impersonation

Gaposchk, Anabella [Mariana Tres]

Anabella Gaposchk was a 19th century artist who created photographs that appear to show celestial bodies such as nebulae and galaxies. Her images were actually made through a process of throwing white powders (sugar, baking soda) against a black background.

Abel, Alan

Alan Abel (b. 1930) is a prolific contemporary hoaxster who refers to himself as a "professional prankster". Abel is perhaps best known for his creation in the late 1950s of a fictive organization called the Society for Indecency to Naked Animals. SINA's expressed goal of clothing all animals for the sake of modesty afforded Abel a framework within which to put forward a critique of censorship. This initially light-hearted prank gained currency when it was picked up by the mass media and treated as a serious topic, making Abel an early media jammer.

Institute of Militronics and Advanced Time Interventionality (Rosalind Brodsky)

The Institute of Militronics and Advanced Time Interventionality (Imati) is an imaginary future institution that has, in its own phrase, been " committed to time travel based research since 2005". Imati holds archives relating to the time travels of one Rosalind Brodsky, a delusional alter ego of artist Suzanne Treister. Brodsky's chrono-displacements wearing an Electronic Time Travelling Costume cause her to intersect with widely separated 20th century events (the Russian Revolution, the Second World War, the movie Schindler's List).

Breitmore, Roberta (Lynn Hershman Leeson)

Between 1974 and 1978, pioneering new media artist Lynn Hershman (now Hershman Leeson) created an elaborate alter ego for herself as Roberta Breitmore.

Payne, Leslie J. "Airplane"

Leslie J. "Airplane" Payne (1907-1981) was an African-American artist who created an identity for himself as an aviator although he never actually learned to fly.  Inspired by an air show that he had seen at the end of World War I, when he was only 11, Payne began in the 1940s to make what he called "imitations". He ultimately constructed a total of 8 small imitation airplanes out of found materials (two of which he tried, and failed, to fly).

O-ism (Jim Shaw)

"Born in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York in the mid-1800s, O-ism's beliefs included the notion of a female deity, of time going backwards, of spiritual transience, and a prohibition on figurative art."
--Jim Shaw

Malley, Ern

Ern Malley was an Australian poet and artist, the joint creation of writers James McAuley and Harold Stewart. McAuley and Stewart created Malley as a hoax aimed at editor Max Harris and his Melbourne-based modernist literary magazine Angry Peguins, which they considered pretentious.

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