Anna Krenz aka Anna Noonan
Project Medi@cus exhibited:
>>> Phoenicia Centre for Contemporary Art, Rosemary, 155 96 54, Second Life, 21.04.2006
(21.04.2006, 4am, live screening from Phoenicia Centre for Contemporary Art at gallery ZERO, Berlin)
>>> "Welcome to the Media!", Krolikarnia, National Museum, Warsaw, Poland, 6.05.2006
>>> Paraflows Festival, Vienna, Austria, 2006
>>> 3. Berliner Kunstsalon, Berlin, Germany, 2006
>>> Transmediale07, festival, Berlin, Germany, 2007


Internet addiction disorder is a condition which becomes more and more common today. Dr. Ivan Goldberg first coined the term Internet addiction disorder (IAD) for pathological, compulsive Internet use. Hours spent in front of the computer make people addicted to it. Like in any other type of addiction people addicted to alcohol or other drugs, develop a relationship with their "chemicals of choice" and this relationship takes over other aspects of their lives. Addicts find they need drugs in order to feel happy. By spending hours alone on the computer people often decrease physical activities and socialization. There are many symptoms of IAD, not only psychological but also physical, such as Repetitive Strain Injuries in the hands, wrists, neck, back and shoulders; Cyber Shakes (typing motions of the fingers and psychomotor agitation); tension headaches, Computer Vision Syndrome in the eyes or general malnourishment.

For the project Medi@cus I have made a series of nine drawings which are assembled on textiles used for cleaning. The material was chosen consciously in order to point the process of daily routine such as cleaning to which one can also be easily addicted. On the other hand, sometimes, while being addicted, one needs a proper “clean-up” to find happiness without the addiction.

On each drawing there is a figure of a happy person, who is an addicted computer user. However each of the persons is also suffering from certain condition caused by constant use of the computer. There is physical pain as much as happiness.

The exhibition is shown both in real and virtual world. First opening of the exhibition was on April 21st 2006 in Phoenicia Centre for Contemporary Art in Rosemary, Second Life. Second Life is a “massively-multiplayer online real-life game” (MMORLG) created in 2003 by Linden Lab, a private company based in San Francisco. Second Life has the advantage above other virtual realities because it gives its users (“residents") tools to add to and change its. It is in constant development by the creative process of its residents.

For the project I have logged on to the Second Life, chosen the name Anna Noonan and created my avatar to look as much as possible like me. Later on I have found a gallery and arranged an exhibition with gallery owner Viktor Newchurch. Just like in real world, I have shown him my portfolio and discussed the details of the exhibition opening.

On May 6th 2006 there was an exhibition “Welcome to Media!” at the Królikarnia Gallery at National Museum in Warsaw. Apart from the actual drawings there were 9 screenshots from my Second Life adventures and exhibition preparations. At the opening of the exhibition there was also a live screening of an event at the Phoenicia Art Centre.

The main idea of the project is to combine virtual reality and real world in a new way – not only bring what is real to the virtual world but also opposite. The aim is to make a virtual reality present in physical world. While I am still continuing on working on “Medi@cus”, I have become addicted to Second Life, just like many other people. I have sold my virtual drawings for virtual SL Dollars, so I can buy virtual land in Second Life and open my own virtual art gallery (like in my real life). These are the future plans. Each of the events where I am showing live screenings from Second Life is documented and added to the project.

Interview with Viktor Newchurch,
the owner of the Phoenicia Centre for Contemporary Art, Second Life

by Anna Noonan

1. What is interesting about Second Life that you chose to make your gallery there? Was there a special reason you chose Rosemary for the PCCA?
I chose SL because it was an inexpensive way to get my work in front of a lot of people around the world. I chose the Rosemary region because it was in the new continent, it was along a road, and it was the only pronounceable name in the new continent.

2. Phoenicia Centre for Contemporary Art is the second building you own. Why did you decide to expand previous gallery?
I actually closed the first building. The first gallery was in a "first land", which is designated for purchase by first-time buyers. I moved here because I was able to obtain enough suitable land for the project.

3. Can you tell me more about the development of the PCCA?
The project started in 1996 when I created an online art gallery. The original Phoenicia Center was modeled in form•Z, rendered in Strata StudioPro, and posted to the web as a series of navigable still images. Even though it looked good, the effect was not compelling enough without smooth, real-time animation and rendering, so, after two shows, I put the project on the shelf until now.

4. Did you design the whole new building of the gallery or you consulted any architect?
The design of the building dates back to 1997, and was entirely conceived by myself.

5. What was the idea of the architectural project of the new building?
My goal was to create a gallery that was visually impressive, could house several exhibits simultaneously, and evoked the design sense of several of New York's more famous art museums.

6. Is there any profile that you have, as a curator, for choosing artists?
I choose the artists based on the work presented. I consider technical execution, creativity, aesthetic sense, and how well the content mixes with the exhibits being show at the same time.

7. How many people (assistants) do you have at the centre?
I have one person who helps me with PR, currently.

8. What kind of audience (people) visits your Centre?
The Centre gets a wide demographic, but we seem to attract the more creative types in general.

9. Since the PCCA is the second exhibition space, can you tell me which art events have you organised in the Phoenicia Gallery? What are future plans of Phoenicia Gallery?
The original gallery has been razed, and the land sold to another party.

10. Do you have any other activities in Second Life, apart from exhibiting art?
I occasionally socialize in SL, but mostly my time here is devoted to the Centre.

11. And any general plans in SL?
Nothing specific.

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