Numbers, Pixels and Powderpuffs…

Posted by Ian on Sep 22, 2007 in blog | No Comments

‘Xavier Nielson’ (2006) by Eva and Franco Mattes (0100101110101101.ORG)
Digital print on canvas – 36 x 48 inches

To begin my intervention into the sucking of his art, I thought I’d give a few lines on a special bit of art that I happened upon on a trip through the wires a few months ago.

The perpetrators: (or known analogically as Eva and Franco Mattes)

The happening: 13 Most Beautiful Avatars (

As a step into the world of digital portraiture and a celebration of the beauties of digital self-recreation,’s effort to trawl through the landscapes and cityscapes of digial lifeworlds for beautifully anthropomorphic avatars sees the beginning of more public acceptance of the beauty of the self expressed through keystrokes and mouse clicks. Although it would have been more daring to not qualify the works as avatars – and to merely be portraits (as they done with more recent work), the collection of portrait digigraphy challenges traditional notions of human beauty. What separates the pixel and the powderpuff – and where is the self located in a tension between analog and digital beauty? Seeing these images brought to mind the work of Steve McCurry (National Geographic) and his famous ‘Portraits’ volume – found on many a coffeetable worldwide ( Not to undermine the effort and lifetime devotion to travelling the world to document the beauty of the analog human form which McCurry undertook, but more to celebrate a devotion to both expressing and documenting dynamic human mediations throughout the world – whether ‘real’ or ‘cyber’ – if such a distinction can even be made.

But to avoid a digression into the intellectal politics of media theory and human biological/analogical essentialism… have a click through if you’ve a parsec or two to spare.

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