For over 40 years Australian artist Stelios Arcadious Stelarc has made art with medical instruments, prosthetics, robots, virtual reality systems and biotechnology to investigate alternate, intimate and involuntary interfaces with the body. In one of the interviews he says: The assumption being that if the body was altered it might mean adjusting its awareness.
His ‘Ear on the Arm‘ piece is a full sized ear constructed of the living cells permanently placed under the skin of Stelarc’s forearm – a clear homage to the famous tissue engineered ear mouse. The microphone and sound transmitter were supposed to be inserted inside his body within the ear shaped scaffold. This ended up to be not feasible yet due to infections that electronics caused.
The vision behind the project was to generate an alternative electronically enhanced organ to better interact and operate within the World. At the same time it provokes a debate about a desire to redesign and alternate human’s body evolutionary structure.
Stelarc points out: Now we can engineer additional and external organs to better function in the technological and media terrain we now inhabit. All very well, allthough it’s perhaps a better strategy to redesign our technological environment so that it fits our existing human physique.