Title: 7-Day Leashe
Link to work: vimeo.com/213300868
Materials: projector, scrim
Description: A performance in August 2016 that lasted for 168 hours, during which I lived in a gallery for seven days while my bodily movements were mapped and transposed onto a 3d avatar of a pet dog in real-time. The avatar was projected from inside the gallery onto a street-level window. The gallery was closed for entry, but viewers could watch the avatar in the window from the sidewalk. In the daylight, the avatar was barely visible, but at night it glowed brightly. Regardless of visibility, I remained in the gallery, substituting my physical, public identity with the projected avatar. The “$9” sign floating atop the avatar’s head reflects the dollar amount I spent purchasing the virtual body from a stock 3d model website.
A caucasian lover of mine once jokingly referred to me as their pet. Pets are named and spoken to in the language of their owner. My name is William, and the orders given to me are always in English. English is also the language in which I first learned the words “jail,” “cage,” “leash,” and “lease,” which are synonymous to anyone who is forcibly domesticated. In short, the piece is meant to illustrate the positive correlation between identity and domesticity.