"Virtual Bodies in Reality"

Margaret Tan


"Virtual" violence on "actual" bodies from the Visible Human Project:

This work involves the use of the male and female virtual bodies from the Visible Human Project, initiated in the US in 1986. A male convict, sentenced to death for his crimes and an anonymous woman, whose bodies had been donated for scientific research, were systematically sliced and then imaged. These images were then converted into computer data files, which were then reconstituted, piece-by-piece, to form, the two 'virtual' bodies.

In this work, these figures were made available for visitors to interact with, in certain predefined ways.

The idea for this work is firstly to highlight the changing concept of violence that has now been mediated by technology, secondly to create a contemplative interactive context within which one's ethical stance towards violence becomes problematized by the presentation of seemingly 'virtual bodies' of 'real people' and lastly, to highlight the notions of responsibility (or lack of) through the registration of one's particulars in the seemingly anonymous World Wide Web. (Olga Shishko)