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ISEA2013

7-16 June 2013


 Da Contents H2

July 24 2013
Past-present tensions
Keith Gallasch, Naala-Ba (Look Future), Carriageworks and ISEA2013

July 3 2013
Data noise & the limits of dance
Keith Gallasch, Myriam Gourfink & Kaspar Toeplitz, Breathing Monster

June 26 2013
Nailing the virtual
Virginia Baxter, Keith Gallasch, The Portals

Night work
Keith Gallasch, Embodied Media, Night Rage

Palpable virtualities
Keith Gallasch, Paula Dawson, Holoshop: Drawing and Perceiving in Depth

The big connect
Somaya Langley, The Portals

Transformational walking
Anne Phillips, Long Time, No See?

June 18 2013
Musical multiverses
Gail Priest, Polysonics

Rainbow over ISEA
Keith Gallasch, Electric Nights

realtime tv @ ISEA2013: Zydnei, Troy Innocent

June 17 2013
If a system fails in a forest, is anybody listening?
Urszula Dawkins, If a system fails in a forest…, 107 Projects

June 16 2013
In the digital age, love your stationery obsession
Urszula Dawkins, Durational Book

Painting by algorithms
Keith Gallasch, Ernest Edmonds: Light Logic

June 15 2013
Home, sweet home
Urszula Dawkins, disSentience, Sleeth, SelgasCano, Tin Sheds

Pop up pleasure zones
Gail Priest, Electronic Art Pop-Ups, The Rocks

June 14 2013
Aural ecologies, mechanical and musical
Urszula Dawkins, EchoSonics, UTS Gallery

June 14 2013
Heck, baby, I shoulda seen it comin…
Urszula Dawkins, The Very Near Future, Alex Davies

More than meets the eye
Virginia Baxter, Keith Gallasch, Point of View

New tools and old skool grammars
Gail Priest, Macrophonics II

realtime tv @ ISEA2013: The very near future, Alex Davies

Start by leaping off a small stool
Urszula Dawkins, ISEA Closing Keynote Address: Julian Assange

June 13 2013
A curative dose of spontaneity
Lauren Carroll Harris, pvi collective, Deviator

M e d i a a r t t h e n a n d n o w
Darren Tofts, Catching Light, Campbelltown Arts Centre

Olfaction, decay & speculation
Gail Priest, Raewyn Turner & Brian Harris, Ian Haig, Nandita Kumar, Verge Gallery

ART, WELLNESS & DEATH
Riding the theta waves
Urszula Dawkins, Theta Lab, George Poonkhin Khut and James Brown


Run for your lives [2]
Keith Gallasch, Running the City, COFA, UNSW

To re-map and reclaim
Lisa Gye, Mapping Culture [panel]

Turning the media back on itself
Lisa Gye, Mark Hosler, Adventures in Illegal Art

June 12 2013
Outside the labyrinth…looking in at someone waving
Urszula Dawkins, SoundLabyrinth, Mark Pedersen and Roger Alsop

realtime tv @ ISEA2013: semipermeable (+), SymbioticA

Run for your lives [1]
Keith Gallasch, Marnix de Nijs, Run Motherfucker Run

June 12 2013
The uncanny in the gallery
Keith Gallasch, Mari Velonaki, Simon Ingram, Petra Gemeinboeck & Rob Saunders, Artspace

June 11 2013
realtime tv @ ISEA2013: EchoSonics, UTS Gallery

The science and art of tangible things
Urszula Dawkins, Synapse: A Selection, Powerhouse

Touch me there
Gail Priest, ISEA Artist talks: Siu, Baumann, Velonaki

June 10 2013
Being Stelarc
Gail Priest, Stelarc: Meat, Metal, Code: Engineering affect and aliveness

