Sunday, May 14, 2006

Stelarc's work as haptic psycho therapy?

Stelarc, 'Sitting/Swaying: Event for rock suspension', Maki Gallery, Tokyo, Japan 1980. Courtesy the artist and Sherman Galleries, Sydney

The artist Stelarc creates medical instruments that could be interpreted as masochistic tools. As an example, he explores connections with the body by inserting hooks into his skin. Although not intended for therapy, I believe that the ideas about controlled pain, as in Stelarc’s installation, could serve as a support to treatments for pathologies where the patient is prone to self mutilations. By providing a controlled painful stimulus, the patient could ground his mind and overcome the dissociation he suffers from.

Electroconvulsive therapy involves passing sufficient electricity through the brain of a patient, such that a seizure is induced in the patient. It is currently used as a last-resort for individuals with tendencies towards self mutilation. Also, in some conditions, electroconvulsive therapy is implied for treatment of depressive disorders. In electroconvulsive therapy the patient is passive and receives the stimulus delivered by another person. However, the opportunity of haptics is that we are able to better specify limits where the patient can administer their own stimulus and gain both import and control on their own therapy.

In haptic research

1 comment:

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