Second Life and Real Life...
Virtual reality and real virtuality...
Over the last couple of months I have experienced life both physically and virtually.
As Josine I have experienced ‘Real Life’ for over 23 years now and as Aideen I recently stepped into the virtual world of Second Life, Aideen is my avatar, a virtual representation of me.
During this project I have experienced that one mind in two completely different bodies and worlds, will think differently too. Aideen and Josine both have their own perspectives on things, this is why the research I have been doing has been a dialogue between my physical self and my virtual self.
Josine: The term real virtuality applies to my world, it means that the image has replaced the real thing.
Aideen: Virtual reality applies to my world, this means that it is real in effect but not in fact.
Josine: My world is based on images nowadays, we seem to take what is depicted in these images as reality. A reality constructed by the media and, especially when it comes to fashion, a Utopian one. The word Utopia (or outopia) derived from Greek, means “no (or not) place” (u or ou: no, topos: place) the word is used to describe an imagined place or state of things in which everything is perfect. This means that we take fantasy: a perfect and edited picture, as reality. Which in turn means that there is a gap between the reality of our bodies and the ‘reality’ depicted in fashion images and other advertising. People have the desire to turn the Utopia shown in these images into reality, which is what makes them buy products, not so much for the product itself, because they need it, but for the dream or fantasy attached to the product. A dream, which, once the product is purchased, never seems to come true.
Aideen: In your worlds these dreams do not come true. In my world they do! In Second Life almost anything is possible and fantasies become reality: virtual reality. In my world there is no gap between my body and fantasy, as I am in a way fantasy myself; I am virtual.
Josine: True, but there is still a gap between you and me then, as you are virtual and I am physical. So the desire to turn Utopia into reality remains...
Aideen: In our thesis we discuss this subject more extensively, as an outcome of our research we will create a collection together.
Josine: Aideen and I will both design and create 5 outfits in our own world, with our collection we want to combine the two different experiences and features of each world into one big experience and emphasise the space between our worlds, where the two realities come together.