How human are we?

Extra Ear London, Los Angeles, Melbourne 2006 ...

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Went to a lecture at FACT Liverpool last night by Stelarc. This chap messes around with his body in the name of art. Stelarc is a Greek/Australian-based performance artist incorporated themes of cyborgization and other human-machine interfaces; it is amazing, strong stuff. He talked about the blurring of boundaries between dead and undead (us or zombies?) and at what stage you cease to become yourself for example if your body was to be made up almost entirely of prosthetics. At what point do we accept that we have become machines? Companies will now deep freeze your body perhaps to be resurrected in a few hundred years time or for a reduced price…. just the head.  He has experimented with a third arm and linked himself up to the internet and invited users to manipulate his arm via electronic links his body.

Stelarc has a neat party trick, if the conversation on the bus ever gets boring he can always roll up his sleeve and enquire ” have you seen my third ear?” Yes, stelarc is growing an ear on his arm. The next step is to wire up the arm ear with a microphone which is WiFi enabled so that people can listen in via the arm ear.  Its not ‘his’ ear but an ear to be used by others. There followed a fascinating conversation between Liz Carr an Abnormally Funny Person and Stelarc about the body, its boundaries and the the use of the third ear (This was part of the amazing DaDaFest in Liverpool).

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