12 thoughts on “Manscape”

  1. Nearly absolutely related: Bacterial ‘Zoo’ Thrives on Human Skin. Which shouldn’t surprise anyone.

    But this is interesting: “Just as each person is unique, so too is his or her bacteria, the researchers found. More than 71 percent of all species identified were unique to just one of the six test subjects. Three species were only found on the men’s skin, suggesting that some bacteria exclusively live on men or women.”

    And: “As adults we have 10 times more microbial cells than human cells, and perhaps 100 times more genes embedded in the genomes of our microbial partners than in our own human genome.”

    So we’re like walking miniature Amazons or Chinese karst landscapes, pristine or otherwise. A walking gene pool that we might be unknowingly dipping ourself into for foreign DNA strands to fold back into our own.

  2. How about having multiple people get fullbody tattoos of different information from the same landscape? A family wherein one parent is a topo map, the other a hydrological diagram, and the kids are faultlines, utilities, real estate assessor’s maps, etc?

  3. I want a full scale tatoo of my own skin on my skin.

    This zoo of bacteria, Alex, where are the cages and the keepers, the tourists and the docents. What species are they and what do they charge to “get in.”

    I know where they keep the fungi collection anyway.

  4. Sooner or later someone will bring up Queequeg and the secrets of the universe mapped on his body:

    With a wild whimsiness, he now used his coffin for a sea- chest; and emptying into it his canvas bag of clothes, set them in order there. Many spare hours he spent, in carving the lid with all manner of grotesque figures and drawings; and it seemed that hereby he was striving, in his rude way, to copy parts of the twisted tattooing on his body. And this tattooing, had been the work of a departed prophet and seer of his island, who, by those hieroglyphic marks, had written out on his body a complete theory of the heavens and the earth, and a mystical treatise on the art of attaining truth; so that Queequeg in his own proper person was a riddle to unfold; a wondrous work in one volume; but whose mysteries not even himself could read, though his own live heart beat against them; and these mysteries were therefore destined in the end to moulder away with the living parchment whereon they were inscribed, and so be unsolved to the last. And this thought it must have been which suggested to Ahab that wild exclamation of his, when one morning turning away from surveying poor Queequeg – “Oh, devilish tantalization of the gods!”

    Moby Dick, Chapter CX, Queequeg in His Coffin

  5. several years ago (or maybe in the future, I can’t remember) a research group in Japan, naturally, developed an invisible material. A process of microcameras and microscreens, in symbiotic unison, filming and screening simultaneously, to give the effect of invisibility…

    somewhere later…

    nano bio-cam/monitor epidermal implants


    chameleon tattoos – for the shy exhibitionist…


    powerpoint needs no longer be so boring?

  6. Try looking for The artistic work of Qin Ga:“The Miniature Long March”

    The artist first tattooed a map of China onto his back, and then would tattoo each new site that the Long March team would arrive at in its respective position on the map, permanently leaving behind each route and site. he was walking as part of works that were realized throughout the course of the “Long March – A Walking Visual Display.”
    (link to to explanation about the project:

  7. I’m curious if the guy stops lifting weights and gets fat. Or if he has an accident. Or if he has a mole removed for dermatological analysis.

    What does that do to the landscape?

    Could these or other such long-term changes be aesthetically incorporated into the image on his skin – say, a growing mountain (ahem), or the swelling waters of a mountain lake (he gets a beer belly)…?

    How can you plan a tattoo so that it changes over time? Or what if he loses weight, for that matter? Plate tectonics.

  8. I always thought it would be interesting to tatoo a newborn with a grid and then see how it changes over the life of the individual. Unfortunately, I have never reproduced, so never got the chance to try it out.

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