Stelarc, Performance Artist, Has Third Ear Implanted On His Arm
Stelarc has unveiled the third ear he grew on his arm as part of a BioArt performance piece and has plans to insert a microphone into the ear.
Man Had A Third Ear Implanted Into His Left Arm
Stelarc, an award-winning performance artist from Australia, has officially unveiled his surgically implanted ear. The third ear, which is located on his left forearm, is just one step in Stelarc’s carreer in BioArt, a form of performance art that focuses on the nature of the human body. “The body can be seen as a construct of meat, metal and code,” Stelarc has said, referring to technological and medical advances.
Stelarc first got the idea in 1996, but was unable to find a doctor willing to implant an ear on his arm without any medical necessity. For years, Stelarc worked on the project, and he finally was able to receive surgery in 2007. Six months after the surgery, the fully-functional ear has become fully incorporated into Stelarc’s body, and tissue and blood vessels have developed around the implant.
“The ear is pretty much now a part of my arm, it’s fixed to my arm and it has its own blood supply,” Stelarc said in a recent interview.
Stelarc is the head of the Alternate Anatomies Laboratory at Curtin University, and is known for his use of the human body in his art — he once hung himself naked from hooks in his skin.
The artist still has quite a ways to go with his new body part. First, he will undergo surgery to lift the ear up and grow an earlobe using his stem cells. Then the artist hopes to install a small microphone into the ear that can connect wirelessly to the internet, and transmit sounds to others online.
“This ear is not for me, I’ve got two good ears to hear with. So wherever you are and wherever I am in the world you’ll be able to listen in to what my ear is hearing,” he said.
“Increasingly now, people are becoming Internet portals of experience … imagine if I could hear with the ears of someone in New York, imagine if I at the same time could see with the eyes of someone in London,” Stelarc added.
Stelarc said he has no plans to ever have his ear off-line, meaning that once the microphone is implanted and the ear goes live online, he has no intentions of turning it off.