Friday, December 16, 2011

I want to get a piercing

So I want to get a piercing, what do I need to know?
Well as with any respectable, licensed and inspected piercing studios there are age limits.
Here's ours:
For ear, nostril, navel, or lip piercings you must be 16 years of age with government issue photo I.D. with proof of your age.
For any other piercings, you must be 18 years of age or older govenment issue photo I.D.

If you are under 18 years of age, you must have your Parent or Legal Guardian attend with supporting documented proof of Guardianship/Custody as well as Photo I.D.
  • Written notes of authorization and/or phone calls from parents/guardians do not work.
We are very clear about this point - No I.D. No Piercing.

Now you have I.D. and you are old enough or have your parents, now what do you do?
Shop around, visit the shops you have interest in and talk to the piercers, look at the studios ask some smart questions. Don't price shop, use your head, we are talking about your body and putting a hole in it somewhere. Do your research on the piercing you want then ask the piercer about the piercing and the aftercare for the piercing. Use common sense and gut instinct. If you don't feel comfortable at the shop you are in or you feel rushed by the piercer, leave and come back later or find another shop.

Key things to remember when finding a piercing studio
  1.  Reputation and referrals from friends and other people with piercings.
  2.  Experience of the piercer you are talking to - how long have they been piercing?
  3.  Environment of the shop - is it clean, comfortable, Licensed and Inspected?
  4.  Materials used for the piercing - what type of metal is used for the jewellery?
  5.  Aftercare routine - is it simple and do you get it in writing?
  6.  Customer support - if you have trouble will they help you out?
Well here's some things that you should consider before getting a piercing.
  • Be sure you have your Photo I.D. and secondary proof of age. No I.D. No Piercing
  • Parents or Guardians be sure you have I.D. and documented proof of custody and/or relationship.
  • Ask about payment, not all studios accept credit cards or debit cards and generally no one accepts personal cheques.
  • Be sure you are fresh and clean, truthfully most piercers hate working on someone who smells of garlic, or last nights booze etc. Have a shower and be happy.
  • It's a good idea to be sure you have eaten at least two hours before you get your piercing done, it keeps energy levels up and prevents fainting.
  • Scared? Ask about bringing a friend along to keep you company but don't bring 6 friends along they just get in the way and will distract you and the piercer.
  • Make sure you don't have a cold or any other medical condition that will cause a problem with your piercing.
  • Booze or Drugs for a little help? NO! No respectable piercing facility will render piercing services to you if you are on dope or alcohol, we aren't dumb we can tell.
  • Relax, You will be in the care of a Professional Experienced Piercer who will guide your through your piercing experience with confidence and skill.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

the arthouse inc: Stretching your lobes

the arthouse inc: Stretching your lobes: The number one thing to remember about enlarging piercings is to listen to your body! Your body knows when something isn't working, and lear...

Stretching your lobes

The number one thing to remember about enlarging piercings is to listen to your body! Your body knows when something isn't working, and learning to hear what it's telling you is important.
Stretching piercings takes time and patience. Scar tissue can build up and create ugly, problematic piercings that can be difficult to stretch. A good general rule is to wait three times as long as it took to heal before the first stretch. This allows the new skin some time to thicken and toughen up before it gets traumatized by the enlarging process.
Each new size becomes larger exponentially (14-12, 12-10, 10-8 etc). 10ga to 8ga doesn't seem like much, but 1/2" to 9/16" is a major jump even though it is the very next size. The larger your hole, the more time you should allow between stretchings. Usually you can start out with a month or two between stretchings and, as you get larger, begin extending that time frame in some cases 6 months to a year. Stretching piercings can be traumatic and sometimes painful, but it doesn't always have to be. Knowing how and when will help.
Since lobes are the most commonly stretched piercings, special attention must be paid to them. Lobes get plenty of circulation so they tend to heal quickly and grow new cells easily. But it's also easy to injure the soft tissues of the lobe. To avoid injury, soak the tissue in hot water prior to stretching to increase circulation and soften and relax the tissue. Massage is also a good way to help the tissue relax.
insertion tapers

Using insertion tapers is the best way to stretch a piercing. A taper is a long, needle-like tool that gradually thickens to the size you desire.

When you're ready to begin stretching, it's come see on of our piercers. The stretching procedure should be completed following the same aseptic techniques used during a piercing procedure. Even though a piercing is healed, the skin can become so thin that it can become susceptible to infection or even rip (this is why it is so important to wait the appropriate amount of time inbetween stretches)

After stretching

Allowing lobes to relax:
There are many benefits to allowing your lobes to relax for a few hours each day. While wearing jewelry, no matter what type, stress is being put on your lobe, thus restricting the flow of blood, oxygen, nutrients, etc. to the bottom of your lobe. Over time, this can cause your lobe to thin out, and also cause it to become irritated. One of the best ways to alleviate this problem is to take your jewelry out for a few hours each day to allow the piercing to breath and increase blood flow to the bottom of your lobe. Over time, this will promote healthier lobes, including thickening the tissue, thus providing more room to stretch in the future.

