Virtual Class Discussion: Stelarc

This is a requirement for the course. It will affect your final grade if you don’t follow the instructions. Please do so.

1. Watch the clip below. It is a short newsmagazine style piece on Stelarc, the Australian performance artist, as he puts together an installation of his work in Paris (he curses occasionally, so beware). His work deals with modifications of the body as art. I first became aware of his art when I saw one of his body suspensions in the mid-1980s (he hung himself from hooks secured through his flesh – there is a brief video projection of this performance in the gallery at the end of the clip) and it disturbed me but also seemed quite interesting on a formal and conceptual level. Please watch the entire clip – it’s about 14 minutes, then answer the following questions in a comment below.

2. What are the implications of his work in relation to our ideas about the body (and modifications to it)? How does it make you feel? How does it relate to digital culture?

3. Wait a while after posting your response and then comment on two responses by your fellow students.

4. You have 24 hours (until 6 PM Thursday May 22, 2014) to finish your three posts: your comment in response to the clip and your two responses to your fellow students’s comments.

Here’s the clip:

Good luck.

 

Advertisements

62 comments

  1. The concept of the ear on his arm both fascinated and disturbed me. I had no idea something like that was even possible. The fact that he wants to put electronics in it so people all over the world can hear what he is hearing is really strange and cool at the same time. I guess it shows how far we’ve come with technology if we can insert electronics into a man’s “arm ear” and people can hear his voice as well as whomever he is talking to depending on if he opens his mouth or keeps it closed. It makes me wonder what people will try and do next. And then there’s that laugh…

    1. yea it seems strange that he would even want people to hear his voice. He seems like a guy who is really trying to get people intrigued with what is unordinary. he said something at the end like he wants to leave people with a lot of questions on their mind. So he really is trying to set a foot in a certain direction for us to follow in regards to the growth of technology for our benefit

      1. I agree, this man is looking for attention, however – it appears that he is using technology to continue people’s questioning. Almost parallels the purpose of seminar in that way – you get people talking (about something absurd) and that instigates different perspectives and so forth, therefore causing people to think.

    2. In a way I feel like people are already doing this. Instagram and Twitter and Viber or even Skype allow people all around the world on mass or personal levels to interact with us, he is just doing it in a different way.

      1. My question – is this a true form of interaction? I don’t understand how he expects an interactive approach out of his freak show, to be honest.

      2. In response to Hayley’s post, I was going to ask the same question as maddmermaid: is this a true form of interaction?

        In a sense it is because he is bringing together rooms full of people who are interested in him and his art. Through his art they are interacting with one another and discussing the significance and meaning of his creations.

    3. I agree that technology has come really far although I am still unsure of the point of it, in particular the ear in the arm concept. I find Stelarc’s idea fascinating, but what is the benefit of it aside from it being a different and cool experiment?

      1. How does this prove the advancement of technology, though? Since the middle ages (especially in early eras of scientific discovery such as early victorian and romanticism period) people were dismembering bodies in effort to change “man”

      2. Yes Christine, I agree and this is why I consider him a mad scientist. I feel that he has become obsessed with the body and technology and is now just going in over his head. I was also wondering if I simply am not intelligent or creative enough to understand what he is doing with the “third ear” idea but it looks like there are several other students questioning him as well. The strangeness of it honestly did not inspire me/spark any interest…

    4. The ear in the arm does seem to be odd compared to what the social norm is but then again this is art. He is an artist just not in the tradtitional sense. He found a way to connect science, art and technology. There is a lot of good that can come from this but does bring into question the boundaries with such subjects as art, science and technology. His mechanical body parts brought to thought of the spiderman character with numerous mechanical extended body parts that he connected to his already functional body.

  2. first of all, his laugh is hilarious.

    i think the implications of his work include people who don’t have parts of the body having robotic parts instead. For example if someone was bored without a arm, they could have a robotic arm be made and surgically put on them. What also could be done is something similar to him growing a third ear. Someone could grow a different body part somewhere else on their body, Or even a object or a design. It could turn into something like art. his work was kinda strange but at the time it was very advanced and it seems it is beneficial to humanity. I think it relates to digital culture in the way that his work is so easily viewable on the web and at showings. He is also including computers on robots for faces, and using digital stuff appear as if it is alive. (robots)

    1. I agree with you. It’s a very interesting point you bring regarding the genetically modification with body and the fact that we can explore building new parts in different parts of our body. It is quite like art, yet his art also function as a medium of exploration, which he used to dwell on things that are never thought before to only show that it is possible.

