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Meta_Body — A Project on Shared Avatar Creation


Abstract and Figures

This paper will describe the ongoing Meta_Body project, first held in an online virtual environment and in a “real life” art exhibition, now carrying on in the metaverse creative flux. The focus will be on two aspects of this project — the constitution of virtual corporality and the shared creative process of avatar building, sharing, transformation and embodiment. We will explore the metaphorical aspects of virtual corporality and embodiment and we will approach the possibility of a creative process as an aesthetical experience.
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A Project on Shared Avatar Creation
Catarina Carneiro de Sousa.1
This paper will describe the ongoing Meta_Body project, rst held
in an online virtual environment and in a “real life” art exhibition,
now carrying on in the metaverse creative ux. The focus will be
on two aspects of this project — the constitution of virtual corpo-
rality and the shared creative process of avatar building, sharing,
transformation and embodiment. We will explore the metaphori-
cal aspects of virtual corporality and embodiment and we will
approach the possibility of a creative process as an aesthetical
1. Escola Superior de
Educação do Instituto
Politécnico de Viseu,
Departamento de Co-
municação e Arte, Rua
Maximiano Aragão,
3504-501 Viseu ,
avatar, metaverse,
produsage, shared
creativity, virtual
CONFIA . 2nd International Conference on Illustration & Animation
Porto . Portugal . December 2013 . ISBN: 978-989-98241-6-4
1 . Introduction
Meta_Body is a project initiated by Catarina Carneiro de Sousa
also known as (AKA) CapCat Ragu and Sameiro Oliveira Martins
AKA Meilo Minotaur1 , in the virtual environment of Second Life
(SL), as a response to an invitation to participate in the 6th edition
of the exhibition All My Independent Women (AMIW), an event
which takes place irregularly around the world, curated by the
artist Carla Cruz. The 2011 edition continued and extended the
previous one, a proposal of a collective reading of Novas Cartas
Portuguesas/New Portuguese Letters by Maria Isabel Barreno,
Maria Teresa Horta and Maria Velho da Costa, a 1972 book that
was banished and caused persecution of its authors by the dic-
tatorship (the case of the Three Marias), thus becoming a mile-
stone in the history of feminism in our country, Portugal [1]. The
subtitle of the 6th edition was “Or Rather, What Can Words Do?”,
a question quoted from the book. It took place in Vienna, Austria
from November 3rd until December 3rd, 2011, at VBKÖ (Austrian
Association of Women Artists) space. In the publication that
followed the exhibition one could read Maria de Lourdes Pinta-
silgo’s re-edited preface for the book’s 3rd edition, dating back to
1980. She highlighted that, in the book, the body goes beyond its
representation. It works as a metaphor for all forms of oppression
hidden and not yet overcome [2].
This idea of a metaphorical body was crucial to our project.
The virtual experience of the body is not exactly an experience of
the esh. Although metaverse experiences have a perceptual and
sensorial aspect, they continue to be experienced in our organic
body, not in our avatar body.
The word metaverse was coined by writer Neal Stephenson
in his 1992 novel Snow Crash. In it, the metaverse was a fully
immersive three-dimensional space where people interacted via
avatars. Today, the term has been used to refer to the collective
online space in general, but more particularly in the case of virtual
worlds — three-dimensional computer generated spaces, which
can be experienced by several people at once. Places inhabited by
people and enabled by online technologies [3] .
For Beth Coleman the concept of avatar can refer to all digital
extensions of the subject that interact in real-time over the tel-
ecommunications network [4] . However, we will essentially use
1.Throughout this
paper we will refer
avatar’s real names
whenever possible
on rst mention, but
we will prefer the in
world avatar name for
subsequent references,
as this is the name they
use to sign their works.
Meta_Body — A Project on Shared Avatar Creation
Catarina Carneiro de Sousa 149
this term to address the animated gure that represents the user
in 3D digital platforms.
In the metaverse one could look at a very realistic virtual cake
and salivate, but if our avatar eats it one won’t feel its avour.
