I was trying to explain to some lovely friends yesterday about my Collaboration with self—that is, my interest in watching an artist avatar I have created in Sims 3, working to achieve acclaim in a simi-professional world. I have been watching what the Sim paints when I control her image-making, and what she paints when she makes the choices herself. My intention is to document influences on her, and how she then influences my own work in the real world.
Deidhre Artist, my current Sim avatar, has reached the top of her professional painter career – here’s a screenshot explaining what she has achieved:
So Deidhre Artist is at the top of her game and commanding excellent prices on the sale of her work!
And surprisingly (maybe even a bit spookily) she is painting rabbits at the moment. Below, screenshots of 4 rabbit paintings. Only one has been controlled by me—the last one, which is a portrait of Deidhre’s plumbot, Jasmine, with a rabbit painting on the wall behind Jasmine’s head. The other three Deidhre has painted of her own ‘free will’.
The order of the shots above are the order in which she has painted the rabbits. The first image is less defined. In the second image she has tried a different technique—an overlaid square pattern, which is a technique she uses for other paintings, both abstract and representational. In the third image the modelling of the head and body are better defined, as is one eye, the nose and the mouth.
The reason why this is a bit spooky is that Chris has a small thing about rabbits, especially evil rabbits—he loved the film Harvey as a kid and we both loved Donnie Darko. My current Facebook profile image is the head of an ‘evil-looking’ rabbit mannequin snapped in Takeshita Dori in Harajuku in Tokyo. We have a growing installation of rabbits in our living room. Another blog post Freaky Friday shows one rogue white rabbit trying to escape. Oh, and I have collected a whole lot of rabbit paraphernalia which is likely to show up in future work, as in one of my first assemblages: Kawaii charm: lucky rabbits.
I know that the image of the rabbit exists in Sims 3. It is the Social Bunny which first appeared in Sims 2 as a character that Sims could interact with if their social need was great (psychiatric therapy for lonely Sims).
I’m just thrilled that that’s what Deidhre is choosing to paint and the fact that she is exploring the image multiple times. And I’m kind of hoping that there are more programmed into her DNA!