Xhyra Graf, Metaverse Member Since August 2007 Artist Statement WHO IS XHYRA GRAF?
Xhyra Graf is a nom de souris for Tonietta Walters. An artist and philosopher, she was born in the MMORPG of Second Life. After the rapid, though thoroughly considered, development into the being she is now, she basically putters around going places, meeting people, doing things. She takes photographs that chronicle her experiences, makes the occasional never to be seen in real life sculptures and rather disjointedly tries to maintain her Second Life studio, office and gallery space.
Xhyra Graf is what I call POP3D-a point of presence in 3D of my being in its freest form so far. In this 3D virtual reality, I exercise my freedom of choice in everything from the physical representations of myself – the color of my skin and the shape of my body to social representations of myself – the way I dress, the kind of environment I live in and the freedom to associate [or not] with anyone I please. This allows for a controlled investigation of the interactions within my consciousness across all possible realities.
The artwork produced, as in real life, remains process based; making it perfectly acceptable that some pieces never make it to the typically tangible format – only exhibited in the virtual environment of the “second life” experience. The digital photographs, manipulations and compilations of candid or concocted moments are other layers in the process of self-extension in the attempt to reproduce and fully realize the minutiae of conscious experience.
Per Roy Ascott, British artist and theorist “Second Life is the rehearsal room for a future in which we endlessly create and distribute our many selves.” The XhyraGraf, as a cyber-presence, attempts to answer in her way the same question any “real” person asks at some point – “Who am I?”
Xhyra Graf is currently a selected artist for the Universal Human Rights Arts Collection of the American Museum of Creole Cultures.
********** Xhyra Graf is also the Director of the NoumenArt Center for Applied Aesthetics [NCAA], the research division for The Arts Office Net Inc [TAONet]. NCAA has been moved from Second Life and is being developed on a stand-alone minigrid in OpenSim. NCAA will re-open the virtual campus with studios and exhibition spaces for TAONet artists in late 2011. Plans include added regions for the Labyrinth Path & Sculpture Gardens, the Nondual Cosmoscope and Transhumanist Arts Research.