Humanizing Art & Technology

Jeff Rufus Byrd

USA

Jeff Rufus Byrd

USA

Biography

Jeff Rufus Byrd is a performance artist who has worn weird outfits all over the world.

 

ARTWORK

Stroke! A Video Game
Performance

This work recreates my 2017 stroke in the form of a livestreamed video game. The gamer will be my costume-character alter-ego, Dek with me as his in-game avatar. Dek controls my actions as I work at my office (where the stroke actually occurred). I do mundane tasks like sorting files; answering the phone; reviewing and signing documents; etc. After completing a few tasks, the game abruptly ends. Concept: My art uses artifice to explore reality. I take on fake identities or using costumes/masks to explore gender and identity. I created a mascot alter-ego named Dek. He symbolizes my fear of aging and nostalgia for a carefree youth I was always too uptight to actually pursue. Think of him as ‘bro-drag.’ His existence has largely been about having a good time with buds while my real life has been about meetings, spreadsheets and neckties. My recent performances explored the business suit as a symbol of unwarranted power and unearned respect. This is the first time that these two identities have come together. As I prepare to quit my job, it seems important for me to reconnect with that younger self. Dek needs to take control the joystick…*snickers*…take control of the joystick.

 

 

Link to artwork:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ags-jmHdymk