Bodiesİ INCorporated is an investigation into social psychology and group dynamics, actualized in corporate structure. It is a collaborative project on many levels, from the team of artists implementing it, to the actively participating audience attempting to gain shares in the body of work. At surface, Bodies INCorporated is a tongue-in-cheek commentary on some of the more obvious contradictions of corporate culture, particularly for those working with art and technology.
At a deeper level, Bodies INCorporated addresses such issues as the legitimacy of cultural institutions as the only socially sanctioned site for display of art, and the ways in which structures of physical and ephemeral spaces effect our collectively embodied behaviour. From within computer networks we constantly project our selves, and play complicated identity survival games.
Initially, the participant is invited to construct a virtual body out of predefined body-parts, textures, and sounds, and gain membership to the larger body-owner community. The main elements of the online site are three constructed environments (subsidiaries of Bodiesİ INCorporated), within which different sets of activities occur: LIMBOİ INCorporated, a gray, rather non-descript zone, where information about inert bodies that have been put on hold -- bodies whose owners have abandoned or neglected them -- is accessed; NECROPOLISİ INCorporated, a richly textured, baroque atmosphere, where owners can either look at or choose how they wish their bodies to die; and SHOWPLACE!!!İ INCorporated," where members can participate in discussion forums, view star/featured bodies of the week, bet in the deadpools, and enter "dead" or "alive" chat sessions.
Events occurring within each of the zones ignite a range of emotional responses, and raise a variety of issues related to online community dynamics. For example, how does the graphic representation of the body amplify our relationship to it? What sort of psychological commitment and attachment do owners exhibit toward their "virtual" bodies? What happens when people find out that, with neither their knowledge nor participation, their body has been publicly altered in some way? How does the body become a source of pleasure and anxiety as it moves through changes and permutations out of the hands of the owner? What sort of emotional dynamics result from bodies being displayed as public spectacle? These are the types of questions Bodiesİ INCorporated actively explores.
Bodiesİ INCorporated, a collaborative project directed and produced by Victoria Vesna, is a public space on the web that occasionally emerges in the physical realm. It was exhibited from July 8 to August 11 at two network-linked sites -- The Contemporary Art Center (for a show entitled "The Bridge"), and The Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (for SIGGRAPH 96), both in New Orleans. The show was on exhibit (until November 3rd), at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and will materialize again this month (January 23, 1997) at the San Francisco Art Institute.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
President and CEO
additional cgi script:
Travis Boyle, Nick DiNapoli, Bjorn Hildahl
Viewpoint Data Labs, Netscape, Alias/Wavefront, Silicon Graphics, MetaTools, The David Bermant Foundation, SIGGRAPH, Contemporary Arts Center of New Orleans, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, San Francisco Art Institute, Cactus R&D, RAIN, UC Santa Barbara.
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