[ISEA97] Artists Statement: Jeffrey Cook, Sam de Silva & Gary Zebington (Merlin) – Metabody: From Cyborg to Symborg

Artists Statement

The Metabody assemblage is an animated mapping of the territory of the human-machine interface: the avatar/golem; the robot or automaton (recently cyborg, now symborg) through the ages; and the body as performance installation site connected to other bodies and sites around the world. It encompasses the body as alternative interface using a vocabulary of gestural and performative twitches needed to establish a bodily dialogue with a representation in symbolic space. The ROM comprises three main sections: the Stelarc archive; the human-machine historical section; and various simulations (hypercells) of ideas explicated elsewhere. The components exist as a colony or loose assemblage of cells, some of which will integrate into a larger multicellular whole at a later date; some which extend the cyborg’s organomechanic role by virtue of digital appendages or layers (pro)creating the symbiological organism — the symborg; or react in a connective soup of humans across time and space; or linger in an unresolved phase state, as submerged ideas of an emergent humanity and humaneutics. A technology-induced symbiological body plays tangent to various prosthetic or bodily add-on potentialities and strategies and tends toward inclusion in a growing set of options: the melding of some aspects of organic, web and internet sensorial spaces; interactive anthropomorphic digital symbols; software simulations; attachable hardware augmentations and other interconnected humans via local and remotely distributed computer systems.  ccp.org.au/exhibitions/all/metabody-from-cyborg-to-symborg

  • Jeffrey Cook (AU) is a writer, independent film producer and artist who was the Station Manager for the Community Channel Cable TV Trial in Centennial Park Sydney in 1993 and is an ex-Vice President of Metro Television. He had a Bachelor of Arts (Commuinication) from the University of Technology- Sydney and is currently undertaking a Masters in Arts Theory at College Of Fine Arts, UNSW. He has pro­duced short films and animations, has published several books and many essays on the future, media, telecommu­nications and digital arts, and is a digital artist and produc­er, working primarily on the web.
  • Sam de Silva (AU) is a programmer and digital artist who is interested in the domain of online art. He has a solid back­ground in computer technology and has been involved in the production of hardware devices and software applications. Recently he ha s produced a number of video clips using 3D animation and digital editing. He is very familiar with interactive authoring environments and has been involved with severaI online and offline projects. He is a computer science graduate from the University of New South Wales and is currently enrolled in the Master of Art program at the College of Fine Arts in Sydney.
  • Gary Zebington (AU) has worked in the field of interactive digi­tal media since 1990. His artwork and programming have featured in a diverse range of corporate and cultural pro­jects, including large-scale interactive internet-body per­formances, cable television, outdoor digital gallery installa­tions, websites, and public presentations. He holds a post­graduate degree in design computing from the University of Sydney.

Jeffrey Cook, Sam de Silva & Gary Zebington are collectively known as Merlin