PROJECT 2Marielis Garcia

Fall 2018, Project Research

Professor Mark Smith



This project is caught between the human body as specimen and my own conditional body defined by personal history, societal implications and my physical manifestation.


The human body, is collection of organisms, mass,  systems, traits, consciousness, memories and much more than we fully comprehend. “A person can be reasonably unsure or mistaken as to which part of her body he or she is aware of at any given moment. This requires discussing the phenomenon of bodily awareness…1” Bodily awareness is acknowledgement of your own body, your container, the soma. “Bodily Sensations, together with kinesthesia, proprioception and the vestibular system amount to an awareness of one’s body that is of only one’s own body and it’s parts2.”


Body ownership similar to body awareness is dependent on sensation and proprioception, but it also includes an element of kinesthetic agency and autonomy  in motor events (actions) produced by you with your own body.


Straddled between knowing yourself, and not understanding your own packaging- this entire project sought to collide introspection and perception; personal bodily awareness and systematic social biopower (a termed defined by Michel Foucault as “achieving the subjugations of bodies and the control of populations”3).


Unequivocally explored through my female point of view, the various projects that came about from this investigation ask the viewer for autonomous interaction with the work. Interaction is essential, it pushes viewers to connect to their own kinesthetic awareness (bodily awareness) and acknowledge the social constructs denoted on them and their body (body ownership).      

1. Schwenkler, John. "The Objects of Bodily Awareness." Philosophical Studies: An International Journal for Philosophy in the Analytic Tradition 162, no. 2 (2013): 465-72. 

2. Martin, M.G.F. “Bodily Awareness and Sense of Ownership”, In J.L. Bermudez, A. Marcel and N. Elian (Eds.), The Body and the self (pp 267-289), Cambridge, MIT Press

3. Foucault, Michel. “The History of sexuality: Vol. 1, An Introduction.” New York, NY 1978


Synthesis Map A: Conditional Body

Our physical form is adaptive, evolutionary and most of all, always in motion. Even the subtleties of breath require a physical action or gesture.


The 6th row, the personal row is performative.  The videos displayed are documentation of the impulse of motivation: the moving body. The entire vignette is the gestural compilation of five audience perspectives of the body in motion.













Generative Mapping:Brainstorming

The two brainstorming maps below are a derived from the body in motion and it's many activities and the the body as specimen, its parts and systems. 

Generative MappingExquisite Corpse

The physical form is adaptive, evolving but specific to the female form (not solely but more often) it also commodified. Why is the body outrightly disregarded as a topic of curiosity unless it is objectified and commodified? Let's examine, without gender, the body as specimen, the exquisite corpse.


Synthesis Map B: Specimen Body

Inspired by the exquisite corpse, Map B is a look at the soma. The body as a system.  














In looking at the complexities of analytical frameworks, we need not go very far. Each human exists within one of the most complex systems: the body. Through a series of conceptual frameworks, and through the bias of my feminine point of view, I have created and compiled visuals that explore the female embodiment and body ownership.

These projects all question what it means to be a viewer. By creating work that fosters a sensory awareness of movement within each person, I hope to highlight the potential kinesthetic interactions between the viewer and the work and from that encourage bodily autonomy within each viewer.


Project 1

It all has a pulse

This work presents heart rates, dancing, and communal unity; using the heart as a trope for strength or courage, It all has a Pulse is probing at “evidence that diversity in perspectives amongst group members does not need to be overcome by unity in order for collaboration to take place.”(Unity and Diversity article) This work investigates the basic life source of the body the heart, as well as one of the most contentious emotions, unity.


In a non traditional performative space, (ie: not a proscenium , dancers of various body types will wear a heart monitor that will project their heart rates through a rhythm strip publicly on a wall behind them as they perform unison choreography over an extended period of time.

The viewer can watch the movement sequences and see the variations of heart beats, despite the unison of motion. Each dancer will be assigned a color, and their heart rate will be projected on the wall behind them in that color. Viewers would be able to match the heart rate with the dancer wearing that color.    


