[ISEA98] Panel: Jenny Marketou – Smell Bytes

Panel Statement

Panel: Paradiso Artificiale Rehearsals for Death: Avators and the Post-Biological Experience

An art project with two components: a) Website and b) a computer mediated video projection/installation for four video channels. During the panel presentation the author discusses her reflections on the new complexities in the implementation of her web intervention project ‘Smell Bytes’. The project is a cyber thriller based on forms of communication on the net and particularly in creating a virtual world based on database, where an intelligent agent/avatar, an on-line vampire of scent lives to posses the essence and body odor of the netizens. He lurks on on-line teleconferences, such as CU See ME, and squats the netizens driven by the desire of their ‘body odor’ and their facial symmetry and beauty. His insane quest takes him beyond boundaries. He grabs the participants’ profiles, processes them, analyses them according to their facial beauty and symmetry, and correlation to their body odors, he compresses them, evaluates and transforms them into smells and flavors, and saves them as menus and smell bytes. `Smell Bytes’ is taking as a starting point the cultural importance of the Avatar and artificial intelligence in the virtual worlds. Increasingly netizens of the developed world are judged by data imprints they leave behind them. Whether this is a data from consumption patterns who is becoming our virtual profile, or genetically determined traits which define us by odor data. But how can we give shape to a personality without a body? Can such entity be accepted as real? Is the replacement or partitioning of the profile which causes a great terror or the visualization of any data into a profile rating can be presented as an avatar? Or maybe one day we will discover that we are literally chemical reactions?

  • Jenny Marketou (USA),¬†Cooper Union School of Art, New York.