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The Adventures of Nar Duell in Second Life: The Snow Globe Epic

Artists' Books
16.5 × 25.5 cm

In this series, the artist chronicles her real time interaction within the virtual community of Second Life in a ‘Comix’ style treatment.

Heller captures images of her virtual avatar, named Nar Duell, as she travels through a virtual world that includes images of her own photographic and sculptural work to further the narrative. Furthermore, shopping in Second Life, also known as found object, movement and captured machinima, becomes a principle strategy for art making and performance.

By taking on an avatar, Heller explores the narcissistic relationship that people often develop with the portraits they create or commission of themselves, whether static photograph or scripted avatar. The creation and relationship to one’s avatar ‘portrait’ in Second Life is all encompassing. People lavish time and money in order to represent themselves, but the disconnect from reality is unavoidable and obvious.

The Adventures of Nar Duell in Second Life – Snow/Globe Epic

This work engages with artifice in contemporary life by referencing virtual reality and tourism, building on stereotypes to create artificial, mediated travel experiences.

Snow globes are universal signifiers of kitsch, are also ubiquitous souvenirs of travel and exotica. Tropical scenes can suddenly share the cold weather precipitation of the North Pole, inadvertently subverting distance and difference. By becoming a snow globe the artist’s avatar embraces the cultural stereotype, playing with the fluidity of assumed iconography and signifiers.

This piece acknowledges the structure of national identity and borders while at the same time subverting any idea of place and even time.

Edition of 99. Signed and numbered by artist.

  1. The Adventures of Nar Duell in Second Life: The Snow Globe Epic

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