The Adventures of Nar Duell in Second Life – Redux, 2014 - 201621 page, large-format gallery comic book, archival inkjet print on various papers, collaged, secured with archival tape

The Adventures of Nar Duell in Second Life – Redux features poster sized, comic book pages. This work addresses the implications of crafting within the digital through material/virtual hybridity. The pages that make up the sequential art were originally created through digital collage, and printed out as oversized comic books. For the last six years Heller has been producing comic books with found visuals, ideas and narratives that have come principally out of the time spent in the virtual world of Second Life, an online, user-created environment. The material for the comic books is supplemented by her photography, experiences and sculptures in the concrete world. They represent a blend of material life and a virtual existence experienced through her Second Life avatar Nar Duell, the central character in the comic book. Through a human connection to an avatar, the boundaries of the material and the virtual are blurred and become a seamless spectrum—a space of suspension—that can be infinitely mined but never parsed.

The distinct features of The Adventures—photo collage, Joycean dialogue and scale—enable Heller to create comic books as the fullest expression of an authored, feminist⁠, translation of the experience of the material/virtual. The dialogue written in a largely singular language, consists of a fusion of standard English lexical components, multilingual bon mots, non-linguistic symbols, algebraic, auditory, essentially visual and portmanteau words. The form allows for earnestness, irony, rebellion, and compliance all at the same time—which is an embrace of the double consciousness inherent in the function of comics as well as art methodologies.


Gallery Essay

 

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The Adventures of Nar Duell in Second Life – Redux, 2014 - 201621 page, large-format gallery comic book, archival inkjet print on various papers, collaged, secured with archival tape

The Adventures of Nar Duell in Second Life – Redux features poster sized, comic book pages. This work addresses the implications of crafting within the digital through material/virtual hybridity. The pages that make up the sequential art were originally created through digital collage, and printed out as oversized comic books. For the last six years Heller has been producing comic books with found visuals, ideas and narratives that have come principally out of the time spent in the virtual world of Second Life, an online, user-created environment. The material for the comic books is supplemented by her photography, experiences and sculptures in the concrete world. They represent a blend of material life and a virtual existence experienced through her Second Life avatar Nar Duell, the central character in the comic book. Through a human connection to an avatar, the boundaries of the material and the virtual are blurred and become a seamless spectrum—a space of suspension—that can be infinitely mined but never parsed.

The distinct features of The Adventures—photo collage, Joycean dialogue and scale—enable Heller to create comic books as the fullest expression of an authored, feminist⁠, translation of the experience of the material/virtual. The dialogue written in a largely singular language, consists of a fusion of standard English lexical components, multilingual bon mots, non-linguistic symbols, algebraic, auditory, essentially visual and portmanteau words. The form allows for earnestness, irony, rebellion, and compliance all at the same time—which is an embrace of the double consciousness inherent in the function of comics as well as art methodologies.


Gallery Essay