Paradise Found (2018) is the first machinima created by fashion photographer and digital media artist Lisa Carletta, whose practice investigates the concept of identity declined between digital form and performative sphere. Paradise Found examines the processes underlying the disintegration and reconstruction of the self, body and digital replication. To highlight the dynamics of representation in electronic space and how these can influence our behavior, the artist created a virtual replica using a videogame engine, creating an idealized version of herself made up of fragments of other bodies. The result is a simulacrum with a life of its own.

I have created an idealized version of myself to reach the unattainable in a certain sense; potentially, this could become a unicum, a future online identity“, with these words the artist describes the character she created. In this assembly of different parts of the body, the digital woman created by the artist poses as a mirror that reflects the features of the idealized version of the self, disconnected from the real counterpart. “I’m everything I’ve always wanted“, says the narrator, “I’m the ideal version of myself; I’m the idea you have of me“, a perfect body which will never age, which is not subjected to decay, and which will always remain the same in its digital perfection.

With Paradise Found, Lisa Carletta, working on the relationship between disintegration and reconstruction of the self and the body, investigates the ways of representation in the digital space and how this affects the behavior and development of the person. Our digital counterpart has as many identities as there are online platforms we inhabit, each of which tries to offer a sweetened version of our physical counterpart and the world around us. The avatar becomes not only an extension of our body through which to inhabit parallel digital worlds, but it also becomes the mirror of our desires and our cravings, and the means through which we can finally create the body of our dreams. The title itself alludes to the discovery of a digital paradise where you can be free to give shape to your dreams, where you can even eliminate any sign of weakness or imperfection if you want. In the face of all this freedom, however, the question remains when the creation of an ideal digital body turns into an act of denial and concealment of the physical self.


Lisa Carletta
Paradise Found, 2018
Digital video/machinima, color, sound, 00:04:03
Courtesy the artist