After 248 miles of walking through Second Life, this virtual Gandhi—created by artist Joseph DeLappe—has made it to the real world. At 17 feet tall, this “real life” Gandhi is still larger-than-life!
The piece reminds me of the game of Telephone, when you start with one phrase whispered in the ear of your neighbor, and they whisper it to others, and eventually the phrase is not the same as the original. This time, a real man who marched in protest against the British Salt Tax in 1930 became an avatar who marched for the civilians who die in Iraq (see a quote from DeLappe on this after the cut), and that pixel representation became a piece of art. The look and form of Gandhi may have changed, but his example of peaceful protest lives on.
Interested in building your own cardboard Gandhi? Click here!
From the blog Reenactment: The Salt Satyagraha Online:
Over the past two years my work has been dedicated to addressing the military and civilian deaths in the war in Iraq. My ongoing protest/memorial within the America’s Army computer game has been the basis of my in-game creative work for over two years now – the “dead-in-iraq” project has been an intensely meaningful experience but also very difficult to undertake – the abuse I receive while doing this work and in reaction to it has been challenging. As well, I’ve been involved in a major project to memorialize the civilian casualties in the Iraq war, this web based project has been very meaningful and rewarding – although, again, addressing difficult subject matter. Both the Iraqimemorial.org project and “dead-in-iraq” have been formative towards my interest in exploring Gandhi, both in terms of the background research regarding the history of protest and in terms of developing the concept for this reenactment in SL.