Vanessa Ramos Velasquez Bodenlos Homo Ludens installation
Vanessa Ramos Velasquez
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A  network of objects as communicable entities, live media and humans functioning as an assemblage (enabled via sensors and programing code to form images). A celebration of animism of the assemblage as a space for the embodiment of multiple points of view, as in Amerindian Perspectivism.

The installation is also homage to Vilém Flusser’s “Bodenlos” philosophy of life, which sees the personal networks spread across borders as the only possible means to reconnect ourselves amidst the groundlessness of a shifting reality, as well as his media theory, which proposes that electronic images have a magical-mystic quality and are a byproduct of scientific thinking.


Flusser’s media theory concept describes a photographer-apparatus black box, a system that is complex enough with its programming and design that it cannot initially be penetrated by the user. The obscurity of this black box is the challenge presented to the Homo Ludens (“der spielende Mensch”, a concept of playfulness coined by Johan Huizinga, which was adopted by Flusser). My interactive installation places the Homo Ludens (the visitors) as a player in a ludic structure and as Flusser proposes, it is while Homo Ludens is lost in the mystery of the black belly of the apparatus, that he/she manages to somehow control it. In this installation, the apparatus is a playful structure with which to make images at leisure, without pressing buttons, because the apparatus is an autonomous sensing device that plays with Homo Ludens.


Flusser’s poetic description of the photographic image-capture categories (angles, focal length, etc) bear an uncanny similarity to the Amerindian shamanic (multi)-perspectivism. Flusser further remarks that the lighting-speed (lens shutter-speed) of various region registrations form a network, through whose fabric, cultural conditions start to emerge so that they can be perceived. From this Amerindian conceptual connection, I create the interaction via the use of hammocks. The hammocks (weaved net structures) also represent the concept of creating content via sensing networks of the Information Age.


Bodenlos_HomoLudens is a generative, interactive and participatory installation that captures and displays the occupants of the structure in their various perspectives, catching them seeing themselves. This sort of flirting is further altered in the space-time continuum of the slitscanning process. This structural imaging technique is attained via creative coding. The creature scans the “landscape” with its eye-cameras and outputs the playful images on the ultrawide video monitor. The “creature”, the Bodenlos_HomoLudens installation, which becomes one with the participants as an assemblage, absorbs the guests in their moment of interaction. The creature scans its surroundings as an act of image-hunting of its landscape: the image of each of the three cameras (Red, Green, Blue - representing the digital color space) is rewritten from left to right erasing the previous scan while new impressions and a trace are formed.


When the installation Bodenlos_HomoLudens is unoccupied, the 3 hammocks (the creature’s cradling arms) generate a “calm heartbeat” (as shown above, in the green and red sine waves). When visitors approach the hammocks and sit/lie in them, the heartbeat of the creature (Bodenlos_HomoLudens) gets altered and animated as shown in the sine waves containing more movement. Also, if the visitors get snapped by the eyes (cameras) of the creature, the video monitor displays the affected image. This is what the “creature” sees and animates as a live digital alterity of the visitors, creating an intersubjective and communicative dynamic.

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The conclusion of the production of BODENLOS_H0M0LUDENS for the DEVOUR! III exhibit has been made possible by the kind support of the Karl Hofer Gesellschaft e.V.

Vanessa Ramos Velasquez Bodenlos Homo Ludens photo by dotgain

At DEVOUR! exhibit Kunstkraftwerk Leipzig. Photos courtesy of dotgain.

Bodenlos_H0M0LUDENS ©2015 Vanessa Ramos-Velasquez

The installation structure is inspired by the fishing/hunting expeditions of Amerindians and the communal tripod’s ephemeral/transitory presence in the landscape. A structure to rest, to converse with one another, to dream. A place for Homo Ludens to coexist with the Homo Faber in all of us.

Vanessa Ramos Velasquez research Oyampi Amerindians

Installation at KunstKraftWerk Leipzig, 4/2015, at the exhibit DEVOUR! Social Cannibalism, Political Redefinition and Architecture. Exhibit Documentation: http://www.kunstkraftwerk-leipzig.com/de/art-design/2015-devour-sozialer-kannibalismus-politische-neudefinierung-und-architektur.html

Bodenlos_H0M0LUDENS ©2015 Vanessa Ramos-Velasquez
Bodenlos_H0M0LUDENS ©2015 Vanessa Ramos-Velasquez

BODENLOS_H0M0LUDENS 2015

Interactive generative installation

Bodenlos_H0M0LUDENS ©2015 Vanessa Ramos-Velasquez
Bodenlos_H0M0LUDENS ©2015 Vanessa Ramos-Velasquez
Bodenlos_H0M0LUDENS ©2015 Vanessa Ramos-Velasquez
Bodenlos_H0M0LUDENS ©2015 Vanessa Ramos-Velasquez
Bodenlos_H0M0LUDENS ©2015 Vanessa Ramos-Velasquez
Bodenlos_H0M0LUDENS ©2015 Vanessa Ramos-Velasquez
Bodenlos_H0M0LUDENS ©2015 Vanessa Ramos-Velasquez

The research component of Bodenlos_Homo Ludens being shown next to the installation as a series of 20 prints.


This research is multifaceted and can be presented as a Keynote covering the themes of a proposed fourth wave of Anthropophagy, groundlessness of the highly technological era, mobility, the artificial divide between Nature & Culture, sensorial networks, the web of relations in Amerindian culture, defining a true conservation and management of the environment.

Vanessa Ramos Velasquez Bodenlos Homo Ludens photo by dotgain

At DEVOUR! exhibit Kunstkraftwerk Leipzig. Photos courtesy of dotgain.