Giada Ganassin

Department: Information Design

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Through the screen of our communication devices we bridge distances and get in touch with others without any movement in physical space. What happens to the body when a conversation or a love affair turns virtual? It’s still largely unclear how we adapt physical concepts, needs and purposes to this digital template.

Since the virtual space was added to our physical world the discovery and development of digital media has given us the opportunity to publish continuously, an act that was the exclusive domain of specialists until then. We publish to make something public and in the digital age this implies that – despite the lack of bodily presence but armed with a full set of emoticons – we state that we are still alive.

When we switch from the horizontal dimension of interactions in physical space (in which we move from point A to point B), to the virtual space in which the body waits for the next excitement to appear on the screen, then point A and B overlap. Distance is excluded; movement is limited to the actions of scrolling up or down, publishing, liking, looking for content and loading the feeds list. On this vertical stage everyone is a user who follows his or her own trail through the flows of information or self-curates a space in which to reside.

My research into the behavior of the body in physical space has shown how human evolution was shaped to negotiate and preserve space, and how different spatial levels of intimacy allow us to communicate with others. These investigations demonstrated that our daily movement is choreographed by contemporary needs, based on archetypical behavior. A floor plan becomes the medium to read and explain human behavior as on a theatre stage. Any situation or play can be projected on this surface to make the audience aware of the mechanisms that regulate our lives inside and out of the physical and the virtual space.

Copyright Design Academy Eindhoven

Copyright: Design Academy Eindhoven
Photographs: Mischa Haller