I recently had the pleasure of videoing Stelarc’s performance at West Space in Melbourne Australia – the performance was a fusion of virtual reality and meat space – it was a feast for the senses. I have embedded the video of the performance below.
Stelarc has been extending his body through performances since the late 1960s. His performances include attaching a “Third Hand” to his body, extending himself into virtual space with a “Virtual Hand”, and over 25 “suspension” events where he hung his entire body from hooks piercing his skin. Stelarc’s artistic strategy revolves around the idea of “enhancing the body” both in a physical and technical manner. It originates as a polarism between the “primal desire” to defeat the force of gravity with primitive rituals and a low- tech and the hi-tech performance with the third arm and the related cybersystem. His intention in both cases is to “express an idea with his direct experience.”
Outside of Your Skin Discussion – Stelarc
Through Stelarc’s work, we reach a second level of existence where the body becomes the object for physical and technical experiments in order to discover its limitations. When Stelarc speaks of the “obsolete body” he means that the body must overcome centuries of prejudices and begin to be considered as an extendible evolutionary structure enhanced with the most disparate technologies, which are more precise, accurate and powerful: “the body lacks of modular design,” “Technology is what defines the meaning of being human, it’s part of being human.” Especially living in the information age, “the body is biologically inadequate.”
For Stelarc, “Electronic space becomes a medium of action rather than information”. http://www.ctheory.net/articles.aspx?id=71
Outside of Your Skin Performance – Stelarc
Performed at West Space as part of the “More Talk Less Action” series
Stelarc — visionary performance artist who has explored the boundaries of physical identity and self through interaction with biofeedback systems, robotics, cybernetics, genetics and virtual worlds/avatars. Stelarc’s work has often involved innovative sound as a key part of performance, as well as listening and communication through his Extra Ear project (yes, Stelarc is the man with an extra ear on his arm).
Recorded on Thursday 5 December, 7:30pm at West Space, Level 1, 225 Bourke street, Melbourne