Avatar

New Media Performance 2009-10

Avatar is a new media and performance-based work where the audience is invited to take complete control of their own performer via a videogame remote control device. These live performers are transformed into robotic puppets that respond to their user's instructions and desires. If actors should be treated like cattle, as Hitchcock suggested, then Avatar provides the audience with the opportunity to do so. By remediating the avatar from a state of digital embodiment into a physical body, this project explores the tensions in mixed reality environments and interactions. In this hybrid environment, new codes of engagement must be learned through experimentation and experience.

first performance

This performance took place on June 11th, 2009 at Lennox Contemporary Gallery in Toronto, as part of the Doc/Now 2009 festival.

Special Thanks to the performers Natalie Mathieson, Madeleine Jullian, Emily Nixon, my tech adviser and crew of Steve Daniels and Leif Parker, and video crew Allie Caldwell, Jermaine Bagnall, Morris Lum and Mark Laurie.

Music in credits: "Cyborg" by M83

SECOND performance

By Robert Lendrum and Matthew Williamson
The performance took place on April 28, 2010 at the Doris McCarthy Gallery, at University of Toronto (Scarborough), as part of the exhibition Status Update curated by Shauna Thompson. The exhibtion was co-presented with Interaccess Electronic Media Arts Centre.

Special Thanks to the performers Madeleine Jullian, Graeme Robinson, Hilary Carroll, tech designer Steve Daniels and technical assistant Leif Parker, costume designer Mystica Cooper, and the documentation crew of Morris Lum and Mark Laurie.