Joseph DeLappe: Cardboard Gandhi, Version 3

  • ©, Joseph DeLappe, Cardboard Gandhi, Version 3
  • ©, Joseph DeLappe, Cardboard Gandhi, Version 3


    Cardboard Gandhi, Version 3

Artist(s) and People Involved:




    17’ mixed media avatar reproduction, cardboard, hot glue

Artist Statement:

    In 2008, from March 12th to April 6th, over the course of 26 days, using a treadmill customised for cyberspace, I re-enacted Mahatma Gandhi’s famous 1930 Salt March in Second Life. The original 240 mile walk was made in protest of the British salt tax; my update of this seminal protest march took place at Eyebeam, NYC and in Second Life, the Internet–based virtual world. For this mixed reality performative re-enactment, I walked the entire 240 miles of the original march both in RL and SL. My steps on the treadmill controlled the forward movement of my avatar, MGandhi Chakrabarti, enabling the live and virtual re-enactment of the march. Over the course of the re-enactment I became very attached to my avatar. I began to envision the creation of a monumental sized Gandhi figure based on my avatar data. I settled upon using a shareware application, Pepakura Designer, which is a popular paper craft programme used by enthusiasts to create some rather amazing – albeit generally tabletop scale – reproductions of everything from anime figures to airplanes. I adapted this programme to create a 17’ tall reproduction of my Gandhi avatar out of cardboard and hot glue. The resulting 17’ figure is a monumental physical representation of MGandhi created from very simple materials. The figure was made to be the same height as Michelangelo’s David – a fitting conceptual connection to this iconic work of art history depicting the Biblical figure of David just before slaying Goliath.