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April 26, 2011

So is it real if i say i am fake?

by Liz Juarez

This week in art110 was by far the most chaotic. Things in art110 are pretty much always just a ball of crazy people mixed in with unfiltered posts but this week, we saw the population of art110 group members grow to over 100%

There were also so many duplicates that it was hard to know who was who. Double Mary, Double Glenn, Double Liz, Double Monique, Multiple Edwards, and Multiple Mariha’s!! It got to the point where not only did the group members double, my number of friends also multiplied.

So for this weeks project, we asked you all to go out and make a counter factual identity and so many of you delivered. On thursday in 11a, I went around to every group and i asked if everyone was clear on what we were doing for that project. Judging by the grades, those that bothered to come to class on Thursday and met with me got really high grades so congratulations.

A few things we were looking for:

  • a bio about this “fake” person
  • screenshots of the places where your person resides on the internet. this could mean SecondLife, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
  • we also looked for your thoughts on the project. was it creepy? was it awesome?
  • lastly, what are your thoughts on the idea of identity?

Finally, here are some really great projects by people who really took the project to the extreme

Trevor Larson

“Reality is something non-physical because it is all a matter of perception and perception is in the mind. For something to be real one simply has to truly believe in it. With these two things in mind we can say everything and nothing is real. We can believe in anything just as we can believe in nothing, thus determining whether something is real or fake. This paints the world in a black and white fashion with the grey area being the gap between my reality and everyone else’s. The words real and fake have their place in the English dictionary; a group of scholars have tried to place an applicable definition meant make these terms universally under stood. However, I feel nothing not ever reality is universal because nothing applies to everyone. The fact that were questioning the terms “real” and “fake” is proof that there is no consensus on what is real. The cliché, “It isn’t what you say, it’s how you say it” is a good model for my idea.

Another example makes me think back to my adolescent days. Like the great Calvin from the Calvin and Hobbes comics we all (or many of us) had pretend friends. We create someone who we could confide in and trust to tell us exactly what we want to hear all the time. So the issue comes down to whether or not this character is real or fake. To everyone else the new persona doesn’t exist in their minds, sometimes leading to much scrutiny towards the person whose reality the aforementioned character belongs to. But to the owner of the newly created friend they are real; they interact and respond to the “imaginary friend”.”

Mary Luu

“Through this project, I learned that fake identity is just as important as real identity. I’ve learned that being a fake person does bring out my thoughts, feelings, emotions. Similar to the idea of SecondLife, creating a fake identity helps define the person who you rather become than the person you already are. Being this fake person does allows me to be different and not worrying how others would judge me and make follow social norms.”

Georgie Aronson

” I really enjoyed doing this project. It is kind of fun pretending to be someone else. I added my boyfriend and a few other friends just playing around. I definitely warned them that it was me so that they didn’t find it as some creeper. I think the most challenging part for me was making this last video. I have never done one before so it was a bit different than normal videos. I figured i would just sum up the life so that I didnt have to pretend to be her, since I look nothing like her! Actually after making her a Tumblr, I made one for myself! It is cool to be someone else for a little while and live a different life than my own. I got most off of a fake name generator. It gave me so much information about her and I just chose a picture and everything. It took me countless “clicks” to figure out a name that I actually thought sounded reasonable. I chose this picture so that people in Art110 might believe her to be an actual college student! 🙂 ”

Mike Guevara

“Now returning to “reality” what I learned from this project was that reality is in the eyes of the beholder. What is real is real but only in the eyes of the beholder. For example something that I’ve personally experienced has shown me that the perception of reality is in the eyes of the person. I personally have experienced and seen god’s hand in my life so I am 100 percent convinced that he exists and that Jesus indeed died for me. To others though either god doesn’t exist or Jesus was just a man or they have their own set of beliefs based on what their perception of reality is. In a way I also learned that what is real and what isn’t real is established within yourself. For instance the people searching for some classmates from Madrid University on Facebook, running into Nwokeocha Ogbonnaya will think awesome he went to my school and then add him and think he is a real person. When I know he is a made up person. ”

Sam Kim

” I’m a social media junkie myself, so it wasn’t long before I created a Twitter account for him and started updating his fake Twitter and Facebook statuses on a frequent and regular basis. In the process, I neglected my own Facebook and started to live on the one I had made for him. I was slowly becoming him, but what I didn’t know was that I wasn’t becoming Edward; I was becoming “Fake Edward,” a character rich in his own detail. I read some cursory facts about Edward on his Wikispaces profile page and, taking a few concrete details, began weaving them into a tapestry far different from where the threads had come. “Fake Edward” would be intelligent and insightful. He would still love Lady Gaga, but this time with a purpose. He would have a shattered background. Whoever read the blog would feel for this Edward. They would show empathy and admire him at the same time. I stopped caring about who Edward was and focused on who he could be.

And then it hit me – that’s what this project was about. Even the title of the project itself was CounterFactual Identity – identity that went against the facts and against the grain. This was not a game of copy-cat, but rather an artistic and social experiment to prove that anyone could become anyone on the internet. Whole histories could be erased and rewritten, whether it was for a real or fictional person. Anyone could exist.”

Read more from Liz J

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