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Stelarc and PS Media

Stelarc and PS Media

In February of last year, we posted about an amazing fundraiser to get a new monograph by performance artist and suspension pioneer Stelarc’s work published, called Stretched Skin: Obsolete, Uncertain and Indifferent Body. We’re happy to announce that not only has the book been published, but we are now offering this book by Stelarc and PS Media publications for sale at Infinite Body Piercing.

For over forty years, Stelarc has been pushing the physical, conceptual, and technological boundaries of the body. His performances challenge our understanding of the body, and his art has inspired an entire generation of performance artists and suspension practitioners.

Stelarc Rock Suspension

About Stelarc, from our last post:

"Stelarc was born Stelios Arcadiou in Limassol, Cyprus in 1946 and raised in Australia. Since the 1970s, he has tirelessly explored the relationship between the body and the machine. His performances are built on ideas related to transhumanism and the obsolescence of the human body. He has worked extensively with the interfaces between the body and robotics, stating that, "Technology is what defines the meaning of being human, it's part of being human." His past projects have included Third Hand (A mechanical human-like hand that is attached to his arm as an additional appendage), Stomach Sculpture (a small robotic capsule that was inserted into his stomach and filmed with an endoscope), and various full-body robotics projects, including Exoskeleton and Muscle Machine. One of his more memorable long-term works is the Extra Ear Project."

Stelarc’s first book, Obsolete Body was published in 1984 as a compilation of his performance art and suspension performances. While tremendously influential, it’s now very rare (and expensive) and much sought after by body modification enthusiasts. While groundbreaking, Obsolete Body was not a complete record of Stelarc's suspension performances. After its publication, Stelarc continued and expanded his work, and those newer performances have never been seen in print—until now.

Stelarc: Stretched Skin

This new book, Stretched Skin: Obsolete, Uncertain and Indifferent Body, focuses on the entire history of Stelarc's suspension performances, from his first performance in 1976 to his most recent collaborations. Although Stelarc has ceased suspending himself, he collaborated on two suspension projects with Håvve Fjell and Wings of Desire: Spinning/Breathing at the Oslo Suspension Symposium in 2012 and Shadow Suspension during the 2013 Dallas SusCon.

Stelarc Shadow Suspension

For those waiting for a complete monograph of Stelarc’s suspension work, this is it. This is an extremely small printing, limited to a print run of only 1000 copies personally signed by Stelarc. For anyone passionate about suspension, or interested in the history of one of the modern movement’s major influencers, this book is essential.

Contributing to the fundraiser for Stelarc’s Stretched Skin also allowed us to be able to offer copies for sale of PS Media’s other publications.

Wings of Desire: Learning to Fly

Before their most recent publication, PS Media produced a beautifully made document of suspension performances by Norwegian group Wings of Desire. In 2012, Håvve Fjell’s troupe celebrated their ten-year anniversary. To mark the occasion, PS Media again organized an online campaign to raise money for a book—and this one turned out to be gorgeous.

Learning to Fly is an exquisite photo-heavy document of Wings of Desire, from its first suspension through the evolution of the team and up to its tenth anniversary at the 2012 Oslo SusCon. Text is by Håvve, with his sister Helene’s striking photography filling the weighty hardcover book. Also included is a forward by the founder of the International Suspension Alliance, Allen Faulkner.

Wings of Desire photo Helene Fjell

Helene’s photos are simply amazing. I had the opportunity to work with Helene when I was editor of The Point: The Journal of the Association of Professional Piercers. I was graciously given permission to include some of her images with the issue #57 that reported on the 2012 Oslo SusCon. Including these photos and numerous others, this publication is an absolutely gorgeous hardback with glossy, full-color pages. With a print run limited to only 500 copies, there are limited copies available.

To Bleed or Not To Bleed

In 2015, PS Media self-published their first book through an online fundraiser. To Bleed or Not To Bleed documents Norway’s internationally renowned performance group, Pain Solution. Covering the period from 2003 until 2015, told in the words of Håvve and the other performers and seen through the lens of award-winning photographer Helene Fjell.

Like Learning to Fly, this is a beautifully printed hardback publication. With a print run limited to only 300 copies, this is sure to be a collectors item.

Ten Years of Pain

This is the first book to document Håvve’s journey as a performer and self-styled fakir. It was originally published by Hertervig Forlag and distributed by PS Media. Ten Years of Pain is a document by Håvve Fjell about his work as a performer and the formation of Norway’s sideshow troupe Pain Solution. Extensive text by Håvve is interspersed with full-color photographs from his sister, Helene.

While not the formidable-sized coffee table book of their other publications, this book is an excellent documentary on Pain Solution's early years.

PS Media at Infinite Body Piercing

PS Media says of its publications: “Our ambitions are high, and our niche is narrow. We target our community first and foremost and from there we let our reach spread like rings in water.”

While we’re incredibly excited to be able to stock these books, we only have a limited number of these publications for sale. Due to the cost of shipping from Norway, we will most likely not be restocking these titles. So order your copies now—’cause when they’re gone, they’re gone.

Because of their weight, shipping for these orders is costly. (Priority Mail shipping in the United States is $15 for one or two titles, and $30 for three or all four books—and unfortunately international shipping will be more than that.) For our industry clients, we have a special offer: if you are purchasing books and will be attending this year’s Association of Professional Piercers Conference and Exposition, we can bring your books with us! Just use code PSMEDIA2018 at checkout: your shipping fee will drop to $0, and we will contact you via email about meeting during the week to deliver your books. Orders must be placed by Friday July 13, 2018 to be eligible for pick up at APP.

Special thanks to Håvve and Helene Fjell, and June Bonsaksen from PS Media.

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