Jessambola (2001)

Jessica Sambola lives in a virtual world. You can speak to her, see her environment and ask her questions. She reacts to you and slowly more about her is revealed. But Jessica is not real.

Full Description

The project was created as a study on virtual identities. After entering a name or email address a user is introduced to Jessica Sambola. Jessica is shown existing within a transparent, circular structure with vibrant rotating glass tiles. This structure exemplifies the dynamics of an infinite virtual space such as the world wide web, where connections are continuous and fluid.

Jessica's identity is slowly revealed by the display of animated body movements, gestures, facial expressions and physical characteristics. Several animations are then juxtaposed within the glass tiles, rotating across the screen and integrating Jessica and the infinite space.

The real individual, "Jessica Sambola" does not exist. She lives only within the digital environment of a virtual space. Her thoughts, actions, and physical characteristics are embodied online. She reacts to a mouse click, an email message, and the speed of the network. She is interested in creating a dialog with other individuals who communicate via the web. She is also curious in the way users understand her, relate to her, imagine her and recognize her by presenting small windows into her world. She proposes thirty questions and an available email address to stimulate a dialog. The users' answers to the questions directly relates to how Jessica is perceived and explores what it means to live and communicate in a virtual world. By cooresponding through email, various individuals are directly connected to Jessica without ever being in the same physical space. They relate to her as a "real" individual without ever meeting her.

This is the first of three phases of the final project.

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