When you subscribe to Furtherfield’s newsletter service you will receive occasional email newsletters from us plus invitations to our exhibitions and events. To opt out of the newsletter service at any time please click the unsubscribe link in the emails.
All Content
UFO Icon
Irridescent cyber duck illustration with a bionic eye Irridescent cyber bear illustration with a bionic eye Irridescent cyber bee illustration
Visit People's Park Plinth

Death of the Interview

Mez Breeze

_The Death of the Interview: a Meta:X.amination of Stelarc as EgoFried_N.tity_

About 20-odd years ago I visited a prominent contemporary Sydney Art Gallery in which was exhibited an installation of the techno_performance artists Stelarc. One of the x.hibits was a video looping of a “medical” n.tervention progressively showing the inside of Stelarc’s digestive
sys.t[ract]em. The screen had been turned off with only the audio partially working. In a defiantly sacrosanct gesture i braved the haloed-artwork-as-exhibited barrier, reached 2 turn the screen back on + attempted 2 adjust the volume. Suddenly the gallery director n.tervened + frostily conveyed her displeasure @ my attempt 2 make the installation functional, as well as suggesting i leave the gallery. Since then, my sense of Stelarc, techne_dysfunction + ego has been somewot
[Cronenbergianly] unfortunately fused 2gether.

Watching the Stelarc interview [conducted via vidcam] by CTHEORY Live [ie Arthur + Marilouise Kroker] I had strong associations with this initial introduction 2 Stelarc’s work ie art_scene panderings 2 the figure of artist-as-ego + media-perpetuated artist-as conveyor of jargonistic/post-biological/hierarchical figure. This progression of the concept of a media-squeezed Stelarc illustrates:

– how a commercial artscene is nowadays governed by a constant new-ism-seeking rhetoric of relational aesthetics.

– regulation scenic_elitism via knowledge exclusion + (subconscious or deliberate) conceptual obscurification.

– various satellite virtual n.teraction_prickings [ie working vicariously via a project associated with Stelarc] pointing 2wards the agendaised notions b.hind several of his works, eg an alleged Stelarc
theory that wot is hindering the evolution of the human species is s.sentially the size of a woman’s womb.

The interview b.tween Stelarc + CTHEORY demonstrates a certain hairiness with[in] the use of a traditional format [ie talking_head dialogue] 2 capture the s.sence of Stelarc’s works:

1) a type of problematic subliminal gender pottage in terms of a conceptual reduction of biology + interviewer presence/tandem breakdown of interviewer as injector-of-high-end theoretical concepts designed 2 faux-challenge thru pretend bristling questions [ie woman interviewer supplanted via the “real” interviewer – aping discourses governed by traditional power positionings].

2) the interviewing beginning with a Stelarc reference 2 t.h[is]e body being unavoidably directed by biological directives (ie he’s not the best in the morning) indicating projected/neglected references 2 body replacements/post-biology. This downplaying of the very mechanics that allow for the manipulation of the concepts Stelarc uses as his artistic currency hi-lites the gap b.tween the artist’s projection and physical_x.istance/actualities.

3) the layering of flesh/tech idealisation + constant references to dialogue rather than multilogue/social.networking_type jigsaw.possibilities + theoreticians mired/housed within
print_[quasi-digerati]literary traditions; consistent references 2 Stelarc as being the primary c[reator]urator of his works [besides an attempt by Marilouise 2 n.courage future collaborative attempts] + with [only] a cursory mention of those technical ppl responsible for the execution of his idea/project fruition. This, in particular, echos the ego m.phasis/underpinning of this mono-directive interview process; an old_skool attempt @ documentation stripped of the equations necessary 2
allow Stelarc to perform/justify/reflect his artistic responses.

The next interview in the series is an interview with Katherine Hayles, during which a person from UCLA’s end attempted to dial-up into the video link – a wonderful fracture of the linear, dried-end of the outmoded dialogue format CTHEORY Live is current perpetuating.