and theorist. His work addresses networks (in their most open sense) within artistic contexts; the spaces between artist, artworks and audience as a means, site and context for artistic initiation, creation and discourse. Garrett’s practice spans online art, installation, performance and writing.