Life Without Matter considers a future life in virtual reality where material things have mostly disappeared and our identity must be redefined. A mirror appears and the viewer confronts their digital reflection - not their physical appearance, but rather the female, male and animal in all of us. While the viewer is interacting with their virtual reflection, their shadow is projected on a special screen in the exhibition space, revealing their actions to the audience. The audience, like the prisoners in Plato’s Cave, can only see this world of shadows as they eagerly await entry into a world without matter.
Rebecca Allen’s artwork, which spans four decades and takes the form of experimental video, large-scale performances, live simulations and virtual and augmented reality art installations, addresses issues of identity, gender and what it means to be human as technology redefines our sense of reality. With degrees from Rhode Island School of Design and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she moves fluidly between artist studio and research lab. Her work is part of the permanent collection of Centre Georges Pompidou, Whitney Museum of American Art and NY Museum of Modern Art.