VB Previz #15 – Body Transplant

What would you have if you put George Bush’s brain in David Beckham’s body? Or Paris Hilton’s brain in Serena Williams’ body?

If you happen to be a person of the male gender, bodies could be a big deal for you. But to be a woman… is it even possible to count how many libraries it would take to house all the books that have been written on the colonization and reclamation of the female body?

In Second Life there are 101e79 possible female bodies. I have no idea what that number actually is, but I’m pretty sure it’s a monumentally greater number than the number of seconds that the universe is old. If you started wearing female SL bodies at the Big Bang, and changed your body once a second, the universe wouldn’t be nearly old enough to wear them all.

Among them: bodies as tall and thin as a pencil, as short and round as a pancake, bodies remarkably thick in some places, and surprisingly lean in nearby places, a few seconds worth of those bodies would even include the narrow range of stereotypical Western beauty that so many of us in SL tend to inhabit.

With so many possible bodies, how would you even begin to look at them? Easy! With a remarkable little button in SL Appearance called “random.” This remarkable little button sets all 79 of the female avatar’s body dimensions to a random number between 0 and 100.

In Body Transplant I propose to have a group of avatars wear random female shapes. I could just make 16 random shapes and pass them out… but perhaps even more interesting… what if we put a countdown clock on the stage… and every 20 minutes, all of our cast went to appearance and hit Random… and wore that body for the next 20 minutes.

Who knows what bodies we would wear. We’d also introduce a bit of anticipation / event / spectacle to the performance. Previz #6 is based on random time intervals – a different take on spectacle culture… but for this work, I like the countdown to a new body…

As a virtual public artist my work invites avatar communities to express their identity, explore their culture, and demand their civil rights.

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