    2. I agree with the body parts. Today we are in a time where we can replace external and internal body paets. I can recall in reading Evocative Objects where I related to the Elite Glucometer about the medical field and technology. To me, I feel thst technology serves its purpose as an advancement for humans to live in a proficient and healthy lifestyle. With that said, I think that that is what technology would for missing body parts.

  3. When I think of the word mad scientist, this dude pops into my head.

    Is work is totally insane and weird but I think it brings up some interesting ideas and food for thought. First his robotics designs with the head thing and the eight legs and then the arm could be very useful in the medical field. Amputees or people that have trouble walking or using their arms could benefit greatly from this.

    The idea about the third ear is pretty weird. It definitely pushes the limit of the human body and I found myself asking is this a smart thing to do, is this that necessary that this guy should put himself through years of surgery and pain? I think it is an interesting idea but I don’t know if it will be a groundbreaking, super popular technology that everyone wants to use. In relation to digital culture it would obviously make us a more connected people. If we have the ability to hear what someone is hearing in another state or country we can experience a lot of the same things they do. I just feel like there is a way better way to do and avoid the creepiness and pain involved with having a ear put in your arm.

    1. yea its weird that he wants to do it by putting a ear in his forearm. I agree there probably are better ways (less pain/not weird) It seemed however that he almost enjoyed the way it looked. Basically that he was pleased with what he was doing. Maybe he enjoyed the look? Your idea regarding amputees is good. I agree. This guy is very funny

    2. I feel like we can already do what he is trying to accomplish with technology that we have however, it brings up an interesting topic of implanting the technology into your body. I was wondering if it would be reversible in case he faced complications. Like what if the microphone created a constant buzzing or feedback, could they turn it off or remove it? Is the risk of becoming part of this technology worth it?

      1. I was thinking the exact same thing because it is common for individuals to face complications after enduring body augmentation’s. What would happen if his body started rejecting it? In the clip he discussed that it was a chance he would take if something were to happen however what if there was an issue with the technology in the implant? Would they be able to remove it without complicating the actual implant or would there be no way to go back in to that area of the implant as he said it is a very sensitive and extensive process? I agree with your question because in my opinion I do not find this to be worth such a risk but in his eyes he is creating the future.

    3. I personally think you would look really good with an ear on your arm… just kidding. I agree though that it pushes the limits for mutating the human body. What I was thinking of when you asked about the pain he goes though was if I would do something like this. What I thought of was: am I passionate enough about anything to allow it to cause me pain (several times). This made me think of sports. I played sports my whole childhood and was injured at least twice a year. I know you play rugby which is more physical than any of the sports I played… Do you think the pain you subject yourself to every game is similar?

      1. I think that Taylor asked a really good question about pain when I play rugby and it got me thinking. The pain is just the nature of the beast, thats the sport. But its what I get from the pain that is worth it. I love playing the sport and the passion I have for it is worth the pain. So for this guy I think that he is so passionate about this subject of technology and pushing the limits of it that he is willing to go through all the operations, risks, and pain because it is worth it to him. I think he is dangerously pushing limits though.

    4. I found myself asking a similar question. What is the point or the benefit to having an ear on your arm and is it worth the possible side effects? I know personally I would not like having an ear attached to my arm. I already hate feeling of being judged if I have a bad hair day let alone an extra and unnecessary body part. I also question whether this can really be considered art. If society considered and accepted body reconstruction as art, everyone who has ever had breast implants or a nose job could fall under that category.

      1. I agree with you. If he was missing an ear and wanted to replace it with one of his own flesh and skin, then this would be a perfect solution. Medically, I’d imagine it would be safer to replace your ear with something made from your own DNA rather than someone else’s. However, this addition is superfluous and trivial. It does nothing that a normal phone couldn’t, and is dangerous in the fact in involves surgery.
        “Art” is already a very difficult word to define. Although he’s technically using his body as a medium of expression, those two factors combined (dangerousness and unnecessity) makes it less of an expression and more of an opportunity to attract attention, in my opinion.

