Avatars and First Thursday

What’s the motivation to inhabit virtual worlds? Why do people hang out in digitally animated spaces?


I’m curious. I find Second Life a bit curious. But I know people who are so into it. And so I am going to check out this gallery opening tonight at the Portand Art Center:

Alter Ego: Avatars and Their Creators by photojournalist Robbie Cooper and the illustrated works of Basil Wolverton and curated by Kenny Scharf. Here’s a bit about Cooper and Wolverton:

In ALTER EGO, Cooper’s images explore the motivation to create and inhabit virtual worlds, from the social needs of a recluse to online laborers earning pennies a day creating character points for other gamers. Dressed as superheroes, elves and quite often themselves, Cooper’s subjects participate in a multibillion-dollar industry that crosses time zones and borders, creating a new global community.

A prolific comic creator, Wolverton gained national prominence when his interpretation of character Lena Hyena debuted in the popular Al Capp comic. With grotesque and distorted characters, Wolverton is considered the father of “spaghetti and meatballs” illustration, influencing a generation of artists, most notably, R. Crumb. Converting to Herbert W. Armstrong’s “Radio Church of God” in the 1940’s, Wolverton created some of his most outstanding work, apocalyptic illustrations for pamphlets, publications and bible, a number of which are included in this collection.

PAC is at 32 NW 5th Ave. on the corner of Couch St. The opening runs from 6 pm to 10 pm. The show run through June.

The opening is also a promo for Platform, the international animation festival, scheduled for June 25-30 in Portland.

I’ll be participating in Platform, doing a mini-Podcast Hotel event. Idea is to hang out around the bar with folks who can teach animators about the whole blogging, podcasting, vlogging kind of thing.

If you are blogger, podcaster or vlogger and would like to attend Platform, drop me an email: alex at podcasthote dot com. We’ll have loads of fun. You’ll get a pass to some screenings. All I ask is you bring a video camera, a laptop, really whatever you can so we can make a little media and show folks what this world is all about.

2 Comments so far

  1. Lynn S. (unregistered) on June 7th, 2007 @ 6:09 pm

    I drop in on Second Life from time to time, nowhere near as much as I used to. It’s pretty fun, but only once you find your place there–kinda like First Life. :) I’m MeiLin Miranda in-world. I have a little apartment and two shops where I sell china. Dishes for people who don’t eat. ;)

  2. Ken (unregistered) on June 7th, 2007 @ 11:55 pm

    There is something off about people who inhabit 2nd world and pretend to live there. They can’t face reality, they are jokes unto this world.

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