// new media class

Tsingyun zhang — Body as a space

Genius Loci — Winter 2022

Our body is not a solid object, but rather a changing space.

From the perspective of microorganisms inside, the human body can be seen as a network of materials, where decay and rebuilding occur simultaneously.

Zooming out to a macro level, over a long period of time, humans have been able to inhabit physical spaces since we domesticated crops. Now, we have expanded our living space to the cyber world, where we have corresponding digital bodies consisting of data streams. Digital avatars are one representation of these bodies. We are not limited to just one digital avatar; we can have as many as we desire. We can create, modify, and replicate them. These avatars roam in cyberspace.

The ability to infinitely replicate digital incarnations reminds me of the body of a fungus. Just like how the mycelium of a fungus can multiply endlessly and explore beyond boundaries, it embeds itself in food and adapts to its form. Therefore, the mycelium never has a fixed body or shape. It is in a constant state of transformation and adjustment. It spreads and disperses on objects, blending into its surroundings. Eventually, it becomes one with the environment.