StelArc (formally known as Stelios Arcadiou before legally changing his name) is a contemporary performance artist, and one of the leading artists exploring the nature of human evolution and robotic enhancement. Stelarc believes that the human body is ‘obsolete’, and that it is necessary that we become one with the machine in order to transcend our physical form and existence. He has often taken part in many different ‘suspensions’ through the use of hooks in his skin to keep him lifted off of the ground, often times incorporating some form of his machinery. the picture above details one of his most important, and strangely controversial artworks; ‘The third Ear Project’. In which the artist has had a third ear surgically attached to his left arm. He focuses on the role of advancement in human society; and the desire to grow and develop our own biological make-up and appearance in relation to this. He also plans to insert a small microphone into the Ear; allowing people on the internet to listen in to his life and body; causing his influence to be spread out into the world through the use of WiFi and the internet in a way never seen before.
He has also created a six legged endoskeleton in which he stands in the middle, and controls it through the use of his fingers and hands. This machine is quite clunky, and shudders menacingly as it moves around. StelArc, as he stands in the middle of the giant industria spider, seems at onece both vulnerable in the twisting and shifting metal parts; and yet powerful and intimidating, because of the extensions of his body through the mechanical behemoth. It’s interesting to think that an artist is exploring concepts and theories that a scientist would explore. It’s fascinating to watch the line between science and art blur and shift as our contemporary societal needs shift and develop.
‘Extending the Hand’
‘The third Hand’
One of the most interesting theories that StelArc has explored throughout his work is the idea of the ‘third hand’. Much like the ‘third eye’ of religious theologies and evolution, the third hand is a direct improvement upon what is already there, but is not a necessary one. Everything in our body works perfectly if it does not succumb to damage or disease. We have singular organs, we also have couples of certain distinct body parts; the arms are perfect as they are, but the addition of a third onto this couple, it beckons forth new ideas, abilities, and a distinct development of the human silhouette. The first images, of his ‘arm extension’ is a direct improvement upon the already created hand; yet extends it, making for a strangely inhuman appendage. The connotations of an extended reach are clear; the possibilities are limitless, yet, the addition of another forearm and hand provides a strange concept. Humans are symmetrical, at least in design, and adding something that extends the boundary of one side of the body out, and making is asymmetrical, is strange to say the least. The image put forward; of him writing the word evolution through the use of an artificial third arm, is truly a great concept, and execution, of an artwork.