[borders] aquitaine

  • Author

    Mary Flanagan

  • Country


  • Duration


  • Production year


  • Type

    video / experimental video

  • Category


  • Tags

    historic recreation, virtual worlds, video art

[borders] is video documentation of a series of such walks, conducted virtually in popular, shared online multi-user worlds. The rendered landscape is beautiful and hypnotic and we are transported directly into Thoreau's walking shoes, "glimps(ing) Elysium, but only as he walked along, surveying the boundaries and divisions..." In [borders: aquitaine], walking exposes inherent traits and glitches of the virtual by testing its edges. Walking through real wilderness leads one to see beyond the boundary(s) both mental and physical. In virtual worlds owned by thousands of players, there appear to be seamless landscapes as far as the eye can see, appearing to some extent as the "commons" of old. One can find, however, and walk along invisible boundaries of ownership, breaking up the illusion of a cohesive landscape. In following the invisible virtual property lines separating one player's property from another, the walker may become stuck in stones, forced underwater or pushed teetering at the edge of the world --exposing the algorithmic nature of landscape rendering and the cut-off points between subscribers or those who have virtual ownership. Thus, this border-walk dwells on the limitations of virtual property ownership and the way in which behavior and point of view are affected when intersecting with these invisible disruptions in the seamless world, exposing its constructed nature.

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