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Themesicon: navigation pathCyborg Bodiesicon: navigation pathMythical Bodies II
Third Hand (Stelarc), 1981Amplified Body (Stelarc), 1996

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systematic examinations aimed towards extending and expanding the body into space. With growing ambition he falls back on the newest developments in the field of high-tech medicine, robotics and computer technology—developments which operate at the interfaces of humans and technology, which examine, expose and extend the functions of the body, not with a claim to improve them, but—increasingly so—to substitute them as well. If humans, who stand out as organic beings due to a number of involuntary bodily functions, have in part always been «zombies» and on the other hand have always created «artifacts, instruments and machines,» which marks their growing «cyborgization,» then it is necessary to push ahead with their «cyborgization » and redefine the «obsolete body» (Stelarc). [12]

It can no longer be a matter of designing artificial limbs for a body whose flaws and malfunctions cannot, in the end, be compensated for, because under the posthuman conditions created by humankind by means of its technological developments, the body has itself become a malfunction, an incarnation of imperfection. As a radical consequence of this, Stelarc takes the


reverse path: He allows his body to become a prosthesis for a technologized environment. His «Third Hand» may, at first glance, resemble a conventional robot arm that supports the function of the other two extremities. However, unlike the other two arms, it is not only moved by means of impulses coming from the lower extremities, which forces the body to completely reconsider its kinetic reasoning, in addition, in turn it also sends control impulses back to the body. The organic body proves to be a host organism for a piece of equipment that has fused so thoroughly with it that the equipment becomes capable of steering the body. Stelarc's «Amplified Body,» whose brain waves, muscle contractions, pulse and blood pressure are collected by various sensors, electronically amplified and used to control a complex light and sound machine, is only ostensibly the central player in his performance of the same name.

Because in the end, the neuronal activities, the acceleration of the pulse, the rising and falling of blood pressure, i.e. that which makes it a ‹mover,› are responses to impulses the body experiences from its environment. The «Ping Body,» on the other hand, is

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