    5. That’s something that I was totally thrown off by. Initially it seemed to me that his art just had “shock value” rather than accomplishing anything meaningful, but I guess the point of his art is to challenge the way people think about their relationship to the human body.

    6. With his project with the ear I agree with the idea that he pushes the limits of what the human body can do. I think that this idea to have this ear in another remote area and himself being able to hear from it. Who else would have thought to do this? This is such a cool idea that personally would love to have seen and experienced. I love that he pushes the limits of the hunan body because its things the not a lot of people are willing to do.

  4. I think that it is interesting that this man is such a spectacle to society. After watching this video I was curious about the hooks so I YouTubed one of those videos and it was fairly disturbing. I am no sure that I understand the point of the hooks in the skin however, I think that the project of the ear being implanted in his arm, though extreme, sheds light on an interesting human phenomenon, People have always tried to manipulate themselves, either their appearance or strength or any other feature for a very long time. I do not think that this man is any different. It is true that his methods are far more extreme and innovative but how much more extreme is it than cochlear implants, or breast implants for that matter. He is simply adding something to his body that isn’t naturally there. The ear on his arm will be a technological extension of his natural body the same way that we use our iPhones or any other electronic device.

    This relates to digital culture because it shows the ways in which digital technology is interacting with our everyday lives. Digital technology has already found its way into the medical field and will continue to enhance medical capabilities.

    1. I like your commentary here, especially drawing on how his ideas can be used to enhance medical technology. I think that innovation will lead to prosthetics that operate from the brain. I also like your idea about human manipulation…as i wrote in my comment I thought it was a gross way of going about a very cool idea. I think it is a very cultural thing to judge and dismiss things that are different and that is what makes this video so shocking to viewers. I’m looking forward to being able to talk to you on my ear phone one day…. BUT FIRST we need a nose on my arm so I can let people smell stuff! hahahah

    2. It’s an interesting approach that you are taking. I agree that people have always used their bodies to express themselves. Manipulation happens in so many ways and I agree with the fact that what he is doing is an example of that. That’s interesting to think, especially since IPhones have become so integral in our lives. It will be interesting to see what new things/modifications we see that deal strictly with technology.

  5. Initially I was a bit shocked by what he considered art, in particular the body augmentation. It’s hard not to be a bit impressed by the extent to which he is willing to go to create art. The ear in his arm was a bit disturbing. However, to be honest after watching the video three times through, I am not really sure what the point of it all is. It is interesting that he is pushing the boundaries between robotic technology and the human body, but it didn’t seem like he accomplished anything that was functional. It seems that “the extra ear” experiment is just pushing the boundaries of how a human body is thought of. I guess that is the point of art, but like Stelarc says at the end of the video, I am left with more questions than answers

    1. I think the point was to show the possible route of technological evolution. Most of the time the idea of the droid is how we invasion future technologies, but in this video we are able to see it’s connection and reliability off of humans. For instance the operations and devices would not happen without him (or someone) being attached to the objects. I also found the ear on the arm gross and weird, but can definitely see phone implants occurring in the future..

    2. I watched this clip twice trying to find answers for all the questions I was left with however I am still in dismay. I understand that he is wanting to perform these augmentations to his body to push the boundaries between technology and the self however I do not understand the purpose. I think this is what makes him so interesting because in his mind he is creating something other individuals are unable to even imagine let alone invent. He is impressive but I wish he would explain what his thought process was to transform his arm into a third ear and what he projects his arm to look like once it is to his satisfaction.

    3. The point isn’t necessarily what is useful or not, the point was to simply create and to modify. He wanted to adapt the body, and I would not necessarily say it was pointless, regardless of intended use or not. Digital culture is a culture of its own, with its own subscribers and followers – those within culture are influenced by peers and mentors who have succeeded or pushed a bound – in this very sense, I believe that his creations and augmentations are a fantastic intellectual starting point, and will be influential when creating actual cyborg technology becomes a focus. Art is both something that creates inspiration and requires inspiration – and I believe that this form of art is no different

