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Themesicon: navigation pathCyborg Bodiesicon: navigation pathExtensive Bodies
e-Skin (Scott, Jill), 2004

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ran over three years. Many of the art works from Sydney, Los Angeles and Weimar were about virtual- body-sound displacement, the collapsing of geographical and body boundaries and the re-construction of nature by science. For example in the first Net Event of Fusion in 1999, Melinda Rackham presented «Carrier,» her VRML network about Hepatitis C, and Victoria Vesna presented «Bodies INCorporated.» Both of them also participated in a work of mine called «Future Bodies.» These were agents (or bots) I created on a Hotline server with a WWW chat. Behind the scene an artificially intelligent program was able to recognize keywords and therefore it seemed as though these agents were actually reacting to the audiences responses. The critical dialogue I tried to create was about the commercialization of genetic manipulation between three virtual characters or agents. (Ms. Rich, Ms. Poor and Ms. Perfect)


YV: How did the bots react to the keywords? How much could you control the process?


JS: Well the program is based on a program called «Eliza», which allows the viewers to type in sentences, if those sentence contain keywords I have listed then the character reacts in certain ways. There is a random potential built into the program which cause un-predictable reactions, and the program can conjugate - for example if I tape «How are you?», then the bot will answer «I am fine and you?» There is a similar program called «Alice» currently on the net.2 In «Future Bodies» the characters had very elaborate scripts and the drama evolved around the concepts of beauty, women, media and genetic manipulation.


YV: If I consider your new research project «e-Skin», it seems, as if you were interested in developing a new idea of extension. An idea, that is not anymore about the progressive and optimized body, but more about a coded, net based and communicative body. How do you depict this?

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