Automata and mass culture: contemporary art

Many contemporary artists have dealt with the machine-human relationship. Two significant examples follow: Australian artist Stelarc and Belgian artist Wim Delvoye. Stelarc explores possible versions of anatomical architectures. Among his best-known works is Third Hand (1980), an electronic and mechanical hand that is attached to the artist's body and works together with his two biological hands. Stelarc's work Exoskeleton (1998) is a six-legged robot operated by means of sensors connected to the artist's body, who is positioned in its centre. Cloaca is a large installation by Delvoye that was first unveiled in 2000 at the Contemporary Art Museum in Antwerp. It is a machine that turns food into feces, thanks to a sort of digestive process. A forerunner of this work is the "Digesting Duck", the automaton created by Vaucanson in 1739.