This paper discusses the creation of typographic systems as artworks in three dimensional online builder's worlds, also
known as the metaverse. An installation based upon text will be presented as an exemplar that will attempt to delineate
the playful approach that has been taken whilst constructing a typographic art ecology that can be traversed and
experienced through the agency of avatars.
The focus is upon how such screen-based virtual three dimensional spaces may utilize text within a context that departs
from the primary attribute with which writing has inherently been associated – namely the display of informational
content. In such environments semantics may be displaced through the usage of text as a playful device, displayed as
artifacts that are riddle-like configurations, or constructs that are meant to be understood through means other than
straightforward reading; bringing about states of heightened engagement and ‘play’ through their manipulation or
indeed simply by being immersed inside them. The awareness that providing a means for straightforward reading might
not be an appropriate goal in this regard lead to a search for sources that would address a need for play, for personal
readings and interpretations; in other words, text that is meant to be ‘felt’ as an artwork, rather than to be ‘read’ as
This text will examine how avatars and the socially interactive, online virtual worlds in which they become embodied
may lead to an understanding of identity and of self-perception, how such shifts in awareness may relate to the notion of
the undividedly holistic 'self' and whether such perceptual shifts may be instrumental in bringing forth virtual states of
experiential creative activity which may also have their precursors in the literary pseudonym, particularly as evidenced
in Fernando Pessoa's conception of 'heteronyms.'
The output of my study is a self-observational social system of my own creation, of which the agents are a coterie of
avatars of both sexes, endowed with distinct physical attributes, both human and non-human; with uniquely emergent
personalities which have progressed towards further idiosyncrasy over a period of three years. I, their creator am also
the observer of their undertakings, their interactions, and their creative output, all of which manifest as disparate facets
of my own persona and my artistic activity.
In this project, the artist wishes to examine corporeality in the virtual realm, through the usage of the (non)-physical
body of the avatar. An art installation created in the virtual world of Second Life, which is meant to be accessed with
site specific avatars, will provide the creative platform whereby this investigation is undertaken. Thus, "body parts"
seeks to challenge the residents of virtual environments into connecting with the virtual manifestations, i.e., avatars of
others in an emotionally expressive/intimate manner.