The virtual body is a metaphorical body and therefore a body of
expression and language. We focused on this aspect, in project
Meta_Body, thinking of the avatar as a body / language open to
experimentation.A couple of months before the exhibition open-
ing, CapCat Ragu and Meilo Minotaur built and distributed at
Delicatessen2 , their SL region3 , a set of 18 avatars, freely available
and open to be transformed and shared with other SL residents.
A note was distributed along with the avatars inviting users to
share on Flickr and Koinup groups whatever derivative work they
produced. At VBKÖ only the derivative work was exhibited. 120
works were selected and presented as virtual photography or
machinima4 , with a total of 80 contributors integrating the project
Meta_Body for AMIW. The total number of works now shared
between Meta_Body’s Flickr and Koinup groups exceeds one
This selection was shown again in 2012 in the AMIW Video
Lounge at the Women’s Art Library, Goldsmiths University of
London, at the Vox Feminae Festival in Zagreb and at Brotherton
Library Special Collections University of Leeds. This time, a video
presentation of the project was added to the derivative material5 .
Meanwhile, CapCat Ragu and Meilo Minotaur decided to
promote a second phase of this project — Meta_Body II. Having
the Meta_Body project avatars as a starting point, SL residents
were invited to share their derivative avatars, using any of the
parts of the Meta_Body project avatars, parts built by the users
and/or parts built by other developers, since their specied license
allowed redistribution with full permissions. All avatars had to be
provided with full permissions, meaning that they had to be copy-
able, shareable and open for transformation. 22 creators built 26
new avatars, from well-known metaverse artists and designers to
absolute new residents, trying SL and avatar building for the rst
time. These avatars are now being distributed at Delicatessen. For
this purpose Meilo Minotaur and CapCat Ragu built four virtual
installations, in homage to the avatars and their creators. Luís Eu-
stáquio AKA Takio Ra was invited to make a sound intervention.
2. http://maps.secon-
3. A region in SL is a
256m x 256m virtual
land area hosted by a
single simulator pro-
cess. Usually they are
refered to as sims [5].
4. Virtual photogra-
phy consists of still
captures from inside
a virtual environment
(post processed or not),
while machinima is
video captured in the
same fashion.
CONFIA . 2nd International Conference on Illustration & Animation
Porto . Portugal . December 2013 . ISBN: 978-989-98241-6-4
All the sounds used in these soundscapes are also being shared
with the residents with full permissions.
The method used to implement this project is a shared crea-
tive process, one where several participants are authors at dif-
ferent stages of the project, and where some of these individuals
permute between users and producers of the materials distrib-
uted, thus becoming produsers [6] , as we will describe later.
There are, however, three dierent approaches to the concept of
shared creativity — collective creation, the process used by Cap-
Cat Ragu and Meilo Minotaur in the building of the avatars and
the virtual installations, a cellular group acting as one author, in
a very intimate creative process; collaborative creation, a process
where each artist maintains her authorial personal mark in a crea-
tive dialogue with other artist/s, the way Takio Ra contributed to
the project, by creating soundscapes for the virtual installations;
and distributed creation, which was how derivative work was
created using the rst set of avatars to build new creations which,
in turn, fed the pool of materials available for the making of new
2 . Virtual Corporality
On SL, avatar building is always a shared creative process, as
residents can modify their avatars but they can also upload their
own contents, designed outside the platform, such as textures,
meshes, animations and others. Avatar designers are, therefore,
the residents who can create themselves and use parts that other
residents share or sell. The way virtual corporality is constituted in
this environment is very often the result of a distributed author-
F. 1/2 Aqua, one of
Meta_Body rst avatars
and Blind Train, a
derivative avatar by
Eupalinos Ugajin for
Meta_Body II, both
captures by CapCat
Meta_Body — A Project on Shared Avatar Creation
Catarina Carneiro de Sousa 151
ship and, therefore, a shared creative process.
