.3. The Receiver – The Empty Body

What are the influences on the contemporary viewer?
What are the main perceptions of today?


In our dreams house and body are identical.




Scenario 3:         
All media totalized we already live in a kind of 360°-designed environment. Everything gets more and more perfection: the doctor presenting you the tooth paste on TV is as young as he was when you watched this commercial 20 years ago, data remains in the internet, you can access the same videos you watched as a child, and the life cycles of the things you use in everyday life are that short that they have no chance to age with you and you got used to them dying in front of you day by day, and the world around you is that complex – you know, because you have access to it – that it won’t notice when you die. You, as a receiver of this, won’t have a problem with all this madness, were it not for one thing. The only thing that is actual aging and transient: your body.

This is a striking media example that illustrates the main body conflict:  On the one hand, we are irrevocable bound to our body. It is the not changing initial situation. But the surrounding is and was always constantly moving/ in transition.

This adds on to the conflict we already saw in the first scenario: The individuum of today seems to have a fractious relationship to its body. But what exactly causes this?

There is an almost schizophrenic behaviour that we live. On the one side, we grow up learning a lot about our interior, of popular science and our general common knowledge about anatomy. On the other side the thoughts about it and the dealing with it overstrain us.

The architect Hans Hollein, who researched many interactions between people and space, once stated:

The execution of sacred rites and the erection or designation of holy places belong to the first activities of man. Equally whether obvious or disguised, they help to set up life. Some modern civilizations lost their ability/capacity to/of death rituals. This is a sign of viability loss. [3]

In the previous chapter, we saw that the closed but transcendental and the open but dead body made way for the living and self-organizing body. And alike the connection of the individuum to its body became another. But, of course, we cannot directly extrapolate from one to the other, because a lot of other factors play a role over here. But I want to emphasize the strong need to feel at home that the filling of the emptiness with life and sense and the appreciated house analogy show. So how to give the mind a home (to rest) again? Like for example the work of Fritz Kahn shows, it is possible to combine the harsh reality, the science, with the wonder and aesthetics, the metaphysical.


[1] Free after Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams, 1913

[2] Raquel Díaz, Corazón de una abuela. (Heart of a grandma), 2014. Retrieved from

[3] Translation of Hans Hollein: „Das Vollziehen sakraler Riten und das Errichten oder Bezeichnen heiliger Plätze gehörte zu den ersten Beschäftigungen des Menschen. Gleich ob augenfällig oder getarnt, helfen sie, das Leben einzurichten. Manche heutige Zivilisation hat ihre Fähigkeit für Todesriten verloren. Das ist ein Zeichen des Verlusts der Fähigkeit, zu leben.“. Retrieved from Wikipedia, June 8, 2017.