An ear that does not hear but transmits

Australian performance artist Stelarc is to present three of his latest works Partial Head, Walking Head & Extra Ear on Saturday 13 at Trondheim Matchmaking, a festival for electronic arts and new technology to be held next week in Norway.

The EXTRA EAR, a work developed in collaboration with the Tissue Culture & Art Project, has now been added on the artist’s left arm. Excess skin was created with an implanted skin expander in the forearm. By injecting saline solution into a subcutaneous port, the silicon implant stretched the skin, forming a pocket of excess skin that was used in surgically constructing the ear.


When electronically complete the ear will form part of a distributed bluetooth headset, enabling Stelarc to speak to the remote person through the Extra Ear. I’ll quote the artist’s text as i’m not sure to understand what’s going on here: “I will hear the sound of the person speaking to me in my mouth. If my mouth is closed only I will be able to hear them. If I open my mouth and someone is close by, they will hear the sound of the remote person from within my mouth.”

Have a look at the festival’s page to know more about the other projects, all of them aim to explore alternate anatomical architectures that incorporate physiologically plausible structures and re-wirings. They also postulate hybrids of biology and technology and actual-virtual chimeras. Operational and living systems as mixed and augmented realities.

Thanks to Ken Rinaldo for letting me know about the festival.