“I was hiding a third ear from his mother, like teenagers hiding the tattoo”
As biohacking becomes modern art.
In the eighties, the police came with a crane to a busy highway to remove a naked man with hooks piercing his body. Today, he never misses an opportunity to lift up the sleeve, to officially show third ear. His name is he — he is a Professor Australian University, it has been forty years studying his own body, which is unhappy, a modern artist himself, the canvas. In the gallery at Solianke opened an exhibition “Ostavalsya stelarka: hybridization vs typing”. Opening artist for a few days was in Moscow. Samizdat “dear Sir, Yes you are a transformer” was found with Stellarcom to talk about internal colonization, biohacking, obscurantism at exhibitions and, of course, about the transformations.
What kind of body you want? What is the imperfection of the present?
The body is an object, which is a design evolution. We’ve already chimeras of meat, metal, codes. I wonder what happens when biological material interacts with technology and virtual reality.
It makes no sense to talk out loud about transformation, it’s happening in my body — my arm narashino third ear.
Looking at the human body, I add new elements: six legs, one arm and consider how this fits in with the architecture, anatomy. We’re not talking about one body in one space: the body is distributed and controlled over the Internet by other objects. I think it’s a more interesting story than to possess someone. At first its hard performances, I realized that the body is obsolete, it does not have time for the cars, does not compete with them. It’s insanely fragile packing, the system for which failures occur constantly. If ten per cent of the fluid leaving the body is life — threatening, if the temperature drops sharply — again life-threatening, if we stop breathing for a few minutes then just die. Seriously? We can either stop comparing the body with machines, or decide that the body is as an object of design, is compatible with the technology.
What do you think about the craze of people biohacking? Why change yourself?
The design of the body is a reproduction of the primitive rituals of the sculptures. Most of biohacking fun to decorate yourself, to feel own body.
They have no need to do modifications: none of these operations does not allow them additional features. We can say that they do not conceptualize this process. Me, the aesthetics are not interested.
Schemes become more complex, the modifiers go from simple silicone implants to chips and devices. Using chip it is possible to perform routine operations: turn on the TV, open the door with an electronic lock. There was an electronic tattoo from a very plastic material — they must be mounted on the skin surface and can read the internal performance of organs, for example.
And is it connected with the increase of life?
The life expectancy of the body of interest to all. We have reached a point when many things become possible, including the rejuvenation of the cells. The body comes and goes, it’s not a question of someone’s desire, it is rapidly aging after eighty. Life ends suddenly sometimes, but it is likely that in the future we also will suddenly disconnect from our life support machine. I think we will see the diversity of human form and function. Many people will look like people, despite the internal colonization — a huge number of embedded technologies.
There will be people who will strongly change its appearance form. Will insect people with different opportunities, such as a reaction to the infrared light.
In short, there will be things that we now have no idea. The future involves surprises, forcing us to constantly revise our own concepts.
How much you pay a third ear?
In the community of the modifiers the cost is minimal, people learn to do many things independently to make cuts, paste, sew. I have no idea how much could cost my ear. My project has sponsored a team in London: I spent ten years convincing them to support me. Our interests coincided, for surgeons it was an interesting experience. The majority of the costs of our flights and accommodation, as well as billable aides.
Do you plan to modify the other?