[ISEA96] Keynote: Stelarc – On the Future of the Net: Phantom Bodies, Fractal Flesh and Collective Strategies

Abstract (Intro)


Just as the Internet provides extensive and interactive ways of displaying, linking and retrieving information and images, it may now allow new ways of uploading, interfacing and accessing the body itself. Browsing the Net, generating Phantoms and constructing Virtual communities in Cyberspace is one contestable future. And instead of seeing the Net/Web as a means of fulfilling outmoded metaphysical desires of disembodiment, it offers on the contrary, powerful and unexpected individual and collective strategies for amplifying body functions and extruding body awareness. The Internet does not hasten the disappearance of the body and the dissolution of the self – rather it generates new collective couplings and a telematic scaling of subjectivity.


Consider a body remapped and reconfigured- not in genetic memory, but rather in electronic circuitry . A body needing to function not with the affirmation of its historical and cultural recall, but in a zone of erasure- a body no longer merely an individual but a body that needs to act beyond its human metabolism, circadian rhythms and the local space it occupies. A body that generates its awareness not through its mobility, but through its connectivity. Human awareness is altered by Al and AL and feedback loops filtering intense and extra-sensory experiences of teleoperated robots that navigate unimaginable micro realms and alien landscapes.

Full text p.16