A Truer Self?

via Michael Manning’s Blog. in response to Brad Troemel’s essay : From Clubs to Affinity: The Decentralization of Art on the Internet.
In the first section of the essay the idea of virtual avatars and their usage throughout the 90’s to create ‘truer’ selves are idolized. For the most part the analysis of their intentions seems accurate (besides ®TMark who wasn’t expressing a truer self but rather co-opting the mask of incorporation in order to both critique it and use it for their own subversive practice). The latter half of this section details the ‘capitalist’ takeover of the Internet complete with its ‘mandated’ use of birth identity as avatar. The description of this web 2.0 takeover and mass reverse exodus of artists to their ‘inherited identities’ is greatly exaggerated. Certainly on a larger scale web 2.0 exploited egoist desires of recognition and the ‘pics or it didn’t happen’ syndrome; but this hardly excludes people from creating work under virtual avatars. If anything it makes the use of a virtual avatar more poignant and it challenges the idea of anonymity for anonymity’s sake (though clearly these weren’t the intentions of web 2.0 companies).

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