Body Mod 2.0
July 3, 2008 10:42 AM   Subscribe

Some of us are into body art. Some are into customizing our laptops. This crazy bastich laser-etches his own skin. Yowza.
posted by adamms222 (40 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Thumbnail calender
posted by hortense at 10:50 AM on July 3, 2008


Okay, I had a hard time watching that. I'm wondering what he'll think of his little laser robot (and how it'll look) when he's 60 or so. Since he basically killed his skin... how will that age?
posted by miss lynnster at 10:52 AM on July 3, 2008


Why is this not creeping me out? Aren't they just really shallow burns that will just heal like really shallow burns?
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 10:56 AM on July 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


This would hurt like hell, but is far from permanent, unless I'm missing something. It's gone in 4-5 days just like any minor burn.
posted by DU at 10:58 AM on July 3, 2008


Wow... I am tattoo'ed... And I don't see the point of this. That's not even a good picture; neither in symbolism or in design. I don't understand this whatsoever. Unless someone can present a really good argument otherwise, I don't see how this is anything but self-mutilation.
posted by Dark Messiah at 11:01 AM on July 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Man, after watching that video, I gotta say, they're just setting the bar for the Kwisatz Haderach lower and lower these days.
posted by Greg Nog at 11:02 AM on July 3, 2008 [6 favorites]


Fun idea, but even if it's permanent, it would be subject to the same limitations as traditional scarification - even with a competent, experienced artist, it's hard to tell how skin will react.

Browsing through BME's scarification FAQ, it also looks like Steve Haworth has been doing 'laser' branding with an elecrocautery device for a while (explained as using "a device similar to an arc welder for the skin").

All things considered, if I ever get the urge to burn happyfaces and robots into my hands, I'll get it done by a professional bodymod artist, not some geek with a laser cutter and an Instructables page.
posted by grippycat at 11:13 AM on July 3, 2008


This will soon be replacing handstamps at your local pub.
posted by ...possums at 11:13 AM on July 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


I've seen some pretty extensive and intricate brands that made me a little woozy to contemplate. Laser etching sounds bad-ass, but you can set the depth and power on a laser - this guy barely burnt off the first layer of his skin. eh.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 11:50 AM on July 3, 2008


Freaky. Reminds me of the laser tattoo in Starship Troopers. Also, who looks at a laser cutter and thinks, "we use this thing to cut through solid matter with a highly energetic and focused beam of light, I should totally put my hand in there"?
posted by OverlappingElvis at 11:52 AM on July 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


"I don't see the point of this. That's not even a good picture; neither in symbolism or in design. I don't understand this whatsoever. Unless someone can present a really good argument otherwise, I don't see how this is anything but self-mutilation."

I'm not tattooed, and this sums up my feelings about tattoos. (Or did, when I was a teenager. Now I've mellowed a bit.)
posted by Eideteker at 11:53 AM on July 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Aren't they just really shallow burns that will just heal like really shallow burns?

Well, you've got to pick at the scabs. Show some commitment.
posted by StickyCarpet at 11:55 AM on July 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


No no no no! *covers eyes, refuses to watch video*

Weird though, because I have tattoos, and have had no problem watching myself or other people get inked.
posted by rtha at 11:57 AM on July 3, 2008


I like the way it looks. It borders on subtle, as the color isn't too different than normal skin. The robot is ugly, but that's just the art, not the technique. Sounds like there is some question about whether or not it lasts. If it does, I might just have to get one.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 11:59 AM on July 3, 2008


Cutting was good enough for your mother and it should be good enough for you too!
posted by Dizzy at 12:10 PM on July 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


I got some sleeves and stockings etched on to my arms and legs by the sun! They're kind of a pinky-brown.
posted by everichon at 12:10 PM on July 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


hortense wrote: Thumbnail calender

I love that. Equal parts daft and practical.
posted by jack_mo at 12:12 PM on July 3, 2008


who looks at a laser cutter and thinks, "we use this thing to cut through solid matter with a highly energetic and focused beam of light, I should totally put my hand in there"?

