Farmlab Public Salon
Sean Percival, Kristen Rutherford, & Stephen Johnson
Friday, May 16, 2008 @ Noon
(Or, "Are We Our Avatars?")
About the Salon
Join Percival, Rutherford, and Johnson for an examination of the affects of technology on our perceptions of identity and space. Speakers will discuss the meaning of relationships, fame, experiences and community in a virtual world. What does it mean for something to "happen" in a virtual space? Can you "know" a person through his or her avatar?
About the Salon participants
Sean Percival (Sean Voss in world) is the author of “The Second Life Travel Guide" from Que Publishing, a detailed guide to over 100 locations in Second Life. As a child Sean Percival dreamed of flying cars and the immersive technology painted on the big screen by Hollywood. While neither have truly materialized some 20 years later we’ve come just a little closer experiencing both in the form of the virtual world of Second Life. In this world the flying car isn’t even necessary, your avatar can fly just fine without it. In fact why fly when you can simply teleport to your next virtual destination? Second Life provides the platform for users (known as residents) to create their own forms of mixed reality. This of course can take on an infinite amount of experiences, perhaps best described by Eric Rice (a longtime resident) as "Massive Multiplayer Photoshop." The millions of these residents create everything you see in-world, from fantasy landscapes to corporate buildings and virtual art. In a world with few limitations 3D art helps to drive an endless amount of stories and unique experiences. More info: seanpercival.com.
Kristen Rutherford is a writer and actress from New York , so don't be surprised if she asks you how much you pay in rent or mortgage. It's not a rude question in Manhattan. She was the lead actress in ilovebees, one of the most popular and groundbreaking Alternate Reality Games to date, and most of the players - who call themselves "beekeepers," are still convinced that she's a rampant A.I. and are terrified by the sound of her voice. She is still heavily involved in the ARG community and is avidly following The Dark Knight ARG, The Lost Ring ARG, and has launched her own team of "beekeepers" in zeFrank's Colorwar2008. She is currently a staff writer for Attack of the Show! on G4, and the writer and producer of a web series that she's not allowed to talk about, so don't ask. In her spare time she likes to make up fake gang initiation rites and enjoys talking at her husband and their two dogs Dr. Doom and Shenanigans.
Images courtesy Sean Percival (top, bottom) and Kristen Rutherford (middle)