A good example of this kind of approach is the work of
designer Elif Ayiter AKA Alpha Auer (and others) who draws the
contents of the brand alpha.tribe in SL. Countless artists have
used her avatar designs for the creation of machinimas, virtual
photography and performances. In her sister virtual installations
Anatomia and body parts two sets of avatars were distributed as
part of the artwork, relying on embodiment as a fundamental part
of the aesthetical experience [7]. The author also created a series
called The Avatar of the Uncanny Valley, for which she construct-
ed a set of avatars constituted by elements made by other
creators [8].
Eupalinos Ugajin is an SL based artist who uses his own avatar
as artwork, adding a performative dimension to his approach. His
very unusual avatars are designed using not only his own crea-
tions, but also artefacts made by others. He compiles these avatars
in his Flickr set [SL] Will you AV me?6
If one thinks of the virtual body in the way Pierre Lévy refers
to virtual, one has to acknowledge that virtual does not oppose
real, but the term actual. Virtuality is not about possibility, but
about potency. For this author, realization is not a creation, in the
full sense of the term, because it doesn’t imply the production of
something new. The possible is just like the real but without an
existence; the virtual, on the other hand, asks for a resolution, is
problematic, complex. In this sense, actualization is a solution to a
problem that goes far beyond the problem’s statement. The actual
is not predetermined by the virtual, as Lévy reminds us, it is not its
realization, but an answer to it [9] .
2.1 . Virtual Body
Similarly, the virtual body doesn’t oppose the real body, but the
actual body. It is not a possible body, but a potential one, problem-
atic and complex. Frank Biocca tried to unravel this complexity
when researching bodily presence in virtual environments. He
distinguished three dierent kinds of body: objective body, virtual
body and body schema.
The objective body is the physical, observable, and measur-
able body of the user. The virtual body is the representation of the
user’s body inside the virtual environment. The body schema is
6. http://www.ickr.
CONFIA . 2nd International Conference on Illustration & Animation
Porto . Portugal . December 2013 . ISBN: 978-989-98241-6-4
the user’s mental or internal representation of her body [10].
Biocca’s research led to the belief that the always-unstable
phenomenal body could be radically altered by use of media
[10]. This was conrmed by Nick Yee’s, N. Jeremy Bailenson’s,
Ducheneaut’s and Nicolas’ ndings, whose studies demonstrate
that behaviour can change according to the avatar’s body consti-
tution, not only online but also in oine interactions, e.g. users of
taller avatars performed better in negotiating with shorter avatars,
with this eect persisting outside the virtual context. To these and
other changes in behaviour resulting from the handling of avatars,
the authors called Proteus Eect [11]. The impact of avatar design
in the phenomenal body was also addressed by Jacquelyn Ford
Morie, who highlights that in virtual environments “our experi-
ence is very much inuenced by how we perceive our self, and
yet, within most immersive environments as they exist today, this
choice is still made by the VE designer” [12]. And also by Celia
Pearce, who emphasizes the importance of avatar design in multi-
user virtual environments:
If the avatar is framed as a form of personal expression, as
performance medium, it is not hard to see the ways in which the
components of the avatar kit dictate the forms of expression that
occur [13].
Maeva Veerapen specically studied the constitution of a phe-
nomenal body while using an avatar in SL. She reminds us of the
concomitance of two bodies in the virtual world, the user’s and
the avatar’s, one organic, the other image. The resident’s body has
no direct access to the metaverse; she uses the avatar to interact
with other people, objects and space. Yet the avatar is not sensori-
ally or perceptually able, it is the user’s body that senses and feels.
So, how is the phenomenal body constituted between these two
bodies? Veerapen advances three conceptions of the avatar: the
avatar as prosthesis, as phantom limb and as equal [14].
A prosthesis extends the potential of the phenomenal body.
