SAINT-ÉTIENNE, LOIRE, 8 August — Here today, at the birthplace of performance artist Orlan, we announce Extreme Makeover: Virtual Edition. Drew Daniel of Matmos once said,
Who needs Orlan when you’ve got Extreme Makeover?
It was a cheeky, yet insightful observation that what was once the conceptual domain of edgy performance art had, in the hands of “reality television,” become pop culture. Yet neither Orlan nor Network Television have thought a lot about Avatars, Identity, Appearance, and Body Image in our 21st Virtual Century, even though avatars are the natural home of powerful ideas about embodiment. In fact, some of the best peeps on this topic are right here on iRez: Ironyca, co-host of WoW Factor, Kris, Mixed Reality Performance Artist, Botgirl, Identity Blogger, and more. So it must be time to do our own “Extreme Makeover.”
There are two, at least, ways to play: Then & Now, or Now & Later. In Then & Now you find an old avatar photo and compare it to what you look like today. In Now & Later you take your current photo and then make some change. The change can be “extreme” but it can also be subtle. Either way, give us 2 pix, or more if you want to show angles or details, and write a little or a lot about the changes. Interestingly enough, in the last week iRez posts have featured Jackie Graves 2009 & 2012 and Fiona & Vaneeesa 2010 & 2012, so I guess art imitates life… err… I mean… Virtual Salon imitates Virtual Life! 😛
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