There is no steadfast rule on when it is a good idea to start allowing your lobes to relax. We personally believe that at ANY size it is beneficial to leave your plugs out for at least a little while, and that at any size larger than 2 gauge (1/4') anyone should be able to leave their jewelry out overnight. If you are concerned about leaving your jewelry out, take it out for a progressively longer period of time each day until you find the amount of time that is the longest you feel comfortable with. If you have trouble reinserting your jewelry after leaving it out, a hot compress for 5-10 minutes and some lube along with a taper will quickly resolve your problem

Healed Piercings:
By far the two most important things that you can do for healed lobes are oil massages and relaxing your lobes. Relaxing your lobes is described above. For massaging your lobes, the two most popular types of oil to use are jojoba oil and Vitamin E oil. Jojoba oil is good because it is an extremely close match to the oil that your body naturally secretes, and it therefore much less likely to irritate your skin. Vitamin E oil also has an extremely beneficial effect, as it breaks down scar tissue. In stretching, scar tissue is the enemy, making future stretches much more difficult and making your lobes less supple. By doing Vitamin E oil massages, you help enable the breakdown of any scar tissue that has formed and keep your ears as healthy as possible. Another benefit to oil massages is that it helps to promote blood flow throughout your lobes, thickening them up (often substantially) over time.
What is this gunk on my jewelry? I thought my ears were healed...
If your ears are healed and you seem to have some funky suff on your jewelry when you take it out, this is most likely dead skin cells. Your entire body sheds dead skin cells as it grows new skin, you just don't see it (guess what a good part of the dust in your house is!). Since there's a signifigant amount of skin touching your plug, those dead skin cells don't have anywhere to go, so they build up on your jewelry. This effect and the smell that goes along with it varies from person to person and from material to material, with metals generally seeming worse than other materials, like organics.

After stretching my lobes are very sore / bleeding - HELP!
If you are experiencing any of these problems, then you have stretched your lobes too quickly. Unfortunately, this means that you are going to have to backtrack to heal your lobes before you can consider stretching again. Downsize your jewelry to at least your previous size (if not farther) and treat your ears as if they are a fresh piercing or fresh stretch. Once you think that your ears are completely healed, wait another two weeks and begin doing vitamin e oil massages for at least another month prior to stretching. Properly healing your piercing after a damaging stretch should take 2-4 months to be safe.
I think I have a blowout! What exactly is this and what do I do about it?
A blowout happens when one stretches too fast. These generally happen during or immediately proceeding (within 48hrs) a stretch. A blowout occurs when the pressure on the insides of the piercing is too great, and the hole deforms itself by twisting inside out, resulting in the "blowout," or section of tissue that appears as a flap on (generally) the backside of the piercing. There are a few things you can do to try and recover from a blowout. First a foremost, you must downsize immediately. Being stubborn and not taking this action could result in the blowout healing, which almost always requires surgery to fix. Second of all, the piercing absolutely must be treated like a brand new piercing. This means religious sea salt soaks and aftercare. Blowouts go hand in hand with tears, and most blowouts result in at least minimal tears to the lobe, so the aftercare becomes especially important.

Materials:What materials are appropriate for fresh stretches?Titanium, Niobium, 316L or 316LVM implant grade surgical stainless steel (sss), Glass, implant grade PTFE (Teflon)
Benefits of certain materials (organics & glass):
There are certain materials that offer something extra to the person who is stretching their ears because they offer additional properties that make them more appealing. Glass is very popular, as it is a special material termed a 'super-cooled liquid'. This means that there is much less chance for any edges, and that the surface is super-smooth. Glass is also hypo-allergenic, which is a great advantage for people who have skin that is very sensitive.

The other group of materials that have something special to offer is organics. I am a personal advocate of organics in healed piercings. Many people have found that the body tends to accept them extremely well, often resulting in increased comfort and decreased amount of smell and 'ear cheese' being given off. However it is important that you pay attention to the type of wood the jewelery is made of as some woods are toxic.

(toxic wood to the human body - rosewoods, kingwood, violet wood, sono wood, cocobolo,sugar maple, birch,camphorwood, ziricote, bocote, macassar ebony, bubinga, pau ferro,wenge, purpleheart, snakewood, willow, teak, thuya burl, padauk, red oak, american mahogany, afromosia, australian blackwood,
greenheart, mansonia, sassafras, satinwood, cedar, hemlock, pine, yew)

info thanks to Botanical dermatology: Plants and plant products injurious to the skin
Dangers of acrylic / improper materials:
An entire book could be written on the dangers of acrylic and other improper materials being utilized as long-term body jewelry. There are many different types of NOVELTY jewelry that are produced out of a wide array of materials. This jewelry is just what is says: a novelty. There is no great danger in wearing them for a short while, but they should not be the primary jewelry worn as they are not of the same high quality as the other materials available. Acrylic is a porous substance and its use can lead to irritation. It also begins to react with your skin over time - breaking down tissue and releasing toxic chemicals/fumes to be absorbed by your skin.


