Monday, October 15, 2007
Freaks and repressive state apparatuses
Here is Erik Sprague, a former doctoral candidate and philosophy degree holder, known around the world for his amazing transformation from man to lizard as well as his modern sideshow performance art. A proud freak. Personally, I'm not a big fan of the nose flossing, or other sideshow undertakings Sprague does in his act, but he is clearly a thoughtful agent of change and his discussion of the medical procedures behind his body modification project is rich with observations about the social importance of regulating the human body. In particular, his filed teeth and bifurcated tongue have caused a movement to form around writing laws to make such body modifications illegal, thus invoking and Althusserian repressive state apparatus to protect us from turning ourselves into lizard people.
While Erik Sprague occupies the low culture sideshow stages, his high culture colleagues, Strelarc and Orlan, among others, explore related boundaries in their surgical interventions, which are displayed and exhibited in gallery spaces and universities.
Here's Lizard Man speaking about his origins and some of the procedures.