LUKAS ZPIRA - BODY HACKING
- Body Hacktivism
- Ritual Body
- Putting an end with Baudrillard
- Toward a political aproach of mutation
BOD e-ART - BodyHacking
BODY HACKTIVIST, BODY HACTIVISM & BODY HACKING
Created by Lukas Zpira at the dawn of 2004, in the land of the rising
sun under the impulsion of Ryoichi Maeda, the term «body hactivist»
was born from the necessity to define a mouvement of artists, reaserchers
and thinkers working around mutations using body modifications as
a medium, which, as oppposed to modern primitives who use tribal anthropology
as their bases, practice, theorize and/or invent prospective avant
garde body modifications, influenced by manga culture, comics, science
fiction films and literature and made possible by a constant curiosity
of the evolution of tekno-medical discoveries. These practices, experimental
by essence, are defined as « Body Hacking »,
expressing the will of these artists, researchers and/or thinkers
to surpass the bio-logical frontiers.
The terms «body hacktivist» and «body hacktivism»
also signifies the necessity of action, to take our destiny into our
own hands by the perpetual will to reinvent ourselves.
De facto, by his research work, creations and his practice of unusual
implantation techniques derived from plastic and/or cosmetic surgery
and largely influenced by televised series such as «STAR TREK»
Steve Haworth can be considered as one of the fathers of this mouvement.
«body hacktivism» doesnt include the necessity to
be modified. All modified persons are not necessarily considered as
«body hacktivists». Beyond all, «body hactivism»
must be perceived as a philosophy, as a state of mind.
Whether it is to tear itself out from its initial condition, to mark
its membership or a fundamental step in life, mankind has always used
rituals. We therefore inscribe ourselves in an offspring that takes
its source since the dawn of time. But let us not be mistaken
"Our purpose is not to exorcise the wandering of our peers, nor
is it a kind exhibition attending to some neo-fakirism .But we want
to anticipate the unavoidable rising of mutants and so-called cyborg
era. Not so long ago, this was still fantasy from a few S-F enthusiast
or visionary terrorists who declared a permanent state of pregnancy
that would give birth to monsters and mutants and all that scares
us" . (Daniel Romani)
It is not a dehumanizing process either but rather making a choice
of our human shape, trying to make our dreams come true instead of
life stealing them from us, to give an adequation to I and the self,
the right being in the right shell.
Here we stand at the dawn of the virtual era and dataflesh, we are
primitives, just as men of the palpable, the real, the flesh facing
a world they had not explored yet. For us as for them, rituals set
out bearings that redefine the individual again
"The collapsing of identity is favoured by the virulence of an
experience that carries the initiated beyond their former anchorage,
provided pain associated to physical branding is a sanction of instant
gravity, a guarantee of memory and a gash to destabilize a personality
from henceforth bygone. The initiated is socially redefined by the
physical modifications of his appearance. Pain confirms the seal of
the contract, giving birth to a new man, grown stronger with this
feeling of having overcome the challenge it reveals an ardent wish
of existence. Any pain involves metamorphosis and cast in a
brand new dimension of life. Men discover new metaphysics that disrupt
their relationship with the others and towards the world". (David
Because this mutation holds the unalterable strength of the symbol
imprinted on the very skin, because modifying is not mutilating, and
changing ourselves may be the best way to change the world.
The point is to keep our way in a world where our imaginary is the
This is the reason why a ritual must be a self-experience not a demonstration.
Someone trying to realise himself and not prove something, like a
phoenix born again from its ashes.
Stripes make the difference between a zebra and a donkey
In our urban jungle where television has replaced the fireplace and
where our eves happen on networks, it is freewill makes the difference
between animals and us. The more we move away from it the more we
wonder about this body becoming an accessory of presence
(David Lebreton) this body reflecting the image of a god which is
getting harder and harder to believe in.
Nature evolves, the point is to remain in harmony with it and try
to understand if we, like Promethee, are half gods taking part in
one of the big revolutions of this world, or are we mere puppets,
smallest cogs of a dark and monstrous celestial machine, ready to
pour the drop that will make the Graal overflow.
PUTTING AN END WITH BAUDRILLARD
I am Lukas Zpira, .01 from a new artistic experimentation based upon
mutation, its koncept is an attempt of merging between body and spirit
I have defined as the kor taking its roots in Lucas Zpira, born in
93 from the ashes of a man you do not know, forgotten by everyone,
even myself. But what the hell is Lukas Zpira.01 if not a work made
of flesh and blood, this blood reminding me of the life it is dedicated
to, which message is the power of evolution, the opportunity of wondering
Do not be surprised then if I am not anymore the man you see here.
My absence is involuntary, it is even less a sign of scorn, it only
means that the quest of this new Avant-garde I am helping giving birth
takes me a little further everyday, maybe to make me realize how numerous
Among these fighters of some counter-culture, lots of them understood
that a revolution including its etymology and its spirit
means at first to move around oneself, to change in order to be able
to at last participate to the big changes that will soon modify our
world and conception of humanity.
