Stelarc at UCL
22 February 2008
Controversial performance artist Stelarc will give a talk at the UCL Bartlett on 29 February. Stelarc, who believes the human body is obsolete, is currently growing an additional human ear on his arm using technology similar to that used to grow ears on laboratory mice.
Stelarc's work employs robotics and computer technology to create extensions of the human body. Past performances have involved his body being remotely controlled by electronic muscle stimulators connected to the internet and the use of a robotic spider controlled through his hand gestures.
The ear project uses samples of Stelarc's cartilage and bone marrow which were then grown in a laboratory before being shaped intoo an ear and implanted into his forearm. Stelarc's original intention was to have the ear implanted next to one of his natural ears but apparently that would have interfered with nerves in his cheek. He now plans to implant a microphone in the ear so it can broadcast what it hears.
According to Stelarc, the ear project is not meant to be shocking, but rather it: "Brings into question notions of the wholeness of the body and also confronts society's cultural perceptions of life with the increasing ability to manipulate living systems."
To find out more about Stelarc and the Bartlett talk, use the links at the top of this article.