An interview with Stelarc about his major artworks.
He has acoustically and visually probed the body-having amplified brainwaves, blood-flow and muscle signals and filmed the inside of his lungs, stomach and colon, approximately two metres of internal space. He has done twenty-five body SUSPENSIONS with insertions into the skin, in different positions and varying situations in remote locations. He has performed with a THIRD HAND, a VIRTUAL ARM, a VIRTUAL BODY and a STOMACH SCULPTURE.
For FRACTAL FLESH, as part of Telepolis, he developed a touch-screen interfaced Muscle Stimulation System, enabling remote access, actuation and choreography of the body. Performances such as PING BODY and PARASITE probe notions of telematic scaling and the engineering of external, extended and virtual nervous systems for the body using the Internet. In 1998 for Kampnagel, he completed EXOSKELETON - a pneumatically powered 6-legged walking machine actuated by arm gestures.
Current projects include the EXTRA EAR - a surgically constructed ear as an additional facial feature that coupled with a modem and a wearable computer will act as an internet antenna, able to hear RealAudio sounds. And MOVATAR is an intelligent avatar that performs in the real world by possessing a physical body. It will have a sound feedback loop from the body giving the virtual entity an ear in the world.
In 2000, he completed an EXTENDED ARM - a manipulator with eleven degrees-of-freedom that extends his arm to primate proportions and a MOTION PROSTHESIS - an intelligent, compliant servo-mechanism that enables the performance of precise, repetitive and accelerated prompting or programming of the arms in real-time. In 2002, with the collaboration of the Evolutionary and Adaptive Systems Group, COGs, University of Sussex and TNTU, the HEXAPOD robot prototype was developed.
In 2003 the PROSTHETIC HEAD, an embodied conversational agent that speaks to the person who interrogates it, was completed for New Territories, Glasgow. It was also shown at the ICA in London and Interaccess in Toronto. This was realized with Tissue Culture and Art Project from Perth. The 6-legged MUSCLE MACHINE was constructed with the assistance of The Nottingham Trent University Engineering team, using fluidic rubber muscle actuators. 1/4 scale replicas of the artist's ear have been grown using mouse and human cells. These were exhibited at Galeria Kapelica in Ljubljana and for the Clemenger Contemporary Art Award at Ian Potter, NGV at Federation Square.