• Borrowing heavily from the visual vocabulary of online fandom, Emma Stern (b. 1992, New York, NY) uses 3-D software and traditional painting and drawing techniques to explore how young women are portrayed as erotic, angelic, cartoonish and mischievous characters in the digital sphere. By using 3-D software intended for video game developers to create customized, virtual portrait subjects, Stern’s work emphasizes and exacerbates the apparent inclination towards pornographic (or at least porn-adjacent) representations of women in 3-D communities and gaming culture. Of particular interest to Stern is the way in which the preferences, biases and predispositions of human developers appear by proxy in the software they create. As our virtual selves become ever-more inextricable from our physical selves, Stern questions how these preferences are imposed on virtual female bodies within the largely male-dominated arena of software and technology. 

  • Selected Works