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Welcome to the Bodymindchange WikiEdit

Body Mind Change is an up-and-coming ARG (Alternate Reality Game) that can be found at http://bodymindchange.ca/. Created by Canadian director David Cronenberg, the website offers to send out PODs to those who sign up for one. A POD (or Personal On-Demand) is described on the website's homepage as "an emotional sensory learning and data-mining organism designed to enhance your life. This state of the art biotech implant will guarantee you personalized recommendations that are 99.999% relevant all the time. POD grows with you to become an intuitive companion, fulfilling your deepest desires on demand."

Body/Mind/Change Main SiteEdit

ScientistsEdit

As of yet it is still unclear how important the team page is to the project and speculation on it’s contents is hampered by a lack of data. The only information provided for the team so far are portrait thumbnails that have yet to prove themselves of anything more than aesthetic significance and a short paragraph describing the members position and prior accomplishments. It is apparent that the four members of the BMC team Will come into play when the ARG is fully launched on or before October 25th.

TechnologyEdit

The major premise of the ARG currently seems to hinge on PODs which are "bionanohybrids" that can be implanted into the user to enrich their experiences in the Real World and with Digital Content though an Augmented Reality interface. more information can be found here. Currently, the PODs are 27% printed for those who have completed their first simulation with their POD, which introduces you and your POD, and also teaches POD about some emotions of humans and your own specific preferences. You can access these simulations only if you have signed up for a POD. The website updated when the first simulation came out, and you can now sign in from any page on the site. Be forewarned, POD has been known to glitch in the first simulation, sometimes with embarassing results. The most common glitch is confusing what you hate with what you love, and posting it on twitter.

Social Media Edit

Immediately following the announcement of the project, Body/Mind/Change's social media presence was nearly nonexistent. There were only a few posts on its Facebook page at the beginning of the year, which explained what the BMC labs were about. The Twitter was much the same, no real activity. The account was created in April, but there were no tweets on it for some time. As of yet, there is no official Tumblr for Body/Mind/Change, but there is a bit of a fandom for the ARG that seems to be steadily growing (this probably has been impacted by Cronenberg's enormous cult following). The most direct official communication between BMC and players occurs when a user signs up to get a POD. There is a form email that is sent out to those who register that tells the user that they will be notified as to when they will receive their POD. The larger community of ARG players have yet to really dive into this "game" as its not yet really taken off discussion remains in its infancy. More information about social meidia can be found Here.

David CronenbergEdit

Cronenberg

David Cronenberg

Early LifeEdit

David Cronenberg was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on March 15, 1943 to Milton Cronenberg, a writer and an editor, and Esther Cronenberg, a talented musician. As a child, David Cronenberg wrote eerie short stories which seemed to premeditate the type of films he would create later in his life, as did his studies of Science and Literature at the University of Toronto. After his director’s debut in 1969, Cronenberg became one of Canada’s most prolific and iconic directors and has since developed a cult following of those who enjoy his unique style of portraying horror and gore.[1]

CareerEdit

Aeneastudio CC-BY

Cronenberg Poster image by aeneastudio CC-BY

Cronenberg has directed a total of 40 movies , some of the more well-known being Vide​odrome and The Fly , and he is said to have been influenced by authors such as William Burroughs , who wrote in the "bold, straightforward, and expressive" style of the Beat Movement , and Vladimir Nabokov , most known for his edgy and explicit novel, Lolita[2] Cronenberg’s films fall into the film genre known as body horror or venereal horror in which the main feature is the graphically depicted destruction or degeneration of a human body or bodies.” [3] This style is generally characterized by infections of flesh parasites, graphically depicted mutilation or degeneration of the body, and bodily mutations rendered by either a genetic malfunction or medical affliction.

