THE THIRD HAND, Tokyo/Yokohama
Photo: T.Ike



We fear what we have always been and what we might very well become. A zombie is a body that has no mind of its own, that performs involuntarily. A cyborg is a body that is part human, part machine- a body that becomes automated. The fear of the involuntary and the automated generates anxieties and expectations that redefine what it means to be human. Recent projects explore alternate, intimate and involuntary experiences. Having performed with a Third Hand, the body now has a machine locomoter. Exoskeleton is a pneumatically powered insect like 6-legged walking machine whose leg movements are actuated by the body's arm gestures. Human limb motions are translated into mechanical leg motions. And its compressed air, relay switches and impact of its legs are acoustically amplified. Choreographing the motions of the machine composes the sounds. Imagine an ear as an Internet antenna. An Extra Ear will be surgically constructed as an additional facial feature from skin and cartilage. This soft prosthesis, connected to a modem and a wearable computer will be capable of hearing RealAudio sounds, augmenting the local sounds heard by the actual ears. The absent, obsolete, invaded and involuntary body now performs involuntarily for an intelligent avatar. The body with attached or implanted prosthetic parts now becomes a prosthesis itself to allow an avatar to perform in the real world. Avatars become Movatars- and if the Movatar is a VRML entity on a website then it can perform with any body, located anywhere, at any time. An inverse motion capture system that can choreograph individual bodies sequentially or clusters of bodies spatially separated but electronically connected to it.

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