Museums and the Web

An annual conference exploring the social, cultural, design, technological, economic, and organizational issues of culture, science and heritage on-line.

You are hereMW / doppelganger


People's Choice:
7 votes
National Portrait Gallery, Australia
National Portrait Gallery, OOM Creative, Link Digital

doppelganger presents a radical departure from traditional concepts of portraiture. The exhibition is based on Portrait Island, the National Portrait Gallery’s display space in the multi-user virtual environment of Second Life, and features works by five leading digital media artists which explore contemporary notions of identity in the digital realm.  At the heart of the exhibition is the, often fearful, societal fascination with the ideas of twinning, cloning and avatars.  In a world dominated by Google, Facebook and Twitter, where the age-old adage ‘You are what you eat’ becomes ‘You are what you tweet’, the artists investigate and challenge the notion of data as a conduit of identity.

doppelganger is the first exhibition of original virtual art curated by a cultural institution specifically for Second Life and has engaged new audiences as well as challenging our regular audience to consider the possibilities of digital art and online exhibitions.

While the artworks themselves were created specifically for display in Second Life, the exhibition operates across multiple digital platforms such as search engines, supporting websites, twitter feeds and QuickResponse codes.  The URL submitted above is the information sub-site for the exhibition which supplies the teleport link directly to the Island along with information about the concepts of the show, the participating artists, podcast interviews and machinima of the works of art. A full list of the URLs for the exhibition is listed below, however, to experience the exhibition firsthand we encourage viewers to create a Second Life account, download the Second Life browser and use an avatar to teleport to Portrait Island to interact with the works.

 Exhibition LaunchMultimedia interpretations of these works are also displayed in the physical exhibition spaces at the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra with over 250 people attending the launch party at the Gallery on 23 October last year.  The doppelganger exhibition has enabled the National Portrait Gallery to examine what role it may play in digital environments, to engage with a new breed of digital artists, to challenge traditional audiences, to expand its own reach in terms of geography and demography, and to update the concept of a portrait to take into account the opportunities of the digital age.


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popworks's picture

Interesting idea but the overall design is dated and fairly unsophisticated.