Digitized Identity (2011)

Curated by jhphan
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Identity can take the shape of many forms. Some may argue that each person has only one identity to them, while others would disagree and say that a person is composed of many personae. This argument has become more evident as the age of technology exponentially grows, and the existence of social networks such as Facebook and MySpace dictate how people present themselves to others. This online representation of oneself has gotten to the point where the line between people's online identities and offline identities have become entirely separate, with online identities manifesting its own individualistic properties. This concept is clear in the work Constructed Identities, where the work physically represents the process of creating personae, and demonstrates crafting representations of self on the internet. Alter Ego takes this one step further, and shows a digital version of a person that reacts to your actions. This demonstrates that while the digital self and the real self appear to be the same, their behavior can be quite different, and the visualization of a separate identity becomes apparent. Now the question becomes when does the line between reality and fantasy blur? The work Dead or Alive 2 shows that the two intermix, where a real life person is seen in combat against clearly digital beings. With this in mind, the concept of the digital mingling with the real becomes a possibility, if not an inevitability. The fact that we, as humans, can perceive the work ascii bush as being a State of the Union address further emphasizes that the distinction between the real and the fantasy are becoming smaller and smaller. Now we've established two concepts that seem relative paradoxical to each other: the idea that our digital self is separate from our real self, and the idea that reality and fantasy are melding together. How do these relate? Live vs. Life is how the two relate: it demonstrates where the two overlap, and our digital selves seep into reality, and take over our identities. We will play the game of life under a different outlook. We won't live life with our original personalities, but with the identities we've created online; we will try to embody what we have presented ourselves to be.

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