concept: create new forms of interaction with our digital online-bodies
research questions: How can we interact with our hyperbodies?
execution: In this collaborative project with Kimberly Lin, we deconstructed online pictures of ourselves to binary code. Our digital bodies became physical on cardboard and clay. For the latter, we laser-etched into wet clay and fired the tablets in a kiln - to connect our digital bodies to the organic world with the archaic elements of earth and fire. This will as well ensure that our data and representations of our bodies will be preserved far into the future as ceramics can last thousands of years.
To open up the communication with these organic digital bodies, we 3D-rendered the ceramic code tablets and and let people interact with position-matched physical and digital versions of them in VR: the users touch the 3D model in VR and feel the engraved binary code on the surface of the ceramic tablets at the same time, physical and digital touch become one. Our digital skins meet the real skin of the users by connecting visual and haptic experiences.
In a final iteration on hyper-bodies, the focus was on a multi-user web experience in real-time: participants could visually stream the raw image code of a remote video connection, its digital essence, through their own digital body. By making their silhouettes a vessel for remote code, their own digital body became one with it. In short: Think of a mind-bending and meditative Matrix-style version of FaceTime.
tools: cardboard, clay, VR, webRTC, AI (tensorflow.js/body-pix)