Multiple (Virtual) Identities and their Relationships to Creativity

The creation of multiple identities is nothing new; indeed it is a historic phenomenon coming about as the ‘pseudonym’ in literary activity. While it may be argued that alternative identities were created in history mostly for the purposes of concealment due to political concerns or gender-based bias, nonetheless there is considerable evidence that other factors which were unrelated to these issues were also at work – particularly as evidenced in the cases of authors such as Lewis Carroll/Charles Dodgson or Mark Twain/Samuel Langhorne Clemens. The most notable of the cases that involve the creation of many identities was undertaken by Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa, during the first half of the 20th century. Pessoa’s alternative identities however went beyond being mere pseudonyms and instead were developed into fully discrete personalities, therefore becoming ‘heteronyms’ which were utilized for the enhancement of the artistic prowess and versatility of their creator.

This topic therefore bases itself in such a historic practice but takes it into our present day, into the electronic/telematic sphere, where it can be observed that departing from literary output alone multiple creative selves translate themselves into composite visually/narrative or ‘visually enacted’ entities as online virtual personas. This particularly applies to three dimensionally embodied avatars that through the multiplicity of the accounts created by one individual may also be considered to be instruments that are being used for creative purposes.

Should you wish to concentrate on this topic for the conceptual backbone of your artwork, design project or thesis the faculty member who is also interested in this subject as a part of her own creative practice and theoretical research is Elif Ayiter

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