One day, we may all choose to walk down the virtual streets of Facebook, wearing Oculus Rift headsets, living in a world far more digital than this one. And when we do, our avatars could be anything–like these by NYU Interactive Telecommunications Program students Rosalie Yu & Alon Chitayat.
The pieces began with Yu and Chitayat 3-D scanning themselves, creating digital sculptures of their bodies. Then, the team handed out several swatches of paper for volunteers to draw on. The swatches were photographed, and the photographs were mapped to the 3-D figures–essentially wrapping each figure with a hand-drawn jigsaw puzzle.
The results are pretty wild, featuring little in terms of representational art, and a lot of purple faces, smeary Joker lips, and even, in one case, a camouflage-like skin that, if you look really closely, you’ll see began as a photo of a dog.
“It raises up the question whether it is the skin or the body which defines us,” the team writes of the project. But I actually think that question has already been answered. Their two body shapes look like a dozen different entities when wrapped in a digital dermis. If Collaborative Self-Portraits demonstrates anything, it’s that beauty really may be skin deep.