Jeffery Byrd (USA): Stroke! (A Video Game)

  • 28 Mar 2021 10pm UTC
  • dur 15 min

I would like to recreate 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 generally streams on, but can adapt to other platforms as needed. Dek will appear to control my actions as I work at my office (where the stroke actually occurred). I will do such mundane activities as sorting through files; answering the phone; reviewing and signing documents; etc. After completing a few tasks, I will simulate the stroke and the game will end.

Concept: My art is about using artifice to explore reality. Sometimes this includes taking on fake identities or using costumes/masks to explore ideas related gender and identity. I created a mascot alter-ego named Dek. He symbolizes my own fear of aging and my nostalgia for a carefree youth that I was always too uptight to actually pursue. Think of it as ‘bro-drag.’ His existence has largely been about having a good time hanging with buds while my real life has been about meetings, spreadsheets and neckties. My recent performances have explored the business suit as an absurd symbol of unwarranted power and unearned respect. This is the first time that these two worlds and identities will 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.

BIO: Jeffery Byrd is a performance artist based in the US. His work explores the relationship between artifice and reality and often involves masks, costumes and fake identities to explore ideas related to gender and power. His work has been in major cities through the USA as well as China, Canada, Italy, Switzerland, Poland, Germany, Cuba, Mexico and the UK. ARTIST’S WEBSITE