Life and death, and the membranes inbetween
Urszula Dawkins, semipermeable (+), SymbioticA

realtime tv @ ISEA2013: Catching Light, Campbelltown Arts Centre

June 9 2013
'Pure' experience, in the round
Urszula Dawkins, Pure Land, iCinema

Data lives
Gail Priest, Genevieve Bell, Mark Hosler, Paolo Cirio & Alessandro Ludovico

realtime tv @ ISEA2013: Velonaki, Ingram, Gemeinboeck & Saunders, Artspace

June 8 2013
Knowing your place in Cartesian space
Gail Priest, Ryoji Ikeda, datamatics [ver 2.0]

Stars and starlings, pixels and picknickers
Urszula Dawkins, Ryoji Ikeda, datamatics [ver 2.0] & test pattern

 

Stelarc, Extra Ear: Ear on Arm Stelarc, Extra Ear: Ear on Arm
photo Nina Sellars
I am haunted by the goofy laugh that punctuated Stelarc’s 90-minute presentation of his extraordinary and gruesome body of work (or perhaps work of body). This laugh erupts from him at curious moments—an awkward, teenage boy-like honk—providing a real sense of the man inside the artist and offering more insight perhaps than standard theoretical analysis into his artistic and personal motivations.

The title, Meat, Metal, Code, neatly encapsulates his various approaches. Meat covers his suspension works in which the artist, and more recently willing participants drawn from the body modification scene, are suspended in space by butcher’s hooks. The body floats freed of weight yet we are more aware than ever of gravity’s awesome power. Meat also incorporates Stelarc’s most challenging work, Extra Ear in which he is growing an ear on his forearm (no doctor would agree to let him grow it on his head). Stelarc pulls up his sleeve and shows us the quite perfect looking ear in relief that is emerging, the cells and blood supply forming over an architecture made from a micro pore inserted under the skin. When completed, the ear will have its own microphone in order to record and transmit sounds, a process tested and found to be successful when the operation was first undertaken.

Stelarc, Exoskeleton, photo Igor Skafar Stelarc, Exoskeleton, photo Igor Skafar
Metal addresses the various robotic and biomorphic appendages that Stelarc has created to augment his own body, or later, to act as independent agents. These include his third arm, an upper body exoskeleton, a six-legged walking machine and finally a swarm of dancing robots sporting screens for heads. Code is incorporated into all these works of course, but it also takes the spotlight in pieces such as Prosthetic Head, an illustrated 3D representation of the artist, freckles and all, that responds to questions and stimuli. Stelarc had this head lip-synch to early 20th century tenor Enrico Caruso as the conclusion of his presentation. As ISEA executive creative producer Alessio Cavallaro quipped, “it ain’t over until the Prosthetic Head sings.”

Mixed among Stelarc’s own work were fascinating examples of scientific developments that excite him: all terrain insect robots powered by “wegs;” electronic circuitry that can be applied directly to the skin like a fake tattoo; and organ printing experiments in which standard Hewlett Packard technology is adapted to utilise living cells instead of ink to build up functioning organs layer by layer.

This catalogue of information flowed mostly historically and with no real delineation between Stelarc’s art and the speculative research, but we never really heard much as to why he wanted to make these things, why push his body to these extremes. Only during the very short question time did the artist actually speak philosophically about his work. Quoting mathematician and philosopher Alfred Whitehead, he says that our imaginations are only as interesting as our instruments, so perhaps he feels the responsibility to create new and better ones using his own body as the raw material. When asked about science fiction Stelarc says he is not so much interested in speculation but rather in “the direct experience of an actualised interface” and that the role of an artist is to “generate contestable futures.” Now we were getting into some meaty (metallic, code-rich) discussion but the MCA was closing and we were kicked out.

So I am left with Stelarc’s laugh—his bodily eruption of excitement and delight at these futures that he has built himself into and built into himself.


Stelarc: Meat, Metal, Code: engineering affect and aliveness, MCA, 9 June; http://www.isea2013.org/

This article first appeared on the ISEA2013 in RealTime blog

© Gail Priest; for permission to reproduce apply to realtime@realtimearts.net

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