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

Death to deadly freshness! Long live lively corruption!

May 17, 2022 Possible bodies

AIrot is looking for an Ageing Software Worker. Join our Rancid Prediction Engine PDP, REPEL & SOS teams!

… a job-fiction by Possible Bodies, editada por Daniel Gasol para A*Desk


Falling and Floating. A guided tour into Volumetric Regimes

March 22, 2022 Possible bodies

29th March, 17:30-20:30 / Possible Bodies feat. GOB GOB
@Theory Stairs, FedLev Building (Gerrit Rietveld Academie), Amsterdam

Six years of trans*feminist disobedient action research on 3D technologies, paradigms and procedures are about to be published as Volumetric Regimes: Material Cultures of Quantified Presence (Open Humanities Press, DATA-browser series, 2022). The book foregrounds technological practices that provide with a widening of the possible and brings together diverse materials on the political, aesthetic and relational regimes in which volumes are calculated. The ongoing multi-local launch of Volumetric Regimes is made up of playful contributions, informal responses and interactive formats proposed by known and unknown comrades in the making of technosciences otherwise.

The guided tour into Volumetric Regimes: material cultures of quantified presence at Sandberg Institute will touch upon 3D image production tools and the possible practice of dissident worlding by axes, planes, dimensions and coordinates. It will be matched with play session and screening featuring works by Ráchel Plutón and Elio J Carranza.

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Volumetric Regimes: material cultures of quantified presence

February 24, 2021 Possible bodies

A book in the making / edited by Possible Bodies (Jara Rocha and Femke Snelting)

A diagram tracing the continuum

Contributors: Sophie Boiron, Maria Dada, Pierre Huyghebaert, Sina Seifee, Phil Langley, Nicolas Malevé, Romi Ron Morrison, Simone C. Niquille, Helen V. Pritchard, Jara Rocha, Femke Snelting, Kym Ward.

Published by Open Humanities Press (2021) in the DATA browser series, edited by Geoff Cox and Joasia Krysa. Design and lay-out implemented by Manetta Berends based on a template developed by Stuart Bailey.


So-called plants: items from the Possible Bodies inventory

October 1, 14h Akademie Schloss Solitude (on-line)
Performative guided tour of items from the Possible Bodies inventory + conversation
As part of the series Nepantlas: Infrastructures for World-building curated by Daphne Dragona

How do “so-called plants” exist with and through technologies, infrastructures and techniques of 3D? Weaving between technological writing, fiction and theory, Possible Bodies contributes to Nepantlas with a trans*feminist experimentation on volumetric presences in hypercomputational regimes. We write “plant”, or “so-called plants” to signal the political fiction of treating “plants” as individual entities, as species and as kingdom. Possible Bodies wants to problematize these normalised figure-background divides in favor of a multiplicity of potential dysphorias.

Thinking along the agency of cultural artefacts that capture and co-compose so-called bodies, Possible Bodies has by now inventoried over a hundred items. For this event, they bring together manuals, mathematical concepts, art-projects and micro-CT images to wonder about the vividness of so-called plants in the context of software tools for botanical data processing, 3D-visualization of plantations and computational vegetation and cracks and porous membranes in-between the vegetal and other forms of existence.

Cracks can be seen as void and sterile spaces in-between known entities, but they can also be taken as wide open, inhabitable bridges; interporouss places to be in-relation (non-neutral and also not innocent at all): connecting and fertile surfaces that provide with the blurring travel form one isolated unit of life onto another, in specific ways. Rooting for the possibilities of naturecultural topologies seems important in computational environments where the exciting complexities are routinely erased and weeded out for the sake of efficiency.

Possible Bodies develops alongside an inventory of cases and results in texts, workshops, visual essays and performances. For this occasion, they will perform a guided tour through several items of the inventory. The tour will be followed by a conversation with Daphne Dragona.

Geraldine Juarez: Render me grey

November 21, 2019 Possible bodies / Leave a reply

Interview with Possible Bodies

Jara: I am super interested in the potential of grey literature to alter those very technical documents or devices, precisely to affect how they operate. Maybe one thing we could talk about here is bug reports. These are grey documents that circulate among the practice of software-production and they operate differently from other more culturally recognisable kinds of writing.

Femke: Greyness, in the sense of evil media, is also about looking at those breath-taking software processes and 3D extractivist projects through its manuals, licenses, and bug reports. It’s a way to not get too blinded by complexity and at the same time it is a way to sense its cracks and understand their paratexts to get a handle on their structurings. You can see the slippages among different practices through the language around what works and doesn’t, what could, should, or cannot happen. You can start seeing too the limits of imaginations that are there, certain assumptions, values, and priorities. There is something very interesting about software’s grey literature. Sometimes language works and sometimes it doesn’t. You can start to look at how you can be in a conversation, directly, imaging who you are speaking with or writing to.

