Legendary Australian performance artist Stelarc is known for going to extremes, from aggressive voluntary surgeries and robotic third arms to flesh-hook suspensions and prosthetics. For more than four decades, he has used his body as a canvas for art on the very edge of human experience. In this exclusive interview for the Interalia Magazine, he talks about his life, his work, and his vision for the future.
Eduardo Kac’s work encompasses many genres. He is internationally recognized for his media poetry, telepresence, transgenic and bio artworks. A pioneer of telecommunications art in the pre-Web 1980s, he emerged in the early ’90s with radical works combining telerobotics and living organisms. At the dawn of the twenty-first century Kac opened a new direction for contemporary art with his “transgenic art”–first with a groundbreaking transgenic work entitled Genesis (1999), which included an “artist’s gene” he invented, and then with his fluorescent rabbit called Alba (2000). His visionary integration of robotics, biology and networking explores the fluidity of subject positions in the post-digital world.
Have you walked out of a pandemic movie lately with the hair raised on the back of your neck? Elaine Whittaker’s, I Caught it at The Movies, is a mixed media installation of digital images, painting and live bacteria that blurs the boundaries between what is real and what is manufactured, what is animate and what is inanimate.
Andrew Carnie’s artistic practice often involves a meaningful interaction with scientists in different fields as an early stage in the development of his work. There are also other works that are self-generated and develop from pertinent ideas outside science. The work is often time-based in nature, involving 35 mm slide projection using dissolve systems or video projection onto complex screen configurations. In a darkened space, layered images appear and disappear on suspended screens; the developing display absorbs the viewer into an expanded sense of space and time through the slowly unfolding narratives that evolve before them.
“In Sugababe, we have regrown Vincent van Gogh’s ear….from tissue engineered cartilage, containing natural genetic information about him as well as genetically engineered components.” In an intriguing combination of art and science, Diemut Strebe used cells from Lieuwe van Gogh, nephew in 4th generation from Vincent van Gogh, descending in a direct uninterrupted male line, and other DNA to construct a living replica of the ear. One can even speak to the ear through a microphone system.
Transhumanism has been around for nearly 30 years and was first heavily influenced by science fiction. Today, transhumanism is increasingly being influenced by actual science and technological innovation, much of it being created by people under the age of 40. It’s also become a very international movement, with many formal groups in dozens of countries.
Many people associate transhumanism — the field of using science and technology to radically alter and improve the human being — with scientists, technologists and futurists. In this article, Zoltan Istvan discusses how transhumanist artists have recently been increasing in popularity and numbers. Whether it’s metal-welding sculptors, futurist-oriented video game developers or techno-musicians celebrating life extension, there is more of it being created every day, some of it in new forms of media.
“Most people think of evolution in physical Darwinian terms, from the perspective of the evolution of species. My purpose in this paper is to show evolution in a different light, from the perspective of the evolution of human consciousness.” – Richard Barrett is an author, speaker and internationally recognised thought leader on the evolution of human values in business and society