Second Life users have inventories full of virtual stuff, stuff of unimaginable (and unmanageable) variety, folders of stuff stuffed into other folders of stuff, so much stuff it's sometimes impossible to even see the stuff, and this state of things is such that it's inspired an LA artist to turn the madness into a work of performance art:
Behold "Binge and Purge", a new installation by Kristine Schomaker (Gracie Kendal in SL), in which the artist will methodically take out and delete every single virtual item she's come to own in Second Life over nearly 7 years of being in-world:
I will rez 15000 prims worth of ‘stuff’ from my inventory every 2-3 weeks. (Sunday morning 9am SLT/PST). After the 2-3 weeks, I will delete all 15000 prims. (This will include all my art, presents, furniture, houses, clothes, pictures, notecards, landmarks, calling cards, collected art, etc) EVERYTHING. I will take pictures of my inventory window/the interface after each purging Each Binge and Purge will be documented through filming and photography.
More here on her site. To me the project seemed like a perfect metaphor for consumerism and the way Second Life's cumbersome inventory interface implicitly encourages excess consumerism (since it's so difficult to delete things, once you acquire them), but Kristine Schomaker relates it to broader trends in social media, and also, to her own real world challenges with an eating disorder:
"I definitely thought about my eating disorder after the initial thought of 'OMG I have to do a performance/installation where I delete my inventory,' she tells me. "Then I asked the question, why. My initial notes, sketches were about the idea of spectacle, curiosity, voyeurism. exhibitionism, temptation, public vs private, memory and nostalgia. I thought about the selfies people take in Second Life and post on Flickr, the idea of narcissism in social media and the stuff that people accumulate and collect and forget about.
""I thought about my eating disorder and recovery and letting go. It is about change and rediscovery. The title 'Binge and Purge' came about when I decided I had to spend the last L$20,000 I had on stuff, then purge it from my inventory as part of the performance. Of course, It also comes from my disordered eating that I am currently working on with a therapist and an eating disorder support group."
Pretty interesting -- and as thousands of her items get rezzed on the sim she's using for the installation, probably a pretty wild spectacle. Click here to directly teleport to "Binge and Purge".
Hat tip: Mr. Dizzy Banjo.
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