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Body: the virtual man in us

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[BODY]

Digital information, through languages, was outside of man. With the virtual, man, in his body, also became an information carrier. A body borrowed from the avatars of video games and virtual realities, a body augmented by the addition of peripheral organs such as fighter pilots, surgeons, but also all those passers-by we see in the streets, equipped with a strange artefact - their mobile phone - as transplanted to their ear, a body interactivated into a biometric information platform, a body physically and mentally connected to other bodies on the network.

Paul Klee ...said, "Now objects see me. " Perhaps we are indeed at that stage of our evolution where it is the objects we make that look at us. Perhaps they question our propensity to be unable to bear reality much and to try to escape it by recreating it. Man escaped reality, in his mind and in his body as well.

The body, virtualized, escapes its reality and the boundaries of its biological organization. The virtual body is the fantasy of the Golem...it's also the world of robots and androids. For a long time confined to the imagination of science fiction authors, these fields are now investing research laboratories all over the world. The Western world has long approached robotisation from an industrial perspective, to improve productivity and reduce the burden of human labour. Assembly lines in all industrial sectors are automated, robotized. The robot performs technical and mechanical functions.

Under other horizons and other cultures, the robot takes on another dimension. In Japan, robotics research is working on machines capable of performing anthropoid functions. Japan, detached by its culture and religion from the Golem taboo, is not intellectually or ethically limited in the increasingly perfect reproduction of the human being. Accompanying robots, new virtual confidants, are being created in the research centres of Honda, Mitsubishi and Sony.

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poppingIn the artistic field, robot dancers appear on the great choreographic stages. Numerous experiments are carried out, the fruit of the collaboration of choreographic artists and cybernetics engineers. They reveal both the attraction and repulsion that body-substitute technologies can represent for artists whose bodies are the sacred means of expression and creativity. Dancers today no longer hesitate to let their bodies be absorbed by the machine. The experience of the choreographer Marcel Li Antunez and its exoskeleton is interesting in this respect: the dancer is "imprisoned" in a robot whose movements are dictated in particular by those of the audience. The interactivity produced poses for the artist the problem of the painful double constraint: that of man on man but also that of the machine on man. Other artists investigate the field of the doubling of the body, creating performances where the dancers' bodies are in turn but also simultaneously, real and virtual. Thus the dancer Kevin Mischel who excels in the " popping« A dance style that "makes your muscles pop like popcorn! ». This dance is based on three basic principles: hits, isolation and angles, and consists of imitating a robot, in a very compact style.

For Michel Maffesoli With their daily appropriation and their artistic and tribal use, technologies become alive and, in a way, re-enchant. In a more daily register, he sees in the finery, the customization of the body, the piercing, the tattoos,...clues taken seriously by their wearers. These clues alert us: the virtual body, the augmented body, the peripheral body, do not concern simple enjoyable and disembodied digital avatars, but beings made of flesh, blood and emotions.

 

 {Jacuzzi on}

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