Body as Text

Shelley Jackson’s book Skin is an interesting concept because it brings the reader into this more sensory experience of reading.  In knowing that people can become words through the use of their skin it begins to do a lot to change this concept of reading, but it also does a lot to change the concept of our physical bodies as part of the reading experience.   This idea of investing one’s body into this piece of literature in order to consume and read the literature is the most corporeal experience of immersion that one can have when reading.  This makes me wonder if reading is an experience that needs to be bodily as well as mental in order for it to take on different forms and create different pathways into our cognition of the text.

This reminds me of this book called Tactile Mind by Lisa Murphy, which was created with the intent of creating pornography for the blind.  (Here is a CNN video about it) The $225 book is derived from images taken by photographer Murphy and then made the images raised of the page, with Braille text featured alongside the images.   This concept of using one’s hand to perceive a visual image is an interesting way to think about how our bodies and the text we read can become intertwined with one another in a number of ways.  If a body can become a book as in Jackson’s Skin and a book can become a body as with Tactile Mind it becomes increasingly more clear how easily our bodies and technology are evolving together.

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