type of project: fellow research project

published: 2022

by: Post-Organic Bauplan: Josefina Maro & Salvador Marino




Post-Organic Bauplan


Post-Organic Bauplan (POB) is a duo from Argentina, based in Leipzig, Germany since 2018. POB is formed by Josefina Maro, choreographer and performance artist and Salvador Marino, Dr. in Evolutionary Biology and multimedia artist.

General concept:

The concept of Bauplan comes from developmental biology to define the conservative features that are typical to determine the body of one species, this concept was closely related to the idea of an architectural plan or design of a particular body that pre-exists the body itself. By putting it together with the word post-organic, what we try to generate is a break in the original concept and create an alternative meaning where bauplan can be what the body might build through its actions and not beforehand.

We understand practices exerted by social institutions as an attempt to preserve an idea of body, natural and unmodifiable, where religion, capitalism, science, patriarchy, i.e., are constantly putting pressures that shape and limit our own constructions and experiences as corporealities. Through the experimentation with robotic prostheses we want to embody a Post-organic Bauplan that could enable us to escape from a system that tries to homogenize every-body.

Our work during the residency at Akademie für Theater und Digitalität:

FASE DE CICATRIZACIÓN (eng: phase of cicatrization)

In the last phase of cicatrization, fibroblasts form a new layer to replace lost epidermal tissue. This abundant collagen secretion not only forms a scar that persists visibly, but also alters the properties of local sensitivity and thus the memory of the body.

Through corrosive and raw landscapes, the exploration of Post-Organic Bauplan´s practice is developed from the construction of, and interaction with, robotic prostheses and body research. For this instance we want to explore as well in relationship with holographic avatars and go further in the link between digital, analog and robotic bodies.

We want to continue to research dance, visuals, expanded reality and motion capture systems to go further on the creation of environments that play with the relationship between natural/artificial, organic/not-organic, body/space. We are motivated by a cross between art, technology and science that is not focused on increasing the productivity of the body but rather on bringing up questions about it. This is important for us as it is our way of exploring, opening up different experiences for us as corporealities as well as a way of meeting and connecting with other people interested in the topic of post-humanism, robotics, body modification and movement.

Work methodology

We generally start each process by choosing a concept that we take from biology science. Concepts such as autotomy, bauplan, chimeric parasites, etc. (*see glossary of terms) are denominations that biology science uses to define different processes that take place in the body of different species (or between them). Then our methodology is divided into two main lines of work, which of course are not independent but shape each other:

Development of robotic devices: There is an extensive research process on which robotic components, mechanics and materials are suitable to work with. We elaborate from scratch everything regarding the robots, that is the design, hardware and software. Morphologically the inspiration for the designs comes from references such as horns, spines, antennae and natural selection weapons developed in different species. The software refers to the interaction part and we are constantly looking for new ways of programming it in order to create an interaction with the human body that is not readable or controllable 100%. How it will move and why has to do with the general concept as well as with the specific concept we want to investigate in each phase of our research. For example: the prostheses designed for AUTOTOMIE: der Gastgeberkörper (second part of our trilogy work AUTOTOMIE) are able to function separately from the body of the performer. We wanted in that case to explore what could happen if we understood the prostheses as robotic creatures in themselves, with their own bodily autonomy. We are interested in investigating the interaction between body and technology in an experimental way.

The software of the last two prototypes was designed in collaboration with Frank Büchel and Philipp Kramer.

Movement research: based exclusively on the experience between body and prostheses. Since conceptually we work with the idea of bauplan, and the construction of an own body plan, it is important that each person makes their individual research process with the prostheses. That way, in our works, each performer we work with develops their own link with the robotic device. This makes each process specific, personal and connected to the experience of each corporeality and their way of dancing. Methodologically we normally start the investigation with the question of which parts of my body I am interested in extending/shortening and why. Then we perform different improvisation exercises, created specifically for each piece based on the concept that we want to focus on, and from there we open the space to the exploration of the body, individually and collectively, as a body dissection laboratory. The movement of the body in relation to the prostheses is quite special since it generates conditions that make the body unable to move as it would normally do without the prosthetic elements. Since our prostheses are fragile but at the same time have sharp spikes and are very sensitive to the stimuli of the body, it is extremely important as a dancer to create a new way of moving from this relationship.

The work from dance and movement is strongly focused on researching improvisation exercises and choreographic elements, to create the performance as a living system, as a dynamic structure with their own logic/s, where what we seek as performers is a presence in the space that has variations, glitches, transitions, oscillations. The composition of the performative work is intended to be a decentralized map of possibilities where the performers are exploring situations together with the robots and the audience in real time.

  • projects/postorganicbauplan/start.txt
  • Last modified: 22.01.2023 11:50
  • by Josefina Maro