Interactive installations.
Alter Ego
AquaPhone
AVATARIUM – A Consumer Paradox (in collaboration with Istanbul Digital)
Frida V.
Hello World!
Kids On The Slide
Lorre
Markets Fluctuate
Professor Dowell’s Head
Pulse
Signature Event Context
Stray Bullet
uzay zaman dokusunda fraktal düzendeki evrenler arası yelken yapmak
AVATARIUM – A Consumer Paradox (in collaboration with Istanbul Digital) (2008)  

The British artist Paul Sermon, who is visiting Istanbul as a guest of Istanbul Digital Culture and Art Foundation, will exhibit his new interactive public art installation, AVATARIUM – A Consumer Paradox in City’s Nişantaşı shopping mall between 11–16 November 2008.

Supported by the Faculty of Art and Design of Yıldız Technical University, this project brings together fifteen years of telepresence research by artist Paul Sermon with his current experiments and experiences in the online three-dimensional virtual world of Second Life.

Second Life revolves around an innate economy built on the users preoccupation with their self-image and the desire to personalize their avatar persona through the consumption of virtual retail in the abundance of virtual shops and malls that span across the Second Life landscape. In this new project, inspired by Slavoj Zizek’s semiotic account of John Carpenters 1988 sci-fi classic “They Live”, the artist combines the actual ‘first life’ City's Nisantasi Shopping Mall in Istanbul with a deconstructed derelict shopping mall in the virtual world of Second Life. Through a live video link between first and second life, the installation allows both real and virtual life visitors/customers to converse, interact and confront the consumption driven aesthetic and architecture of contemporary shopping spaces.

The installation in Second Life depicts a shopping mall in ruin that reflects the current global economic 'credit crunch', as the last bastion of the consumer driven Western economy. Instead of shops, logos and brands of consumption, the shoppers of the virtual world are presented with semiotic instructions such as 'buy', 'pay' and 'desire' etc. that evade the subliminal messages we are presented with in today’s shopping centers.

By placing large format public video screens in both the second and the first life shopping centers, the artist creates a portal between these two parallel worlds through which the shopping driven world of Second Life meets our consumer-obsessed society of first life. While the online consumers in Second Life wander the escalators of the crumbling mall in search of answers to our economic future, the offline consumers in City’s Nişantaşı question their existence and desire to consume an imposed identity.

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Paul Sermon
City's Nişantaşı
11-14 November 2008
11:00-19:00