Augmented Bodies – Project and Thoughts

First I’d like to comment on how interesting it was to discuss augmented bodies with the group and hear others thoughts on ideas and current body modifications.

A few things I found interesting was the reaction most had to the idea of men getting muscle implants or having ball bearings inserted in the penis. Most people seemed really disgusted at the idea of the modifications that men are currently undergoing, yet no one really gives a second thought to the ways that women have been “augmenting” their bodies for hundreds of years. Consider foot binding and corsets among the early ways that women augmented their bodies to fit the fashion of the period. Fast forward to the modern era and now we have breast implants, butt implants, lip implants, cheek bone implants and more. And that is just the list of augmentations in the realm of plastic surgery.

No one seems to think twice about how “gross” it is when women are inserting foreign bodies into themselves to create a more perfect appearance, yet there was much discussion about how it was lazy of men to get muscle implants instead of hitting the gym.

An interesting observation.

There was also some discussion about the appropriation of various “traditional” body modifications by the western world such as tattooing, branding, the filing of teeth, gauging of lips/ears/septum, etc. It brought up some interesting thoughts on appropriation of another culture’s tradition and ceremony, but it was hard to really take a stance on is it wrong or is it right. I’m not entirely certain where I stand on the thought. I have some tattoos, most of which are related in some way to life events or rights of passage. I admit I have a few that I got “just because I could” but most of them hold deep meaning to me.

On to the assignment!

The idea I ended up working with was the idea of a parasitic relationship between humans and the earth. As the host, the earth began working to rid itself of the parasites (humans) through excretion of toxins that is triggered with the presence of a human.

Working with the idea of gene splicing and genetically modified organisms, I took the idea one step further. What if the modification of genetic material could allow “shape shifting” to be utilized as camouflage from triggering the release of toxins?


1. an organism that lives in or on another organism (its host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the host’s expense.

Consider the parasitic relationship between humans and the earth. Imagine a world where the Earth (host) begins working to rid itself of the humans (parasites) through excretion of toxins triggered by the presence of a human.

Working with the ideas of gene splicing and genetically modified organisms, what if these ideas were taken one step further? What if the manipulation of genetic material could allow for “shape shifting” to be utilized as camouflage from extermination/detection?

Original Image
Modified Image
Modified image placed in scene

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