No one among us has sacrificed his body to the idea of any sacrifice
as Baudrillard believes it, but rather his natural appearance to the
benefit of his true nature, in order to give a kor to that image constantly
dropped back to us by our residual inner memory, to be at last what
we deeply want to be, just what we are and not what has been tried
to make of us for such a long time.
Obviously, in this century of image we easily play the game of appearances,
it is however stupid and reducing to believe that working on the shape,
we deny the foundation. Some things do exist far beyond these appearances,
reachable to cleverness only.
Our body is just the medium through which we redefine our mental confections.
The matter really is to prefigure this new kind of humanity that will
soon not be one anymore, and whether we sometimes tend ourselves to
this sort of inventory that Baudrillard calls pathetic and burlesque
maybe also because it is necessary for our own speeches and allows
us to realize this is not fiction but upper-reality at most and we
do not carry on our tips the stigmata of this who was given up by
his father at the same time than the World.
No misunderstanding, we do not wish to end in a bowl because we do
not pretend to be something else then the subjects of our own observation
and, through it, this of the World. If something should survive from
us, may it be some of our best ideas because in a Cybernetic Anthropological
Museum, our kor will only have the strength of the episode, similar
to these wings of wood and paper some crackpots tried to have flying
at the beginning of the last century.
However we sometimes make mistakes
Maybe they are necessary
in order to be deeply conscious of the limits demanded from us and
thus settle the basements upon which others will soon built their
success. It is just too bad that many like Baudrillard are quick to
judge only through these mistakes
Perhaps simply because overtaking
the limits, breaking some doors, we did not realize they were just
behind and got smashed in the face .
- San Francisco.01-j163/985beats
TOWARD A POLITICAL APPROACH OF MUTATION
Far from being a narcissistic quest, a teenager's revolt against his
family, or any other kind of "pathetic or burlesque" experiment
of self- mutilation, as some may claim, as if to better reduce it,
the assertion of the reapropriation of the body by a few contemporary
artists experimenting with the range of possible mutation, goes far
beyond: it is a major political statement.
The recent declarations made in France by the presidential candidate
Jean-Marie Le Pen highlights the importance of this issue: "
To maintain that your body belongs to yourself is wholly trivial:
it belongs to life, and thus it belongs in part to the nation".
Although this submission of the body has at all times been emblematic
of totalitarian regimes, through the image of the perfect man with
his thoughts as smooth as his skin, one should not forget how this
domination of the self is by no means their exclusivity, but that
it has been practiced throughout the centuries, and this since the
"lex romana", across regimes and oceans, ranging throughout
the western world by way of migrations, without ever being called
in question. In fact as recently as late 1999 when it was upheld by
ordinance of the European Court of Justice, and no one was even moved
by it. General ignorance about these facts has led some body artists
to assert that it is the only thing that really belongs to us at all!
This body possessed by a controlling thought becomes representative
of man's position of submission faced with the nation, of the individual
faced with the masses, which is only free to exist and think within
the limited framework of imposed rules that have always been accepted
in the name of "general interest" and of the so-called "common
sense". No wonder if the medical profession adopts a conniving
stance, posing as a guardian of the pseudo-scientific values of the
West. (One must not forget that this medicine rejects some alternative
medicines like the millenary Chinese one.) They thus guarantee them
the monopoly on our destiny and also on our power of life and death
over our selves. Furthermore, they reserve themselves the right to
define the rules of correct appearance and thought, they take the
liberty of considering deviant all other "extra-normal"
or individualistic behaviour. This could eventually lead to social
exclusion, to psychiatric wards or even to prisons, at the discretion
of particular regimes.
The new interest taken by the French government into even the softest
of body modifications has apparently attracted some new allies among
some of the practitioners who were looking for a respectability they
hadn't yet acquired because of their former status. The
gutter press let these moralists, disguised as elder brothers or elder
sisters, repeat that the open-minded we are were gurus, this based
on the simple fact that our ideas do not enter into the consensus
which they were the former spokesmen.
Their reject of the established rules might have as a ground a post-teenage
crisis. They might not be aware of the action they engaged at this
In this pre-defined framework, the possible mutations given to us
by the technology nowadays will remain limited to additional means
to handle what we appear to really be: sheep.
By this way, how long will it take governments, approved by the medical
association, by moral guarantee of the Church and with the support
of intellectuals like Baudrillard, to attack directly the artists
we are, and who, through the re-appropriation of our own body, through
its re-definition, who, by the awareness and the free choice we make
of our bodily future, and by some works that have to do with the frontiers
of legality and explore those of possibility, have set out to retake
what they have been stolen from :
"Il existe bien, au delà des apparences, certaines choses
accessibles à la seule intelligence... /
Some things do exist far beyond appearances, reachable by intelligence
BOD e-ART - BodyHacking & Mutations
Thanks to Lukas Zpira.