THE CADAVER, THE COMATOSE & THE CHIMERA:
AVATARS HAVE NO ORGANS.
In an age of body hacking, neural implants and prosthetic augmentation, flesh is circulating. Blood flowing in my body today might be circulating in your body tomorrow. Organs extracted can be exchanged. Stem cells are replicated in-vitro and repair the body in-vivo. Skin cells can be turned into heart muscle and brain cells. Ova are now fertilized by sperm that was once frozen. The face of a donor body becomes a THIRD FACE on the recipient. Amputated limbs from a dead body can be reattached and reanimatede by a living body. Organs are extracted from dead bodies and placed into living bodies. Cadavers can be preserved forever with plastination whilst comatose bodies can be sustained indefinitely on life-support systems. Chimeras can be engineered in-vitro whilst cryogenically suspended bodies await reanimation at some imagined future. The dead, the near-dead, the un-dead and the yet to be born now exist simultaneously. This is the age of the Cadaver, the Comatose and the Chimera.
Stelarc is a performance artist who has visually probed and acoustically amplified his body. He has made 3 films of the inside of his body. Between 1976-1988 he completed 25 body suspension performances with hooks into the skin. He has used Medical instruments, Prosthetics, Robotics, Virtual Reality systems, the Internet and Biotechnology to explore alternate, intimate and involuntary interfaces with the body. He has performed with a THIRD HAND, a VIRTUAL ARM, a STOMACH SCULPTURE and EXOSKELETON, a 6-legged walking robot. His FRACTAL FLESH, PING BODY and PARASITE performances explored involuntary, remote and internet choreography of the body with electrical stimulation of the muscles. His PROSTHETIC HEAD is an embodied conversational agent that speaks to the person who interrogates it. He is surgically constructing an EXTRA EAR on his arm that will be internet enabled, making it publicly accessible to people in other places.
In 1995 Stelarc received a three year Fellowship from The Visual Arts/ Craft Board, The Australia Council and in 2004 was awarded a two year New Media Arts Fellowship. In 1997 he was appointed Honorary Professor of Art and Robotics at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh. He was Artist-In-Residence for Hamburg City in 1998. In 2000 he was awarded an Honorary Degree of Laws by Monash University. He has completed Visiting Artist positions in Art and Technology, at the Faculty of Art and Design at Ohio State University in Columbus in 2002, 2003 & 2004. He has been Principal Research Fellow in the Performance Arts Digital Research Unit and a Visiting Professor at The Nottingham Trent University, UK. He is currently Chair in Performance Art, School of Arts, Brunel University, Uxbridge, UK. He is also Senior Research Fellow and Visiting Artist at the MARCS Lab at the University of Western Sydney, Australia. He is part of a 5-year research team on the THINKING HEAD project, funded by the Australian Research Council. Stelarc’s artwork is represented by the SCOTT LIVESEY GALLERIES, Melbourne, Australia.
Second Life link- http://tr.im/jFGN