Uploaded on Aug 4, 2009


[decon.] is a virtual deconstruction by DC Spensley whois DanCoyote Antonelli in the virtual world of Second Life.

As the name suggests this piece is a literal deconstruction of a model of the Jack the Pelican Presents Gallery in Brooklyn New York. In addition to the literal deconstruction is a more subtle conceptual deconstruction that goes something like this:

In Williamsburg Brooklyn there is a real gallery called Jack the Pelican Presents. This Gallery is internationally-acclaimed for presenting risky and fascinating art of many types. One recent type of art that the gallery has hosted for the last year is artworks created in the virtual world. These artworks are placed in a mixed reality project called Brooklyn is Watching (BiW) by artists practicing in the virtual space. BiW was conceived and produced by Jay Van Buren, an artist, designer and educator in the New York area. Jay has said that he views the project like a variety show or a magazine and makes no claim to the artworks created within.

The “Jack the Pelican Presents” gallery in Brooklyn is a real place/object/tthing made of molecules, the original unique artifact. A reproduction created in the virtual world is not real. It is a fake and while there may be some external similarties to the gallery in the material world, a virtual world reproduction will never be the original or function in any way like the original gallery. It simply cannot because the conditions in the virtual world are very different from the physical world.

Therefore a recreation of the Jack the Pelican Presents Gallery can only be a symbol, a remediation, a shallow metaphor for the real. This is the same with most things that are native to the material space. Physical objects become symbols when remediated into the virtual world. Taken out of the native context, material things lose their purpose, meaning and relevance.

On the other hand, artworks, in particular abstractions, can be real in both the material and the virtual worlds. [decon.] is a transmutation project that converts a fake model of a material world place into a real artwork that can exist in both the material and virtual space simultaneously. This means that while things native to the material world can only be actual, some things in the virtual world can be both actual and virtual.

The only material world things that can be actual and virtual at the same time is human consciousness. We enter into the virtual world naked, stripped of our race, gender and family association. And while the virtual world is a simulation of space, it becomes a real place when we go there and experience it together.

Thanks to Don, Jay, Odyssey and the whole Brooklyn is Watching community of artists!

Comments are closed.