Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Artist gets an extra ear implanted into his arm

Helen Pidd
The Guardian, Tuesday 14 April 2009

A man with 3 ears at the Edinburgh Science Festival. Performance artist Stelios Arcadiou, known as Stelarc, says his extra ear, made of human cartilage, is an augmentation of the body's form. Photograph: Murdo Macleod

A man with three ears will appear at Edinburgh Napier University today to talk about his "extra" ear, which has been surgically implanted on to his forearm.

Australian performance artist Stelios Arcadiou, known as Stelarc, had the third ear created from cells in a lab in 2006. At the Edinburgh Science International Festival today, Stelarc will discuss his plans to install transmitters in his new ear, so people listen to what it is hearing online. He also hopes to grow a soft earlobe using his own stem cells.

The ear is made of human cartilage. Stelarc, who is visiting professor at Brunel University School of Arts, took 10 years to find a surgeon willing to perform the operation. He uses medical instruments, prosthetics, robotics, virtual reality and the internet in his work.

Ear it is.

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