Region/Concept: East Asia, Body
Sub-Concepts: Interior, Modification, Austerity, Death, Spirituality
Description: CT scan and endoscopy reveal a monk inside a bronze Buddha statue.

We imagine a man in robes feasting on nuts, berries, pine needles, tree bark, resin and sipping tea brewed with a tree sap more commonly used to make lacquer. Can we envision his interior finished with the same hard glossy coating of lacquered wooden bowls? Such fascination with what lies inside a Buddha. Spiritual practices modify the boundary of inner and outer: alter flows of consumption, centers of perception, limits of self-care, vectors of accumulation, receptors of bliss. Converging modes of praxis bring entanglement with new visual technologies, etiologies of decay, affective labor. The strange gift of a time-knot: CT scanner and endoscope strive to reveal the secret metabolic practices of a spiritual practitioner. What powers of visual-materialization were such digestive powers intended to nourish? One day–for there is no halting evolutive fantasy–we imagine that an evolved, preemptive imaging apparatus might be able to capture the rainbow body—beyond consumption and beyond waste—at its site of emergence. Will we wait for that day . . . wait to see if the measure of this body can be valued worth living before accomplishing its most radical potentials for transformation?

Una Chung