AVATARA is not a cartoon. It's a documentary about an Internet subculture who spend their lives immersed in an online 3-D voice-chat program called "Digitalspace Traveler." Through a series of 14 interviews, we uncover the history, art, identities, struggles and emotions of this unique internet community who, since as far back as 1996 have mostly devoted their lives to this software.
First developed in 1993, Digitalspace Traveler and programs like it once promised, and still could deliver, a blueprint for a completely networked and intimate global future. AVATARA carefully documents effects that long-term immersion in cyberspace has had on the sensibilities of a particular group of individuals; by analogy it reveals much about the personal origins of our own attractions to 'life on the screen' and its potential impact on human social culture at large.
All of AVATARA was recorded in-world (ie. within the virtual environment), so our experience of the personalities is mediated through 3-D images (called avatars) of rabbits, pharaohs, seahorses, giraffes, the grim reaper, flowers, guitars, trolls (etc) which the subjects choose to represent themselves in cyberspace. (AVATARA is the world's first entirely 'in-world' documentary.) These talking heads and twitchy torsos simultaneously express the sublime and the ridiculous, but AVATARA lets their humanity, and the stunning, absurd beauty of their digital universe, speak for itself.
"Like Mardi Gras, avatar worlds are best experienced in person rather than seen through a keyhole. Conventional media fail to frame the participatory masquerade that animates avatar communication. The AVATARA video is the best attempt yet to convey a virtual community through the savvy artistic eyes of film-makers. Fresh and surprising!"
more about "Onlive Traveler: A history lesson", posted with vodpod