As the resident cannot have direct and immediate access to the
metaverse, the avatar becomes a prosthesis that extends the fron-
tiers of the resident’s body. Sometimes an amputee can have sen-
sations in her missing limb, i.e. the phantom limb. Although the
avatar never made part of the resident’s body, it can lead to feel-
ings other than by direct stimulation, e.g. activating the memory,
Meta_Body — A Project on Shared Avatar Creation
Catarina Carneiro de Sousa 153
adding an emotional dimension to the virtual experience.
As demonstrated, the resident’s body cannot full all the tasks of
a phenomenal body in the metaverse, since it does not have direct
access to the virtual world. Neither can the avatar’s body, as it is
not yet sensorially and perceptually enabled.
That is how Veerapen arrives at the conception of the avatar as
an equal. Across the physical body and the body of the avatar, we
have all the qualities necessary to constitute a phenomenal body.
This cannot, however, be a simple sum of the two bodies; it has to
be their symbiosis.
This duplicity in the relations between users and virtual
worlds is also addressed by Morie, who reminds us that as we
enter the virtual world we are entering a world that is not com-
pletely imaginary, but still is “not fully based in solid physicality”
either [12]. Corporality in virtual worlds juxtaposes two bodies
and two conceptions of materiality, co-dependent on each other
to constitute an entity. In order for the avatar to link in this way to
the physical body it requires a metaphorical nature.
2.2 . Body As Metaphor
Corporality as a metaphor, however, is not exclusive of virtual
environments. Our bodily experience seems to considerably aect
the way we conceive the world. Lako and Johnson suggest that
the ordinary conceptual system is fundamentally metaphorical —
in fact, a signicant part of our concepts are organized in terms of
spatial metaphors: “I feel down”, “cheer up”, “he is out of reach”,
“she is in love”, “I look forward to meet you”. Up / down, in / out,
forward / backward, these metaphors are rooted deeply in our
physical and cultural experience of the body [15].
Metaphors are also paramount to the way we handle com-
puters — we “drag” items from one “window” to another or to
our “desktop”, we archive data in “folders” or send them to the
“trash”. In fact we are just providing commands to the computer,
but we experience them through simulations, in a metaphorical
way that is fundamental in the design of digital interaction [16]. In
the same way the virtual body is a metaphorical one.
Body as metaphor, however, is not exclusive of virtual envi-
ronments, as we saw before. Gender studies have long referred to
a semiotized dimension of the body:
CONFIA . 2nd International Conference on Illustration & Animation
Porto . Portugal . December 2013 . ISBN: 978-989-98241-6-4
The body is a construction, a representation, a place where the
marking of sexual dierence is written, and it is because the body
is a sign that it has been so invested in feminist politics as a site of
our resistance [17].
The semiotic body plays an important role in our everyday
life, but stripped of its physical component, the symbolic aspect of
the body becomes prevalent in virtual environments. The avatar
is a body of language and expression, open to further symbolic
investments. One can choose the stereotype metaphor of gender,
ethnicity, age, etc., or move beyond it and rethink, rebuild this
metaphorical body.
Meta_Boy avatars ranged from the realism of old Godiva to the
transparent improbability of Chart Man, yet they never became
entirely abstract, and they never lost their metaphorical dimen-
sion. By sharing them as transformable artefacts we intended to
open this avatar language to dierent forms of expression. The
embodiment of the avatar itself could become, simultaneously, an
aesthetical experience and a creative process.
3 . Shared Creativity
The Meta_Body Project relies, in fact, on a particular creative
process we call shared creativity, in which we cannot reduce crea-
tion to a single author. Several components of the project are built
by dierent authors and producers, working together towards a
exible, unstable and always unnished body of work. A creative
ux fed by many streams that work in dierent creative processes,
whose uidity, in time, becomes independent and uncontrolled by
F. 3 /4 Godiva and
Chart Man, Meta:Body
avatars, both captures
by CapCat Ragu
Meta_Body — A Project on Shared Avatar Creation
Catarina Carneiro de Sousa 155
the project’s initiators.
