(Video interviews in Swedish)
The avatar figure derives from hindu gods taking human or animal shape to run errands on earth. In the digital communities of the 90:s the concept was reversed – the participants were represented by digital characters on screen, putting people in the former positions of the gods. This project is about the avatar condition, being possessed by an outer force, voice or possibly a system. The avatar is already inherent in the hierarchical mind-body distinction. The mind is already an alien presence in the body, telling it what to do. The Avatar Condition aims to externalise that process of loosing and taking control of the body-turning-machine.
The Avatar Condition is so far an artistic research project and it has not found a proper, presentable and public form yet. What we do at this point is to try out different modes, atmospheres, instructions and stories. There is no passive-spectating audience in this process. Everyone becomes involved in an unfolding story on control, desire and choice.
The Avatar Condition is a proposal developed by Ebba Petrén based in Malmö, who recently organized a festival on participation and theatre and Gabriel Widing, game desiger, based in Stockholm. Together we have produced black-box role-playing scenarios in different contexts and our interest remains in the potentials of combining games, play, theatre and performance practices. Avatar workshops and game tests has previously been organized in Stockholm, Västerås, Malmö and Copenhagen.