Lastly, there will be the opportunity for viewers to contribute their heart-rates to the melange of pulses on the wall. Using three to five kiosks around the room, viewers can rest their hand on a monitor, and their recorded heart rate will be added to the various pulses on the wall. Each heart-rate kiosk will also have a color assigned to it, allowing participants to acknowledge their heart rate and it’s variations. Having audience members contribute their heart rate generates bodily autonomy for the viewer, and the sense of unity with the performers.   


Project 2

Barely There

    Though various health outlets have written articles about the benefits of meditation, less than a third of Americans actually practice meditative activities. This project invites the viewer to step into kinesthetic awareness through the electricity they conduct even when sitting still.


Throughout an open space there will be the replication of a standard yoga class layout. By posting simple signs on the wall, visitors will be invited to sit on the yoga mats and stay awhile. Each “yoga” mat will be painted/overlayed with energy conductive tape. Upon people interacting with the mats the heat of their body would illuminate a subtle video light show on the ceiling above.


The video is a gentle overlap of mystical clouds and microscopic video footage of human biological regenerative organisms.


Project 3


62% of women in the U.S. use a form of female contraception. Throughout the years this number has grown. From inception female contraceptives have been controversial- the pill was tested on psychiatric patients and poor woman in puerto rico; the german physician Ernst Gräfenberg, was ousted by the Nazi Party  because his IUD (Intrautrine Device) was a threat to Aryan race, the diaphragm in the mid 1800’s was expensive and unavailable to unmarried woman...


Avoiding the male condom; this project seeks to highlight woman contraceptives. A true dichotomy exists between women having their choice of contraceptives, and yet those contraceptives are still not widely available. Even the simplest and cheapest form of contraception, the female condom “can sometimes be harder to find than traditional (Male) condoms. The only brand of female condom that’s FDA approved and available in the U.S. is the FC2 Female Condom®. It’s available online at the FC2 Female Condom® website, at health centers, and by prescription in drugstores.” Why can’t a woman walk into any store and buy female condoms as easily as we can the male condom?


In a dimly lit room, there would be various versions of women contraceptives. Upon being handled the accurately sized sculptures will light up using motion detection LED’s. Fondling the contraceptives might make them feel more accessible, even though, they are not.


Project 4


In 2016, over $16 billion was spent on on cosmetic surgery, also in 2016 Buttocks Lifts went up 252% in one year, in 2017 there were almost 600,000 hip replacements, - technological advances have allowed humans to ability  to implant, replace, and improve the human body.


Looking at the various surgeries that are cosmetic, this project seeks to highlight the absurdity of social pressures to maintain/attain the perfect body through pharmaceutical and surgical procedures.


By creating an online shopping experience, where you can choose your own body parts including breasts, butt, hips, knees, calves and pacemaker (heart), I am promoting the Do-It-Yourself attitude without the actual work. Of coarse the packaging will be sleek and minimalist.  People who order these body enhancements, will be paying for sleek packaging of their body parts.* The design on the box is derived from my generative mapping exquisite corpse sections.  

*Please Note: this project is slightly inspired by Lucy Sparrow’s shopping experiences, except through a mobile app. People can shop and order what they are interested in, and they will receive a limited supply DIY weighted box (the weight of each box will be in accordance to the body part they purchased).

The design on the box is derived from my generative mapping exquisite corpse sections.  

The Soft B's


The Mobile



Project 5


“No country in the world has reached gender equality.” This project digs into the global disparity between males and females through a performative exhibition of imbalance and inequality.


The project is a series of evening events offering drinks, and performances. A seemingly blank darkly lit room, will transform once people put on masks. Ticket buyers will be given the choice to put on silicone masks that once donned will reveal brightly colored paint on the walls displaying the global economic, educational and power disparity between men and women.


In an effort to read the material on the walls, viewers will need to wear the mask, implying that only through the abolition of gender do we see the great asymmetry. Each evening will also consist of 3 to 4 performative exchanges- each one consisting of a singular female/female identifying performer entering the space, and asking a non-mask wearing viewer to dance with her. She, of course will lead.

The design on the mask is derived from my generative mapping exquisite corpse sections.  


below are supplemental items...  

pdf 7 artist statements.

pdf 30 statements.