We distinguish, in this project, three dierent shared creative
processes — collective creation, distributed creation, and collabo-
rative creation. We are referring specically to creative processes
and not to group organization, as we will explain further on.
3.1 Collective Creation
It is important to distinguish what we will be calling collective
creation from the common use of the word collective, as referring
to a group of people acting together in some way. What we aim to
describe is a particular creative process that by no means under-
takes all other dierent and meaningful aspects of collectivity.
In fact an art collective does not necessarily have to use what we
will be calling collective creation as a creative process. It can, and
often does, use collaborative or distributed creativity. Our intent is
to be able to refer to a creative process in which participants act as
one creative entity.
The complete dissolution of one’s identity in a group is uto-
pian; a co-creative process where everyone is an equal partner
in the process [18] is very dicult to achieve in large and me-
dium groups. Working as plural organism requires a high level
of intimacy between co-creators. An equal partnership basis has
more chance of success in a cellular structure, in which each of the
participants relinquishes hers/his own authorial mark in favour of
the group’s authorship [19].
This was the preferred process used by Meilo Minotaur and
CapCat Ragu to build the Meta_Body avatars and virtual instal-
lations. This type of creative process requires complete openness
to state your insecurities, fears, uncertainties and to speak your
mind no matter what, knowing that the relationship won’t break
when you disagree. A high level of artistic respect for each other
is absolutely required, but not sucient: one needs complete trust
to blindly give up one’s creation to the other. It is a very intuitive
process that relies on a very strong bond between creators.
Their work process is loosely organized. There is no estab-
lished division of labour. Each begins to create an avatar and
passes the material to the other, so she continues. Keeping this
back and forth until both decide that the avatar is nished. The
construction of an avatar in SL depends both on buildings within
CONFIA . 2nd International Conference on Illustration & Animation
Porto . Portugal . December 2013 . ISBN: 978-989-98241-6-4
the platform, and other creations developed in other software7
and then uploaded to the virtual world. Within the platform is
easy to share objects and accumulate transformations, but many
of the materials built outside the platform also circulate between
each other before the upload.
After the avatars’ building is time for distribution and a new
stage of shared creativity begins.
3.2 . Distributed Creation
Pierre Lévy distinguishes two major types of virtual worlds: the
limited and edited ones (o-line), and those accessible via a
network and innitely open to interaction, transformation and
connection with other virtual worlds (online) [20]. The distinc-
tion between online and oine that Lévy suggests (note that the
author stresses that this is not an opposition) is fundamentalto
the kind of work that is proposed: ux, process, metamorphic, co-
constructed works. Although it also exists oine, this sort of work
is typical of cyberculture [20]. We therefore speak of works whose
authorship is distributed. The term was coined by the digital art
pioneer Roy Ascott in 1986, to describe the interactive and remote
authoring project La Plissure du Texte: A Planetary Fairytale
(LPDT), created in 1983.
For Axel Bruns, distributed creativity occurs in “projects which
harness the creativity of a large range of participants to build on
and extend an existing pool of artistic material” [21]. In this case,
the set of avatars and all the artefacts related to them. He also
developed the concept of produsage to acknowledge the new real-
ity “emerging from the intersection of Web 2.0, user-generated
content, and social media since the early years of the new mil-
lenni” [22]. He realized that the conventional sense of production,
especially related to the industrial economy, no longer applied to
“massively distributed collaborations [...] constantly changing,
permanently mutable bodies of work which are owned at once by
everyone and no-one”[20] in which the participants easily shift
from users to producers and vice versa, originating a hybrid role in
He denes produsage “as a mode of collaborative content
creation which is led by users or at least crucially involves users
as producers – where, in other words, the user acts as a hybrid
7. Software of image
edition for the creation
of textures for the
avatar skin, clothes and
other objects. 3d mod-
eling software to build
objects that can be
attached to the avatar,
like hair, clothes parts
and other props.
