The studio “Psychotropic topologies” displaces our traditional understanding of the body as an isolated and physically delimited site of perception and experience. The aim of the studio is to develop novel strategies for cyber-physical transfers, merging the digital realm of data with the realm of the body and matter.
A global pandemic such as COVID19, shows us the urgency to develop new tools for digital embodiment, remoteness and digital communities. Until now physical spaces and digital spaces remained ontologically and spatially separated. However, current technologies allow a broader range of possible transmissions that can expand our presence and experience. Embodiment is the body’s ability to sense, feel and interact with the environment. His studio uses digital embodiment as a mode to expand beyond the purely physical body to the digital one. This digital embodiment connects us to our digital avatar and enables the creation of a personalized digital environment. This space has the ability to feel, perceive and act while being limited, created and expanded by the physical body.
The studio will ask the students to imagine and generate a digitally embodied space, which physically reacts to their user and thus adapts its spatiality to them. Those spaces will adjust and reconfigure themselves to their residents and visitors. The studio will create a virtual experience by establishing an analogy between digital representation and physiological data collected by the user during its daily routine of confinement. As in the psychotropic building described in JG Ballard’s text “The Thousand Dreams of Stellavista” the house affects its residents mental state, shifting the subject – object dilemma to a “quasi-object” and “potential-subject” storyline. In 1982, Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela, two Chilean biologist, described the nature of living systems capable of reproducing and maintaining itself. The experience of this house “as alive” can not easily be associated to the performer/audience model (Philip Auslander), but is rather placed as technologically mediated relationship amongst different subjects.