The Gracie Kendal Project

For as far back as my memory allows, I had never found myself in a place I felt comfortable. My world has been in a constant state of change since I graduated High School, actually since my parents divorced when I was 12. I have moved in and out of my mom and stepdad’s house, had several roommates, had over 16 cars in 20 years of driving, changed my hair more times than I care to say, fluctuated my weight with the rising and setting of the sun and the list goes on… Needless to say, I have not felt comfortable in my own skin.

When I joined the web 2.0 virtual world known as Second Life, it was probably the first time I felt at home. My life within Second Life has remained pretty constant from the time I started. I bought a house and land and have lived there for almost 3 years now. My avatar, virtual representation, has pretty much remained the same. I have had the same body from the beginning and have only had a couple hairstyles that I have kept. In fact, I normally wear the same clothes, consisting of my jeans with paint splatters, a black t-shirt or tank top, my glasses and my Chuck Taylors. This is who I am. I am comfortable in this alternative/virtual skin, within my avatar known as Gracie Kendal. Although I still have deep personal issues I am working through in real life, I am consistantly inspired by who I am in Second Life. My avatar allows me to be free. I often feel more confident and I’m not scared to say what I feel. I know, that my avatar is run by who I am in real life. So the confidence and self esteem I exude in second life, does come from my real life self. But I don’t know where in my real life self it comes from. I want to explore this relationship more fully in this project.

I am currently a Graduate student in art at CSU Northridge. The current artwork I am creating, has to do with my identity in both real life and second life.

On November 1st, I started documenting my life in both worlds. This is going to be an ongoing project. I am going to document how Gracie Kendal inspires me to be a better person. I am going to show on a day to day basis, my real life self (I hate pictures of me, so this is not something I am taking lightly) juxtaposed with Gracie. We are both going to go on an exploration of our selves. And we will see where it leads. I am posting the documentation which I started on November 1st, and will try to keep up the blog on a daily basis. I would love any suggestions or critique you’d like to offer. Thank you so much for your support.

Day 1 copy

Day 2

Day3 copy

Day4 copy

9 thoughts on “The Gracie Kendal Project

  1. Gracie, my sincere congratulations! Not only because your beautiful path within the field , that I am sure you know 🙂 What it’s amazing to me, is the fact that you are in what you call a project, which is literally your own life’s development – right in the middle of it! As you said, as we mature and grow -or vice versa? – in SL, I agree that we realize that we all have one life -happening now , faceted, multiple and that our SL presence is pretty much an aspect belonging to us, and taking form from us, at the same time. What a great stuff! and especially, having the guts to recognize it! lol. It’s said that SL is a tool to meet people we had to meet in RL…I would add, SL is a tool to meet ourselves and enjoy the process 🙂 Great world, great work! Kudos!! and see you in world 🙂

  2. Being human is a wondrous thing, ya know? Yet, what could be an ideal life is, from the start, at the mercy of seemingly random events… the family we are born into, our physical appearance, our childhood upbringing – even the very fact that we are here at all – which seem to have been decided in some sort of cosmic lottery. The only thing we have any power over is our response to these circumstances.

    Enter Second Life. Suddenly, we become gods, as it were, and correct all those mistakes that were made on our behalf in the real world. The grand experiment of virtual living, imho, is that we get to see and experience life as we would have wanted it to be from the start. It is not just a figment of our imagination, a mere fantasy… it is our deepest selves acknowledging who we are and who we want to be, and then living a new life, creatively, on our own terms. There is a lot to be learned from this experience, and it looks like you and Gracie will be adding some interesting things to the human wiki.

  3. I’d meant to come in for a look here the other day, after I’d finished the post about it in Second Arts. It looks to be off to a good start, the dialog between K and G, is interesting, entertaining and illustrative of the lives we live when the virtual and real merge and mix.

  4. It’s a very weird crossing from RL to SL and back. One experiences a sort of disjointed shock as you reveal the person “behind” the avatar (actually INSIDE the avatar). And you find out the avatar really is you and you are really the avatar and you find out you are loved as much, if not more, for being human and real and honest. And you find out too you love those you befriend in SL too, more so as you become fully human to each other. (I think of my friendship with Eshi, which started in SL but is so much more now.)

    It’s a delight to see Kristine and be her friend 🙂

  5. Pingback: The Gracie Kendal Project « I Rez, Therefore I Am.

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