In the beginning was the empty body


At this point I want to talk about confronting a person with its body house:

I asked different people[1] to draw their body like they mostly imagine/perceive it – no matter if medical of metaphysical. I focused on younger participants, because those are mostly affected from our developing media scene and are, therefore, open for the newest discoveries and techniques on a natural basis. The results I analysed on basis of the mainstreams I investigated in the previous chapter.


The closed body – Insecurity – Creativity
Being not used to depict or even see something daily, give some participants a certain insecurity, because we don’t want to depict something wrong that we know is crucial.
Others enjoy that it is a dark space for their eyes/mind and immediately filled it with imagination (PIC 1, 4, 6 ,8, 10)

The dead body
None of the drawn bodies contained bones. Possible explanation: We like to imagine our body alive. We mostly see bones in overexaggerated, almost stereotyped, designs and then it mostly symbolises death. But we are used to it – it does not “scare” too much.
Moreover, bones mostly vanished out of our direct environment. Most food does not contain it anymore and seldom we find an almost completely rotten cadaver in our intensively managed rural country sides.

New world
An innate curiosity and a modern virtual gaming environment make us like to discover and explore new worlds. So, we are still open for the adventure in us. It rather seems to be a playground than a quest for meaning. But it gives a pleasant experience.

Science and simplifications
For us, the body interior detached more and more from the practice of dissection! We get most information out of school and popular science. (Organs in PIC3 and 7 (and 2), Muscles in PIC9) We like to imagine our body in the colours of the depictions that looked the nicest, the most aesthetic. Simplified means for the inner body less pink and red and less secretions and … Most people aren’t used to the sight of raw meat and don’t like to see themselves as only a piece of meat.
Also, our brain gladly accepts well executed basic forms. And mapping and defining things is a pure structure thing. We are used to well-designed logos and icons with a clear statement.

House analogy and the living body interior
We want to identify with our own body – we want to feel alive and at home. Little homunculi (PIC4,6(,8)), separation in chambers/scenes(PIC9), no complete room that overexerts. Especially the head gets identification features (PIC1 and 6). In PIC10 a lively garden is built.
Moreover, feeling at home in body may be difficult because of the focus on the exterior. You see a lot of drawn faces (PIC (1,2,) 8,9,10). But we can also get something positive out of this: We favour to recognize and depict the face, because it is the centre of emotions and feelings.
The little gear wheels you see in PIC 8, plus the cyborg-like glooming eye even gives the impression of Fritz Kahn Industrial Palace, or just a simple robot.
There are a lot of objects and scenarios drawn which suggest motions and environments with much more detail. This can be connected to the circumstance that we are used to well animated documentations that show cells, microorganisms and more fantastic things move like living creatures. Maybe also child cartoons like “Once upon a time…life” play a role over here.

The head – The centre
All participants filled the head, at least with something, and especially with identification features (PIC1 and 6). We can’t leave the head empty, of course. And it will remain a main centre of our felt consciousness. So how to connect the head with a more complete/comprehensive body house?

The question is quite easy to answer: Immersive media – like 360°-visualisations – that connect the heads movement with a certain body visualisation.

[1] 34 participants out of different ages and living conditions, from 12 to 42, European