February 1st, 2008





Skin represents a place where art, science, philosophy and social culture intersect. With a growing number of bodily extensions and the continuous discovery of new areas – physical, virtual and psychological – the clear distinctive lines between individuals, countries and even species are beginning to blur. Advances in bio-medical research together with deconstructivist theories in philosophy are reflected in the work of many artists using skin, materially or metaphorically, as an interface, whose work goes beyond the descriptive surface of the skin, to explore issues of xeno-transplants, trans-species and trans-racial exchanges. In recent years, a trend towards the analysis of skin, its functions and meanings, has emerged in the practice of many artists using wet biology, bio-architecture and self-experimentation. Jens Hauser has been involved in much of the development in this area. Bound in a unique thermochromic cover (designed by artist Zane Berzina), this book provides an engaging, critical and thought-provoking approach to how current technologies are changing our perceptions of the body, the self and the interactions between bodies. Edited by one of the leading curators in (bio)technology based art and including contributions from 25 major international artists, scholars and critics in this field, this provocative art and text book examining some of the most contentious moral, aesthetical and philosophical issues of our day will complement the exhibition and encourage debate within this exponentially growing field.

And what a book it is! Liverpool University Press has taken academic publishing into the next phase with this book in its integration of various modes for representing knowledge production.

Richard Cavell

... this book reacts to the body heat of the reader, [the cover]changing colour on contact, fading from bright orange to reveal a whitesurface with a texture not that far from some kind of skin...the book endpapers also reveal printed skin patterns...If the complexity of these external and internal surfaces intrigues you, then so will the ideas contained within them.
Times Higher Education Supplement

Table of Contents

Section TitlePage
Welcoming sk-interfaces to FACT – Mike Stubbs
Culturing Change – Marta Rupérez
Who’s Afraid of the In-Between? – Jens Hauser
The Return of Marsyas: Creative Skin – Stéphane Dumas
McLuhan and the Body as Medium – Richard Cavell
Endogenous Design of Biofacts: Tissues and Networks in Bio Art and Life Science – Nicole C. Karafyllis
Fitter, Better, Stronger, Faster – John A. Hunt
e-skin: Research into Wearable Interfaces, Cross-modal Perception and Communication for the Visually Impaired on the Mediated Stage – Jill Scott
Feel Me, Touch Me: The hymNext Project – Julia Reodica
In the Face of the Victim: Confronting the Other in the Tissue Culture and Art Project – Adele Senior
Harlequin Coat – Orlan
Secularism, Preface from Michel Serres, The Troubadour of Knowledge
The Fusional Haptics of Art Orienté pbjet – Marion Laval-Jeantet
Marsyas – beside myself – Kira O’Reilly
Extra Ear: Ear on Arm – Stelarc
The Telepresence Garment – Eduardo Kac
World Skin: A photo safari in a land of war – Maurice Benayoun
Why Immolation? – Critical Art Ensemble
The Office of Experiments’ Truth Serum Threat: Notes on the Psychopharmacology of Truthfulness – Nicolas Langlitz
Wim Delvoye’s Sybille II – Ralf Kotschka
Immobile, Bleu... Remix! – Yann Marussich
Biological Habitat: Developing Living Spaces – Zbigniew Oksiuta
Light, only light – Jun Takita
The Midas Project – Paul Thomas
Re-thinking Touch – Zane Berzina
Olivier Goulet’s SkinBag Corps.EXT – Fabienne Stahl
Funders and Supporters