Three-dimensional life is the complicated physical reality where we work, miss the bus, get sick, are let down, feel unseen and become depressed. Two-dimensional life is the exciting, beautiful, dramatic, entertaining and flat world of pictures, TV series and computer games. Where everything is much easier, and where we choose to spend more and more of our time. What happens when the boundaries between the two-dimensional and the three-dimensional worlds are blurred? When everyone uses filters to look better and only post about their successes but no setbacks? When you can marry your beloved anime character in a VR game? When you can rent a partner who is always happy? The research project ‘Life in 2.5 dimensions’ is a reflection on how the increased degree of representation and performativity professionally and socially is related to the development of global experience capitalism, and how an escalating consumption of games and social media affect our relationships and emotions. In animated and documentary videos, we get to know a type of Japanese workers called ”sakura”, which means "fake customer". These are people who work with renting out their emotions. They support themselves by acting as family members, partners, dates, or friends in physical reality. The work analyzes a societal situation in post-industrial economies where community and belonging can be purchased in the form of performative, aesthetic and emotional service work.
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