Third Hand
Brief description of the work:
The third hand performances used mainly EMG signals (muscle stimulation) from other parts of Stelarc's body to control a third hand.
Materials, dimensions, duration:
"The artificial hand [...] is capable of independent motion, being activated by the EMG signals of the abdominal and leg muscles. It has a pinch-release, grasp-release, 290 degree wrist rotation ( clockwise and anti-clockwise ) and a tactile feedback system for a rudimentary "sense of touch". Whilst the body activates its extra manipulator, the real left arm is remote-controlled / jerked into action by two muscle stimulators. Electrodes positioned on the flexor muscles and biceps curl the fingers inwards, bend the wrist and thrust the arm upwards." (Stelarc online)
Location (venue & dates, public/ private):

Third Hand Project (1976-81) was shown in Tokyo, Yokohama and Nagoya, later on Third hand was included in many of Stelarc's performances (see further context)

Audience information (size, mode of participation):
The audience is confronted with the manipulated body of the performer and contemplates its cyborgian 'enhancement'.
Other information (reviews, collaborators, funders):
Floorplan, scheme:
Visual/ audio-visual reference:
photo S. Hunter
Key theme(s):
Intense engagement with a body; intense awareness of physical presence; endurance
Further context:

Between 1970-1994 Stelarc also worked with other biofeedback data inputs such as EEG, ECG, EMG and bloodflow.

More recent Third Hand performances:

1992 THE GREAT AUSTRALIAN SCIENCE SHOW "Graft / Replicate: Event for Virtual Arm and Third Hand" 15 July - World Congress Centre; Melbourne, Australia. 1992

DIFFERENTIAL(S)'92 - ART / COGNITION "Automated Gestures: Event for Involuntary Arm and Third Hand" 6 July - Ecole D'Art D'Aix-en-Provence; France.

1992 EXPLORATIONS "Event for Video Robot, Involuntary Arm and Third Hand" 29, 30 October - La Mama; Melbourne, Australia. 1992

THIRD INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON ELECTRONIC ARTS "Host Body: Event for Virtual Arm, Scanning Robot and Third Hand" 10 November - Museum of Contemporary Art; Sydney, Australia.

1993 CYBERFORMERS "Event for Amplified Body, Involuntary Arm and Third Hand" 13 April - Palais X-tra; Zurich, Switzerland. 1993 LE CORPS AMPLIFIE "Actuate / Rotate: Event for Virtual Body and Third Hand"

1994 AUGMENTED BODY "Event for Involuntary Arm and Third Hand" 11 March - Galerie Donguy; Paris, France.

1995 PADUA BIENNALE (OLTRA LA SCULTURA Performance: "Involuntary Body / Third Hand" 23 November - Oratoria delle Maddalene; Padua, Italy.

1996 RELAY Performance : "Involuntary Body / Third Hand" 14 February - Artspace, Auckland, N.Z.