Stelarc born 1946, Limassol, Cyprus. Lives and works Perth. Nina Sellars born 1971, Canberra. Lives and works Perth
Blender (2005/2016) is a collaborative artwork by Stelarc & Nina Sellars. It combines sterilised bodily material surgically extracted from the two artists inside a sealed, air-powered machine. The blended mixture includes ‘4.6 litres of subcutaneous fat taken from Stelarc’s torso and Sellar’s limbs, Zylocain (local anaesthetic), adrenalin, O+ blood, sodium bicarbonate, peripheral nerves, saline solutions and connective tissue’. All this was obtained from the artists’ bodies via liposuction, heat sterilised and then stored in ethanol for display. The sculptural elements in the work are designed to metaphorically represent a human body.
Stelarc argues that ‘the body is obsolete’. For him, Blender is related to scientific advances such as cloning, cryogenics and extended life support systems that suggest birth and death are no longer the boundaries of human existence. For Sellars (whose interest in anatomy is influenced by her former role as a dissector of cadavers for medical display) the artwork relates to the intersection of fat and the techno scientific environment. As she says: ‘human fat is the most circulated, instrumentalised, and contested organ of the 21st-century body’.