Just call him the Thin White Fake. In what could potentially be framed as an argument against the concept of tenure, Will Brooker, a professor at Kingston University in London, has announced his intention to live as David Bowie for a year. This will include not only dressing up as the various personas the shapeshifting British pop star has created over the years, but also “method acting” as Ziggy Stardust et al. in order to more fully embody the lived experience of Bowiedom. Brooker will only consume media that would have been available to Bowie in the mid-’70s to gain insight into his creative process, and has taken up some of Bowie’s more unusual habits, like the milk and red peppers diet he famously adopted in the mid-’70s. (That’s actually milk, red peppers, and cocaine, if you want to be 100 percent Bowie-accurate. Just saying.)
In a statement announcing the “research,” Brooker—who usually writes books about Batman but, as far as we know, is not planning to murder his parents to more fully understand Bruce Wayne—says he won’t be able to do everything David Bowie has done. “His mansion in Beckenham has been demolished, for instance, and I’m unlikely to have a fling with Mick Jagger,” Brooker said. “However it is possible to engage with and get a feel for his experiences without immersing oneself to a dangerous extent.” No word on whether Brooker will kidnap any babies or re-create Bowie’s infamous 1976 “Nazi salute,” although if he does any of those things, you’ll probably hear about it.
David Bowie is unaware of the project as of this writing.