Ethics/Ownership

I have 3D scanned my bust for a VR project I was working on last year and was really excited about this week’s assignment which gave me a great opportunity to scan my whole body.

Before going in for scanning, I was deciding between wearing something sporty or sexy since tight fitted clothes work better for rigging. I ended up going with the sexy route because I’ve always wanted to dance in public in a bodysuit with no pants or a skirt on but usually felt self-conscious about giving off the wrong impression when wearing something more revealing. Even though my scan is based off my actual body and outfit, I found myself more at ease with self-representation.

I teamed up with Alden and Nicolas. We did a total of about 3 scans per person with different strategies.

The first scan was done in Room 50 with no additional lights. The overall shape was not bad but parts of the texture were too dark. The arms definitely needed more shots.

For the second scan, we had Nicolas holding the structure sensor and Alden flashing a red-filtered LED light on me behind Nicolas. The result was much improved but the right arms still need more shots. The right arm in all three of our scans were somehow more screwed than our left arm.

In our third scan, we took more shots than our previous ones especially around our arms. My right arm texture was still a little off but other than that the result was great. I find it pretty fascinating that the structure sensor was able to capture so much details. My butt and legs were crazy realistic!

Here’s a GIF of me spinning on screen.

This week’s articles touch upon the topic of ethics and ownership when digital resurrection technology has become more advanced and available. Referencing my own experience from working with collages, I was aware that there needs to be certain degree of input from my end in order to make the piece an “original”. There is a difference between being inspired by versus copying something. It is not surprising learning about the definition behind the right of publicity and whom it actually protects yet it is still a bit terrifying to think that the 3D scan I just did of myself could be used in an environment I would’ve never approved afterlife but was permitted by my heirs.

Volpicelli’s comment on the usage of unexpectedly deceased celebrity avatars in movies that “what so far has been a last resort could one day become routine” raises the ethical issue of avatars taking over the industry. I agree with the laws established for these reasons to protect living actors/actresses yet also had a lot of doubt in the predicted outcome. It is true that technology kept advancing and our avatars’ figure could be an accurate replica of physical selves. However, giving a creature a soul is not limited to the physical body. Sound and emotion are also key components and they are much more complex and more or so unpredictable which I think is what will always separate us from our avatars.

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