Henry’s Memory

2008 (Second Life)

Henry’s Memory was an interactive digital installation which took place on Teal Isand in the virtual world of Second Life. The theme of the installation was a museum about a future past rendered as the “recreation” of the Martian bunker where an isolated landscape painter, Henry Dyer, lived and worked.

The show’s curator, avatar Sachie Bade, announced the opening of the exhibit on her blog with the following:

The show is called Henry’s Memory, and it is about a lonely, off-world landscape artist named Henry Dyer who lived in the Forest Circle Colonies on Mars. His paintings and sculptures are all considerations of Earth, a planet that he never actually saw. Henry is one part Virginia Dare, the first child born in the Americas to English Parents (Dyer was the first Martian birth and, ironically, disappeared mysteriously like Dare), and one part Karl May, the bestselling German novelist who wrote prolifically about the old American West without having ever visited America. The installation, itself, is a recreation of the subsurface bunker where Dyer worked out his vision of and longing for a place he could only know through the bits of data available to him on the red planet. A lot of this ‘data’ was American vacation ephemera from the 1930s and 40s, strangely enough.

If you haven’t been yet, you can teleport to the show from here. You’ll start out at a ferry dock on Teal Island. To get to the bunker right click on the brown sign. There are multiple rooms, so when you are done checking out Henry’s painting studio, walk through the round portal in the wall to see more. The exhibit runs through 8/23.

Henry’s Memory (and especially the process and interactions that were necessary to create the installation) wrestled with ideas of anonymity, the decentralized self, and what it means to be an artist in a world of globally distributed communications.