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Eva and Franco Mattes

Postmasters

Eva and Franco Mattes, best known as the collaborative 0100101110101101.org, have engaged in such pranks as launching an ad campaign for a fake movie (United We Stand, 2005) and creating a computer virus as their contribution to the 2001 Venice Biennale. Their “hacktivist” tendencies, already somewhat mild, have been diluted even further in their new series, “13 Most Beautiful Avatars,” 2006. The Matteses, after spending about a year as members of the online community Second Life, selected thirteen of the most “visually dynamic” characters they encountered and created individual portraits—based on consensual “photo shoots”—of these computerized personae.

Second Life is an immersive digital universe frequented by more than three million people. In order to join, one must create an avatar. Each gender has several basic templates; for women, the choices include “Girl Next Door” and “Cybergoth.”

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