The interfaces that lead us into cyberspace prove that one cannot detach technology from desire. Digital technologies promise to transcend familiar reality and to connect us to the paradise that reality has taken from us. Down with the detours and delays of reality: let us have instant gratification! What we cannot have in reality, we can have via the fantasy screen. As a “consensual hallucination” cyberspace would be the utopic, new ideal world.
Interface Fantasy – Andre Nusselder
Georgie Roxby Smith is an Australian visual artist working across a range of disciplines exploring new pathways between virtual and physical worlds. Employing a variety of tools - including 3D graphics, live performance, shared virtual spaces, installation and projection - these works explore the increasingly blurred border between materiality, reality, virtuality and fantasy in contemporary culture.
Georgie received a Bachelor of Media Arts from Deakin University in 2004. Her graduate studies include a Master of Fine Arts (by Research) with First Class Honours, Post Graduate Diploma in Visual Arts and Master of Visual Arts (by Coursework) from the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne.
In 2010, Georgie developed her multi disciplinary work ‘Reality Bytes’ at The Watermill Center Spring Residency Program selected from over 130 applications by an international selection committee of cultural leaders consisting of John Rockwell, Alanna Heiss, Nike Wagner, Marie Claude Beaud, Sherry Dobbin, Jörn Weisbrodt and Robert Wilson. The work was subsequently presented at Rearview Gallery in Melbourne Australia. As well as exhibiting at multiple local galleries and public screens. Georgie was also part of Linden Centre for Contemporary Art Innovators Program 2010 and Melbourne International Arts Festival including ‘Navigators’ 2006, ‘John Cage’s Musicircus’ 2007 and, in 2008, contributed to ‘Longing Belonging Land’ on opening night.
More recently Georgie took part in Art in Odd Places, New York, where her work was featured in TIme Out NY, and Prospectives.12 International Festival of Digital Art in Nevada.
Awards and grants include the Nellie Castan Award, Australian Postgraduate Award, Creative Research Activity Grant, Ian Potter Cultural Trust, Artstart, Friends of VCA, Dame Joan Sutherland Fund and the Eldon and Anne Foote Trust Travel Grant.
Masters of Fine Arts Thesis Introduction
Free and available to anyone with an internet connection, the accessibility of the most popular virtual world, Second Life, makes it a perfect vehicle for new media and contemporary artists to explore and question virtuality whilst remaining relevant to the contemporary audiences. As technology advances, this world and others like it will become more commonplace. Most likely elements of these virtual worlds will make their way into our everyday communication systems such as email and mobile devices. Artists have always been the pioneers in pushing the boundaries of new technology and humankind has always inhabited a conceptual universe that is every bit as important as the physical world. Justin Clemens who, along with Adam Nash and Chistopher Dodds, received the inaugural Second Life Residency Grant from the Australia Council of the Arts stated “Every era has a form that exemplifies it: In Shakespeare’s time it was theatre, today it is Second Life. It’s a question of trying to meet the new challenges of a new time – and the new space that it generates. Second Life epitomises the innovations of contemporary technology and culture: an entirely virtual world that has entirely real effects.”
I first explored Second Life in 2009 whilst investigating global and digital cities during my Master of Visual Art (by Coursework) at the Victorian College of the Arts. The process of creating an avatar – a digital representation of myself – was flawed from the beginning. Being new to the software it was impossible to achieve the desired results to create a striking avatar being amongst a sea of perfectly rendered avatar peers. Moving my virtual body through this digital environment had a strange and unexpected physical effect. Immersing myself in the screen by day, each I night I dreamt in “Second Life” world – trees, people and buildings streaming past me in a nauseous wave of dizziness. Secondly, when objects or other avatars made digital contact with me, I noted an odd physical reaction in my own body. I was quick to discover there was a “gut reaction ….there is reality in virtual reality.” The brain seemed somewhat confused between these two realities.
Exploring this notion, I set about creating what are termed “mixed reality” installations, blurring the lines between the real and the virtual. My initial objectives were to question the idea of materiality through the creation of objects and situations of indistinct form and reality, to explore the position of audience by creating a space where viewers are in multiple realities at once and to break with traditional forms of visual arts practice, installation, new media art, video art and performance to bring them together in one "event". By extracting and re-injecting my Second Life avatar into physical space, the work existed on a kaleidoscope of planes: in world, within a body of physical sculptures, as ephemeral projections in space; and as recreated performances by both humans and avatars. My work Reality Bytes attempted to bring these multiple realities together in the one event. Gallery visitors were able to experience reality cross-overs in all elements of this installation – whether in objects within the room or the way they could access the work, through virtual reality, a physical reality or both simultaneously. The work was also a play on the combination of utopian and dystopian characteristics, crossing over between the slum like dystopia of the physical space and the excessive consumption and hyper sexuality of the parallel world. In addition, the more I worked with Second Life the more it became apparent that this work centred around identity. In Second Life “everything is there to play a role” – including ourselves.
Please feel free to email me on email@example.com for a full copy of my thesis
Art 2.0: Identity, Role Play and Performance in Virtual Worlds, Master of Fine Art (by Research),
 LICHTY, P. 2009c. She[s] Got A Hammer : Hammering the Void. Not Possible in Real Life [Online]. Available from: npirl.blogspot.com/2009/05/shes-got-hammer-hammering-void.html [Accessed 22/9 2009].
 DOESINGER, S. 2008. Space Between People: How the Virtual Changes Physical Architecture, Prestel, USA. p 14