Hey Body:
In Time of Counter Enquiry

The Technology

"Hey, Body" is a speculative design project that speculates human bodies become a new algorithm concept called "Human Body Enquiry", operating by the bodily experience stored in our physical flesh.

The rapid development of algorithmic technology in the current 2020s brings convenience to human society, yet at the same time, unprecedented well-being health issues rise. By proposing human flesh as a counterbalance to digital computation, the project hopes to bring back the importance and presence of our physical bodies in every thought and action we often overlook in the interaction with digital technology.

The project narrative set in the speculative 2030s and present the development of Human Body Enquiry Technology in the retrospective form of exhibition display.

Hey Body,
How would you guide me?

Welcome to the (fictional) exhibition, Hey Body: In Time of Counter Enquiry.
You (visitors in the speculative 2042) will learn the critical moments and experiments in the (speculative) late 2020s of people exploring human flesh as a counterbalance to the digital algorithm that led to the development and practice of ‘Human Body Enquiry Technology’ in the (speculative) 2030s.

In the pursuit of digitalisation, physical human flesh is often considered obsolete redundancy. Yet the overlooked engagement of our human body and physiological reaction in the interaction with the algorithms through digital device, is the counterbalance to the digital algorithms that reveal our most primitive and innermost feeling simultaneously. Unlike the direct one-way reduction, our bodies and the recorded bodily experience is a ‘counter’ enquiry approach that retrieves our every thought and move to reason differently.

The speculative design project does not aim to spread the anti-technology and dystopian view of digital algorithms. Instead, by setting this exhibition as a ‘record’ of a technology movement in the ongoing (speculative) future, Hey Body hopes the audience will reflect on their relationship in the interaction with the algorithm and the engaged body and, in the time of digitalisation, explore the better balance point between humans and algorithmic technology together.

Human Body Enquiry Technology (HBE)

Human Body Enquiry, or HBE for short, is a speculative concept that views the human body as a new form of algorithm.

In the concept, humans have ‘Nodes’, a repository component of bodily experience stored and separated inside the human body. The distribution of nodes and the stored data, vary person by person depending on one’s lived experience.

When the corresponding bodily experience passes through, the nodes will grow a kind of nerve called ‘Node-filament’ that carries the data of bodily experience. The polymer of node-filament called ‘Threads’ enable humans to evaluate their ‘distance’ with the digital algorithm through contemplation.

The device: Spindle

‘Node-filament Spindle Device’ (Spindle, SPD) is a Human Body Enquiry Technology device that assists users to practice Human Body Enquiry.
The form of spindle represent the idea of ‘exo-neurosystem’ to visualise the intangible flow of perception and cognition.

The name ‘Spindle’ is a metaphor for the mechanism of the human body growing the node filament out from the node. Through Spindle, humans can access the bodily experience on threads to adjust one’s distance with the digital algorithm.

Spindle 1.0

Launched in 2029, SPD 1.0 is the first Human Body Enquiry Technology device that enables humans to access the bodily experience in the form of thread non-intrusively. Users contemplate on the bodily experience and apply the spindle to body part of the correspondant nodes to pull out the thread.

However, the requirement of direct body part contact caused inconvenience in case of node located at inconvenient part.

Spindle 2.0

SPD 2.0 introduced the concept of ‘body channelling’. Users can access nodes distributed in different body parts by tuning the combination of channelling dials on the bottom left segment without direct skin contact.

Launched in 2035, SPD 2.0 improved the problem of bulky size and access of nodes in inconvenient body parts. The stretchable and light thickness makes SPD 2.0 closely fixate on different sizes of users to optimise the mobility and user experience.

© AbbyYang 2023