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Examing the Human Body and Technology: Artists Stelarc and Eduardo Kac

Stelarc
Born Stelios Arcadiou in 19 June, 1946. He attended school at T.S.T.C (Art and Crafts), Monash and Melbourne Universities. This Australian perfomance artist explores alternate, intimate, and involuntary interfaces with the body through the use of medical instruments, prosthetics, robotics, Virtual Reality systems and the Internet. He has performed with a third hand, a virtual arm, a virtual body and a stomach sculpture. He has also done twenty five body suspensions that included insertions into the body. Furthermore, 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. One of his major works include a piece he completed in 1998 called Exoskeleton, which was a pneumatically powered 6-legged walking machine actuated by arm gestures. Currently he is the Principal Research Fellow in the Performance Arts Digital Research Unit at The Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK. More of his current works include a piece called 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. He has won many awards for his work including Honorary Degree of Laws by Monash University, in 2000.

View Stelarc's Work

Eduardo Kac
Born in Rio De Janeiro, brazil in 1962. He started by perfoming with a group focused on public interventions and peformed on beaches, squares, theaters, television. He then expanded into multiple media and processes, including graffiti, photography, visual poetry, artist's book, rubber stamps, photocopiers, clothing, billboards. In 1985 he had his first solo show as well as completing his studies in communications theory, linguistics, and semiotics at Rio's Catholic University. He then created his first telepresence work, with a group. In this work with a wireless radio-controlled robot shown at "Brasil High Tech" ; participants could converse with the public through the body of the mobile robot. Later in 1990, he completes his Master of Fine Arts, The School of The Art Institute of Chicago. Another major milestone in his work was a piece called "Ornitorrinco in Eden". This was his first wireless telerobotic artwork on the internet, and was shown online and simultaneously in galleries in Chicago, Lexington (KY), and Seattle. Furthermore, in 1997, he created a piece called ‚ÄúTime Capsule‚Ä?. Here he injected a small micro chip into his leg, which was the first microchip implant to be tracked online. This is also presented live on televison, as a webcast, and at Casa das Rosas, a cultural center in S√£o Paulo. He also written books, those being "Luz & Letra‚Ä? and "Telepresence and Bio Art: Networking Humans, Rabbits, and Robots". Kac was also commissioned for public art by the Unniversity of Minnesota in 2003.

View Eduardo Kac's Work

Comparison
Both of these artists focus on the idea of the body and robotics. Somewhat like the body being a robot for the human brain. They also use their own bodies in their pieces, for example they have both done pieces that have involved them inserting something into their bodies. These artists were also making art when the internet was just taking off, therefore a lot of their work has been broadcast over the web. Both of these artists have focused their art on the relationship created between the human body and robotics, and how we use our bodies now that technology has somewhat taken over and can do work for us.


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Comments

I saw some of that microchip surgery footage. He did the operation himself, right? I think it's a little spooky. What other thing have they inserted into their bodies?

The artists I researched have a similar science/biology slant. Jochem Hendricks recently created a work out of transforming an athlete's amputated leg into a diamond (using cold fusion?).

The third arm project is crazy. I wish I had one!! Way to provide a good amount of information. Using the web is such a good way to get your art out there and these artists really utilized it well.

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How cool is this. Networking humans, rabbits and robots?

Informative information and excellent posts you have!

The "surprise" for the audience is also weak, and is something that can be seen a mile away.