Chroma >>
Erik Loyer

An interactive narrative dealing with issues of identity in a cyberworld.

||| HIAFF 3.0 | university of colorado | department of art and art history | digital arts area | in conjunction with alt-x | atlas | blurr

Peter Olivetti: How would you describe Chroma in one to two sentences?

Erik Loyer: Chroma is an episodic interactive narrative that examines issues of digital identity through a tightly choreographed combination of graphics, voice and music. Interactive real-time animations are used to represent the thoughts and feelings of the main characters, and respond to the user in intimate ways that help to illuminate the unfolding story while building emotional connections with its central players.

PO:How long have you been working in Internet base mediums?

EL: I have been working with the Internet since 1997, when I developed my first site, a piece entitled "Institute for Investigation into the Mind of Marrow."

PO: How do you feel Chroma relates to the idea of us having a Cyboratic persona, esp. when engaged in a work such as this?

EL: As Chroma unfolds, one of the main questions it poses will involve the construction or reconstruction of our "analog" identities in cyberspace. Which aspects of our personality, psyche, and physicality should we copy from conventional reality into the digital world, and which should we leave behind? How will our personae express themselves in new and unforeseen ways in the digital environment? Is it possible to use this environment to address specific social issues such as racism, which find their basis in the kind of observable physical characteristics, which become completely mutable in cyberspace? What happens when all the cues we've become accustomed to using in interpreting a person's identity become unreliable and untrustworthy? There are many more questions in this realm than there are answers, and Chroma will try to deal with some of these issues directly.

PO: How do you think we change identity wise when we "log on," i.e. we use identity altering devices like usernames, chat rooms, and so on?

EL: The computer provides an environment where identity is truly what we make of it--we can use digital space to try to recreate our "real world" identities, to experiment with new ones, or anything in between. What becomes most interesting to me is the way in which digital technology gives us the ability not only to represent identity, but to define and control the ways in which identity is expressed. In the real world, I have no choice but to have a physical body, which takes up space in a particular way. But in the digital realm, if I want to exist just as a voice and a color, I can create a communal space where only those attributes are allowed, and invite others to join me. The question can then be asked: what attributes are important to you in defining your own identity? Which are unimportant? And who among your peers agrees or disagrees with you?