"Koppie Alleen No Copy/No Mod (Lloyd Christensen)"
Digital print on canvas
This is a piece of artwork that I found at the Mysterio Gallery in the virtual metaverse of Second Life.
Jinsae Jun viewing "Koppie Alleen" at the Mysterio Gallery
It was painted by a South African artist named Lloyd Christensen who then scanned and uploaded this piece, along with others, into the Internet-based world of Second Life which was then shown in the Mysterio Gallery, a virtual art gallery. I then took a snapshot of this piece and downloaded it to my own hard-drive where I then used Adobe Photoshop to add texture and recrop it. I then applied another layer consisting of the unchanged, original snapshop and made it transparent- in essence, applying a nearly invisible, "virtual" image on top of the new one. I took this image and then digitally printed it onto canvas.
After digitally printed on canvas
In doing so, I had several questions in mind. Since this painting exists in real life, or "first life", what implications does that have for this new piece- are they the same? Is one more real than the other? Also, what effect does virtualizing a painting, that is to bring a piece of art with an analog medium into the digital world, have on the meaning and intention of the painting? Can this effect be seen by taking the virtual piece and "devirtualizing" it, and by doing so, what other changes take place? And lastly, in this age of mechanical reproduction, does this piece have an aura? My appropriation of this artwork did not, by any means, answer all or even some of these questions, but I do feel that it's a right step in bridging the gap between analog and digital, reality and virtual. In a time where society tends to polarize to the extremes, I feel that it is important to find places of convergence and meeting, and in that way "Koppie Alleen No Copy/No Mod (Llyod Christensen)" stands as a kiosk between experience and fantasy.
Student viewing "Koppie Alleen No Copy/No Mod (Lloyd Christensen)" at List Art Center, March 2007