The Gracie Kendal Project

Some people might say that Kris Schomaker is obsessed with her avatar,
I think that Gracie Kendal is obsessed with her typist.

And an art critic I know once told me that if you’re really serious about your work, you’ve sorta got to hate almost everybody else’s work.

I hate a lot of art in SL.

But I really love Gracie Kendal’s work.

Gracie has the most amazing project. Other than — ha ha ha — my own work — it’s among the most compelling work I’ve seen in my short time in-world. Her exploration of identity is powerful and insightful.

She’s doing a daily blog featuring thoughts, insights, and daily photos of her SL self and her RL self. Interestingly, this work may will bind the 2 more closely than a lot of RP types would normally choose.

In the world of AI, we have “Strong AI” and “Weak AI,” the “Strong Anthropic Principle” and the “Weak Anthropic Principle.” I think of “Strong Avatar Identity” and “Weak Avatar Identity.”

Let’s say, for example, that in RL I’m a 5’1″, 96#, 19-year-old, Chinese female. And in SL I’m a 7’4″, 260#, 28-year-old, African male. What is the correct answer to the question, “What is your ‘real’ identity?”

If you believe in Weak Avatar Identity, the truthful answer is the first identity. If you believe in Strong Avatar Identity, it’s the second.

If your use of a virtual world is superficial or for business meetings, etc, then your avatar identity is indeed weak and secondary to your RL identity. But if you invest in your RP, if you really project into your avatar… then even though your Meat Self and your Light Self share a physical brain… they ARE different people. They are different people because when your avatar goes into a world and collides with people and events, s/he quickly follows / develops a conscious stream that is unique from any other “person,” any other part of self.

Just like you the parent and you the child are different, overlapping yet unique personas… you the boss and you the employee…

That’s my perspective. I think Gracie’s project is, perhaps trying to unite the two personas, which could also be a valuable idea. I don’t think she knows where this project will come out — I certainly don’t — and that’s part of the excitement of it. It’s a real meditation on our lives here in the 21st century.

I can’t wait to see where she goes next!

*We* will probably be going a lot deeper down the rabbit hole in this 21st century of ours, and work like Gracie’s will help us think about our new consciousness, our new identities, our new bodies, our new instantiations.


As a virtual public artist my work invites avatar communities to express their identity, explore their culture, and demand their civil rights.

1 thought on “The Gracie Kendal Project

  1. OMG Vaneeesa, thank you so so much!!! I'm so flattered you wrote about me. This is such a great article. and LOVE the last comment. I'm excited to see where the Rabbit Hole takes us :))

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