I don't know about that, but when I look at them, I absolutely think "how can I get my buddies to stick their hands in there?"
posted by echo target at 12:24 PM on July 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm sitting a cubicle away from our VersaLaser. You have to take care to caliper the thickness of the material you're laser etching and enter into the control panel, often to the thousands of an inch. Keep in mind how far below the skin your veins reside.

Just use black lines in your illustration. A red hairline tells the laser to cut through to the bottom of the material. Handy for making round-cornered signs on plastic or cutting complicated stencils. Not so handy for hands.

Keep the vacuum fan on. Burnt plastic stinks. So does flesh.

This machine only uses CorelDraw to version 12. They haven't updated the driver.

Because the print driver only runs on Windows I won't trust any part of my body to it.
posted by hal9k at 12:27 PM on July 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


I'm not tattooed, and this sums up my feelings about tattoos. (Or did, when I was a teenager. Now I've mellowed a bit.)

And all the power to you. I don't entertain some ridiculous notion than people don't make spot judgements on me for the single tattoo on my forearm.

All I'm speaking to is a matter of degree; I can appreciate almost anything if it looks to have any indication of quality. I.e. if you're going to burn something into yourself, at least draw it well. A goofy little robot is a little lame.
posted by Dark Messiah at 12:29 PM on July 3, 2008


I got some sleeves and stockings etched on to my arms and legs by the sun!

Works even better with a magnifying glass.
posted by box at 12:33 PM on July 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


If I ever get the urge to burn happyfaces and robots into my hands, I'll get it done by a professional bodymod artist Bubba on cell block H, in exchange for two packs of smokes and a blow job.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:48 PM on July 3, 2008


That robot is beautiful!
posted by humannaire at 1:10 PM on July 3, 2008


The robot is the Instructables logo, so you might consider it a ... handjob.
posted by breath at 1:12 PM on July 3, 2008


I foresee unintended mutilation and lawsuits. Should the Darwin Awards be amended to include the self-maimed?
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 1:55 PM on July 3, 2008


I used to have a dot-matrix impact printer. If only I'd realized that I had a potential automated tattoo parlor on my hands! To think: I could have rigged it to do much the same thing, except in aesthetically-pleasing blackwork, and saved hundreds on tattoos!

Then again, I probably would have had to perforate the sides of my limbs so they'd feed properly, and aligning them on the little cogged wheel can be such a chore...
posted by Graygorey at 1:58 PM on July 3, 2008


only if they botch their frenulum piercing badly enough, unicorn on the cob.
posted by es_de_bah at 2:06 PM on July 3, 2008


Unless someone can present a really good argument otherwise, I don't see how this is anything but self-mutilation.

Self-mutilation is usually done as a way to alter a person's state of mind. Usually this is to attenuate or neutralise negative thoughts or feelings, or sometimes to exit from a dissociated state and return to the world of feelings once more. Sometimes people who are psychotic self-mutilate as a result of their delusions (for example, people suffering from delusional parisitosis may injure themselves in an effort to remove imagined parasites from their bodies).

Usually people who self-mutilate experience feelings of shame about their behaviour, view their self-mutilation as a negative thing and generally do not to share videos of themselves doing so over the internet, though there are probably exceptions. While some people who self-mutilate will cut, burn or otherwise mark themselves with words or designs, this is not the main point of the activity. It is not done for aesthetic purposes, but as an immediate response to a distressing mental state.

Conversely, this person seems to be etching their skin for fun, seems to enjoy the result and has actively shared this with other people. The main point seems to be the designs and images involved, not the act of burning.

I suspect you're using "self-mutilation" simply because it's a negative way to describe something you dislike. I would argue that the two activities share little in common besides your apparent disdain for them.
posted by xchmp at 2:19 PM on July 3, 2008 [8 favorites]


I used to have a dot-matrix impact printer. If only I'd realized that I had a potential automated tattoo parlor on my hands! To think: I could have rigged it to do much the same thing,

This actually sounds like a seriously cool idea for a project.
posted by quin at 2:35 PM on July 3, 2008


I don't care about body art, but the laser etching the aluminum on the power/macbooks is really, really cool.
posted by hellslinger at 2:54 PM on July 3, 2008


The effect would be enhanced if you painted a color version of the chosen pattern on your skin prior to burning it in.
posted by ...possums at 3:06 PM on July 3, 2008


The robot is the Instructables logo?

