Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Second Life Avatar - Representational Self-Portrait

Assignment #5

Second Life Avatar – Self-Portraits

13 Most Beautiful Avatars, Eva and Franco Mattes
Why Won't Second Life Just Go Away?
New World Notes - Online News Source for Second Life

Avatar Representational Self-portrait

Sign up for a free account and get acquainted with Second Life. Go to and sign up!

The project assignment involves the creation of a purely representational avatar/self portrait in the online community “second life”. Use the change your appearance functions to essentially create a mirror image of yourself. Either create or find clothing items that work for your self-portrait/avatar. Think of the tools available as a new type of drawing system – use the “edit” “appearance” functions to create the most realistic, representational depiction of the self.

An avatar, (from the Sanskrit word for "a form of self", commonly used in many Indian languages) is a computer user's representation of himself/herself or alter ego, whether in the form of a three-dimensional model used in computer games, a two-dimensional icon (picture) used on internet forums and other online communities. (Wikipedia)

As you first engage Second Life you will notice that avatars tend to be flamboyant, exaggerated, alternate personas that are fantastic, idealized selves. Your assignment is to take a different approach to avatar creation – by developing a humble, realistic self-portrait as avatar, you will be creating a vision of the self that adheres to reality, rather than escaping from it.

Visit the blog, watch the linked videos, read the articles and conduct some basic research online regarding Second Life. Become familiar with the basic functioning of this online community.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Assignment #4 Website Re-Design/Intervention

Here are some links that will be of interest as you develop your ideas for the re-design of an existing website:

A site that links to some parody websites (I think you can do better than many of these!):

This site features many creative sites that are fake - these don't necessarily directly seek to fake an existing site but the sentiment, humor and use of internet sites to post erroneous information as satire is worth considering content-wise.

A spoof website of the George Bush Whitehouse site:

A spoof website of the Barack Obama Whitehouse site:

Stephen Colbert's "Wikiality":

Second Life parody site:

Some curious corporate logo spoofs and such:

The NYtimes "Special Edition" as we attempted to look at in class, still not working but I alerted the today so should be back up soon!:

The Billboard Liberation Front, for inspiration:

This is one of my projects, a re-purposing/re-thinking of the America's Army Game website, basically asking, what if... (the actual site design has changed a bit since I did my new version linked below, the design I worked from is perfectly reflected in my new site linked here...) (my site)

And finally, not a spoof website but The Onion - some of the best satire online and in print:

Assignment #4

Website Re-Purposing – Interventionist Design


We are inundated with a plethora of information in our daily use of various technologies. A recent study indicated that on average, we spend 7 hours a day looking at screens of various types, including computer monitors. Most of the information we experience is developed by others – we are the consumers – or are we consumed?

This assignment asks you to generate an artistic 'intervention' towards altering the design of an existing web page. The objective here to is to create a work that serves as a visual, cultural critique through the appropriation and re-purposing of the design of an existing web page. Consider this project as a type of conceptual, artistic intervention - an artistic intervention is an action by an artist in a real world situation for the sake of promoting reflection and altered perceptions by the participants (or in this instance, your audience).


Take a stance! What are you passionate about in regard to what is going on in the world? Politics, Global Warming, War? This is your chance to “stick it to the man!” Artists, in the modernist/post modernist millieau have often addressed critical issues.

On first glance, the web site should look identical to the original, the changes you make will be in terms of content – you are to duplicate the formal aspects. Replace text, re-configure logos, take your own photographs as needed. Choose your web site/source carefully! You are creating a visual form that seeks to mirror a given visual reality – that upon closer examination reveals itself through the alteration of content. You can address issues of politics, race, class, the environment, peace, war, etc. Keywords: parody, satire, commentary, humor, design, art, activism.


Monday – October 19th – Assign Project

Wednesday – October 21st – Lab Day/Work On Projects

Monday – October 26th – Projects Due