21 feb.: I, Avatar

21 februari 18:00 CET:

It promises to be a very interesting Mediamatic Beauty Parlour #06 this thursday: Artist, writer and engineer Mark Meadows (aka Pighed Stonecutter) presents his new book: I, Avatar

At Club 11, on the 11th floor of the Post CS building, Oosterdokskade 5, Amsterdam, NL. Reservations via mediamatic.net/pighed

An exhibition with Mark Meadows work can be seen at PLANETART, Weteringschans 179, Amsterdam.

I, Avatar


What is an avatar? Why are there nearly a billion of them, and who is using them? Do avatars impact our real lives, or are they just video game conceits? Is an avatar an inspired rendering of its creator’s inner self, or is it just one among millions of anonymous vehicles clogging the online freeways? Can we use our avatars to really connect with people, or do they just isolate us? And as we become more like our avatars do they become more like us?  pighed

In I, Avatar, Mark Stephen Meadows answers some of these questions, but more importantly, he raises hundreds of others in his exploration of avatars and the fascinating possibilities they hold. His examination of avatars through the lenses of sociology, psychology, politics, history, and art, he will change the way you look at even a simple online profile and revolutionize the idea of avatars as part of our lives, whether first or second.

 pighed stonecutter

“As someone that has worked with virtual worlds for over 15 years, I’m only now beginning to see the weak signals and evidence of high enough technical, social, financial, and visual caliber in the work that it is attracting people. Millions of them.”

“When you look at avatars, please think of these people as settlers. You can see them more clearly if you think of them as early traders and frontiersmen who are colonizing a new world.”

Mark Meadows



“Mark Meadow’s virtual creatures are not your next door neighbours–or are they? Leaving behind 1990s cyberculture and its underground aesthetics, with Meadows we descend into a maelstrom of Identity 2.0 in which business, leasure, sexuality, labour and fashion melt into one.”

Geert Lovink, Media Theorist, Net Critic and Activist.


After the first attack on Iraq, Mark Meadows hitchhiked from Kuwait to Baghdad in 2003, wanting to experience first hand what the mass media filters might not reveal to the public.

 it was clear basra was wounded. i couldnt tell where the wound was (sometimes its hard to tell what is wrong when it is so goddam big, or when we are so goddam small), but i could tell it was there. basra was wounded, but it was also still very alive. people were selling vegetables, water, generators, tools, services, and friends were meeting on sidewalks, talking. i found an art gallery that was tucked into the basement of a bombed out admin building. these guys had set it up and were selling canvases out of it. one painting i found was by a painter named Manal Kheroulah. she’s a 23-year old painter at the basra college of fine arts. i like that.

This video shows a fascinating interview with Mark Meadows. Produced at Xmedia lab, Singapore, 18 november 2005.

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