New York

Eva and Franco Mattes


Eva and Franco Mattes, best known as the collaborative, 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.”

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. Please sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW and save up to 65% off the newsstand price for full online access to this issue and our archive.

Order the PRINT EDITION of the May 2007 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.