GBTH Magazine #4

Cibele Cibernética is our newest exhibiting artist at GBTH. With their work, they invites us to rethink the virtual and organic matters – and their exhibition opening today at the GBTH, DESCARNE, starts the conversation asking us to upload ourselves into the digital world, getting rid of our “human carcass”, unlimiting ourselves in cyberspace.

Celebrating her first rezday (a type of anniversary counting from the date we create our account), Cibele agreed on talking to us a bit more about herself and the experience of bringing her work into Second Life.

MM – We can start in the traditional way, haha. Who is Cibele Cibernética?

CC – Cibele Cibernética was at first just a name for my drag persona, but they really came to life later on as my first 3D virtual model. Cibele is even signed with a real life modeling agency, currently. When I discovered Second Life they were the most natural choice as my digital projection. In many ways, we are the same being existing in different worlds and bodies. But for me the fun resides in our differences, for sure!

MM – I remember when we first met. You were in the Rachel Breaker Office at GBTH and as soon as I realized, you and Bebel invited me to my first dragqueen party in the grid! How did you get in touch with Second Life and what were you searching for when you first arrived here? Was it hard to get used to the interface?

CC – Yes! I remember vividly because I was amazed to get to know GBTH and you, the curator behind the project. Which…hello?! Happens to be Brazilian like me?! So cool! I was only a few weeks old in Second Life at that point. Bebel was actually the one who got me into this world. And since I am a 3D artist, the interface was easy to catch up with. I actually really like how SL works in terms of camera control and avatar creation. In a week I was hooked and I haven’t stopped ever since. It was the beginning of the pandemic and I was searching for anything to get my mind out of the chaos that was, and still is, our country.

MM – You’re an artist and interdisciplinary designer outside Second Life. I find refreshing how during our talks you don’t hold back from approaching politics, sharing who you are and breaking down this barrier from the second and first lives. Has refraining from creating a separation between your virtual and physical selves always been something you had in mind when creating a virtual persona? What is your background as an artist and performer?

CC – Honestly, I never had the intention to link both lives because I find reality very limiting and boring as far as self-expression. I did not come to Second Life searching for any experiences or forms of existence that I could have in real life, if that makes sense. It was only when I started working on DESCARNE that the two worlds collided. Now I can see Cibele in my real life work as a 3D artist and art director, just as I can see my real self in the over-the-top persona that is Cibele.

MM – Thank you so much for accepting our invite to develop an exhibition here at GBTH. It has been so exciting working together! Do you have any advice for someone wanting to use Second Life as a creative platform?

CC – Yes, it has been a major pleasure for me as well. Before getting to know Second Life and their amazing artist residents, I never thought such a platform was already available. I believe there is a stigma that Second Life is just a game but I disagree. It is the largest VR creative network that I had contact with so far. I feel like my creative freedom has expanded in ways I didn’t expect to. I would like to invite any creative, and specially 3D artists, to give Second Life a try! And, of course, I thank you for the invitation and amazing support.