Category Archives: Possible bodies

Possible Bodies is a collaborative research on the very concrete and at the same time complex and fictional entities that “bodies” are, asking what matter-cultural conditions of possibility render them present. This becomes especially urgent in contact with the technologies, infrastructures and techniques of 3D tracking, modelling and scanning. Intersecting issues of race, gender, class, age and ability resurface through these performative as well as representational practices. The research is concerned with genealogies of how bodies and technologies have been mutually constituted. It interrogates corpo-realities and their orientation through parametric interfaces and looks at anatomies that are computationally constrained by the requirements of mesh-modelling. It invites the generation of concepts and experimental renderings, wild combinations and digital and non-digital prototypes for different embodiments.

Collectors: Jara Rocha + Femke Snelting

http://possiblebodies.constantvzw.org

Possible Bodies: Ultrasound Mishearings

June 27, 2017 Possible bodies

This summer, the Possible Bodies inventory travels to Hangar (Barcelona) to mutate with local affinity networks and communities of concern. During a two-week residency, the collective research will focus on biomedical 3D imaging and how it models, scans and renders “real bodies”. Possible Bodies is concerned by the merging of pharmacopornographic, Hollywood and military industries. In this techno-colonial and hetero-patriarchal landscape, violent ableist, misogynous and xenophobe representations keep emerging. Through fictional accounts of actual open source projects such as 3D-Slicer, ITK and echOpen, we want to ask how biomedical imaging composes, displaces and segments “bodies”.

Public presentations and workshops on Thursday July 27.

The Document Transformed

June 21, 2017 a.pass, Possible bodies

Masterclass with Adva Zakai (Thursday) and presentation (Saturday) on the BioVision Hierarchy file format.

BioVision Hierarchy (.bvh) is an ASCII file format used to import data from various motion capture systems into 3D-animation software. It was developed in the mid-nineties and remains one of the most commonly used file-formats for transposing movement captured in physical space, to a computational environment. Around this relatively legible format, a rich ecology of software tools developed. The file-format functions as a boundary object between practices and bodies, as it is used by animators, game developers, interface researchers, medical professionals, dance-historians, sports-analysts and engineers.

Together we will analyse the .bvh specifications and samples of the file format in order to understand what imaginaries of the body are encoded into it, what a bipedal skeleton hierarchy consists of, and how rotational data for rigid bodies might constitute a movement in itself.

The reading of the .bvh file format is developed with Adva Zakai in the context of Possible Bodies, a collaborative research initiated by Jara Rocha and Femke Snelting on the very concrete and at the same time complex and fictional entities that “bodies” are, and the matter-cultural conditions of possibility that render them present.

Image: Rigging Biovision Hierarchy with Sina Seifee.

Reading Room: The BioVision Hierarchy Format

November 9, 2016 Possible bodies
Contribution to Reading Rooms, a series of evenings dedicated to the act of collective reading organised by Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam
Simultaneous movement and space chords (Noa Eshkol)

Simultaneous movement and space chords (Noa Eshkol)

This edition will be dedicated to a collaborative dissection of the BioVision Hierarchy file format. BioVision Hierarchy (.bvh) is an ASCII file format used to import data from various motion capture systems into 3D-animation software. It was developed in the mid-nineties and remains one of the most commonly used file-formats for transposing movement captured in physical space, to a computational environment. Around this relatively legible format, a rich ecology of software tools developed. The file-format functions as a boundary object between practices and bodies, as it is used by animators, game developers, interface researchers, medical professionals, dance-historians, sports-analysts and engineers.

Continue reading

Opt Subject: Issues with modifier mechanism, UTS #52

May 2, 2016 Possible bodies

Feedback submitted on Monday 2 May 2016, 09:00 CET to http://www.unicode.org/review/pri321/

emoji-default-modifer

Opt Subject: Issues with modifier mechanism, UTS #52

We are submitting these comments to the Proposed Draft UTS #52, Unicode Emoji Mechanisms because we think there are serious issues with the general implications of the modifier mechanism that was already introduced in Unicode 8 with Skin Tone Modifiers. We believe UTS #52 possibly contravenes both the mission and bylaws of the Unicode Consortium. We wish to identify issues that we hope will have an impact on decisions and future policies. We suggest a reconsideration of the underlying logic of the modifier mechanism as applied to emoji.

These comments were formulated by an international, multilingual group of researchers working in the field of software and media. We investigate and produce a wide-range of projects around the role of standards and the politics embedded in infrastructures of communication, and are using emoji intensively in our communication. We are thus deeply concerned about the directions that emoji related standards have taken so far, and are being proposed to take in the future.

Continue reading

Her, Him, It

November 10, 2015 Possible bodies

Her, Spike Jonze (2013)Her, Spike Jonze (2013)

What if instead of a throaty Scarlett Johannson, Spike Jonze had dared to make Theodore fall in love with a synthetic voice?

It.txt (save file as It.sh)

The MakeHuman Bugreport

June 23, 2015 Possible bodies

blend_crouch MakeHuman is a popular open source 3D computer graphics middle-ware for the modeling of 3-Dimensional humanoid characters. The software is developed by a community of programmers, modelers and academics.

Our interest in MakeHuman was triggered during GenderBlending, an event where a participants from various backgrounds experimented at the contact zones of gender and technology.

A signature feature of the MakeHuman interface is a set of horizontal sliders, suggesting that by interpolating settings for gender, race, weight and age, any ‘human’ representation can be ‘made’. While the neat arrangements of parameters for operating on incomparable and interconnected properties is already troubling in itself, further inspection reveals an extremely limited topology, rendering the promise of infinite possibilities a mere illusion.

Despite the suggestion that the digital dis-burdens bodies from normative parameters, software like MakeHuman actually operates on problematic categorical divisions that are all-too familiar.

Aiming to address concerns and insights regarding the way the body and the human being are being co-constructed through technology, we have started to formulate a bugreport. In the context of Daemons & Shellscripts we would like to test out and discuss a performative lecture in the making, a ‘report on the report’.

Coming from different backgrounds (Femke from media-design, Xavier from animation-art and Adva from dance and choreography), our respective inquiries about the relationship between body and technology meet at times through our practices and perspectives. For The MakeHuman bugreport we will combine those to not only convey words, but actions and images as well.

With Adva Zakai and Xavier Gorgol, 28 June 2015 at Daemons and Shellscripts, MuHKA Antwerp.