Noa Kaplan and Medical Technology--Shiwei Huang

Noa Kaplan’s work explores the relationship between texture and structure. Her works also involve the relationship between nanoscale images and macroscopic images. I think the most interesting piece is “Pollen.” The part that stands on the ground is an enlarged sculpture of a grain of pollen. I like the idea that she did not simple take a picture of a grain of pollen and let the computer do all the work. She  created several pieces of the pollen and put them together by herself. The part that suspends right above that grain of pollen is a bottle of honey, which is dripping honey onto that grain of pollen. With the light above the bottle of honey shining upon it, it creates a gradient of color from light orange at top to pink at bottom. It is difficult to visualize that a drop of honey is composed of millions of grains of pollens, but Kaplan has managed to demonstrate such a relationship for us using this piece of work. Another interesting piece of work is the wool jacket she made based on the wool fiber under a microscope. We are so accustomed to the daily mundane clothes we wear, but Kaplan showed us the magnified the image of a fiber. Using the jacket that resembles the interwinding of the fibers, Kaplan successfully demonstrated the relationship between microscopic and macroscopic materials.  

The lower part of "Pollen."

Stelarc has been performing using his body, and his theme is "enhancing the body both in a physical and technical manner.” Some of his works involve some surgeries with artificial body parts. I think one of the most interesting work is called “The Ear On Arm.” He had two surgeries. In the first surgery, he had an ear implanted into his left arm, which he claimed could hear and transmit the sound. The second surgery was done in Europe because it was illegal in the U.S. as some part of the ear lobe was grown from Stelarc’s own stem cell. A microphone was inserted into the ear so that it could connect to the Internet in hope that people in different places could use that ear to listen. Also, it could act like a Bluthtooth. The idea that our body can be engineered into some devices for communication is really interesting. Stelarc commented that the project aimed to replicate and relocate a body part and invented some new function at that new location. He further commented that through these medical technology we could reengineer ourselves so that our organs are better suited for the media technology world. Our organ, in this case the ear in the arm, can facilitate the devices that we are using.

The surgery of "The Ear On Arm."

"The Ear On Arm."

Sources:

Kaplan, Noa. <http://www.noapkaplan.com/Pollen>

Kaplan, Noa. <http://www.noapkaplan.com/Clothes-Up-Wool>

Paolo Atzori and Kirk Woolford. “Extended-Body: Interview with Stelarc” Sep. 9, 19995 <http://www.ctheory.net/articles.aspx?id=71>

Stelarc. <http://stelarc.org/?catID=20214>

“This is Benjamin: Interview with Sterlac” <http://www.benjaminteicher.com/contact/interview-with-stelarc/>