The body is not 'itself'. It is not useful as a general reference framework for understanding the world. By pronouncing that the body is "obsolete", Stelarc expresses the belief that as a static entity in a soul-and-body dichotomy without paradoxical implications and (self) relationships, the body is antiquated. Outdated.
A new situation emerges in the wet zone. A transformative movement that, if we follow the argument of Brian Massumi, is both affective (acting physically) and sentient seems to take its place. Or: Should. I will return to this point later. Therefore, the question is to find out what may substitute the obsoleteness of (our perception and use of) the body? Or rather, what the body THEN 'is' or 'means'?
Stelarc seems to insist that there are no dichotomies, when it comes to the body. The body is not something we can relate to exclusively as 'outside' (or 'inside', for that matter). This is because we ARE bodies - which again means that the body is both 'meat' and 'idea' when we perceive (it). Hence, he speaks about the body as a 'physical experience of Ideas' – here understood as a kind of natural conception process. Brian Massumi, whom to my ears has understood Stelarc’s particular interest in renegotiating our conceptual mental apparatus best of all, describes it this way: ‘The body as Stelarc’s medium, is a “sentient concept”.’ (Massumi, 2002, p. 90)
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