Re: Professor set to 'control' wife by cyborg implant

From: Natasha Vita-More (
Date: Wed May 09 2001 - 11:18:36 MDT

From: Anders Sandberg <>

>A good point. I agree that Warwick is indeed doing a kind of
performance art. Engineering sometimes makes wonderful erformance
art, and robotics is of course especially amenable to it.

>But I think Stelarc has created something far more integrated than

As an artist, yes. As a sensationalist, no. Stelarc has designed a
technique and style which stems from the earlier genre of Actionists and
resembles much of Vito Acconci's body work but uses different tools. He
automorphs himself, but purely for the art of his work and not his personal
life. Warwick's mutations are not clearly aligned with any one art genre
but rely on the genre of Performance Art to tie the modifications to his
body with his desire to be recognized as a cyborg.

>Stelarc's art is based in a postmodern
deconstruction/reconstruction of the body and its role, which is quite

I'll have to ask Stelarc about this statement, I'm not sure he would agree.
Postmodern has a unwelcome feeling for us Performance Artists :-) Stelarc's
work is of Transhumanist Arts period rather than Postmodern period.
(Although most critics prefer to use period that have already occured.)

("Dissanayake defines postmodernism as, “ . . . a declaration of the end of
all isms and movements, of the impossibility of further theory.” (1995, 199)
“Dennis Fehr . . . describes Postmodernism as a philosophical patchwork that
covers the postindustrial West . . . [To Fehr] Postmodernism is about
connecting, combining, erasing lines, taking down walls.” (Walkup, 1999)
Perhaps, postmodern art is the result of, “ . . . a cacophonous pluralism, a
barrage of media-cussed voices with no commitment to change society. [A time
when] Genius in art came to mean nothing but the ability to elicit column
inches and produce striking, flashy artifacts.” (Jeffries, 1998)")

The more appropriate idea about Postmodern Art would be the ability to
produce a body (no pun intended) of art with content rather than being
concerned with its object. I rather like this and consider Conceptual Art
as a powerful medium. However, I not accustomed to referring to
Installations or Performance Art as Postmodern.

>The robotic and cyborg performances of Warwick does not fit well with his
views on the future of human and robot interactions - one one hand slapstik
and gadgetry, on the other hand the terminator. It doesn't fit together
artistically in my opinion.<

His concept doesn't "work". It could be for the reasons you suggest above
but, simply put, a misuse of machinery for shock factor is weak and
transparent. Art lacks value when the artist employs a sensationalized
notion without a paralleling conjecture. Thus, I would not categorize
Warwick’s art as Transhumanist Arts or even transhuman, but his body, with
it's augments are indeed transhuman.

>[ The art critic as a science reviewer: "While the logos and technique of
the paper are impeccable, there is a lack of pathos that weakens the
introduction and discussion section....<

Very poetic.

Art and Culture:
Book - Create/Recreate: The 3rd Millennial Culture
"Primo 3M+ 2001" Future Physique 3D
Culture & Progress: Progress Action Coalition
Transhuman History and Culture:

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