Words by: Jack Dawson
It’s been 20 years since performance artist and Curtin professor Stelarc began growing an ear on his arm. This is the kind of story that just doesn’t really get old; I practically feel honour bound to remind you that there is a man who is growing an ear on his arm, just so you know this is a thing that really exists.
Stelarc has been involved in a number of projects, from suspending himself through the air through 25 hooks in his skin to various robotic arms and apparatus, which seem to serve no discernible purpose. However, the ear that he has been growing on his left arm, which is one of his most dedicated and long running performance pieces, will soon have wifi capability.
Yes, wifi capability, it’s probably best for me to let Stelarc himself explain it:
“This ear is not for me, I’ve got two good ears to hear with. This ear is a remote listening device for people in other places… They’ll be able to follow a conversation or hear the sounds of a concert wherever I am, wherever you are.”
There will be no on/off switch, and thus very little to protect Stelarc’s privacy in any meaningful fashion, but this doesn’t seem to faze the man much. Though in fairness, after exposing your unmentionables in public numerous times whilst having dozes of sharp hooks stuck through your skin, perhaps petty concerns such as privacy seem trivial.
You can check out his site here – but be warned that some of the images do contain nudity, and therefore may be a bit NSFW… but then again, what self-respecting performance artist isn’t?