Reactive light installation and video interface. Pan Tilt motors, led strings, monitor lcd, custom software, pir sensor.
10x3x2 meters. Variable
Random system for creating virtual bodies. When the motors cconvines its position in the proper way, they get a match and the system creates a new virtual body shown in the monitor.
Critical text by Paul Waelder:
The obsolete body
The artist Stelarc affirms that «the body is obsolete» since it has been surpassed in all aspects by technology, which «accelerates» it both in its movements and in its response time and facilitates a quantity and complexity of information that it is unable to assimilate. Consider that instead of designing technology for the body, it is necessary to design the body to adapt to machinesiii, reaching the point of suggesting a possible end to the reproductive act, birth and death:
«It is no longer about perpetuating the human species through REPRODUCTION, but about improving male / female intercourse with a human-machine interface. THE BODY IS OBSOLETE. We are at the end of human philosophy and physiology. […] When fertilization occurs outside the uterus and there is the possibility of nourishing the fetus with a system of artificial support TECHNICALLY THERE WILL BE NO BIRTH. And if the body can be redesigned in a modular way to facilitate the replacement of defective parts, then TECHNICALLY THERE WOULD BE NO REASON TO DIE. «iv
With such striking statements (which he himself highlights in capital letters), Stelarc wants to shake off the notions established about the body and underline the possibility of transcending the barriers of human physiology through technology. In Syngamy, Solimán López initiates a deconstruction of the human body, converted into data, which develops into the pieces that make up the exhibition. This transformation starts, logically, from the very act of procreation (fertilization or syngamy), synthesized in the relations of undulation and tension of three segments of cable which represent the coordinates x, y, z, as well as the basic colors red , green and blue. The axes of the whole form Key Axis and the cables are set in motion when the presence of the spectator is detected. Facing the body that observes it, the piece begins a dance of random undulations that periodically stop when the cables are tensed in a single line: this synchronization generates the creation of a virtual body, visible in the form of a «points cloud», which remains archived in the memory of the piece. The process is repeated, generating one body after another, provided that there is the presence of a person to contemplate it.
The fertilization thus passes from a physical act (coitus) to a synchronization of coordinates, a purely numerical act that ceases the chaotic movement of the cables to form a straight line, a single vector that the software created by the artist translates into a simulated body. This body is formed by only the 36 key points that are used in the capture of movements. It is a technique that translates the postures and movements of the human body into data that the computer can interpret, edit and simulate. When observing this work we are confronted with a perception of the body from the point of view of the machine and not of the human being: reduced to data, the body can be divided into coordinates and be generated automatically from a synchronization of three elements that are abstract but have meaning within the system to which they belong.
The virtual bodies of Syngamy are phantasmagorical or illusory in the sense in which Stelarc refers to the bodies that are created in virtual environments. They become a reflection of our real bodies, which we abandon when immersing ourselves in the simulation offered by the computer . The Australian artist affirms that the virtual or illusory body (Phantom Body) can operate in a semi-autonomous way. It can have enhanced functions and artificial intelligence, manipulate data and interact with other virtual bodies in Cyberspace.v The bodies that are generated in the particular fertilization of Syngamy reflects this idea and makes the flexible and fluid quality that Stelarc assigns to phantasmagorical bodies clear. However, they are clearly similar to a real body, formed by points that maintain a relationship with each other. In 3D animation it is not difficult to identify a human body even though what we are seeing is actually a series of coordinates. But this abstraction can be taken a little further.
Keywords: visual data, data transfer, geolocation, gps, light installation, led light, motors, random system.
Graphic programming: José Luis Hidalgo.
Motor system: Toni Vaca.
Coordination: Beatriz Ingelmo.