VIRTUALITIES: Embodying the Data Traveler (2008)
30 x 40 inches

"A cyberspace is a light-show."
(Paul Virilio in an interview with Louise Wilson)

A while ago I decided that my time had come to take on the role of virtual tourist and embark on a Grand Tour in the hope of expanding my horizons and exposing myself to a firsthand experience of virtual nature and antiquities. In the true spirit of a nineteenth century Grand Tour, I set out to “witness natural scenes and phenomena not found at home; to visit cabinets of curiosities and other collections of unique objects” (Walters) as may be encountered in cyberspace. My travels into one of today’s self-proclaimed 'leading online worlds, ACTIVE WORLDS, took place in March and April 2008 from my home in Surrey British Columbia, Canada. I went sightseeing in several of its virtual domains and photographed my screen from my embodied existence in real time and space similar to how I would approach my ‘real life’ holiday snapshots.


Walters, Alice N. "grand tour" The Oxford Companion to the History of Modern Science. Ed. J. L. Heilbron. Oxford University Press 2003. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press. <>

Wilson, Louise. “Cyberwar, God And Television: Interview with Paul Virilio.” CTHEORY. 12/1/1994. 4 March 2008. <>


Eva and Franco Mattes aka 0100101110101101.ORG
Stephen Andrews - 2005 paintings
Roy Lichtenstein - the CYMK dot screen as construction grid of the image
Claude Monet - Water lilies

© 2008 helma sawatzky – updated in june 2010