  6. This man is a rather unique individual. I could never see myself thinking of doing such an odd choice of body augmentation. The grafting of the ear was a bit disturbing and it is obvious to me that he will go to whatever extreme in order to be a spectacle. I understand that his body is a form of art however he could face serious complications by undergoing the different levels of procedures. Today we conform to societal norms and people often receive plastic surgery in order to fit in however this is quite the opposite because he is undergoing something to show others how advanced his mind is in comparison to others. This related to digital culture in the sense that we interact using digital technology such as iPhones and computers in order to interact throughout the day. This man has decided to place technology permanent on his arm which is not much different from how our phones are glued to our hands so to speak. Ed Tywoniak always states how in the future our children will be born with chips in their brains with all their technological needs inside which I do not find much different from a technological ear placed in this mans arm.

    1. Wow, wouldn’t that be weird if kids in the future were born with chips in their brains?! Then what would be the need for iphones or computers or any other form of technology for that matter? It would already be “programmed” into us.

  7. What are the implications of his work in relation to our ideas about the body (and modifications to it)? How does it make you feel? How does it relate to digital culture?

    3. Wait a while after posting your response and then comment on two responses by your fellow students.

    4. You have 24 hours (until 6 PM Thursday May 22, 2014) to finish your three posts: your comment in response to the clip and your two responses to your fellow students’s comments.

    After watching the video the implications the artistic is trying to get at had to do with how humans and technology are now linked in body and mind is this accelerated technological age. Though, he does not specifically state this perspective. However, in my interpretation of his creations; the way they all have to do with some technologic addition to the human body and the humans involuntary movement is his pieces, have an indirect meaning. I think he is trying to convey the very theme we have addressed earlier in the semester about the idea that technology possess this power and hold over us. As his works suggests, in the way that they are ‘controlling him’ technology is controlling us. Yes, at one point technology made this great advancement and ultimately became an extension of our sleeves; it has grown even more powerful since. Another implication is the idea that we are also unconscious of the actual control technology has over us. His art he says is always controlling him, in that it is the one making the movements, the pervasiveness of our own technology in our culture acts in the same way.

    1. I totally agree that technology has taken over our lives. It seems you can’t go anywhere anymore without seeing someone glued to their phone or computer. We hardly have one-on-one contact anymore and kids in the generation after us barely even know how to act in social settings.

  8. This video was a little eery to me. It had a mad scientist feel to it. However, I was fascinated by the ear as a form of communication. Being able to link the body and mind to his mechanical creations was beyond what I could imagine doing. I think it is an interesting idea, and one that is less scary to me than droids or robots running around. It still allows for the ability to harness new technological concepts and ideas but while keeping control in the hands (or mind) of the operator. I can imagine technology evolving and phones being implanted into humans. However, it is grotesque to me to see an ear on a man’s forearm. Overall, I think it is the new and weird that give me the eery feeling! STELARCs relationship with his technology is similar to the objects that we have been discussing in class. He has a dependency to them, because his love for the work he does. As well as them physically being a part of him. The 3rd arm, 6 legs, and ear.

    1. I agree. It was an eerie feeling. Like you, I was also fascinated at the utility of an extra, electronic ear. I don’t doubt that we’ll eventually create a type of technology that will allow us to use the internet to communicate from one mind to another.
      What I notice is that it doesn’t become “cool” when modification serves no purpose. My reaction was initially “Ew, an ear on his arm? Why would he do that?” But it became “Oh! It allows him to access the internet? That’s cool.” This relates back to the mad scientist you mentioned. A “mad” scientist archetypically does what he wants because he can. He ignores ethics, and is driven purely by the idea of “What would happen if I do this?”
      In my opinion, the ear on the arm serves barely any purpose in this regard other than self-fulfillment and getting a reaction out of others.

      1. It’s interesting what you said about this possibly inspiring the creation of something similar to the ear concept. It made me wonder if what we think of advancing is not only the technology around us but actually the technology and performance of our bodies.

  9. In response to Taylor’c comment, i also found video to be eery and odd to me. He says,”the more and more time i spend doing this, the more like i don’t feel human.” This makes me think that he spends an awful amount of time using this creations he has made. Looking at the detail, and complexity to probably make them too, are also indicators he spends a lot of time with them. He also said he was also envious of singer, dancers, and athletes, and this is the reason for creating this things.