Evolution and TIFFEdit

Bodymindchange.ca is really part of a promotion for David Cronenberg: Evolution, an exhibition by the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) that celebrates David Cronenberg’s accomplishments. The project, which will be exhibited by the TIFF on Wendesday, October 30, 2013, will “explore the various stage of Cronenberg’s evolution as a filmmaker…[through] interactive art instillations.” [4] . The Bodymindchange transmedia push was engineered by Lance Weiler  in collaboration with the CFC Media Lab  and will remind fans of Cronenberg’s 1983 film, Videodrome , which deals with a plot of widespread mind-control similar to the one that is likely to unfold through the implantation of the proposed PODS. Weiler says that although Bodymindchange may be inspired by Videodrome, it has been “reimagined for the 21st century and brought to life across three platforms—online, mobile, and the real world.” By supplementing the Evolution exhibit with a multi-platform promotion, Weiler has presented “the plausible science fiction found in Cronenberg’s work” that will serve to fully immerse the audience in an authentic Cronenbergian world [5]. Also present at TIFF's exhibit will be 6 artists from the Musem of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA) who have been inspired by Cronenberg's style of filmmaking. Their exhibition is called David Cronenberg: Transformation and the artists "have been invited to respond to a specific theme in [Cronenberg's] work: the yearning in human beings to witness the next stage of human evolution. The artists range in primary practice, but their work reflects the ennormous impact of Cronenberg on visual-arts language, and is a testament to the director's own ongoing engagement with visual art." Besides showcasing at the TIFF event on October 30th, the exhibit will run at the MOCCA from September 5, 2013 to December 29, 2013. [6]

eXistenZEdit

Gamepodd

Gamepod

SummaryEdit

eXistenZ is a 1999 body horror film created by David Cronenberg in which a famous game designer named Allegra Gellar (Jennifer Jason Leigh ) produces a new kind of virtual reality game that leeches energy from the human body in order to run its system through a bioport, which is inserted by punching a gaping hole directly into the base of the spine. The concept of the PODs in the Body/Mind/Change campaign is very similar to the gamepods, or the game “consoles”, in Cronenberg’s film. In eXistenZ, William Dafoe’s character, Gas, the gas station owner who performs the hasty bioport operation on Ted Pikul (Jude Law ) tells Pikul “thou the player of the game art God,” a concept that seems to be intermittent in the BodyMind Change POD  concept. The PODs are guaranteed to give you “personalized recommendations that are 99.999% relevant all the time,” giving the player a deity-like status over the creature. The gamepods in eXistenZ closely resemble the PODs from the Body/Mind/Change labs not only in appearance, but also in the way in which they must be inserted into the human body in order to function. The game pods themselves are lumpy, fleshy creatures that writhe when touched by human hands, obviously suggesting a quasi-sexual relationship between player and pod, and attached to the gamepods are long, twisting umbilical cords that are injected directly into the player’s body via a bioport. It is not clear if the Body/Mind/Change PODs will have a sexual component, but the small creatures are also meant to be implanted into people. 

Gamepod

Dissection of a gamepod.

eXistenZ as Body Horror Edit

This film is also a good example of the body or venereal horror style Cronenberg often employs. One scene in particular that exemplifies Cronenberg’s body horror technique occurs when Allegra’s gamepod must be dissected and repaired. The gamepods are actually artificially created animals that are “grown from fertilized amphibian eggs [then] stuffed with synthetic DNA,” although the innards of the creature look distinctly human, with its torn flesh and bone and some blood oozing out for good measure. The grotesque mutilation of many of the characters, including the gamepod, in the movie will definitely please those who enjoy the body or venereal horror genre, and it might foretell what is in store in the future for the PODs and the Body/Mind/Change transmedia campaign itself if we can assume that more connections might be made to eXistenZ. Many fans of Cronenberg’s work in science fiction and body horror movies will instantly recognize the PODs as a throwback to the gamepods from this film, although it only grossed around $2,800,000 domestically when it came out. [7] The artistic nod to Cronenberg’s earlier film helps to create the kind of bizarre, Cronenbergian world that BodyMindChange creator, Lance Weiler, had in mind.

EXistenZ (1999) - Trailer02:01

EXistenZ (1999) - Trailer

Trailer to David Cronenberg's eXistenZ (1999)

Potential links to Body/Mind/ChangeEdit

- At the moment the only obvious links between Body/Mind/Change and eXistenZ are the PODs themselves and (maybe) questions of reality. more links might develop as the project gets off the ground.

- some have expressed the opinion that the ARG might be a sort of "spritual succesor" to the movie, but there is nothing yet to substantiate such claims.  

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