Mi.Mu Gloves

Most of us on our small team are musicians who are tired of being stuck behind computer screens, keyboards, faders, knobs, and buttons to make our music. We feel there could be a better way that is more like the experiences we have with traditional instruments: using the dexterity and mobility of the human body.

(Taken from: http://mimugloves.com/#startpoint)

Imogen Heap – Musician and Founding director of MI.Mu Gloves.

Stelarc

Stelarc is a performance artist. His work involves prosthetics and he seeks to extend the human body and its capabilities.

Third Hand

 

Appearance

A mechanical human-like hand that is attached to my right arm as an additional hand. It is made to the dimensions of my real right hand.

Cosmetic Cover

Cast in latex from my right hand. It was thought necessary to protect the sensors and to provide adequate friction for gripping. It was never permanently worn over the mechanism because for performance purposes only the visual motion and operation was important.

Materials

Aluminium, stainless steel, acrylic, latex electronics, electrodes, cables and battery pack.

Capabilities

Pinch-release, grasp-release, 290 degrees wrist rotation (clockwise and counter-clockwise), and a tactile feedback system for a sense of touch.

Control System

The motions of the hand are controlled by the electrical signals of the muscles (EMG), typically from the abdominal and leg muscles for independent movements of the three hands. Simply, signals from muscle contractions are picked up, pre-amplified, rectified and sent to the switching system.

History

The hand was completed in 1980 in Yokohama. It was based on a prototype developed at Waseda University. It was constructed with the assistance of Imasen in Nagoya. It has been used in performances by the artist between 1980- 1998 in Japan, the USA, Europe and Australia. It has become the best- known and longest-used performance object for the artist. Originally it was designed as a semi- permanent attachment to the body, but because of skin irritation from electrode gel and the weight of the hand, support structure and the battery pack (approx. 2 kgms), it could not be worn continuously and thus it became a special performance device. The Third Hand has come to stand for a body of work that explored intimate interface of technology and prosthetic augmentation- not as a replacement but rather as an addition to the body. A prosthesis not as a sign of lack, but rather a symptom of excess. The Third Hand performances, with amplified body signals and sounds, have contributed to cyborg discourses on the body, included in more recent performances such as FRACTAL FLESH, PING BODY and PARASITE. See documentation of the performance postcards for a conceptual context.

(Taken from: http://stelarc.org/?catID=20265)

Third Ear

I have always been intrigued about engineering a soft prosthesis using my own skin, as a permanent modification of the body architecture. The assumption being that if the body was altered it might mean adjusting its awareness.

(Taken from: http://stelarc.org/?catID=20242) (Photograph: Portrait of Stelarc’s 3rd Ear by Shaun Gladwell, London 2014)

 

Oskar Schlemmer

The Triadic Ballet 

Schlemmer began running the Theatre Workshop at the Bauhaus in 1923. Schlemmer created the costumes and then choreographed the dancers moments. The Choreography  was created bearing in mind the restrictions the costumes created, and the movements they suggested. The ballet was taken on tour to promote the Bauhaus.

Franz Schömbs’ and Georg Verden’s reconstruction of the ballet in 1968:

 

(See also: http://www.nytimes.com/1985/10/03/arts/dance-triadic-ballet-a-la-bauhaus.html)

Slat Dance 1 – 1927

Lisa le Feuvre on Slat dance 1:

Slat Dance 1 from 1927 used equipment designed for physical education to lengthen the dancer’s limbs. Just as 18th and 19th century ‘progress’ compelled people to conform movements to the rhythm of the factory, Schlemmer’s constricting additions forced their wearers to empathise with their own mechanics.

Taken from: Extending Bodies, Tate Etc, Issue 36 Spring 2016, PP64 

 

Rebecca Horn

Body Sculpture

(See: http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/rebecca-horn-2269)

(Further Reading: The Glance of Infinity Hardcover – September, 1997, ISBN: 3931141667) ( Text below images taken from here)

Mechanical Body Fan, 1973

The fan fits the proportions and measurements of my body. I carry and balance it on my shoulders. Head and shoulders are its centre, the axis of all its circular movements. The two hales of the fan meet to close as a circle above my head. By shifting the balance of my body, both semi circles change their horizontal position and start to rotate. One half turns in front of my body, the other behind me. My body the fixed axis for the movement of the two halves of the fan. Through the slow rotation of the two fan sections, different parts of my body are revealed or hidden. IF i constantly change the angle of rotation, the rotatory speed is increased to such a degree that the fans from a transparent circle. RH – 1973

Finger Gloves, 1972

The material of the finger gloves is so light that i can move them without any effort at all. I can feel, touch and grasp with them, yet maintain a particular distance from the objects I am touching. The lever-action of the extended fingers intensifies my hand’s tactile sensation. I can feel myself touching things, see how i grasp and control any chosen distance between myself and the objects. RH – 1972

Feather Fingers, 1972

The fingers of my right hand are covered and extended by single goose feathers; one feather is attached to each finger with a metal ring. As a living object, the entire feather hand is as symmetrical (and as sensitive) as a bird’s wing. I touch my bare left hand with my feather-dressed right hand, start to touch it and stroke it and carefully examine this new experience. It is as if on hand had suddenly become disconnected from the other, like two utterly unrelated beings. My sense of touch becomes so disrupted that the different behaviour of each hand triggers contradictory sensations. RH – 1972

Arm Extensions, 1968

From her chest to her feet she is wrapped in criss-crossing bandages like a mummy. All movement becomes impossible. Both arms are imbedded in thickly wadded stumps, which serve as balancing props for her body. After being tied up for a while, the subjects gains the impression that, in spite of her erect posture, her arms are gradually touching the ground, as if they were actually growing into the floor and turning into “isolating columns” fixed to her own body. RH – 1968

Pencil Mask, 1972

Nine Straps are tied around my head, three vertically, six horizontally. A pencil is attached at each point where the straps cross. All Pencils are about two inches long and reproduce the profile of my face in three dimension. I move my body rhythmically to and fro in front of a white wall. The pencils make marks on the wall; their image corresponds to the rhythm of my moments. RH – 1972

Hillel Schwartz

Torque The New Kinaesthetic of the 20th Century 

The essay gives insight in to how the modern world has affected our movement. It also has a very informative section on prosthetics.

Here is the link to the essay: https://www.academia.edu/7824435/Torque_The_New_Kinaesthetic_of_the_20th_Century_

See: Zone: Incorporations v. 6 (Zone 6) ISBN: 978-0942299298

Thomas Thwaites

Goat Man … Or holiday from being human Goat18-Thomas_Thwaites-photo-Tim_Bowditch

 

Goat14-Thomas_Thwaites-photo-Tim_BowditchGoat8-Thomas_Thwaites-photo-Tim_BowditchI tried to become a goat to escape the angst inherent in being a human. The project became an exploration of how close modern technology can take us to fulfilling an ancient human dream: to take on characteristics from other animals. But instead of the ferocity of a bear, or the perspective of a bird, the characteristic most useful in modern life is something else; being present in the moment perhaps.

Anyway I ended up in the Alps, on four legs, at a goat farm, with a prosthetic rumen strapped to my chest, eating grass, and becoming a goat.

Taken from: http://www.thomasthwaites.com/a-holiday-from-being-human-goatman/