  10. Scars are something the I have found to be a reflection and reminder of the past. However, Stelarc uses his scarring as a reflection of his work, work being art – and art questioning the ability to be human. As he explains, “I hope people become curious about what in actuality is a body… what it means to be human, and is it necessary to operate as a soul, as a mind.” He is using his body as an exemplification of his questioning to what we, as humans, have created ourselves to exist as. This makes me question my form of living and sacred sense of self. If his pain is worth the feedback he gets from his audiences, then I feel he would believe he has achieved his sense of purpose. Rather than sitting here in question, I see that I am sitting here in agony and disgust.
    Digital culture allows us the opportunity to post and share parts of ourselves and entities that we think about with an outer existing world. We are given this space of existence where we can discuss taboo and peculiar subjects that aren’t accepted in the reality of day-to-day living.

    1. I too enjoyed when he questioned what it meant to be human – the notion that we have to be “wholesome as we already are” is foolish. Personally, I enjoy the idea of cyborg-like bodily modifications, and I would absolutely be willing to trade a couple scars for super-strength, better vision, or really any improvements upon what I already am. I think the pain is worth more than simply receiving feedback – similar to the idiom that you cannot make an omelette without cracking a few eggs, he was willing to crack his arm open to create something new that he could use. I respect his daring and I think that the further this technology goes, the more and more this peculiar subject will become both an issue of contempt and an issue of admiration.

      1. After reading Jared’s and a lot of other comments on hear I am wondering if you guys think something like this will catch on? Obviously he is many years away from making his grand plan a reality but do you think others will follow in his footsteps? Do you think people will be too weirded out for something like this to catch on?

  11. The concept of having an ear attached to the arm was a bit disturbing but also somewhat fascinating. It made me think about Frankenstein and the idea of a non-traditional body. The monster in Mary Shelley’s novel was considered hideous and frightening because he did not look similar to everyone else. Stelarc is working to achieve a similar idea by reconstructing his body to be different from the rest. Stelarc can be compared to both Victor Frankenstein and the monster in this case. The only difference between Stelarc and the monster is that Stelarc chooses to do this to himself whereas the monster did not choose to be different and he had many problems being judged by others, whereas Stelarc does not seem to mind the judgement.

    What I find interesting about this is that he is changing his body to be the way that he wants it to be and in doing so, showing the world his progression. We do this almost on a day to day basis when we take pictures of ourselves, filter them to our liking and post them for our “friends” to see. He is, in a sense and on a much larger scale, doing to his body what we do to our pictures and posts- doctoring them in the way we want to be or come across as.

    1. I completely agree with your connection of Mary Shelley’s Novel to the movie clip. He is both the monster and the scrientist. I had mixed emotions about how he chose to use technology. That being said I think that is what pushes others to take technology to the next level. Even if that next level is not putting an ear in an arm, someone else could see the possabilities of the technoloy. He could be considered a radicalist within the science community.

  12. As most people commented, his “artwork” disturbed me in a way that drew me in. The most unsettling part of the video (for me) was the involuntary movements part. He said that the ancient definitions of the body were obsolete, unnecessary to function in the world. But at that point he is losing his agency–arguably one of the only things that makes him a sentient being. He is exploring a slippery slope in giving up control like this, where it isn’t just his body at risk, but his soul.

    I was also confused as to why he would need a third ear on his arm. Any type of surgery should not be taken on a whim, in my opinion. I think that it’s cool that he will be able to give himself an extended auditory sense, but what sets it apart (and makes me slightly opposed to it) is how permanent it is. It relates to our digital culture in the idea of human/machine interfacing, but it departs from our usual experiences because we can unplug when we want. We maintain control of our technology in that regard, rather than letting it literally control us.

    1. I do agree with Robby, that the extreme commitment the artist had to his work was a huge deal because of surgery. More questions arose about the placement of the ear. Why not the back of his head, his wrist, even his thigh? Was he afraid people wouldn’t take him seriously if he had the ear on another body part? and silly questions like, has he considered swimmer’s ear when he takes a shower, or if he were to receive a flu shot, would that affect the prosthetic ear?

