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Stelarc, Extra Ear: Ear On Arm. Installation view at FACT.

Extra Ear: Ear on Arm (2008)

The projections and photographs show documentation of the surgical process through which Stelarc is having an ear-shaped scaffold and communication device implanted and constructed on his forearm. The additional ear is meant to have a microphone and Bluetooth transmitter built-in, and, through wireless technology, it effectively becomes an Internet organ for the body, representing the dual reception and transmission functions of the skin. The extra ear is, in the artist's words, a prosthesis that is not seen as 'a sign of lack but rather as a symptom of excess'.

As technology proliferates and microminiaturizes it becomes bio-compatible and is incorporated into bodies that perform beyond the boundaries of their skin. In his work Stelarc explores the relationship of the body with technology through interfaces using prosthetics, robotics, VR, the Internet and biotechnology.