Le personnage de FlashTaTu est né d’une réflexion sur le corps et l’espace augmenté. FlashTatu est un super héros qui a le pouvoir de numériser les P. I. G. S. – les People, Information, Goods and Spaces. Flash fait référence aux QR codes aussi appelés flash codes que l’on scanne à l’aide d’un téléphone mobile et qui renvoient à un url. TaTu rappelle l’origine tahitienne du mot tatouage : ta pour dessin et atouas pour esprit. Interpretation littérale mais aussi humoristique de l’individu augmenté et hypertexte, FlashTatu donne corps au zeitgeist bio-numérique. FlashTaTu navigue dans des univers parallèles, le physique et le numérique, et les met en relation. FlashTaTu est aussi un agent bio-politique qui se mêle des questions d’aliénation dans la ville augmentée. C’est un avatar, un médiateur, prétexte à des expérimentations sur les espaces hybrides – physiques et numériques.

Les activités mises en scène au cours de cette exposition qui réunit artistes, penseurs et innovateurs ont pour but de questionner l’identité des espaces hybrides de la ville – le corps est aussi un espace – et d’envisager les lieux hypertextes de demain.

Yasmine Abbas, Research & Design Direction
Marion Daeldyck, 3D design
Nadine Branellec, Research Assistant

Corps – technologie – habitat – peau – information – mobilité – néo-nomade – identités hybrides – espaces hybrides – hypertexte – interface – ecotone – architecture – urbain – numérique – augmenté

Body – technology – habitat – skin – information – mobility – neo-nomad – hybrid identities – hybrid spaces – hypertext – interface – ecotone – architecture – urban – digital – augmented


I like this verb “to domesticate” – I translate it from the French “apprivoiser” (“domestiquer” also exists in French) as I read over again the Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. It made me think about social networking and love/friendship. Does facebook really help look for “chicks” or domesticate “foxes”? / Est-ce que Facebook sert vraiment à chercher des poule(t)s ou apprivoiser les renard(e)s ?

– […] Tu cherches des poules ?
– Non, dit le petit prince. Je cherche des amis. Qu’est-ce que signifie “apprivoiser” ?
– C’est une chose trop oubliée, dit le renard, Ça signifie “créer des liens…”.
– Créer des liens ?
– Bien sûr, dit le renard. Tu n’es encore pour moi qu’un petit garçon tout semblable à cent mille petits garçons. Et je n’ai pas besoin de toi. Et tu n’as pas besoin de moi non plus. Je ne suis pour toi qu’un renard semblable à cent mille renards. Mais si tu m’apprivoises, nous aurons besoin l’un de l’autre. Tu seras pour moi unique au monde. Je serai pour toi unique au monde…”

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Le petit Prince (1946) – pp. 71 – 72 de l’édition de la collection Folio de Gallimard de 1999.

My Body Is A Hypertext

Summer time – August 16, 2005 – As I was reading (and writing for my thesis) on augmented bodies – William J. Mitchell, Me++, The Cyborg Self and the Networked City (MIT press, 2003) – I thought of getting a 2D code tattoo – though a washable one, for that I don’t like things permanent – or let’s say it differently – I accept that things have an expiration date – that death is part of life. That is true (ecological) neo-nomadism btw.

That is the vignette (with a text) I had produced to illustrate the concept:

project number . 20050816
project title . shotcode tattoo
medium . ink or washable tattoo
my identity has shrunk to my skin…
<< I link therefore I am >> says WJM
my tattoo is no more a barcode that one scans
for revealing the identity of a product
the extension of my body is a url
we exist because of the envelope, the image
which is drawn, written, or projected onto it
our skin is a state of mind, a habitat, and our identity
the last private space?
my body is a hypertext

On August 23, 2005, I received the email below:

My name is [x] and I’m the founder / CEO of [x] / ShotCode.

I loved your blog entry and I just wanted to let you know how close to home it hit for me.

In the coming month I will tattoo a ShotCode on my chest. It’ll be a ShotCode that I can point to any type of content that I want. We’ll make a little movie of it to prove that it’s an actual tattoo and not a stick on or penned shape.

And then again on the same day after I had answered:

I’ve had the ShotCode drawn on my chest to test if it works and it does. The next step is the actual tattooing which I’ll have done in [x] (a city in Sweden) [etc.]

