Stelarc is a performance artist who has visually probed and acoustically amplified his body. He has made three films of the inside of his body. Between 1976-1988 he completed 25 body suspension performances with hooks into the skin. He has used medical instruments, prosthetics, robotics, Virtual Reality systems, the Internet and biotechnology to explore alternate, intimate and involuntary interfaces with the body. He has performed with a THIRD HAND, a VIRTUAL ARM, a STOMACH SCULPTURE and EXOSKELETON, a 6-legged walking robot. His FRACTAL FLESH, PING BODY and PARASITE performances explored involuntary, remote and internet choreography of the body with electrical stimulation of the muscles. His PROSTHETIC HEAD is an embodied conversational agent that speaks to the person who interrogates it. He is surgically constructing an EXTRA EAR on his arm that will be internet enabled, making it publicly accessible acoustical organ for people in other places. He is presently performing as his avatar from his SECOND LIFE site.
In 1995 Stelarc received a three year Fellowship from The Visual Arts/ Craft Board, The Australia Council and in 2004 was awarded a two year New Media Arts Fellowship. In 1997 he was appointed Honorary Professor of Art and Robotics at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh. He was Artist-In-Residence for Hamburg City in 1997. In 2000 he was awarded an Honorary Degree of Laws by Monash University. He has completed Visiting Artist positions in Art and Technology, at the Faculty of Art and Design at Ohio State University in Columbus in 2002, 2003 & 2004. He has been Principal Research Fellow in the Performance Arts Digital Research Unit and a Visiting Professor at The Nottingham Trent University, UK. He is currently Chair in Performance Art, School of Arts, Brunel University, Uxbridge, UK. He is also Senior Research Fellow and Visiting Artist at the MARCS Lab at the University of Western Sydney, Australia. Stelarc’s artwork is represented by the SCOTT LIVESEY GALLERIES in Melbourne.
The Jill Watson Festival Across the Arts (wats:ON?) was created to honor the life of Jill Watson, whose interest in the arts inspired others through her work and her teaching. The festival celebrates Jill’s commitment to an interdisciplinary philosophy as an artist and celebrates her accomplishments and reputation as an architect. Jill Watson was a Carnegie Mellon University alumna, adjunct faculty member in the School of Architecture, and acclaimed Pittsburgh architect who died in the TWA Flight 800 plane crash on July 17, 1996.
This Stelarc lecture was given during the first year of the wats:ON? festival.