July 12, 2004
The Psymbiote


Psymbiote calls itself "Hybrid Apparatus for Social Interface - an evolution in progress", but in plainspeak, the Psymbiote is a cyborg persona from performing artist isa gorden in collaboration with Jesse Jarrell & DEvan Brown. Their aim seems to be to create performance using cyborganic based technology to "...stimulate dialogue regarding the future of technological enhancements to the human body". In the process they have created some amazing costume/cyborg prosthetics, and seem to be the leading cyborg performance art group currently, dispite Steve Mann's longstanding role as a cyborg/artist.

The piece I'm most interested in from Psymbiote is their wax prototype data input glove which would really go well with my technomadic art for Burning Man, which lends itself to a similar aesthetic ethos. The input is done via a series of flex sensors. Their production notes are also quite interesting:

"The wax original has been dismantled, molded with silicon and duplicated using wax injection. The individual parts are now being cast in titanium. The resulting units will eventually be jointed with fiber composites. The final product will have an organic appearance, mechanical movement, and functional input."

They also address some interesting design issues to do with how we interact with people, especially in terms of encumbrance:

"Hands are the primary source of production in our culture, and encasing them in technology brings up issues of empowerment vs. encumbrance. This glove will give me new tools, and will provide triggers for other functionality. But how will it affect my ability to use my hands in the ways we're accustomed to using them? To reach and grasp, to interact with my environment, to touch a friend or caress a lover? How will this change me? The glove is fully articulated, but still it alters my means of function, and the body itself. These are some of the interactions we hope to test in our work, and in public performance." [The Psymbiote Speaks: On Generating A Cyborg Body]

Probably inspired by cyborganic like artists such as H.R. Gieger, the Psymbiote seems alien, instead of attempting to embrace humanity. Then again, self expression and creativity is such a human trait, which is why I think I like body modification so, be it nose piercings, pacemakers, or even sumdermal blinking lights. Psymbiote is edgy and interesting, and I look forward to them hosting SIGGRAPH's 3rd annual Cyborg Fashion Show.

Another cyborg poem, this time from the Psymbiote, after the jump.

[Link via sinthetex (fetishwear)]

"the psymbiote speaks through me
echo of whispers from this womb
can you hear her?
she asks:

am i beautiful?
do you fear me?
will you let me seduce you?
but i need your permission
you have to let me inside your boundaries
you have to want to be dissected
let me caress the viscera
let me extend myself into you
we can blur the edges together
i can make you more
i can build you into something new
let me under your skin
and i will make you whole"

[The Psymbiote Speaks: On Generating A Cyborg Body]

Posted by nym at July 12, 2004 03:17 AM | TrackBack