New interactive screen spaces of the web, games and virtual worlds act as portals allowing us to become a part of the media image rather than just watching it. No longer content to just watch the action, were creating our own online identities and becoming our own screen heroes acting out our own virtual adventures. This article focuses on the new virtual world of Second Life and discusses the idea of avatar (virtual pictorial) identities via the works of a selection of new media artists: Neal Stephenson, Eva and Franco Mattes, Emil Goh, Adriene Jenik and Lisa Brenneis, Adam Nash, Christopher Dodd, Kyal TripodiGazira Babeli and Pierre Proske.
Kathy Cleland is a writer, curator and lecturer specialising in the area of new media. She lectures in the Digital Cultures Program at The University of Sydney.