Jara: In relation to what Geraldine points out, this is how we can maybe understand grey matter or grey literature: a spot from where you can turn the very probable into quite possible. This is where things can be altered. Precisely because this is the place where things can be written down, where things start tracing the too probable trajectories of the contemporary structuring of matter, and can be somehow partly re-written and changed from the probable to the possible in an instant. This at least is where the probable and the possible blur, they are both there. This is the spacetime of transformation.

Femke: Where the probable and the possible co-habit… They are both there.

All-Inclusive Cyborg Talks: Diversity vs. homogeneity

September 25, 2018 Possible bodies
Technology offers many people the opportunity to participate in society. Technology as enabler of accessibility. The practice is different. The paradox of technology is that, despite the possibilities, the instrument is often used to control, manage, and homogenize society. Contact lists on smartphones consist for 95% of people looking like us. Algorithms still produce stereotypes, seemingly farfetched, but stubborn nonetheless. Conscious human feedback is needed to realize a digital society that is as diverse as real life.”

Chair: Danielle Arets. With Jennifer Kanary and Luis Lobo Guerrero.


September-November 2018: 소마토폴로지 at Seoul Mediacity Biennale, as part of Monoskop Exhibition Library

September-November 2018: Somatopologies at the 4th Istanbul Design Biennial

July-September 2018: Somatopologies at Constant_V, vitrine of Constant, Brussels.

Somatopologies is a movie-in-the-making which contains 3D-renderings of diverse densities, wondering about the regimes of truth that converge in volumetric biomedical images. There is a coalition between tomography and topology at work to align math, flesh, computation, bone, anatomic science, tissue and language. But when life is made all too probable, Possible Bodies asks obliquely: what other “bodies” can be imagined?

Somatopologies moves through the political fictions of somatic matter. Rolling from outside to inside, from a mediated exteriority to a computed interiority and back, it reconsiders the potential of unsupervised somatic depths and (un-)invaded interiors. Unfolding along situated surfaces, this post-cinematic experiment jumps over the probable outcomes of contemporary informatics, towards the possible otherness of a mundane (after)math.

Somatopologies is a trans*feminist exercise in and of disobedient action-research. It cuts agential slices through technocratic paradigms in order to create hyperbolic incisions that stretch, rotate and bend Euclidean nightmares and Cartesian anxieties.

Trans//border: Boundaries do not sit still

February 26, 2018 Constant, Possible bodies

TRANS // BORDER takes the work of Nathalie Magnan as its point of departure and looks at the relevance of her work through the creations and research of a number of artists, scientists, (h)acktivists and students who are continuing to cultivate the territories she was exploring.

As a contribution to the track Frontières et technologies et Rencontres Zelig, Femke proposed a collective exploration of three-dimensional biomedical images.

View online:

Feminist Futures: Automated environments

February 25, 2018 Possible bodies

What does a feminism that has adapted to technological mediation, abstraction, the virtual, and complexity look like? And what are the new forms of occupying, segregating and contesting space that automation can facilitate? Femke participates in a debate organised by the Royal Academy, London in the context of International Women’s Day. With Marina Otero, Nina Power, Ellie Cosgrave, Susan Schuppli and Grace Quah.

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Possible Bodies: Phenomenal 3D

November 8, 2017 Possible bodies

What norms are shaped through 3D technologies? Who invented those three “dimensions” in the first place and why to stick with them as “true”? Can tools produce realities and presences and if so: what possible bodies do they activate?

With Phenomenal 3D Possible Bodies turns to the modern regime of truth that still tangibly affects daily lives and how they are lived. It is an occasion to collectively wonder how to responsibly grasp the apparatus of 3D and to explore tactics for un-naming and re-naming so-called bodies in order to decolonize and de-binarize them. Together we will manipulate the components of 3-dimensional renderings, verbalize volumetric behavior and change the rules of presence and agency.

From 22-25 November, a transdisciplinary group of researchers will gather in Bau College of design (Barcelona) for conversations, workshops, presentations and a reading session. For more details on the programme, see:

Image: ROOT 0082, Technoflesh/Simone Niquille 2017

The Materiality of the Invisible

October 20, 2017 Possible bodies

In the framework of the exhibition The Materiality of the Invisible, Femke has been invited together with Eyal Weizman to dig deeper into the topic of the relationship of objects – and their devised narratives – to the body and social, political, technological or cultural power-structures, a recurring theme in the exhibition.

Eyal Weizman reveals the materiality of the immaterial narrative, blurring the distinction between objects and subjects. Femke will talk about the industry of bio-medical imaging, digging through software environments that interface with CT, MRI and PET-scans.

Possible Bodies: Imagined 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.

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Opt Subject: Issues with modifier mechanism, UTS #52

Feedback submitted on Monday 2 May 2016, 09:00 CET to


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.

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Her, Him, It

November 10, 2015 Possible bodies / Leave a reply

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

The MakeHuman Bugreport

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.