Project Social Life

Project Social Life is an interactive performance piece by Social Club that explores the control of social media over a person’s real life decisions and our willingness to let it happen and shape our digital identity. This will play out over Instagram Story, using the poll function as our voting system. Social Club will spend a day together, with ADM as a meeting point. All is as per usual, except on this day all our actions will be curated by the social media public. The process as follows — we pose the questions, they give suggestions,  we run a poll, they have 10 minutes to vote, we execute.

We gave the audiences complete control over our lives on this day, including day to day doings such as eating and travelling. The audience can also call for us to execute unconventional deeds with no discretion to our levels of comfort. In this performance, the audience assumes the pseudo role of social media.

We performed Project Social Life on 14th April 2018. Social Club created a new instagram account by the handle @projectsociallife_, with a following of 51. They were mostly called in by publicity through our personal social media channels, and therefore consist mainly of our followers.

The following trailer will provide you with a better idea of what went down:

password: projectsociallife

This performance art doubles as a social experiment whereby we explore the metaphysical utopian quality of the social space. We curate our social media personas by selecting what to show and what not to show on our page. Therefore, through this curated snapshot of our day, we create a utopian narrative and social identity for ourselves. In this case, a very happy one.

The second half of our trailer showcases a heavier reality beyond those curated clips. It is testament to our ability to create a pseudo utopian reality through our instagram stories.

The biggest takeaway from this performance is the effect that even though we provide the social audience with decision making power, we as social media curators possess a certain level of choice and authority.

Grand Theft Avatar – As a Third Space

The Third Space has an ability to collapse space and time through a “fragmented and augmented perception of reality”, according to Randall Packer.

We are connected to each other within this space, despite factors of reality that may hinder this connection. An example of such a network is Grand Theft Avatar — a live interactive performance art by Second Front.

In this piece, the participants of Second Front take up pseudo identities and deploy to rob a bank to free the virtual currency of “Linden Dollars”.

The third space represents the fusion of the physical (first space) and the remote (second space) into a third space that can be inhabited by remote users simultaneously or asynchronously.

Randall Packer

Grand Theft Avatar deploys a simultaneous use of the third space, collapsing the notions of reality through allowing such a scene to take place virtually/in a metaphysical space while the subjects are controlled live by actual beings.

It showcases how participants would interact with other participants in real life, however these behaviours are only actualised in a virtual space. This phenomenon rids the scenario of cause and consequence, creating a hole in this staged reality.

The third space is perhaps akin to the fourth dimension, a hyperspace where spatial trajectories have no boundaries, where temporal relations are amorphous, where wormholes reveal pathways that are instantaneous and geographically dispersed.

Randall Packer

The nature of Grand Theft Auto is also said to allow it’s players to experience thrill through reckless behaviours that harbour serious consequences in real life.

It could then be said that in this third space, actual beings can experience a different and impossible version of reality through this media. This quality brings a certain superior level of flexibility to the third space.