Gonzalo Bénard was featured on EK earlier this year in March. He just finished up his latest project, ‘B Shot by a Stranger,’ which consists of pictures Bénard took of his subjects (strangers) while cyber-chatting with them. Inspired by what he discovered, he’s now embarking on another project called The Cyber Portraits’ Project, dedicated to his “most intimate and closest cyber friends.” Check out some of the portraits he has taken so far.
“The Cyber Portraits project is about our idea of others that we call friends but whom we never saw, smell or felt in real life. We see them through webcam, we chat, we can do everything… but it’s a relation that is often blurred, pixeled and specially that can be deleted or cancelled anytime, not leaving traces, like in a real one.
I want to explore these cyber relations just with cyber portraits, almost as mug shots when a cop takes a picture of your face front and profile with a code number and a name, and you’ll become a file that can be easily deleted from the archives.”
Bénard needs to make 200 new cyber friends and is calling for volunteers. If you want to help him out, contact him through Facebook.
Ramon Campos, Bénard’s cyber friend from Brazil
A amizade virtual sempre foi uma coisa muito presente na minha vida. Quase todos os meus amigos eu os fiz usando a internet. E sou super grato a isso, porque essas cybers amizades, me fazem eu me sentir bem da forma que eu gosto e ser feliz do jeito que eu quero ser. Sem critica e sem nenhum tipo de restrição.
A virtual friendship has always been something very present in my life. Almost all my friends I made them using the internet. And I’m super grateful for that, because these cyber friendships, make me me feel good the way I like and be happy the way I want to be. Uncritically and without any restriction.
Samuel B. from Australia
Cyber friendship is all about being able to connect with anyone at all. I don’t tend to find many people in my day-to-day life that I feel compelled to spend time with, but over the internet, there are all sorts of circles and niches to fit into. I just find that people are more interesting online, whether that’s because there’s more variety or there’s just more mystery.
I always used webcam professionally, to show my works to clients who live far, to have working meetings, to discuss work or ideas, to do collaborations worldwide, some of them with people I’ve never met in my life. I always used webcam also with friends I have all over the world, as I travel and them too. To talk with my family in my country of origin once I live abroad. To chat with good friends with whom I spent great time and are now far for some reason. And most recently to do the project “B Shot by a Stranger“. I do have too few friends I never saw before and have no idea if one day I’ll meet them in real, and some of these friends are in my friend’s list since ages. Maybe I’ll never know them; maybe I like them just to be cyber friends.