In this age of gene mapping, body hacking, gender reassignment, neural implants, face transplants, prosthetic augmentation, turbine hearts and organ printing, what a body is and how a body operates has become problematic. The body functions remotely as an extended operational system with fractal and phantom flesh. We are increasingly expected to perform in Mixed and Augmented Realities.
Stelarc is an artist who performs with prosthetics and robotics. His projects include Third Hand (EMG actuated), Exoskeleton (6 legged locomotion), Extended Arm (11 degree of freedom manipulator), Prosthetic Head (embodied conversational agent) and Ear On Arm (surgically constructed and stem-cell grown that will be internet enabled). In 1996 he was Honorary Professor of Art and Robotics at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh and in 2002 was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws by Monash University, Melbourne. In 2010 he received a Special Projects grant, Australia Council and he was also awarded the prestigious Ars Electronica Hybrid Arts Prize. He is presently Distinguished Research Fellow and Director of the Alternate Anatomies Lab, School of Design and Art (SODA), Curtin University, Perth. His artwork is represented by Scott Livesey Galleries, Melbourne. firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Nina Sellars
In an era when virtual anatomies circulate on the Internet and bioengineered human organs are being printed from volumetric images, the various new modes in which we engage with anatomical images of the body are effectively redefining what it means to be human. A way of seeing becomes a way of being, whereby images no longer depict reality but can be thought of as actively determining our fleshy reality.
Nina Sellars is an artist and Research Fellow at the Alternate Anatomies Lab, Curtin University and an Adjunct Lecturer at the Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, Monash University, Melbourne. Sellars is a trained prosector, i.e. a dissector of cadavers for medical display. Her artwork blends the disciplines of art, science and humanities and focuses on the contemporary and historical influence of anatomy on our understanding of body, identity and subjectivity. Classically trained in drawing Sellars’ artwork now extends to new media installations, as her interest in anatomy has taken her from working in wet anatomy labs to working in physics labs, where she explores the cultural implications of modern medical imaging. Nina.Sellars@curtin.edu.au
Dr. Christian Kroos
Humans are not isolated brains but woven into a dynamical exchange with the environment. Movements in the physical world situate them as intentional social agents, enabling expression of emotions, intentions and concepts. Spoken language is movement made audible, and thus, a robotic vocal tract to be developed at AAL will create an artificial yet embodied voice.
Christian Kroos is a cognitive scientist who holds a Ph.D. in Phonetics and Speech Communication with Drama Studies and Logic as minors. He co-founded the theatre ‘theater … und so fort’ and wrote and directed several plays. On the scientific side, he conducted research in Germany, Japan, USA, and Australia. He analysed the kinematics of speech articulators at Ludwig-Maximilian-Universität (Munich), devised a method to track face motion in video sequences at the telecommunication company ATR (Kyoto), and investigated empirically the evolution of language at Haskins Laboratories (New Haven, CT). At the University of Western Sydney his research shifted to robotics and artificial intelligence. He developed a behavioural system and attention model for robots and will continue in this vein as research fellow within AAL. chrisitan.Kroos@curtin.edu.au / www.christian-kroos.org