This project set out to investigate how the body is affected during the occurrence of shocks, with a focus on the relation between micro-perceptional shocks and larger shocks. Founded on and inspired by affect theory, soma-design methods and research through design, I explored the physical reactions to shock, as well as try to implement them in a design and through this design gain insights to how the soma can be integrated to better understand shock.
The design was inspired by the separation of body and soul, and the whole understanding of being only, or showing only parts of yourself was intriguing.
This led to the idea of casting my body, creating a very visible separation of the body, while leaving space for the affection to happen in between my body and the extraction of my body. These casts ended up resembling not only antique sculptures, but when put on the body it evolved into an armor. The cast served to achieve the perfect placement of the vibrator, as well as support the visual understanding of the separation of the self.
The prototypes allowed me to experience the sensation of regaining control of my breath and pace of heart for longer. The prolonging of this sensation let me get familiar with my body in a new way, and forced me to stay with emotions I would usually run from. The prototype was created using an Arduino and a vibe motor. Then the experiments were conducted by experimenting with the placement, intensity and rhythm of the vibrator. These small iterations allowed me to experience a range of facets and potential within the vibration.
Moreover, the method and experience of casting my own body turned out to be another intimate study of my body and it’s somatic potential. I was forced to take the time to study both its movements and its surface. This relation to one’s own body is interesting and often complex and I believe this method carries the potential beyond my exploration.
Project by Amalie Vilhelmine Gullits Oftebro-Ernst