During two weeks four avatars in flesh and blood will attend your orders at the Mediamatic gallery in Amsterdam.
The Girlfriend Experience, a work by Martin Butler, will let you choose a human avatar and make him or her walk around the space. You can observe them live in their villa. All that from the comfort of your home.
The project is of course a comment on online avatar communities, be they Second Life or World of Warcraft. In The Girlfriend Experience you have first to "explore" each other. Player and avatar examine how they like each other and the avatar has to think about how far he or she wants to go to comply with your wishes. In fact who's in command is not always clear. You get ten minutes to play with your avatar, then someone else take your place.
The title of the project, The Girlfriend Experience, refers to the paradoxical nature of online social behaviour. On the one hand, the avatar provides you with a sense of anonymity. On the other hand, a close look at the characteristics of your avatar can reveal a part of your intimacy and the secret desires you might have.
Be a puppeteer from 26 January 2007 on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 20.00 till 23.00 via the Mediamatic Internet site.
Originally posted on we make money not art by Rhizome