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Transformative Art

“I would not have been like Gandhi, but I would have become Gandhi.”


At the Media Art Festival, American artist Joseph DeLappe describes his “March of Salt” on Second Life as an “incredible experience, a transformative one… I began with a performance work, but was intrinsically changed by this experience … I found myself connected to my avatar in ways that I would have never expected…”


Here is the second part of Joseph DeLappe’s description of this artistic experience. It’s Day One of the Media Art Festival. The American artist, who is in Italy for the first time, meets his audience at the Maxxi, in the “Graziella Leonardi Bontempo Hall”. His work, Gold Gandhi, is on show in the museum’s “Spazio D.” Behind the work, a video reproduces the march. Laura Leuzzi, from the University of Dundee in Scotland, helps Joseph communicate with the audience.





Biography. Professor of Games and Tactical Media at the Abertay University of Dundee in Scotland, where he moved in 2017 after directing the Digital Media Programme at the University of Nevada for 23 years.

Born in San Francisco, DeLappe began working with new media in 1983, exhibiting his works, on-line game performances, in the United States and other ten countries. In 2006, he began his “Dead‐in‐Iraq” Project, while in 2013, he biked for 460 miles around the Nellis Air Force Range to expose an area that could host a solar plant that would provide energy for the entire country. He recently developed the “Killbox Concept,” an interactive game for computers on war with drones created by the Bioma Collective in Scotland. Killbox has recently been nominated for the BAFTA Scotland Award (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) as “Best Computer Game.”


Works. In 26 days, from March 12 to April 6, 2008, the artist walked the Mahatma Gandhi’s famous 1930 Salt March. For this performance, the artist walked all 240 miles on a tapis roulant, on-line on Second Life. DeLappe’s steps made his MGandhi Chakrabarti avatar advance, creating both a virtual and real reconstruction of the march. The “Gold Gandhi” Avatar, created with a 3D printer and 24-carat gold leaf, is on exhibition together with the video of the march [2008].




Wednesday May 3rd, 2017

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