The Liminal Institute is an international performance unit. It was brought to existence by a group of artists who share the belief that performance work can – and should – cross the boundaries and definitions between dance, theatre, live art, visual design, music, pop culture and lifestyle.
Today I received an email from Martian Butler, one of the founders of The Liminal Institute, telling me “The Girlfriend experience it returning.
The Girlfriend Experience, Back Online
Internet game with 4 flesh and blood avatars at Picnic 0726Sept 07 12:00>28Sept 07 19:00
Pazzanistraat 41 | Amsterdam
organised by: Mediamatic | T +31 (0)20 6389901
organised by: Liminal Institute
Mediamatic and the Liminal Institute will present Martin Butler’s project
‘The Girlfriend Experience’ at Picnic 07. On September 26, 27 & 28 Butler
presents four human avatars to play with again on your computer. This time
you can log in from home as well as at Picnic on Mounir Noah Valentijn
(actor in the Dutch film Het Schnitzelparadijs), Marjolijn Vogels, Aimar
Pérez Galí (Spain) and Helga Wretman (Sweden). Choose an avatar, direct
them via Skype and discover what you can do with him or her.
Join The Girlfriend Experience at Picnic 07, in the Zuiveringshal Oost at
the Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam. Register on Picnicnetwork.org.
At the Zuiveringshal Oost you can play the game and watch the piece live.
Or play from your home.
to contact the avatars.
The rampant growth of online avatar communities such as Second Life and
World of Warcraft has enabled the creation of a personal online social and
economic existence. Simultaneously this triggers inherent questions about
this existence, as it questions what the consequences will be for first
life, or reality.
When you use virtual avatars you can do as you please. In The Girlfriend
Experience you will have to get to know each other first. Player and
avatar explore what they can do for each other and how far the avatar
wants to go in performing specific desires. Who is really controlling the
situation remains ambiguous. You have 10 minutes to figure out what you
can do with your avatar after that, your time is up and another players
can take your place.
The title of the project, The Girlfriend Experience, denotes the
paradoxical character that online social interaction has. On one hand, the
safe anonymity by using the avatar, on the other the intimate releases and
projections that can spread easily. For Martin Butler is this the merging
of two apparent extremes, anonymity and intimacy, which characterizes an
important part of contemporary social traffic.
The Girlfriend Experience attracted worldwide attention when it was
presented for the first time at Mediamatic from January to March 2007.
The Liminal Institute
de Ruyterkade 149
1011 AC Amsterdam
Thank you Martin for the advance notice.