2 03 2009


This paper considers the work of artists, designers, and activists who, since the 1990s, have worked with body covering as survival mechanism and social tool. Individually or within collectives, they call their work art, design, or activism; or all three. The result is a “body of records” of technological, biological, and performable wearables that have not received the attention they deserve, both as art and design, and as vehicles for ideas about threats to species survival and collective experience.

For example, in the early 1990s artists created wearable artworks in the form of survival attire embedded in localized performative events concerned with social connection under adverse circumstances. Lucy Orta is prominent among such practitioners, who formulate clothing the body as critical, social, and ethical practice within an ambient “culture of fear.” (Fig. 1).

1 Fig. 1) Lucy Orta, Nexus Architecture x 50: Intervention Köln 2001.

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2 03 2009

susan ryan

Susan Elizabeth Ryan, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Art History at Louisiana State University where her courses in New Media Art History are part of a forthcoming New Media Art curriculum. Currently researching wearable technology art. Co-curated, with Patrick Lichty, the exhibition Social Fabrics: Wearables + Media + Interconnectivity, sponsored by the Leonardo Educational Forum, for the College Art Association, Dallas 2008 http://www.socialfabrics.org/. Former director of the Baton Rouge Video Project and consultant for the LSU Lab for Creatve Art and Technology. Contributor to the online journal Intelligent Agent. For earlier publications and papers see http://www.artistory.us/.


1 03 2009


Sarah Jane Pell, PhD, Australia, 1974, Adjunct Lecturer, University of Western Australia, School of Anatomy and Human Biology, www.sarahjanepell.com; research(at)sarahjanepell.com

Dr. Pell is an interdisciplinary performance artist, ADAS2 Commercial Diver and human factors researcher positing herself as the live subject in many experimental human performance and behaviors research laboratories with innovative countermeasures, chorographical constraints and live biotelemetry outputs in extreme environments and their analogues – usually underwater. Pell obtained a PhD at Edith Cowan University (2005), and attended the SSP at the International Space University, France (2006). Her work has been performed, published and exhibited internationally since 1997. http://myprofile.cos.com/spellart


24 02 2009



Many of us are currently, and possibly permanently, living in a hybrid space conditioned by the use of mobile and wireless technologies. This space, which emerges from our technological condition, has been scrutinized by various theorists and researchers during recent years. Amongst others, Timo Kopomaa has written about the concept of a third space, Anthony Townsend about phonespace, and Adriana de Souza e Silva has defined the more general concept of hybrid space which is formed from a merge of physical and virtual spaces.

Our use of technology is generally limited to standard applications and commercial ready-mades, which commonly exhibit a very functional and task-oriented approach to technology. The wider possibilities of hybrid space are often left unnoticed due to the ordinary and pre-defined perspectives offered by mobile devices available for consumers.

The focus of my research is in artistic experiments and works which investigate and refer to concepts of hybrid space, ubiquitous computing, the individual third space and/or phonespace. These works enable a person to experience hybrid space in a different manner than from standardized perceptions. They aim at directing the focus away from a functionally-oriented approach to hybrid space, towards a more conceptual approach. In my practice I have introduced the figure of the hybronaut; a person coupled with an artistic wearable device. The hybronaut exists within and continuously explores hybrid space. By simply focusing on being rather than doing, the hybronaut refers to the wider phenomenon of technology within our society and in our future.

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24 02 2009

laura beloff

Laura Beloff is the independent artist / researcher, PhD-candidate at Planetary Collegium, Computing, Communications & Electronics, Faculty of technology, University of Plymouth, UK.


Her focus in recent years has been on mobile, wearable objects. She is exhibiting widely in museums, galleries and major media-festivals worldwide, and frequently lecturing about her interests and works in universities and conferences.

1999 a visiting professor at Linz Art University, Austria.

2002-2006 a professor for media arts at the Art Academy in Oslo, Norway.

2007-2011 5-year artist grant by the Finnish state, 2007> lecturing at The University of Art and Design Helsinki.


22 02 2009


The cybernetic term feedback loop has created prolific figure of cybernetic organisms (cyborgs) that spread over different cultural fields of our society during the second half of the 20th century. The term cyborg emerged in 1960s from a cybernetics discourse dealing with a feedback loop concept related to the problems of adaptation of human organisms to extreme external environmental contexts, (specifically to space exploration). Clynes and Kline, authors of the neologism cyborg described the subject of their research as a connection of human organism and machine system which will be an „…exogenously enlarged organizational complex unconsciously functioning as an integrated homeostatic system.“(Clynes,Kline, 1960:27).

As long as cybernetics and the successor disciplines (computer science, artificial intelligence, advanced robotics…) have focused more and more on interaction of man with information (digital) technologies – the problem of the adaptation of human beings to their external environment headed to the problem of an adaptation of the human -organism to the digital data-system conditions. Consequently, the terminal figure of the cyborg in the sense of human organism adjusted to data-environment would be “human information” (Wiener, 1954 :104). In other worlds, the feedback loop of human-machine interactivity in the context of the cyborg discourse leads to „human interface that disappeared“(Fisher, 1991:109).

The cyborg discourse approach is well illustrated in the paragraph on Phantom Body by Stelarc: “The body finds it increasingly difficult to match the expectations of its images. In the realm of multiplying and morphing images, the physical body’s impotence is apparent. The body now performs best as its image. […] What it means to be human is no longer the state of being immersed in genetic memory but rather in being reconfigured in the electromagnetic field of the circuit – in the realm of the image.”(Stelarc, 1994). The paragraph illustrates very well the recognizable domination of the notion of cyborg in the fields of the present days cyber-culture and media art.

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22 02 2009


Mgr. Jana HORAKOVA, Ph. D. (Czech, 1971) is an assistant professor at Masaryk University, Brno, Department of Musicology. E-mail: horakova(at)phil.muni.cz

She is the co-author of the monographs Invitation to the Knowledge Society (Iura Edition, Bratislava, 2007, in Slovak) and Artificial Intelligence 5 (Academia, Prague, 2007, in Czech). She has several publications on robotic performances, robotic art, and cultural history of robot in several professional journals and international conference proceedings. She is the co-editor of the bilingual, Czech and German, publication Imaginary Spaces> Raume/Prostor – Medien/media – Performance/performance (in print. Koniash Latin Press, Prague 2007).

Professional CV and publications see at: http://is.muni.cz/zivotopisy/cv.pl?fakulta=1421;uco=14870