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Body modification

Parent categories: body - art

Practitioner: Orlan


Body modification (or body alteration) is the permanent or semi-permanent deliberate altering of the human body for non-medical reasons, such as spiritual, various social (markings), BDSM "edgeplay" or aesthetic. It can range from the socially acceptable decoration (e.g., pierced ears in many societies), to the overtly religiously mandated (e.g., circumcision in a number of cultures) to corporal punishment, to provocative statement by the rebellious (e.g., tongue splitting). Some even get physically addicted to the adrenaline/endorphin release associated with a painful procedure in a way analogous to that experienced by those who self harm. Some people experience an abstract but distinct compulsion to modify their body that appears to have no underlying or external reason.

Nearly every human society practises or has practised some type of body modification in its broadest definition, from M?ori tattoos to Victorian corsets to modern breast implants.

Some futurists believe that eventually humans will pursue body modification with more advanced technological means, such as permanently implanted devices to enhance mental and physical capabilities, thereby becoming cyborgs. For the substantial number of people with heart pacemakers and brain implants such as cochlear implants and electrical brain stimulators for Parkinson's disease, this is already a reality.--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body modification [Jul 2006]

Body Modification (2000) - Mike Featherstone

  • Body Modification (2000) - Mike Featherstone [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    In an age where anti-flesh puritanism seems to be waning, and yet still persists in subtle manifestations, more and more extreme stimuli both physical and conceptual - may be necessary to re-establish our relationship with our bodies. The vicious and relentless suppression of bodily awareness that is our inheritance from Pauline Christianity will not just fade away if we ask nicely. It seems that the growing popularity in the West of body modification practices, and physical forms of S/M sexuality, is indicative of the what may be necessary to reclaim our flesh and provoke ourselves into a deeper body-consciousness. And, as we shall see, our cultural myths, the imagery and conceptions that our artists generate, may also have become equally extreme in their treatment of the flesh, of necessity. -- Gyrus via http://www.uncarved.org/2012/psycho.html [Dec 2005]

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