The hedgehog's dilemma is a common metaphor describing a group of hedgehog's who wish to gather close to one another for warmth but cannot because they will hurt each other with their sharp spines. It is commonly used in psychology to describe the complexities of human relationships and the impossibility of perfect connections between two persons. This issue feels particularly potent at the current time of isolation, where we must turn to the internet for a new kind of landscape to engage with one another in. These new avenues are often at the heart of cultural critique and seen merely as fantasy ridden with problems.
The virtual avatar performance at the heart of this project is the Sonic the Hedgehog OC (original character) subculture. These fans generate new characters within the Sonic the Hedgehog universe with their names and ideas, often performing extreme expression modes. The amount of these "OCs'' is so vast that just about anyone can Google their name accompanied with the phrase "the hedgehog" and find several image results. Are these avatars purely (sometimes problematic) fantasy? Or are they perhaps the most authentic forms of the users unencumbered by physiological and social restrictions?
The project will manifest itself as an experimental long-form twitch stream. A wireless printer will be installed in a room (possibly in the UNT College of visual art building or perhaps a space you could provide) on an elevated shelf. Viewers will be prompted by a set of instructions (both in-person within the room but also in an online platform) to participate by googling "their name" and the phrase "the hedgehog" and submit the image results to an open google drive. At special times of the day, the printer will be prompted wirelessly to print all of the new images and drop them into the ground. Each day the newly printed images will be installed on the wall until the project's direction is completed or the walls are entirely covered. The result is a congregation of several persons through a digital avenue into a physical space celebrating connection while also examining human relationships' impossibilities.