Contestable Bodies – Stelarc

//Contestable Bodies – Stelarc
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On display at the Riddoch Art Gallery until January 27, 2019

The body increasingly occupies spaces of erasure and emptiness. An emptiness not through lack but rather through excess. The extruded self and the hollow body invite new possibilities and contestable forms. The body is no longer a site for the psyche nor for social inscription. The body is seen not as an object of desire but as an object that requires reimagining, rewiring and redesigning. An alternate anatomical architecture of external organs that fuses the physical with the computational. Analogue and digital entities collide and collaborate in an increasingly flattened ontology of smart objects and zombie bodies, of remote connectivity, outsourcing of senses and a shared and distributed agency. The body increasingly experiences itself as phantom flesh. To others online it appears flickering on and off, as digital noise, as glitches in biological time. Phantoms not as phantasmic but as phantom limb, possessing both optical and haptic thickness. In this age of body hacking, gene mapping, prosthetic augmentation, organ swapping, face transplants, synthetic skin, & chimeras what it means to be a body, what it means to be human and what generates aliveness and agency becomes problematic. In the liminal spaces of proliferating Prosthetic Bodies, Partial Life and Artificial Life, the body has become a floating signifier.