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Themesicon: navigation pathCyborg Bodiesicon: navigation pathMythical Bodies II
Suspension (Stelarc), 1976

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such as the computer game heroine «Lara Croft» or the virtual pop starlet «Kyoko Date,» who not only resonate the marketing strategies of consumer culture, but also traditional gender perspectives. Whoever is not content with looking at «EvaSys» and navigating her through Net space will come across a number of packed nodes in the cartography of her bodyscape. If one touches these nodal points with the mouse, her voice begins to reveal ‹more intimate› things: From «what I like,» «places and countries I have been to,» up to «how I spent my day.» However, these confessions are hardly suitable for satisfying the voyeurism of a ‹data sex tourist.› Quite in the spirit of Donna Haraway, who in her «Manifesto for Cyborgs» establishes an increasing «translation of the world into a problem of coding,» [7] it is with cool precision that «EvaSys» furnishes us with Wohlgemuth's «personal information» as a pure data set—from the measurements of her exterior to her credit card number.

The body as software

Viewing one's own body as software and—though in


very different ways—making it an interface is an option that two artists—the Australian Stelarc and the French artist Orlan—have interpreted in a particularly radical way and consistently pursued for many years.

Stelarc became known for his «Suspensions»: Between 1976 and 1989, on 25 different occasions the artist had steel hooks driven through his skin in order to suspend his body on ropes at different locations and in changing positions and situations. [8] However, Stelarc does not see himself in the tradition of representatives of ‹Body Art,› who—at precisely the same moment in time the electronic media opened up new spaces to art—discover the «body in pain» as their preferred artistic material and medium. [9] Rather the artist wants to regard his body as a manipulable and modifiable structure. [10] In his view, the skin has had its day as the traditional interface between the body and its surroundings; with the aid of technology it is now time to penetrate and stretch it, thus outfitting it with new functions. [11] The works Stelarc produced in the ensuing years resemble series of experiments, in which with the aid of various processes he subjects the structure and the functioning of the body to

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