Last week we had a talk with Robbie Cooper a famous photographer and video artist. He started off by telling us about his projects and how they came to be, His first project was all about on line role play games, stemmed from his love of video games in interacting with the characters made up in games such as ‘Grand Theft Auto’. However it was when his friend divorced his wife and because of such a bad break up the only way he could speak to his child was by hanging out in games like World of War Craft. This gave him the idea of doing a project on alter egos, he decided he wanted to meet people with aviators in these role playing games and photograph them and then their photograph their avi’s. But it wasn’t just about the people it was about the stories, on this project Robbie got to meet a child with a terminal illness who interacted with the world through World of War Craft, and his avi was strong, free of illness and able to do everything- he could go on adventures he could travel and meet new people all the time. Something the boy couldn’t do. Another person he met was a Gay man who felt like he was trapped and wanted to be a woman so his avi was female. “Some of these games offer people an experience they will never get to experience in real life” Robbie Cooper.
“You’d be having conversations with people without them looking away from the screen”- Robbie Cooper.
However it was this statement that got him thinking that got him thinking that even thought we are interacting with other people we are essentially talking through a screen to someone we cant even see, and this brought on the ‘Immersion’ project. The idea in this project is to video peoples facial expressions when interacting with something on a screen, so children and teens playing video games and watching films. Toddlers watching cartoons, and adults watching porn.
I really loved this talk with Robbie Cooper, ive always liked his work and it was when he was talking about alter egos it inspired my idea. But i knew straight away i didn’t want the whole virtual world experience and i wanted my own twist on it. Looking back at this lecture though i think i am defiantly going to try and reach out to people more and photograph their alter egos.