Meta_Body — A Project on Shared Avatar Creation
Catarina Carneiro de Sousa 157
user/producer, or produser, virtually throughout the production
process” [6]. It is fundamental to be community-based, meaning a
broad group with uid-roles, not a team. Produsers can participate
in dierent ways throughout an ongoing process, according to
their personal skills, interests and knowledge, shifting from user
to producer [6].
We built and distributed Meta_Body avatars for free, trans-
formable, copyable and sharable to the SL comunity, which in
that platform is called “full perm” (short for “full permitions”).
We produced content that others used to produce new content
that they shared with us, which we in turn used for the AMIW
exhibition (in the case of virtual photography and machinima)
or to redistribute in new virtual installations (in the case of the
Meta_Body II avatars, prodused by the users). The term produsage
can, therefore, be considered appropriate to describe this project’s
In AMIW, machinimas were exibited and videos were cap-
tured in SL, where their creators used Meta_Body avatars (modi-
ed or not) as characters for their narratives. Virtual photography
was also exibited and this can take many forms: screen captures
(post edited or not) from SL, where the residents use the avatars
(modied or not) as models for their photographic artworks, or
screen captures of very modied avatars, where the new derived
avatar can also be considered the new artwork.
In Meta_Body II, having the rst eighteen Meta_Body project
F.5 Beneath the Stream
by Deborah Lombardo
AKA Harbor Galaxy,
a virtual photography
using an unmodied
original Meta_Body
avatar, River Avatar, as
a model.
CONFIA . 2nd International Conference on Illustration & Animation
Porto . Portugal . December 2013 . ISBN: 978-989-98241-6-4
avatars as a starting point , SL residents were invited to share
their derived avatars using any one of the parts of the project
Meta_Body avatars, parts built by themselves and/or parts built by
other developers , since its license specically permitted copying,
redistribution and transformation. All avatars should be provided
with full permissions, which means they are now being distributed
copyable, shareable and open to transformation.
Some creators recombined parts of the rst avatars, as was the
case Kikas Babenco, with your avatar Sophia, which combined
parts of at least ve in the building of an entirely new character.
Other combined these parts with their own creations. This was the
case of the avatar designed by alpha.tribe, which combined alpha.
tribe’s skin design with elements of the original avatars. However,
these elements were so drastically modied that became almost
unrecognizable, revealing the distinctive alpha.tribe’s authorial
A particularly interesting case is that of the artist Veleda Lo-
rakeet, who used solely the avatar concept, not using any parts of
the original avatars, but only her own creations. Her avatar, Rag-
dohcchio , was conceptually based on one of the original avatars,
Ragdoll — a rag doll , was turned into a wooden doll with similar
characteristics .
3.3 . Collaborative Creation
Collaboration, as Maria Lind states, has been a “buzz” word in
the artworld since the 1990’s, and incorportates several methods
of organization and a wide range of creative processes, it is an
F. 6/ 7 Sophia by
Kikas Babenco and
alpha.tribe Meta_Body
avatar by alpha.tribe,
Meta:BodyII avatars,
both captures by Cap-
Cat Ragu.
F. 8/9 Ragdoll by Meilo
Minotaur and CapCat
Ragu and Ragdohcchio
by Veleda Lorakeet,
both captures by Cap-
Cat Ragu.
Meta_Body — A Project on Shared Avatar Creation
Catarina Carneiro de Sousa 159
“open-ended concept” and “becomes an umbrella term for the
diverse working methods that require more than one participant”
[23]. Collective creation and distributed creation are creative pro-
cesses that can be used in dierent forms of collaboration.
When we refer to collaborative creation we are not addressing the
very wide term “colaboration”, but trying to describe a particular
way of creating together, that difers from the ones we previously
characterized. In this process each author retains her authoral
mark and one can roughly distinguish each author’s work, even
though it can blend in, making it dicult to dene a borderline
beteween each other. This kind of creation often happens as a
dialogue between authors, where each creation is a response to
other creation.
