Below is what might be his current press bio (as of June 2001). When I met him in person, I was pleased to find that instead of being a super-serious artist
, he actually turns out to be a fun guy with a good sense of humor and a hilarious laugh
Stelarc is an Australian artist who has performed extensively in Japan, Europe and the USA- including new music, dance festivals and experimental theatre. He has used medical instruments, prosthetics, robotics, Virtual Reality systems and the Internet to explore alternate, intimate and involuntary interfaces with the body.
He has performed with a THIRD HAND, a VIRTUAL ARM, a VIRTUAL BODY and a STOMACH SCULPTURE. He has acoustically and visually probed the body- having amplified brainwaves, bloodflow and muscle signals and filmed the inside of his lungs, stomach and colon, approximately two metres of internal space. He has done twenty-five body SUSPENSIONS with insertions into the skin, in different positions and varying situations in remote locations. For FRACTAL FLESH, as part of Telepolis, he developed a touch-screen interfaced Muscle Stimulation System, enabling remote access, actuation and choreography of the body.
Performances such as PING BODY and PARASITE probe notions of telematic scaling and the engineering of external, extended and virtual nervous systems for the body using the Internet. Recently for Kampnagel, he completed EXOSKELETON- a pneumatically powered 6-legged walking machine actuated by arm gestures.
Current projects include the EXTRA EAR- a surgically constructed ear as an additional facial feature that coupled with a modem and a wearable computer will act as an internet antenna, able to hear RealAudio sounds and MOVATAR- an intelligent avatar that will be able to perform in the real world by possessing a physical body. It will have a sound feedback loop from the body giving the virtual entity an ear in the world. He is also working on an EXTENDED ARM- a manipulater with eleven degrees-of-freedom that extends his arm to primate proportions and a MOTION PROSTHESIS- an intelligent, compliant servo-mechanism that enables the performance of precise, repetitive and fast programming of the arms. In 1995 Stelarc received a three year Fellowship from The Visual Arts/ Craft Board, The Australia Council.
In 1997 he was appointed Honorary Professor of Art and Robotics at Carnegie Mellon University. He is presently Artist-In-Residence for Hamburg City. In 1999 he was re-appointed as a Senior Research Scholar for the Faculty of Art and Design at the Nottingham Trent University.