In the bodyprint series, the thin enfolded skin is displaced by thickened flesh. The bodymap is produced through human lithography to generate a choreography of the body's surface mapped in relation to a dimensioned architectural space. This series explores the multiple relationships between the tactility of the body, the intensity of the imprint and the thickness of the ground, using the digital capacity of the computer to translate intensity and force into a measurable surface—a fabricated bodyprint of thickened architectural flesh.
Unlike the "fingerprint," whose distinctive surface guarantees the inseverable bond between material body and codified identity, the bodyprint ensures the inverse: a loosening of bodily affects from the known and knowable body. The bodyprint renders the body unrecognizable. It is a thick diagram, that, like the footprint, is a material index of the event of occupation. The bodyprint is a tonal field that exposes the body/floor relation while transforming the architectural drawing into both a horizontal canvas as well as an inhabitable space—a space scaled to the body that intensifies the relation between architecture and occupant. The imprint is therefore a material record of the relationship between the body and architecture (the body and the floor), and the thickened landscape that it generates becomes an architectural projection and materialization of bodily flesh—a hardened upholstery that duplicates and magnifies the supportive capacity of the flesh while reciprocally modifying and molding the body.
In the making of the imprint, the print itself is initially invisible to the eye. It is hidden by the body’s thickness which impedes the optical as it fills the gap between the subject and the projective surface. The long-distance vision of the architect, used to viewing things from above and from a distance, is thereby displaced: by the immediacy of the tactile body that replaces both the architect's eye and instrument.
The bodyprint also acts like the cinematic "close-up," where the frame in the close-up works to extend, rather than contain the object being viewed. Similarly, the frame of the imprint doesn't capture the body, but instead extracts an animate interval—a detail cut, both section and surface—from the voluminous body. This unstable fragment foregrounds the body’s mobility and plasticity, while indicating the continuity of the bodily surface as it folds in and out of the architectural plane. The multiplicity of potential imprints reveals the infinite number of sections or surfaces required to delineate the voluminous density of bodily flesh, while also referring to the irreducible complexity of the animate. The collage of imprints then transforms this body into an intricate landscape—a nonnarrative choreography of the body’s surface as it moves and unfolds in an immersive architectural milieu.
PIXEL, PORE AND DIGITAL FIELD
In the imprint, the gravitational force acting on and through the body is inscribed on the architectural surface as intensity, the greatest exertion of pressure revealed through the most opaque marks. These traces of the imprint signify the thickness of occupation, indexed by flesh that distributes weight while mediating between the body and the ground plane. These original ink bodyprints are then scanned and digitized, and the field of tonal intensities becomes coded and quantified through an electronic process that technologically mimes tactility. Like touch, the electronic scan moves slowly across a surface, providing contiguous access to the object. The scan successively accumulates local bits of information, such that the density of receptors in the skin, or pores on its surface, might somehow find its analog in the pixellations of this digital field. All bitmapped computer images are made up of pixels—imperceivable squares of white, gray and black. In translating the continuous gradations of ink into regulated pixels the tonal surface of the imprint is therefore divided up and atomized—architecturalized—rendered as a nonhierarchical field of equally valued bits, a series of numerically distinct, discrete entities corresponding to levels of measurable information. The resolution of the now digitized imprints is then manipulated in order to reveal the relationship between the apparent image and the real pixel. The logical field of pixels, usually hidden below the computer image, is therefore exposed, drawn into the same optical plane as the material it organizes and represents. A field of intensities of pixels and pores is produced that blends the abstract and notational architectural surface of the digital field with the dense structure of a material skin. Technology is exposed, but only to find itself embedded within the softer surface perception of the imprint.
HANDMADE HISTOGRAMS, PARAPLY TOPOGRAPHIES
The flat pixellated field is then invested with thickness by attributing numeric values (amplitudes) to discrete levels of gray, where the intensity of tone (signifying the intensity of occupation) is transcoded into sectional depth. Each pixel is projected from plan to section, to incrementally generate an articulated topography of the imprint—a layered series of sectional histograms that dimensionally spatialize the architecture-body relation. These sectional histograms, an immaterial series of projected pixels, are then imbued with material substance, translated into the geologically dense, wood paraply strata of fabricated architectural flesh.
The wood paraply bodyprint is a body-architecture hybrid. It is floor as flesh, that rises up to meet the body in order to produce a landscape that the body might inhabit. It is generated by the layering of bodyprints that operate at two distinct scales. One bodyprint is fixed in position and enlarged to the scale of architecture. One can imagine that enlarged to the scale of a room, the original bodyprint becomes an architectural landscape. And that this landscape signifies a scalar relationship between the body and architecture. The collage of the choreographed body, still at its original bodily scale, is then inversely mapped onto this enlarged imprint so that the potential depth of the newly raised terrain is carved away, inflecting the landscape toward the body. The convex surface of the architectural landscape establishes a continuity with the floor plane from which it seemingly emerges, while the concave surface of the imprint in this landscape establishes a continuity with the body that it partially envelopes. The landscape is doubly inflected yet continuous, a hybrid that does not position and regulate the body but rather offers a volumetric field for continuous occupation, invoking an animate body—a thickened flesh and sensory surface—that is at once mutable and mobile.