  13. Yeah that is an interesting need Robby. Why Does he need or want a third ear on his arm? When i vision a third arm i don’t see it having any benefit; any enhanced hearing. I can’t image it would be an evolutionary advantage either. Because what would it provide? Heightened surround sound? Or is he trying to say something by wanting to hear with a different perspective? I see the third see as being s symbol from possibly viewing the world differently than the majority. Maybe our perception is skewed by these power hegemonic forces beyond our control. I noticed a lot of people have already commented on how this makes them feel eery, and uneasy. Maybe his artwork is design to make people think and view the world with a differing opinion. It is something that makes you think outside the box and makes me personally more open minded.

  14. This video was extremely interesting. It challenged the very fabric of human’s concept of existence and intellectual understanding of having a standard notion for one thing or another. The fact that the ear is an experiment to prove the vast array of conception of the human being when it comes to the new ways of understanding our functions and what is possible is literally astonishing. The ear becomes a representation of an object meaning meaning or trying to understand a conception of how we hear and listen. Traditionally, one might think of listening and talking as forms outside our bodies, however, the scientist explores the fact that communication can come within our own body.

    He definitely pushes the limits and it’s incredible to see the functions it carries as a form of communication and media exploration. The fact that we can become so much more with machines is hopefully, yet it also arises a few concerns. Concerns of how we continue to control it or allow it to shape our existence and the question of what does it mean to be human will be a lot more interesting to answer.

  15. The first thing that came to mind was a relationship to Frankenstein and the mad scientist that made him. This man is very brilliant in his research between the human body and technology. He is very specific and provides an extensive explanation of how technology has benefited man kind. The ear modification to his body was something I never saw before. To be honest it frightens me a little. I mean due to technology he has the ability to construct an ear on his arm. This then makes me wonder where technology will be in a few years, a few decades and so on. That being said I believe this modernification of technology and constantly growing could be very beneficial to our generation and society. If the technology is placed with the right people. This relates to our class because he speaks about audio technology and modern technology.

  16. I think the most interesting factor here is that as of right now, in our time period we find these body modifications odd, or even off putting. Granted, having an ear surgically attached to an arm is a bit overboard on the strange to acceptable ratio, but the idea that his work is viewed with such amazement is fascinating – I believe I mentioned this before, but technology has never been so much revolutionary as it is evolutionary. Cyborg like modifications will absolutely become a part of human culture in the near future. We have a long history of making technology smarter, stronger and smaller – and the ultimate pinnacle of smarter, stronger and smaller would in my opinion be bodily modifications that allow for the benefits of technology without even having to physically carry the technology. We went from Giant room sized computers to desktop computers to laptops to smartphones to smartwatches – to google glass. The next step would be contact lenses that can offer an augmented reality – but what happens after contact lenses? It would only logical to assume the next evolutionary progression could be something with the ability to be attached or connected to the eye itself that would offer the benefits of technology at all times while never having to remove it. We are moving into a day and age where humans and technology will be further and further intertwined, and it seems to be a process that will never stop improving upon itself.

    1. Wow this was an interesting comment! Yea, what is next after contact lenses that augment our realities? There are a lot of creative people out there and I am curious as to how far technology can advanced. I also agree that this guy adding an ear to his body is overboard. I’m sure there was a better and less painful route this guy could have gone. But I have to keep in mine that he is a performer and artist in his own way that is willing to take risks and modify his own body.

  17. I think the concept of the video and his motivation to do this is representative of our complicated relationship with technology. Most advances (planes, phones etc) mirrored human or animal behavior. We are seeing a transition where we believe the advances have gone beyond natural potential and we aim to mirror the devices. I don’t see how this can be categorized as technological advancement. The attempt to modify humans (aesthetically and behavior wise) can be observed in a few and equally disturbing events throughout the course of human existence.
    Christien and I were talking about his video earlier and we made a joke along the lines of, “if human modification is an art form, then half the people in Los Angeles should be in museums.”

    1. I have to agree about the idea of technological and body modification as similar in their strong desire to continue improving and making everything better. “Disturbing” can relate to cheek implants or google glasses, whichever one is the most present. But one has to experience or view the extreme of body or technological modification.

    2. Hi Jocelyn,

      I can see your viewpoint. I am not throwing shade, but the way I saw it was that he used his body not to illustrate the complications but more of how technology and humans are/could potentially be connected. I have reflected on the conversations that we have had in class about how we humans use technology more than its purpose as a tool. To me, this is an art form of the relationship between technology and human beings.

