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Proposal for interactive motion tracking work

Laurence Payot is currently developing a new work in collaboration with artist/coder Ashley James Brown, carrying on her investigations of motion tracking (see Living Sculpture Virtual).

Participants will be faced with a live video feed of themselves on a large video projection, as if looking in a mirror. Organic shapes will start growing around their body and respond to their movements. If participants work together, they will be able to unlock more complex and beautiful patterns.

The drawing below shows two participants (in black), their reflection within the projection (in colour), and an organic shape growing from their body and manipulated with their movements.

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The following drawings are illustration of organic shapes that may be used for coding development. On the projection they will appear as layers on top of the participants, and will be made of collages, a mix of photographs and drawings giving them a realistic bodily feel.

The project is currently inspired by the microbiology of plants, and Laurence Payot is in discussion with microbiologist James Hall to explore this further.

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Microbes form a huge part of our body, with different microbial communities living in different regions of our body, the main ones being oral, vaginal, skin and decal. (https://www.ted.com/talks/jonathan_eisen_meet_your_microbes). They help us digest, educate our immune system, and may even affect our behaviour, as demonstrated in this brilliant comic (https://www.gla.ac.uk/media/media_525175_en.pdf).

We have 20,000 human genes, and 2-20 million microbial genes. We have 10 trillion human cells, and 100 trillion microbial cells, so they outnumber us 10 to 1.

Laurence is interested in how these new discoveries help us perceive our bodies in new ways. Not as perfectly closed, hermetic objects, but as fluid living systems, sharing colonies with each other and with the environment, hosts of life cycles within.