Vanessa Blaylock

As a former choreographer and artistic director, Vanessa Blaylock has had a lot of experience working in performance art. Currently she is focusing on a new type of performance art by creating avatars in virtual art worlds. Through cyberspace she aims to express her passion about the community and civil rights. She wants to provide a place for people to feel comfortable in expressing themselves, their identity, and “demanding their civil rights.” In our class discussions, we were contemplating whether or not Vanessa Blaylock’s virtual art can be considered actual art. I think her avatars are art. The word ‘avatar’ originates from Hinduism, meaning a person who embodies a deity or spirit. So creating a virtual avatar is basically reinventing yourself online as an incarnation or someone who has control. Avatars represent a self-image that you may not want to convey in real life and they can change with each setting. Many of us become ‘avatars’ online without even knowing. When we use sites like linkedin we present ourselves in a professional manner. When we’re on snapchat or instagram we tend to present a more fun and adventurous side of ourselves. Vanessa Blaylock wants to channel this energy we invest in social networking and push it towards a virtual world focused on contemporary issues. I believe avatars are art because like art they reflect the feelings, thoughts, beliefs, and goals of the person behind them.

 

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