Is it?
posted by humannaire at 4:15 PM on July 3, 2008


Ooooooh!
posted by humannaire at 4:16 PM on July 3, 2008


The best part is the burning hairs.

I'll bet it smells as bad as it hurts.
posted by clearly at 4:44 PM on July 3, 2008


I so need one of these things. Not (necessarily) to etch my own or other people's skin, but because they are so incredibly useful for so many, many things! Just one example: get little metal discs, and etch them: presto, boardgame coins. Sheet of plastic or cardboard: boardgame pieces. Odd-shaped badges. Jewellery and art objects. The possibilities are vast.

And it's only $10,000 or thereabouts ... that's doable.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 5:36 PM on July 3, 2008


Yeah, I was there when the whole thing really took off. I remember attending the Seattle COCA Modern Primitives event that featured V. Vale and Andrea Juno of ReSearch. I was on tour with Mr. Lifto and The Enigma. I met Steve Haworth just as he was beginning to embark on his body mod thing. Back in the early 1990's I must have seen 10,000 tattoos. So please forgive me if I sound jaded when I say; what took so long with the laser thing?

I've been proposing the following procedure for many years now:

As far as I can tell, the last remaining tattoo form is going to be powder tattooing. Yes, that's right, a Body Mod derived from my reading of Gunshot Wounds by Vincent Di Maio. If one removes the lead bullet from a loaded round and replaces it with powdered pigment, one should be able to literally shoot pigment into the skin. The end result, if done in a controlled manner, might resemble the work of Seurat.

Consider how many variables one could work with. The caliber of the round, the length of the barrel of the weapon, the mass of the propellant charge, the mass of the pigment and its coarseness, inclusion of masks to define the area of skin to be "powdered", superimposition of colors, etc. Clearly some propellant would be included in the final image, but I feel this would augment the "bad-ass" quotient.

Doubtless some would consider this too barbaric to actually consider for themselves. Britney Spears would never go for it. But this is simply the initial or "underground" phase. Later, the Steve Haworths of 2012 will discover the long lost technology of pneumatic inoculation guns, and "re-purpose" them for powder tattooing. Shortly thereafter, a YouTube video will surface of Miley Cyrus getting her very edgy Pneumatic Powder Tattoo, as she desperately tries to "re-imagine her authenticity"
posted by Tube at 6:06 PM on July 3, 2008


I suspect you're using "self-mutilation" simply because it's a negative way to describe something you dislike

No, I was was asking for an argument to the contrary... I was professing ignorance. That said, thank you -- your breakdown makes sense. Believe it or not, that's what I was looking for; I recognize there is more to things than my own narrow conceptions.
posted by Dark Messiah at 7:36 PM on July 3, 2008


Doubtless some would consider this too barbaric to actually consider for themselves. Britney Spears would never go for it. But this is simply the initial or "underground" phase. Later, the Steve Haworths of 2012 will discover the long lost technology of pneumatic inoculation guns, and "re-purpose" them for powder tattooing. Shortly thereafter, a YouTube video will surface of Miley Cyrus getting her very edgy Pneumatic Powder Tattoo, as she desperately tries to "re-imagine her authenticity"

posted by Tube at 6:06 PM on July 3


Are you actually William Gibson, or have you just read him to the point that you can channel/emulate him on command?
posted by Graygorey at 12:23 AM on July 4, 2008


What's extra-messed up about this is, as I was watching the video, I smelled smoke. The window is open, and someone outside had started up their grill. Couldn't have had better timing.
posted by Nattie at 7:02 AM on July 4, 2008


eh.

the only problem i see with this is that it doesn't look like it burned deep enough to have any lasting scaring effects.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 1:47 PM on July 9, 2008


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