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Parsons School of Design MFA Design and Technology program theses2019 (PC020402.19) ➔ Body Double: The Extended Self in the Digital Realm


Related people/organizations

Leah Willemin (designer)
Katherine Moriwaki (thesis advisor)
Jessica Marshall (thesis advisor)


May 21 2019


My project addresses the quantification of the body. I’ve researched the way data collection permeates contemporary life, and investigated the way predictive feedback and personalized services create feedback loops that shape identity. I ask, what might I become? How will my future self be delineated by the way I have been digitized, and my information commodified? Like familiar physical settings, the digital familiar becomes a trusted part of a person’s identity. I argue that just as manipulation of a person’s familiar physical space profoundly un-makes identity, the manipulation of the digital familiar betrays and destabilizes identity. I discuss these questions in an academic paper. In addition to a written argument, I have created a durational performance piece that reflects my research. I made an app to capture pose data and 3D print this data live, creating undulating vessels that represent a performer’s gestures. Over the course of a multi-hour performance, I re-enact the contents of auto-suggested YouTube and Instagram videos frame-by-frame. Both my own movements and the movements of people in the videos are 3D printed live throughout the performance. Due to the process of 3D printing, the performance is extremely slow, creating discomfort and difficulty for the performer—myself—that reflects the strangeness and discomfort of data mining and predictive content.



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