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CCBT Meetup “Stelarc × contact Gonzo: Extended Bodies and Physical Collision”

Civic Creative Base Tokyo [CCBT]
Date & Time
February 18 (sunday) , 2024 1:00pm – 3:00pm (open 12:30pm)
Civic Creative Base Tokyo [CCBT]
First-come, first-served basis
Accessibility and Support
English-Japanese Simultaneous Interpretation Available

Stelarc, whose practice since the 1970s has explored his own physical experiences through performance and art, in conversation with contact Gonzo, investigating the human body as a medium for sharing sensation

CCBT Meetup “Stelarc × contact Gonzo: Extended Bodies and Physical Collision”
Date & Time: February 18 (sunday) , 2024 1:00pm – 3:00pm (open 12:30pm)
Speakers: Stelarc (performance artist), contact Gonzo (performance group), Minamizawa Kouta (Professor, Keio University Graduate School of Media Design), Kai Kunze (Professor at the Graduate School of Media Design, Keio University)
Admission Free  
*First-come, first-served basis

Organized in partnership with the Keio University Graduate School of Media Design, “Sonic Resonance: Heart, Muscles, and Breath” is a talk featuring the performance artists contact Gonzo and Stelarc.

In a legendary career spanning over 50 years, Stelarc has interrogated alternative anatomical architectures, augmenting the body with a third hand, extended arm, six-legged walking robots, and an extra ear surgically constructed on his arm.
One of the CCBT artist fellows for fiscal 2023, contact Gonzo is known for its practice that closely, at times painfully harnesses its members’ own bodies. In March 2024, the group presents a new performance as part of its latest project, My binta, your binta// lol—roars from the skinland.
The performances by these artists from different generations have utilized personal experience and their bodies as a medium, and enabled others to vicariously experience physicality and sensations.
This talk probes what it means to share sensations through body art, and the potential for such practices, exploring Stelarc’s oeuvre that has endeavored to expand physical, cognitive, and perceptual abilities, and the new work by contact Gonzo, which attempts to share sensations of pain and physical contact with an audience.
The talk also introduces research by Keio University’s Graduate School of Media Design.
Today, as information environments continue to advance with such developments as the metaverse, and attention grows around new forms of the human body in which the physical and virtual coexist, the talk is a timely look at the body as a medium for sharing with others and extending the self.


performance artist

Stelarc is an Australian performance artist, who has lived in Japan for 19 years. His projects and performances explore alternate anatomical architectures, interrogating issues of embodiment, agency, identity and the post-human. Stelarc’s works incorporate Prosthetics, Robotics, Medical Imaging and Biotechnology. One of the most significant works, Third Hand, was created with the Japanese robotics engineers in 1980. He has been surgically constructing and stem-cell growing an ear on his arm that will be electronically augmented and internet enabled (Golden Nika, Ars Electronica Hybrid Arts Prize, Linz, Austria,2010). He is continuously working on large-scale projects, creating works that incorporate remote interactivity.

Photo by Lieko Shiga

contact Gonzo

performance group

contact Gonzo stages improvised performances in various urban spaces, and creates moving image and photography works. Since participating in the Yoshihara Jiro Award Memorial Art Project in 2007, it has attracted attention in the field of contemporary art and taken part in many international exhibitions and art festivals. It currently comprises four members: NAZE, Matsumi Yakuya, Mikajiri Keigo, and Tsukahara Yuya. The group’s wide-ranging practice encompasses performances, installations, publishing magazines, selling works online, and holding the irregular Avalanche Festival performance event to test out random ideas.


Minamizawa Kouta

Professor, Keio University Graduate School of Media Design

Project Manager, Project Cybernetic being, JST Moonshot R&D Program. After receiving his PhD. in Information Science and Technology from the University of Tokyo in 2010, he joined Keio University Graduate School of Media Design (KMD) and directs KMD Embodied Media Project, where conducts research and social deployment of embodied media that transfer, enhance, and create human experiences with digital technologies. His research expertise includes Haptics, Embodied Interaction, Virtual Reality, and Telexistence. He also promotes activities on Haptic design and Superhuman sports, also serves as a project manager of the Cybernetic being project under the Japan government’s Moonshot R&D program.


Kai Kunze

Professor at the Graduate School of Media Design, Keio University

Kai Kunze works as Professor at the Graduate School of Media Design, Keio University, Yokohama, Japan where he directs an interdisciplinary research group “Geist”, focusing on Augmented Humans and applied Wearable Computing research. Previously, he held an Assistant Professorship at Osaka Prefecture University, Japan. He received his Ph.D. from Passau University, Germany. His research is centered on the exploration and development of technology tool sets designed to augment human capabilities and overcome our physical and cognitive limitations. His most significant research contributions are in placement-robust activity recognition. His work experience includes research visits at the Palo Alto Research Center.

Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Civic Creative Base Tokyo [CCBT] (Arts Council Tokyo, Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture)