We live in a seemingly bifurcated world where nearly half of our modes of existence and experiences are held in some digital spheres, while others are still very tethered to our embodied and corporeal IRL world. This binary is inherently changing over time, as we are engaging with both sides of this experience and blurring the lines between the IRL and URL spheres we inhabit. 

A pertinent aspect of our digital experiences are attached to this concept of a digital ego, where we have different aliases or avatars through which we engage with others or Ai in new digital landscapes. From email addresses, to social media profiles, to avatars in the games we play, and even to our IP addresses and the data collected about our identity and futures, these modes of existence cannot be extracted from very real consequences in the physical world. We are advertised physical objects, and we keep contact with almost everyone we once knew via online spaces. Additionally, we are constantly performing our identity and how we want to be seen and we reflect ourselves in the choices we deem necessary, both offline and online. Especially via social media, the average person will showcase their interests and how they want others to see them.

 

Regardless of authenticity or ingenuity, this performance is something we engage without realizing it on a daily basis. When one walks outside, one presents in such a way based on their body posture, clothing choices, which cafes they walk into, etc. Online these modes of expression are much more obvious, as we portray gender identity and express ourselves there. Instead of seeing the world as binary, where the IRL and URL are separated, this piece hopes to engage in a non-binary way of thinking through a gender nonconforming character just realizing their role in their own self expression. It will hopefully also engage with how we can use digital spaces to aid in self discovery and create safe spaces for others to explore.

 

This piece will hope to explore IRL and URL gender expression and performance through the lens of pre-conceived characters who are in a relationship with one another. Through playing one partner, a user will engage in the world through their perspective and explore their performance as either a supportive (or potentially not supportive!) individual or will explore gender performance through their URL interactivity.