In A Perfect World- Vanessa Blaylock
Vanessa Blaylock is a new generation artist whose art is not bound by paper or any physical presence at all. This young artist is multi talented having tried out her hand in choreography as well as activist online art. Blaylock’s art mostly revolves around identity and self. Instead of tethering a person to their birth name and details, she sees people to be who they choose to be. Avatars in online games and realms are the most flexible about capturing what a person aspires to be and are Blaylock’s area of expertise.
The beauty of Vanessa’s art is that it exists solely in virtual reality in the set on one Role playing game or another. She choreographs performances in majestic online realms where other avatars are invited to be themselves and display themselves as works of art in the way they are created and operate.
Virtual Rebellion is one of the activities Vanessa Blaylock put together for her fans and followers. Users from around the world, who supported the cause but couldn’t physically make to the Rebellion Walk from Canterbury to Concord, were able to participate. They logged on their Virtual Reality Avatars and walked on virtual treadmills on the same time and pace as the protesters who were physically present.
Vanessa Blaylock also held a candle light vigil from the Red Star Bar to St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow when Nadezhda went on a hunger strike. This of course, took place in the virtual realm once more. The hunger strike originated in retaliation to violation of human rights at a penal establishment in Moscow, Russia. I think it is very important to see that although the vigil had little to no impact on the Russian Government, it allowed a bunch of concerned people to demonstrate despite the strict laws and legislation of Russia. Nadezhda ended her strike the next morning when the authorities agreed that the conditions were in fact violation of human rights and promised improvement.
For Vanessa Blaylock and her followers, virtual reality is liberating and empowering. Where in the real life people are restricted by distance, means and social restrains, no such thing exists in virtual reality. The vigil and protest they participated in goes to show that being able to cross continents without messing up your schedule goes a long way in letting people be who they are.
I have very mixed feelings about Vanessa Blaylock’s work. I do find Avatars empowering in the way that allow people to exist out of their physical boundaries and let them access their true self. A homosexual or a drag queen who’s ashamed of their identity due to social stigmas have the opportunity to live online as they want and escape the labels they’ve been slapped with. However, i think this art form is extremely detached from reality. It leads people to believe they are successful, making a difference, when they infact have avoided real life challenges and are not struggling at all. I do believe that this is a very creative initiative and with the speed at which online realms are growing, online protest and events will grow to be a strong influence.