14 March 2012

We put a call out a few weeks ago for "human avatars" for the UK premier of Public Avatar, by artists Martin Bricelj Baraga and Slavko Glamocanin. We now have two sucessful applicants ready to become "human avatars" roaming the streets of Liverpool avaliable for you, the FACT audience to control. 

Public Avatar will be taking place Friday 16 March 4pm - 6pm and Saturday 17 March 2pm - 4pm. 

Here is how to get involved:

- Log onto www.public-avatar.com during the performance times. 

- You can enter short instructions of what you want the avatar to do. 

- There will be a live video stream via the website of exactly what the avatar can see. 

- Follow the avatar's location via the GPS mapping on the website as well. 

I have already had a think about what I would like the avatar to do (a suprise knock on a friend's flat!) and I suggest that you do the same! 

About the project: 

Bricelj describes the project as,"one that documents the relationship between virtual reality and our perceptions of self and society. Public Avatar 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." In a sense, Bricelj is aiming to redefine virtuality, and he adds the warning, "users may feel as if they are playing a computer game, although they should remember that the action is happening in real-time in the real world".

The project first premiered in Slovenia in 2009, where there were 100 visitors to public-avatar.com signed up ready for their 3 minutes of control. Actions were simple to start, such as turn left and right, but then got more creative and the avatars were soon getting people to peel their recently purchased bananas and making postcards! We can't wait to see what Liverpool and St Paddys day has in store for the next Public Avatars, and also what the avatars have in store for Liverpool!