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apartment building

for someone who spent her teenage years on the internet of the 90s, “virtual reality” isn’t the oculus rift or even the kitschy flat-color worlds whose aesthetic is retro-vogue with some contemporary artists. for me, virtual reality is those websites designed to mimic someone’s home, sites like mansions full of room-pages to explore, each page a unique place with its own mood and identity, places to get lost in, with secret passages and hidden fetish dungeons. virtual spaces as spaces, places that feel inhabited. or haunted. peewee’s playhouses or virtual sex clubs, they feel personal.

my relationship to the sites i make is often different now: i type these words and i click “publish,” and then something called wordpress takes what i’ve written, hangs it up on my website, makes a link and a neat little carbon-copy website to contain it. i don’t build a new page, pick a tiling background image, play with the size and color of the text (flashing text!), edit the main page (or the subsection of the site that it’s categorized under, possibly one of many) and insert a link to it – put in a new door. if you’re reading this post at the address dedicated to it, you’re looking at a page, maybe, but you haven’t stepped into another room.

there are sites that still feel to me like spaces, like weird virtual manors. thecatemites’ harmony zone. lilith’s pyramid.

in fact, lilith’s apartment building is really just another wing of her larger website, a collection of links to different rooms that each contain something wholly different: a weird adventure game, a cluttered three-dee space to explore, a rigged tamogatchi game. each related by proximity but not much more, like a house full of people who are related, but barely speak. haunted places.

2 comments

  1. lilith wrote:

    i don’t have a huge amount to add- i feel like you’ve found words that represent feelings i’ve always had, but could never word- but i’m glad you enjoyed it! i really love making bizarro abstract spaces but it’s even better when i see other people get some meaning from it too!

    6/3/2013 at 6:03 pm | permalink
  2. Wow… these things… When I was a kid I used to read books about VRML and get all giddy and excited about how I could incorporate it into my web space. (I think I even had a separate home page that was hand-coded VRML at one point) Apartment is the kind of website twelve-year-old Robin would have swooned over. (Not that I’m any less swoony now)

    6/4/2013 at 6:06 pm | permalink

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