I Don’t Want a Body Anymore, is a 20 page zine that documents a year of my living in virtual reality. A mix of poetry and research about going inside the computer to create new forms of embodiment, queer community, and spiritual care with an international coven of trans catgirls. The zine follows my creation of my first avatar. It reflects on what it means as a trans person to have agency and creativity over one’s body and figure. Virtual reality like transness becomes a way of illuminating the boundaries of the body. Where does my immediate physical body end and where does it merge into the technological? Is there an embodiment through the technological that is collective and public? When do I get to escape from the avatars or figures that are mapped over me IRL?
Stretch the Grid Over My Skin
I’ve gone from trying to narrate the experience of looking at my hands in the virtual world to something else
I’m sitting in front of a mirror in a warmly lit bedroom. My friend K, a femmeby fox person, is sitting in my lap. I pet their head while we talk about our lives, the places we live, creative projects, politics, our bodies
I’ve been learning how to make an avatar of my own from YouTube. Rainhet’s avatar tutorial is really great.
I’m on day six of trying to make a hand for my avatar. Something keeps fucking up with the proportions. I look at it in Blender and it all lines up, but when I upload it, there’s some template rescaling everything. I can’t figure it out. The palm is too small, the thumb bends weird, the fingers stretch too long.
When I dissociate I leave my hands first
I stretch the grid over my body
I stretch the grid over my skin
What is the grid beneath our feet
What is the grid between my skin and yours
Reality has always been virtual. This thing pressed up to my eyes tearing away my body
I sleep in a nest of cables so lines get printed all over my skin
Home changes when I’m renting, when it’s a verge. A verge and threat of houselessness
What pushes me away from myself
I know I want home but I don’t know yet what that means
I mean space that is stable from which I can progress that I’m not continuously renegotiating
Because not a moment goes by where I am not negotiated and fluid and blocked and shaped
I dont want a body anymore
A point of origin.
I am what flows in and what leaves
I dont want a body anymore
What about everything that runs back to me that insists on constituting me as a body
my body is always in the way. It is in the in the wayness that I associate into this world
I don’t know about body but I am with arriving through being broke in the metaverse
I sleep in a nest of cables so that lines get printed on my skin
Slip the rent check, naked under the door
There’s no home any more. Just rent
no one is here
don’t answer the door
not the cop or the agent or the courier
no one is home
Let them bang and bang and bang and leave
The documents on the floor in the entry way
No one is home
No more home only rent
No more body only debt
I don’t know about body —
but I am with arriving through
being broke in the metaverse
Rushing through to a surface that extends into a space of projected mesh and textures and cameras splitting from body
and body taking to
animation and a mesh of hand
that touches mesh of ears
and mesh of pillow
There’s something to handling the fabric, turning it over and folding
the folding of the video
the foldability of the VR space
into, onto the surface of real space
Coming through, out of dreams
Arriving and evaporating
body to the back side
of the front side of surface
My body is always in the way, it is in the in the wayness that I feel connected
I like the way virtual reality, when I’m hanging out with people in it
its glitchiness or failure to work right is part of the conversation and part of the
humor and fantasy of it
this makes a space where reality
is expected and allowed to fail
bodies are expected and allowed to fail
What if my body was never meant to contain all it’s asked to?
My wholeness will never be returned to me.
VR is a route along the way to find where my
body is arriving in the whole
This body was always meant to be consumed
figure that flashes across eyes as avatar
The joke of optical illusion is not that there are two reads but that the reads are so absurdly bounded as to create unexpected distance.
The unexpected distance is not the joke either.
The joke is two reads that are exclusive of each other arriving through one form that claims as a property of its form the erasure and impossibility of moving between those two reads.
The closer we draw to the intimate, the space within my arms, the more vision becomes queer
The spell of vision crosses
Single source optical perspective shears
My eyes turn inward and together you become round
Remember we have two eyes.