ROBERTA BREITMORE; a private performance
of a simulated persona. In an era of alternatives, she
became an objectified non bodied reflective, alternative
Roberta had a drivers license, checking
accounts and more credit than I did (still do). Roberta
was an interactive vehicle with which to analyze culture.
Her "profile" was animated through both cosmetics applied
to her face as if it were a canvas, and her experiences
in the real world. She reflected the values of her society
and participated in trends such as EST and Weight Watchers.
She saw a psychiatrist, had her own language, speech pattern,
handwriting, apartment,clothing, gestures and moods. Most
significantly, she witnessed reflected and documented
the resonant nuances of that culture's alienation.
Roberta's manipulated reality became a model
for a private system of interactive performances. Instead
of being kept on a disc or hardware, her records were
stored as photographs and texts that could be viewed without
predetermined sequences. This allowed viewers to become
voyeurs into Roberta's history. Their interpretations
shifted, depending on the perspective and order of the
sequences they accessed.
In her fifth year of life, Roberta's adventures
became models of victimization. To counter this phenomenon,
multiples were created. Sadly, even the four different
characters who assumed her identity continued to have
negative experiences. Perhaps these multiples were like
computer viruses that filled the RAM space of real life,
taking with them the genetic codes of Roberta's negative
Many people assumed I was Roberta. Although
I denied it at the time and insisted that she was "her
own woman" with defined needs, ambitions and instincts.
In retrospect, I feel we were linked. Roberta represented
part of me as surely as we all have within us an underside,
a dark, shadowy cadaver that we try with pathetic illusion
to camouflage. Roberta's traumas became my own haunting
memories. This work ended with a ritual exorcism in 1979,
made from air, fire mirrors and smoke.