Individual Project

Coded Bodies

With the publication 'Coded Bodies', collective Hackers and Designers (H&D) reflects on conversations, discussions and bodily experiences that took place over the course of one year—spanning topics such as ubiquitous computing, the disappearance of interfaces, transhumanism, digitized bodies, biometric data, the agency of user, representation, and citizenship. The book is composed of projects, initiatives, trials and errors, commentary and questions—all reflecting different perspectives, and entry points into, the subject of ‘Coded Bodies’. The contributions comprise playful reenactments, poetic commentary, annotated prototypes, how-to’s, speculations, prompts, scripts and scores, proposals and disposals. Spanning a wide range of approaches, backgrounds and experiences all contributors connect in this publication through their critical, yet playful attempts of coming to terms with the bodies’ entanglements with technology, and through their active engagement with the question of agency in relation to body-computer intra-actions.

This publication is a documentation of a diverse range of activities that included a multitude of different bodies—and can only serve as an illustration of the actual experience of the many special encounters they had. However, the book also reflects the subject and subjectivities of their coded bodies through its making process. Every year H&D self-publishes an experimental publication. The process of making this publication enables them to reconnect with the growing network of participants and to reflect back on their own work as organizers and hosts. The publication is furthermore an occasion to question their design habits. In doing so, they try to use and build alternative design tools, such as the ‘PJ machine,’developed by Sarah Garcin or the newspaper generator developed by Heerko van der Kooij. These pages have been designed with a tool, which goes by the name ‘heart-beat-to-print,’ and which was created in collaboration with Jonas Bohatsch, especially for this publication. They invited Jonas to work on an experimental publishing tool that considers and challenges your bodily engagement as an important part of the design process. Jonas was a participant in the Summer Academy in 2019. He hosted a workshop using heartbeat sensors, in collaboration with Andrea Valliere and Ana Jeličić. The ambition of the heartbeat-to-print tool was to influence the design of text and page layout by using input from their bodies. The tool differentiates between ‘head,’ ‘body’ and ‘foot’ as literal references to body parts. They were curious to investigate in what ways heartbeats as well as voices can affect a page layout. What if you shout or whisper? What if you get excited about a certain passage in the text? The tool registers the heartbeat of the user with a pulse sensor connected to a computer with an Arduino board, and the volume of the user’s voice is captured through a microphone. A Processing script picks up on both values and translates those values in real-time to different typographic expressions. The interface shows the page and works like a teleprompter. By pressing the spacebar, a word appears. You can read it aloud. After speaking the word, you release the space bar. The heartbeat value determines the font, and the volume determines the size. Jonas incorporated a control window where you can adjust the maximum and minimum size of head, body and foot. The fonts are carefully selected and include libre fonts by womxn.

With contributions by: Anja Groten, jujulove, Nadia Piet, Dahsa Ilina, Stephen Fortune, Annika Kappner, Eurico Sá Fernandes, Juan Arturo Garcia, Ollie George, Lenka Hamosova & Pavol Rusnak, Jonas Bohatsch, Rogier Klomp, Gabriel Fontana, Erin Gatz, Sarah Payton, André Fincato, Center for Genomic Gastronomy and Francisco Laranjo.

Self-published by Hackers & Designers
Edition curated by Anja Groten and Juliette Lizotte
2020 Amsterdam
Editor: Margarita Osipian
Design: Anja Groten, Juliette Lizotte and Jonas Bohatsch
Typefaces: Libre fonts by womxn discovered on a collection by Loraine Furter aiming to give visibility to libre fonts drawn by womxn designers, who are often underrepresented in the typography field. Almendra by Ana Sanfelippo, Cirrus Cumulus by Clara Sambot, Coconat by Sara Lavazza, Compagnon by Juliette Duhé and Léa Pradine, Kaerukaeru by Isabel Motz, Montserrat by Julieta Ulanovsky, Ortica by Benedetta Bovani, Ovo by Nicole Fally, Zarathustra by Loraine Furter, and Halibut Serif by Mateo Maggi distributed by Collletttivo, a collective that designs and distributes free open source typefaces
Cover: The images used for the cover are made by Lenka Hamosova as part of her GAN research.
Printing: Raddraaier, Amsterdam