Monthly Archives: February 2004

Some production stills

I've added a small number of stills to the Uvatiarru web site. I should emphasize that these are basically just randomly selected images from the first tapes I've captured, and really represent only a tiny fraction of the bredth of content in the film. But here's the very first peak at what's going on:


I'm trying to find out what the plane on the right is. The person in the photo is of course Sir Barnes Wallis, one of Britain's most famous airship designers. He's standing in front of paintings of two of his ships, but more importantly, what is the wild looking thing in front of him?

The photo dates from the 1950s. The book it's from (“Sky Sailors”) only mentions the paintings behind him, and doesn't even say anything about the model, so I assume they must have no idea either. It has external airbreathing engine pods, so I don't believe that it's a spaceship, although it could be a design for a British X-plane of some kind?

I'd be so excited though if that was a radical design for a lighter-than-air ship…?

Update: Thanks to Shamus Greenman for letting me know that it's a variable geometry aircraft (ie. plane, not blimp) called the Swallow (more, more).

Whitby Interview

I'm headed up to Aviation World with Rachel shortly. When I get back I'll probably start posting those screenshots from the movie. Until then, here's a mini-interview I just did (it was just for a highschool project… is it bad that I'm more likely to accept interviews with young students than I am with National Geographic and other “real” media?):

1. Why do you believe some people find modding to be “mutilation”?

Probably because they're ignorant and have trouble perceiving other mindsets than their own. “Mutilation” isn't just some biassed synonym of “modification” — it quite specifically refers to crippling and damage. Calling body modification “mutilation” shows that a person has only a superficial understanding of the subject. The word is like a “stupid-detector”.

2. Is modding the (legal) right of the person who's body it is?

Well, there are rights and then there are “legal” rights, right? In nearly every country in the world, citizens do not in fact own their bodies — they are merely leased from their government. Thus even in America there are areas where tattooing is illegal, and even consensual acts between adults are banned when the government doesn't approve. So is it a legal right? No, definitely not. But I believe that it's a fundamental human right (the ownership and liberty of the self), and it's very unfortunate that few governments recognize that.

3. People of different races and religions are protected from discrimination by the government. Should the modded community also have these protections?

It depends on how far you want to take it. I believe people should have the right to control their own lives. I do not believe that they should have the right to control other people's lives.

What I mean by that is that I want to make sure that I have the right to make any change to my body that I want to, and I want to have the right to ask anyone I want to do it (ie. if I consent to a modification, the practitioner should not be prosecuted either). I also want equal right to the public services I pay for with my taxes — no discrimination for mods in education, medical aid, or government services of any kind.

However, I do not believe that we should force businesses to hire us. If we force companies to hire people with body modifications (and they don't want to), then we're really no better than they are in not hiring us (in that we'd be forcing our will on them).

4. What reactions have you got before that you found offensive or discriminatory?

Personally it's not really been an issue to me. Because I've always been self-driven, motivated, and self-employed, I've not had to fight for jobs against the unmodified mainstream. The few times someone has been an ass to me because they didn't like my mods I mostly just took it as a reflection of the pain they're feeling inside… It's mostly a comment on how unhappy they are in their own bodies when they behave so poorly after seeing someone who's not.

5. Why do you mod your body?

You could also ask me why I paint. I don't know. It's who I am. I have a drive to communicate with the universe, and your body is the most pure way you can physically do so…

Implants and Photos

Want this giant photo for $10?

Had a really good meeting this afternoon. As many of you know, there's a lot of interesting new manufacturing going on. Kaos has its line of silicone jewelry (which will be in BMEshop shortly, so watch here for that announcement), Steve Haworth has great new facilities for custom implant manufacture, and a number of groups are starting to mass manufacture interesting new implant technologies both in silicone and other materials.

I won't say too much on it now, but I met with one of the forces doing this development today and was very impressed — and I honestly didn't expect I would. Where I was expecting a kitchen sink operation, I found top-notch materials and vacuum chambers, and with more medical review and analysis than anyone I've ever seen… Even experiments including layer-by-layer dissections of tissue around healed implants to determine exactly what works best and what doesn't. It was nice to see someone finally laying those foundations; it's been far too long.

Anyway, I also bought another half terabyte of drivespace today so I can capture another 35 hours of DV footage…. So that's my plan for the next 35 hours!

Year-end Shirts

Quick update on the award shirts. They were in theory being sent out last month, so I think people are probably getting worried that they've been lost — not so! They're being printed now and will be going out to you shortly. If your address has changed and you're on the list, make sure to update Ryan and Corrie since they're handling the reality of it (the delay is my fault though).