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ROOT 0082

Year: 2017
Format: 3d Print
Commissioned by AND Abandon Normal Devices festival..

ROOT 0082 is a 3D printed body from the CAESAR database, an anthropometric study to create an average NATO body measurement initiated by the U.S. Air Force Laboratory around 1999. ("The Civilian American and European Surface Anthropometry Resource (CAESAR) project was a survey of the civilian populations of three countries representing the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries: the United States of America (USA), The Netherlands, and Italy." ↗)[] The database consists of over 4,000 recorded bodies and is one of the largest of its kind. Due to the studies volume, analogue measurement of all bodies was supported with the first full body 3d scanner, developed for this specific application. The scanner was developed by Cyberware, a California based company that worked with ILM Industrial Light and Magic on VFX and Stanford Computer Grahpics.

CAESAR's size has led the database to be a popular resource for academic research in need of human 3D models, up to this day.

Among the more prominent ways CAESAR has permeated to various areas of research and society is through the development of the Fuse Charactor Creator software that eases accessibility of modelling 3d characters. What is a laboursome process that can take hours, was translated into a pick & choose modelling process by Fuse. The software that launched in 2014, presents a body (horror) shop like interface where one can assemble limbs, torsos and heads into 3d meshes. Adobe Systems subsequently purchased the software in 2015 as part of Mixamo. Fuse was a startup based on (data-driven 3d modelling research at Stanford ↗)[], of which a selection of the CAESAR database served as training set.

ROOT 0082 is subject number 0082 in the CAESAR database, posed with mocap data from Mixamo: female being carried. I found the file 0082 by happenstance in a repository of 3d meshes for computer vision training. And then again in a YouTube video from the early 2000's. The 3D printed artefact ROOT 0082, which was exhibitied in the Treak Cliff Cavern, is an invisible puppet master, the root of all, in defining a new canon of the human form, posing questions on the standardisation of bodies, personal data, and the representation of the human body in virtual space. The sculpture was shown alongside the short film (The Fragility of Life ↗)[] that follows Teresa Barnwell, a Hillary Clinton impersonator, in the final days leading up to the 2016 U.S Presidential Elections.

ROOT 0082 and The Fragility of Life are both part of ongoing research The Contents on anthropometric standards embedded in 3D capture and modelling technologies. Used for a wide spectrum of applications, from movie special effects, to forensic investigation, and biometric identification, these technologies define much of how the human body and identity is represented and perceived in digital space. Through film, artefacts and interviews, The Contents challenges parametric constructs of corporeality.

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⦁ Scenography: Simone C Niquille
⦁ 3D Print: Oli Cooper
⦁ Mocap: Mixamo
⦁ 3D Scan: CAESAR

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Design & Research practice
of Simone C Niquille

Located in Amsterdam, NL

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