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Public Avatar

PUBLIC AVATAR: INTERACTIVE PERFORMANCE
05.10.2012 14:00


On Friday 5th Oct from 2–4 PM
A very special creature will invade the streets of the city of Maribor: a real avatar!

PUBLIC AVATAR, an extraordinary art project by Martin Bricelj Baraga will bring to Maribor a human agent, who will be available for you to control – PUBLIC AVATAR!

HOW DO I PLAY?
You will be able to control Public Avatar – a human agent in real space via the project's web page www.public-avatar.com
You will be able to move Public Avatar, talk, visit your friends, test the local food, visit parties, movies, bars, meet the locals and much more! Discover Maribor! Thousands of users from across the globe will participate in this action! Travel to Maribor virtually!

WHAT IS PUBLIC AVATAR?
Public Avatar is a project documenting the relationship between virtual reality and our perceptions of self and society. This installation will allow a global audience to explore real-world locations remotely, and to interact with objects and people in those locations through real-time control of a human test subject. As digital and physical worlds collide, the boundaries between self and other, reality and simulation are constantly challenged and redefined.

WHAT IS AN AVATAR?
The term Avatar, meaning a virtual representation of a user, dates as far back as the Ultima series of computer games (1985), and became popularized by Neal Stephenson in his cyberpunk novel Snow Crash (1992). It was also in this novel that the term Metaverse (for a 3D virtual-reality version of the Internet) was born. Public Avatar seeks to turn the virtual back into everyday reality, replacing polygons and pixels with a human being in a real-world location, albeit under computer control.

RELEVANCE
The project explores real virtuality, by which we mean the echo of virtual reality in reality itself. It examines the essence of reality and explores the borders between virtual and real. Presupposing that virtual reality, internet applications, networks and games not only reflect the society and reality, but also predict its development (e.g. Ghost Recon), we can say that Public Avatar explores social reality of the present and the future.

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