Tech

This Professor Has Grown An Ear On His Arm

You might have heard the name Stelarc before, but you probably forgot it in a shiver of confused disgust. 

A Cyprus-born performance artist and Perth-based professor, he has a knack of shocking media groups with his flesh hooks, robotic implants and superbly evil laugh.

He's regained the spotlight after appearing on Australian television to demonstrate how well his latest project is going: an ear, growing on his left forearm.

EAR ON ARM: Engineering Internet Organ is Stelarc's on-going body modification project: back in 2007, he underwent surgery to have a cell-cultivated ear surgically attached to his left arm.

"By injecting saline solution into a subcutaneous port, the kidney-shaped silicon implant stretched the skin, forming a pocket of excess skin that could be used in surgically constructing the ear," explains the artist on his website.

In addition to relocating a facial feature to his arm, Stelarc also hopes to augment the third ear with technological improvements: a microphone chip is to be inserted into the ear cavity, complete with a wireless transmitter. By connecting this to the internet via Wi-Fi, Stelarc would be able to broadcast everything his arm is "hearing". He even plans to add a GPS tracker as well.

However, the project isn't going exactly to plan. A microphone Stelarc has previously installed in the arm had to be removed due to an infection (though we like to think it was a result of his body rejecting his absurd experiments).

You can see more of Stelarc's unsettling activities over on his website. Give it another few months and he'll probably pop up again in a news article about a man with a third eye on his elbow.

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