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Saya Woolfalk culminates seven years of virtual civilization in 'ChimaTEK'

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Saya Woolfalk's installation Aerial Display (Blossoming)
PHOTO COURTESY OF SAYA WOOLFALK AND THIRD STREAMING GALLERY

In this third and final stage, the Empathics have redirected their technology into a for-profit model, namely a corporation called ChimaTEK, a virtual world enterprise in which customers buy access to different Chimeric identities and consciousness through their own personalized virtual avatars. The chimera (which here refers simultaneously to the mythological she-monster made up of different body parts and to an organism with two or more genetically distinct tissues) ends up the repository and agent of corrupted utopian impulses.

As a tool for spiritual guidance, the mandala represents the universe, while helping to train the mind on essential insights and untapped potentialities. Made in collaboration with four local dancer-choreographers working in disparate ethnic traditions — with essential input from DJ Dr. Sleep (Melissa Maristuen) and a "virtual" DJ (none other than Paul D. Miller, or DJ Spooky that Subliminal Kid, who composed the original score) — ChimaTEK will be a kind of contemporary mandala, manifesting a chimeric state of being in which participants remix identities through virtual avatars in a virtual space. Fact and fiction blend so freely here that the distinctions between them might be called into question. So might the degree to which this virtual space is coextensive with the universe itself, or at least our tangled and conflicted corner of it. *

CHIMATEK: HYBRIDITY VISUALIZATION MANDALA

Thu/4, 6-9pm, free with museum admission ($5 after 5pm)

Asian Art Museum

200 Larkin, SF

www.asianart.org

 

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