Mimesis, which has been doing the rounds in art since ancient Egypt, reaches a terminal point in this 15-minute film by recent graduate Duncan Poulton (what you see above is just a cut down version).
They may not be artists. It is hard to imagine them with such pretensions. But out there on the web are a small army of visualisers, who are to the imagined body what the camera is to yours or mine.
Poulton says thatÂ these renderings circulateÂ online, where their creators vie with one another for ever greater levels of realism. So now, like Dr Frankenstein, heÂ has appropriated these to make a narrative.
And indeed, it’sÂ a creation myth, as a generic male figure develops an armour of muscles, a dextrous pair of hands and finally a soul, or at least a pair of dilating windows onto one.
In the final shot here, youâ€™ll notice heâ€™s clothed. Until then, heâ€™s sexless. So even in a digital realm where you might think anything goes, we still have the fall and the subsequentÂ physical shame.
Gamers already use avatars like these. But dare we hopeÂ that most of usÂ will retain what David Foster Wallace calls, â€œa kind of retrograde transcendence of sci-fi-ish high-tech for its own sakeâ€?
Thatâ€™s from his novel Infinite Jest, in which the first generation of video callers buy into polybutylene resin masks and Transmittable Tableaux in order to deal with â€œvanity-related stressâ€.
Now, as this filmÂ demonstrates, we have the prospect of perfect hair, teeth and bodies for all our dealings online. That could be another fall from grace. In the meantime, we have a warning.