The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

Notes for a talk on 'human modeling'

Human Modeling - including 'sex girlfriend modeling,' analog modeling,
avatar modeling and governance issues, technical skin/fabrication issues,
interoperability issues, psychoanalytical/psychological issues, virtual
and augmented realities, etc.

My early work on the 'topology of intentionality' - structuring of
psychoanalytical transformations within and without the symbolic. I'm
thinking also psychoanalytical modeling in general.

What does it mean to model the human? (What constitutes a model?)

Avatars in Second Life, Poser: modeling paralleling the appearance of the
human body. This might be considered formal mimicry.

Take the formal mimicry down to its basic elements, remapped in Blender
and/or other 3d programs: interrelationships of limbs. Empathetic
identification with emotional 'states' indicated by limb arrangements.

Return to the full body in Second Life: Mapping in which tensions reflect
human behaviors/activities - sexual, angered, submissive, dominant, and so
forth. The _surreal_ body - manipulations impossible in the real world.

The interior of the avatar body: sheaves, intersections, hollows. What
coheres externally falls apart to the point of transparency, disjunctions.
(Imagine pulling a weight around in second life, lungs or heart or liver:
how would that 'be'?)

Think of the system/panoply of gestures in silent film: moving from
gesture to gesture. So there are codes and narratives constructed from
moments of codes.

Issues of scripting: To what level of detail (differentiation, integra-
tion) are behaviors applied? Double level of extrapolation: Poser or
Second Life morphing - then the coding in relation to human morphing
(morphology). In other words <pose1> - {X} - <pose2> where {X} is the
potential set of generated 'betweens' in Poser or human behavior. In Poser
jump-cuts are conceivable if details down to the level of the frame are
perceptibly disparate (disconnected); in human behavior, jump-cuts are

In human behavior, matter and time flow continuously; Reichenbach's gen-
identity holds. Poser is cinematic, spatially analogic, temporally
digital; human behavior is spatially and temporally analogic.

Modeling and the 'uncanny' - modeling of human meat. (Disturbances of the
field - Carolee Schneeman, Beuys, early Acconci, are relevant here, a
minimum of props.) What are the empathetic forces at work across the real/
virtual boundary? What are the introjective/projective (i.e. jectivities)

Consider: humans are always already modeled in relation to each other; to
themselves. Modeling is replete inscription; inscription implies codes and
protocols. The condition is always one of culture; culture characterizes
the organic (think of Heinz von Foerster on negation as fundamental to
organic behavior). There are issues of self/other, body-skein, suturing,
healing, etc.

Human modeling, avatar-creation: 1. the body (space); 2. the body in time
(behavior) - body as behavior-space.

Behavioral coding: neural nets on one hand, bvh files and totalized body
on the other: what are the code interstices/interfaces between them?

Attach a neural net to a Poser body; import into Blender (element reduc-
tion, mapping), import into Second Life (formal description of tension /
relaxation in space-time).

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