The concept of exoskeleton is one of a dream of us. We can use the power of machine to "upgrade" our power. Exoskeleton is always a popular theme in pop culture, we always can see the concept of exoskeleton in many movies, such as Alien, Robocop, Iron man...etc
|Exoskeleton from Alien|
However, in the artwork from Stelarc, exoskeleton is no longer a imagination or prop in movies. He has turn this idea into a real machine. For his artwork, Exoskeleton is a giant 6 legs spider-like robot, and Stelarc can stand on the platform of this spider, giving command (such as move) by a giant robotic arm and also a controller. Here is a clip showing the action of this artwork.
I think this artwork does not only show the man with the power of machine, it also give me a feeling of creepy. I think it is come from different things.
The first one is the sound, I think it is on purpose that Stelarc enhance the sound made by this Exoskeleton, in the video, we can hear some sound generated in a steam engine, and other industrial noise made by the robot.
Second one is the stage, the lighting and the color of the stage is dark, and the background of the stage is undecorated, it makes the stage look like a factory with uncomfortable atmosphere more than a place showing a new fancy robot.
The third one is the rawness (or roughness?) of the artwork, for this artwork, Stelarc didn't make a cover or a shell for his artwork, we can see the inter look of this exoskeleton, such as the massive number of electric wires, the steel of the legs. I think the look of this artwork also enhance the feelings of strangeness, and creepiness.
As we can also see, the robot is a big part in this artwork, however, the human (or the user) is a small part, he is small comparing to the robot, , his action is limited, only can move his arm, we can even see he is emotionless from his face It looked like the Exoskeleton has dominate the artwork, and also the user.
I would say this artwork can be a great example of Cyberpunk, showing the high tech and the low life , and giving us a fear of the relationship between human and machine.