  18. I feel that there is definitely a relationship between Stelarc and Turkle’s text on evocative objects. Stelarc is proving that as technology advances that human relationship with objects is intensifying in dependency. He shares no shame in his dependent relationship to objects seeing that he is obsessed with creating them.

    I personally found this video to be somewhat interesting but on the most part bizarre. Stelarc is brilliant in his way of thinking and the way that he views the body is creatively unorthodox. Stelarc recognizes that the body and its movement is an expression of the mind and that the body is a work of art. I am amazed by his creation of the stomach sculpture, hand sculpture, movotar, extended arm, and walking head. The one thing I was questionable of was the third ear he had implanted into his arm. I was not only questioning it but I was not in agreement with him expressing his third ear as a work of “art”. I feel that if he truly admires and respects the body, he wouldn’t try to change and/or distort his own body. I did not understand the purpose of adding a third ear to his arm and I think that he is taking advantage of his already artistic body.

    1. I agree that Stelarc and Turkle relate! Turkle talks about how we hold value or some type of representation on an object which relates to us. Just as Stelarc uses technology as a form of art for him. It defines himself as a performer and uses his body and technology in an extreme way. His dedication to his art is very apparent in his video. He uses his creativity and technology in a way of growing and bring up new questions of how far the body is able to go.

  19. The humane body is very fascinating and adding modifications to it makes it even more interesting and become aware of how far our bodies can go, especially with technology.
    When watching this video I thought of how creative Stelarx is since he identifies himself as a performance artist using technology. I guess you can be creative in different ways. I never would think that technology used in the way Sterlarx performed it could be a form of art but I can see how it could. I think this man is bizarre yet brilliant because of the way he is able to think up something so different imaginary and bring it to life. This man is also very dedicated to his art since he spent 30 years and he uses his own body as an exhibit! That’s some dedication right there. Not only does he have a creative mind and performance experience but also the way he is able to create his own technology and bring it to life.

    This video relates to digital culture because Stelarx uses his body as an experiment to implant technology and other manipulations to his body. He is making a huge step in digital culture in my opinion because he is exploring how technology connected to the body does and the possibilities of more ideas and questions to be asked in the future.

  20. I finished watching this video thinking, “What an egotistical narcissist.” I do have to commend him on his originality and amount of work that he puts in his art though. I think his ideas of enhancing the body seem extreme, but body modification has been around, it’s just not as highlighted. More than nose piercings and big gauges, “enhancing” one’s body with an extra ear, reminds me of how much smaller earphones are getting. First, they go over your ear, then in your ear with ear buds, now they have those soft, flexible,tiny ones that really go inside your ear. I think those are horrific. It kind of seems that his body modifications have a logic that he understands, which is good, more so than for vanity reasons. Though the sight of an ear inside a man’s arm kind of disturbs me, I am fascinated by it. I think the fact that he doesn’t like to talk about himself,yet perform naked while hanging from hooks is strange, kind of don’t balance out each other, he certainly is committed. This relates to digital culture in the way that the constant desire and need to improve, brings out this sort of obsessive behavior parallels each other.

  21. Dear Classmates,

    I want to apologize for posting so late. If you ever get to see this, you are more than welcome to answer/respond to my post.

    After watching the video clip, a recurring theme that I noticed in his experiment is about the body. The way that I saw was that it seemed that he has a fascination about the human body and technology. I appreciate the creation and innovative ideas that he presents. After reading everyone’s responses and comments, I would like to point about the body parts. My question is: do you believe that someday that body parts will become more..technical? Do you believe that there will robots in the future that will look like/act like human beings?

  22. I liked how he said that nowadays we use our body as a way of expressionism. People are using their bodies to express themselves or to relay a message. From what I saw I felt like he was trying to help his viewers realize that there are so many capabilities of our body that we most likely don’t realize. He even references Freud when he talks about our how so many things we do with our body is unnecessary and that most people glaze over the basic functions of the human body. I like how he uses the body to do things that make others uncomfortable and thongs that people wouldn’t even think to do with their own body. He definitely goes outside the box when utilizing his body and showing others that there are far more possibilities than we think there are.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s