Meilo Minotaur and CapCat Ragu sometimes use this creative
process along with collective creation (even though they always
co-sign everything), but this process is especially useful to de-
scribe how the duo worked with Takio Ra in building the Delica-
tessen sim for the distribution of derivative avatars in
Meta_Body II.
Takio Ra is the creator of the sound one can hear at Delicates-
sen region, through all four stages. He was invited by Meilo Mino-
taur and CapCat Ragu to make a sound intervention in the virtual
installation built by them. Even though his work didn’t alter
anything built by the couple, as all modelations and visual aspects
of the work remained untouched, it radically altered the percep-
tion of the space and became a fundamental part of the project’s
conceptualization. The sounds used are also being distributed
with full permissions, feeding the distributed creation branch.
4 . Conclusions
The building and embodiment of an avatar in SL is usually a
shared creative process. Each resident is “born” into the world
with one of the default avatars provided by the platform. Those
that choose to explore this place in the metaverse, begin to
transform their avatars very early on, building something that in
some way expresses their identity. Some choose to create a virtual
representation of their physical bodies, or an improved version
of it; others prefer an idealized body of eternal beauty and youth.
Some try to maintain a stable image of themselves, a xed iden-
CONFIA . 2nd International Conference on Illustration & Animation
Porto . Portugal . December 2013 . ISBN: 978-989-98241-6-4
tity; others are shape shifters, always tearing themselves apart and
reassembling their bodies. However people choose to embody
their avatar, they always have to start from something provided
by the platform. They can change it and rebuild it according to
the customization allowed, which is very broad on SL, permitting
inclusively the upload of original content. This way each resident
constructs their unique avatar, with what the platform oers by
default, with materials built by herself and/or with materials
designed and provided by other residents. Stereotypical or sur-
real, all SL avatars are the result of a creative process that con-
nects them to other creators: skin, cloth, hair designers, etc. Even
someone who can’t dominate any creative technology and builds
her avatar only with materials designed by others needs a creative
approach to choose and mix dierent materials in order to make
her unique avatar.
On project Meta_Body we focused on this creative aspect of
embodiment and in the metaphorical nature of the avatar, a body/
language open to experimentation.
We provide eighteen avatars, which are not only oered,
but also copiable, transformable and transferable, giving total
freedom of use to produsers. We use this term instead of public or
audience, because this project promoted a creative and participa-
tory relation with SL residents. As an artwork, Meta_Body can
only be fully grasped in the embodiment and transformation of
the avatars, turning the aesthetical experience of the work into a
creative process.
The selection of works we exhibited in Austria intended to
be as inclusive as possible and not based on personal “taste”. In-
F10. Video still of the
compilation of virtual
photographs exhibited
in AMIW8 , the image
in the still is a Tim
Deschanel capture of
a Eupalinos Ugajin
derived avatar.
8. http://vimeo.
Meta_Body — A Project on Shared Avatar Creation
Catarina Carneiro de Sousa 161
stead, we aimed to depict the variety of sensibilities and cultures
present in the art of the metaverse, and the multiple ways in which
the original avatars were interpreted.
We went a step further on Meta_Body II, inviting new creators
to make and share in the same way a new set of 26 avatars, derived
from the rst one, spawning new branches in this never ending
creative ux.
Acknowledgements. The author would like to thank Sameiro
Oliveira Martins, without whom this project would never be
possible, Manuel Portela, Elif Ayiter and Luís Eustáquio for their
brilliant insights, and all the produsers that made this project
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... AMIW started branching out into the Metaverse on its 5th edition, in 2010, with the project de Maria, de Mariana, de Madalena. This project was developed by CapCat Ragu and Meilo Minotaur at the region Delicatessen, Porto, in SL (Sousa 2012). As previously discussed, this edition revolved around the collective reading of the book New Portuguese Letters. ...
... The perceptual and sensorial aspects of virtual worlds continue to be experienced by the organic body, not by the avatar body. The avatar is a body of language and expression, open to new symbolic investments (Sousa 2013). One can opt for stereotype metaphors of gender, ethnicity, age, etc., or one can move beyond them and rethink, rebuild this body. ...
