Being, living an avatar in a virtual world brings new perspectives. Perhaps the most striking thing is the ability to reflect yourself through someone else’s eyes, you become a third person in your life. In 2008, I saw a TV documentary exploring what it was like to live a virtual life. Among other things, the documentary followed a woman who left her husband for “the big love” she met through the virtual world. She moved to a completely different continent, and I thought: How is it possible to be so stupid! I have to try that! From 2008 I have spent much of my life in a virtual world. This has calmed down over time. Now I’ve got a dog.

I haven’t quite left the virtual world, it’s now more like a recreation, a place where I can fulfill an amateur aesthetic need. But getting into a virtual world is like «being born again», almost literally. You must learn to walk and talk through a subtle process. When you master the first clumsy steps of a virtual world, you go into a kind of teenage phase, you have become a social animal that wants to define yourself through a social network. You are concerned with how you look, what you wear. Then you go to nightclubs, you dance in pre-made movements and look at well-designed avatars. This can lead to conversations like this:
[ 2011/11/06 7:59 ] him : ciao

[ 2011/11/06 8:00 ] me : Hello

[ 2011/11/06 8:00 ] him : Italy ?

[ 2011/11/06 8:01 ] me : No. I do not speak italian . Sorry

[ 2011/11/06 8:02 ] him : ok
And there the conversation ends, but this is a typical conversation in a virtual world.

Then comes the period when you fall in love, a strange situation. You fall in love with a cartoon character with an attractive name. It’s a fiction, but the emotions are real enough. I fell in love several times. Some love relationships crossed over into the physical world, while others remained between three-dimensional creatures.

After a period of falling in love, there comes a need for something else, like work, or AI pets. For me it was both. I’ve had virtual rabbits and fictional Fantasy creatures like meeroos. Animals that reproduce themselves and if you are lucky you can get a very rare copy you can sell. In this world, the money market, rumors and drama drive you further.

Then I became a storyteller, as in the physical world. It’s a wonder that in my escape from the physical world, I couldn’t escape from myself. I was myself even more. And not only that, I took on a new name in the physical world, named after my avatar. The synthetic and physical ego has merged.

Right now, I’m stopping by to take pictures. The images are an exploration of the avatar’s expression in interaction with the surrounding environment. I look at how they represent an ego and how the images can spur other narratives.