This Could Be You

Zeesy Powers

2017, colour, silent

TAPECODE 1030.24

Contemporary VR expresses ideals and rhetoric of infinity (“you can be anyone, anywhere, doing anything”) through practices of confinement (restricted mobility, limited access, persistent surveillance). In This Could Be You, the user is trapped in a vast space with no exit. They can see and move the virtual body they inhabit – an algorithmically generated “90 year old woman”, while their every action is mirrored by a virtual twin. Garbage rains down on both, jarring their bodies and filling the blasted landscape around them with consumer detritus. The nature of the sensor used to detect and track the users’ motion means that – intentionally or not – their body can be hijacked by passers-by. The space and the body become a trap.
How long until this virtual space itself is inaccessible, lost to a hardware or software update? Or will we become so accustomed to them that we don’t know how to live anywhere else? Investments in promised utopias still result in a naked, broken woman trapped and tormented by the unrelenting storm of garbage created for our own convenience and distraction.

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