All My Independent Women (AMIW) is an ongoing artistic project based on the debate around gender issues. Its primary aim is to bring to light feminist practices, underrepresented in the Portuguese context. This project was initiated in Portugal but expanded beyond national borders, and now takes place irregularly in various parts of the world. In this article, we will focus on the importance of this international network that grows each year and the way the Internet enhances this process. The several editions have taken the form of art exhibitions that materialize the collective reading of Portuguese feminist books — first “Dicionário da Crítica Feminista / Dictionary of Feminist Criticism” and later, “Novas Cartas Portuguesas / New Portuguese Letters”, both milestones of Portuguese feminist thought. However, the project went beyond the conventional exhibition format by expanding itself in cyberspace, through the use of social media and online virtual environments: the metaverse.
... Bryn Oh, Juniper, 2013 (capturas de ecrã de machinima).São exatamente este tipo de relação rizomáticas que pretendemos promover com Meta_Body, é um projeto iniciado por Meilo Minotaur e CapCat Ragu, que se mantém em desenvolvimento e que tem sido o nosso recente objeto estudo(Sousa 2013). Foi concebido em resposta a um convite de participação na edição de 2011 da exposição AMIW, que na sua 6ª edição, esteve patente em Viena, na Áustria, no espaço VBKÖ -Associação Austríaca de Mulheres Artistas. ...
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StudyW Academ Excellen Award Collab-U CMC Play E-Commerce Symposium Net Law InfoSpaces Usenet NetStudy VEs
The culture of mashups examined by the contributions collected in this volume is a symptom of a wider paradigm shift in our engagement with information — a term that should be understood here in its broadest sense, ranging from factual material to creative works. It is a shift that has been a long time coming and has had many precedents, from the collage art of the Dadaists in the 1920’s to the music mixtapes of the 70’s and 80’s, and finally to the explosion of mashup-style practices that was enabled by modern computing technologies.
This article develops a critical perspective on how online contribution practices participate in the creation of economic value under informational capitalism. It discusses the theoretical relevance of the concept of empowerment for exploring online ...
Análisis antropológico sobre Second Life, uno de los más grandes mundos virtuales, en el que millones de personas conviven cotidianamente a través de Internet, caracterizados como personajes de tercera dimensión (3D) llamados avatares. El antropólogo Tom Boellstorff formó parte durante dos años de este mundo virtual como el avatar "Tom Bukowski" y exploró, con las herramientas empleadas tradicionalmente en la antropología, una amplia gama de dimensiones y fenómenos sociales de esta realidad paralela, tales como el género y la sexualidad, la raza, el conflicto y la conducta antisocial, la construcción de los vectores del espacio y el tiempo y la interacción del individuo con los grupos.
Long before Time recognised them as 'person of the year' for 2006, described "Generation C" (2005) as interested more in open collaboration and the sharing of knowledge and information than in personal advancement. Generation C drives phenomena from filesharing through blogging to Wikipedia, undermining industrial-age modes of production, distribution, and consumption and replacing them with the hybrid model of produsage (Bruns 2006), where users are producers and usage is almost always already inherently productive in its own right. This paper will outline the processes and implications of a paradigm shift from industrial production to informational produsage, with a particular focus on its potential effects on the democratic process.
Communities of play : emergent cultures in multiplayer games and virtual worlds Veerapen, Maeva: Encountering Oneself and the Other: A Case Study of Identity Formation in Second Life
  • Celia Pearce
Pearce, Celia: Communities of play : emergent cultures in multiplayer games and virtual worlds. MIT Press, Cambridge (2009) 14. Veerapen, Maeva: Encountering Oneself and the Other: A Case Study of Identity Formation in Second Life. In: Peachey, Anna and Childs, Mark (eds.) Reinventing Ourselves: Contemporary Concepts of Identity in Virtual Worlds (Springer Series in Immersive Environments) pp.81--100. Springer, London (2011)