Stelarc has made a career of blending his body with technology. In his latest work, the Australian performance artist strapped himself to an industrial robotic arm and went for a spin.

A video recording of the performance, called Propel, is set to make its public debut at the upcoming DeMONSTRABLE exhibition, which opens tomorrow at the University of Western Australia. The demonstration was filmed inside a warehouse in Perth. As reported by ABC News, the stunt was meant to demonstrate an intimate interaction between the human body and machine.


You can watch a short clip of the performance here.

Video credit: Steven Aaron Hughes/ABC News.

Stelarc, the head of the Alternate Anatomies Lab at Curtin University, is no stranger to making himself intimate with technology. In 2007, he unveiled his Ear on Arm, an art project in which he had a cell-cultivated ear surgically attached to his inner left arm. Stelarc recently revealed that he plans to get his arm-grown ear fitted with a microphone and an Internet connection.


Photo credit: Channel Nine.

For the Propel piece, Stelarc spent about a half-hour harnessed to the robot.

“The human is responsible for programming the robot, but it’s that connection between the body and machine that generates an artistic system,” Stelarc told ABC News. “The body is propelled in different trajectories. Sometimes my body is totally upside down, sometimes it’s rotating on its axes and sometimes it’s spun around.”


Stelarc, who said he was quite sore afterwards, admitted that the robot could have accelerated much faster.

“It can be a very fast robot. Of course we weren’t going at maximum speed... my brain would have been mush,” he told ABC News.


Photo credit: Steven Aaron Hughes/ABC News.

Stelarc will also present a video at DeMONSTRABLE in which a large foam ear that’s a replica of his arm-ear was also connected to the robot... which sounds super weird.

Much more at ABC News!

Email the author at and follow him at @dvorsky. Top image by ABC News/Steven Aaron Hughes