Anyway, I had also been forwarded another link… Here you will find the newest way to pick-up a Japanese Babe! Or when bodies become blunt commodities.

Nowadays, my reflection on augmented bodies (And what this has to do with space) has evolved – especially in light of the Arab Spring. Neo-nomads are bio-political agents – More about this concept in the book: Néo-nomadisme.

Actually pushing the #hyperbody project further (Paris is so intellectually stimulating). Stay tuned. It is coming very soon.

#memfeed – Augmented Reality workshop – #Lift11

Augmented Reality renders visible the invisible, feeds our memory with information that can be re-enacted on demand. AR, we may argue, is meant to inject some cosmic to “junkspaces”. #memfeed is the hash tag for ‘memory feed’, what could become a research topic for future collaboration. How would you feed memory and why would you want to? The workshop was set so to discuss the use and usages of Augmented Reality technologies. AR… So what? As Hans de Zwart mentioned as we started the discussion, “with our GSP enabled phone and google map, our reality is already augmented.”

The workshop gathered participants from diverse backgrounds and with various interests in Augmented Reality from communication, social sciences, technology and business. Jie-Eun Hwang, presented the research she currently conducts at the University of Seoul: based on the (physical) mapping of the location of popular movie scenes shot in the Buckchon neighborhood, the design and technology lab is investigating how to use AR to transform this analog mapping into a mapping experience. As the geographer Henri Desbois said in Place De La Toile (1): « Les cartes sont des objets en perpétuelle évolution et en perpétuelle actualisation », and que « l’espace cartographique est devenu une partie intégrante de la ville » et qu’aujourd’hui on « habite à la fois la ville et sa représentation » → “Maps are perpetually updated objects” and that “the space of the map has become an integral part of the city”, that “today we inhabit the city and its representation”. The test service is successful in Seoul because there is already a strong interest in movies and pop culture. Does this mean that successful applications are these which augment a reality that exists?

“Social memories on the spot” ← We asked what was AR. From the brainstorming session we concluded that AR enables to “filter” the environment one roams in, it “reveals” the invisible while “blurs” (or inflate the space of) the boundary between fiction and reality. But it needs to have an “application” and enable linkages (between people, people and buildings, etc.).

So far so good. What could we do with it? We have asked participant to think about scenarios of usage other than applications for tourists and we spoke about AR usage in emergency situations – and hope for the service to still work, to measure the mood of a neighborhood and promote wellbeing, and for DIY or DIWO (Do It With Others) reparations.

There are many ideas that could be developed; yet the needs, access and practicality would determine the usage of these AR platforms. Thus AR questions our engagement to things at a time when everything, from relation to peers to connection to spaces seems very fluid!

(1) Henri Desbois, Internet et géographie : les imaginaires de la ville, intervention dans Place de La Toile, émission du 13 Mars 2011

WEBINAR: Interacting with a Digital ‘Person’: what impact(s) and implication(s) for identity?

Monday 20th June 2011
12.15pm-1.45pm French time (GMT +2)
Check the time in Paris (France) here.

Interacting with a Digital ‘Person’*: what impact(s) and implication(s) for identity?

*Note: a Digital Person is a non-human which can interact orally with humans such as computers, robots, GPS navigation systems, etc.

Organised by Fred Dervin (university of Turku, Finland) and Béatrice Fracchiolla (Paris 8, France; MSH Paris Nord), within the framework of the project “Anthropology of interactions with “digital individuals”: the example of GPS Navigators” (2010-2012), which is funded by the research centre Maison Sciences de l’Homme Paris Nord (Paris, France).


Yasmine Abbas (Neo-nomad research),
Georges Chapouthier (Research director at the CNRS in Paris, Centre Emotion -CNRS UMR 7593- Université Pierre & Marie Curie, Pitié-Salpétrière, Paris, France),
Mark Coeckelbergh (Department of Philosophy, University of Twente, the Netherlands) and
Jasper Michiel van Hemert (Senior User Experience Researcher, TomTom, The Netherlands).

The webinar will be broadcasted live here. The audience will have the opportunity to ask questions, interact with the speakers and share their own experiences.

Questions should be directed both to Fred Dervin: freder [at] utu [dot] fi  and Béatrice Fracchiolla: bearfrac [at] yahoo [dot] com.