Friday, September 23, 2011

the arthouse inc: Laser Tattoo Removal - cynosure affinity QS

the arthouse inc: Laser Tattoo Removal - cynosure affinity QS: Here at the arthouse inc we not only do tattoos but we also remove them. we work in corelation with Enhance - cosmetic and laser dermatolog...

Laser Tattoo Removal - cynosure affinity QS

Here at the arthouse inc we not only do tattoos but we also remove them. we work in corelation with Enhance - cosmetic and laser dermatology where Sondra does the removals

the machine we use for removal is the cynosure affinity QS

The Affinity QS is a high-powered, Q-switched Nd:YAG laser that lets you choose the most effective wavelength for treating multi-color tattoos and pigmented lesions: the 1064-nm wavelength or the 532-nm wavelength.

Two Wavelengths-and Twice as Powerful
·         The 1064-nm wavelength is ideal for treating darker tattoos and dermal pigmented lesions, such as nevus of Ota or nevus of Ito
·         The 532-nm wavelength treats red-colored tattoos and epidermal pigmented lesions, such as solar lentigines
·         Two hundred percent as powerful as competitive Q-switched Nd:YAG lasers
·         Optimal versatility enables you to switch wavelengths, select spot sizes (2mm, 3mm, 4mm*, 6mm) for customized treatment and deliver more energy where it's needed for faster treatment of large areas

The Affinity QS is a high-powered, Q-switched Nd:YAG laser that lets you choose the most effective wavelength for treating multi-color tattoos and pigmented lesions: the 1064-nm wavelength or the 532-nm wavelength.

How does laser treatment work?

Selective absorption of very high power peak laser light pulses by tattoo ink in the skin causes the targeted ink particles to breakdown mechanically while significantly decreasing potential damage to surrounding tissues. The fragmented particles are then removed from the skin by the body's immune or lymphatic system.

Are there any side effects to treatment?

Overall, treatments are gentle and mild, causing only slight discomfort with minimal side effects.

How many treatments are required?

The number of required treatments is dependent on several factors, including depth of ink penetration, age of the tattoo and color intensity-that is, lighter versus darker colors. However, most people need five to six treatments and begin seeing results after only one or two sessions.

Is any recovery time needed between treatment sessions?

Although treatment sessions are scheduled approximately four to six weeks apart, no rest or recuperation time is required after each visit. You will immediately be able to resume normal activities without restriction.

What types of tattoos can be removed?

While certain pigments and inks are harder to erase than others, the majority of colors can be removed-including black, blue, green, brown and even red.

for more information about laser removal or to book in for a consultation email sondra or call the arthouse 4032832883

Thursday, August 18, 2011

the arthouse inc: tongue splitting

the arthouse inc: tongue splitting: The tongue splitting procedure is the central bifurcation of the tongue, so as to achieve a "forked tongue." With practice, each half can b...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

tongue splitting

The tongue splitting procedure is the central bifurcation of the tongue, so as to achieve a "forked tongue." With practice, each half can be separately controlled.


The median fibrous septum that centrally divides the tongue is cut, separating the two lateral halves of the tongue. Done carefully, very little damage should be done in the process.
The tongue can, in theory, be split back to where it meets the base of the mouth. Attempting to split past that would endanger muscles that shouldn't be split, as well as glandular structures in the area. Note again that once the tongue is split further than suggested, there may be some minor speech artifacts.
It is not a good idea to cut the tongue in more than two pieces. To do so would risk cutting into the lingual nerves, the lingual glands, numerous major blood vessels, and it is dubious whether full nervous control could be sustained even if done by an oral surgeon. Attempting a "trifuraction" (or more) would almost certainly end in disaster.


Tongue splitting can be accomplished by one or more of the following methods:

Oral surgery

The most recommended method is to seek an oral surgeon. Any oral surgeon who uses a laser should be able to bifurcate a tongue with ease, providing their ethics allow it. A doctor will normally charge between $500 and $3000 for this procedure. After applying anesthesia, using a laser, the practitioner will first create a guideline along the top and bottom of the tongue. Then, they'll slowly cut through the tissue until the tongue is fully bifurcated, cauterizing the wound as they cut. This is usually, at most, a fifteen-minute process. In general, there is little to no blood during this stage. The only bleeding tends to be during suturing.
Laser procedures usually take 1-2 weeks for primary healing, and a month for the healing to be complete.


To put it simply, the tongue is split down the middle using a blade. This is generally very bloody, and this bleeding can be difficult to control. Many practitioners choose to use cauterization, either from electric cauterizing pens or traditional branding tools, on large blood vessels. Others use chemical or herbal means to control bleeding and/or to assist in healing.
Prior to the split, many practitioners insist on a well-healed large-gauge tongue piercing being in place. If there is no existing piercing of this type, a large-gauge piercing is often made by performing a piercing using a #11 scalpel along the grain of the muscle, followed by a taper and 2ga or 0ga jewelry. That should heal within a month or so, setting a good foundation for the split.
Other practitioners choose to use a "clamp and cut" method similar to the home-meatotomy technique, although it is relatively uncommon. Using a long clamp, the tissue to be split is compressed to almost paper-thickness and left that way for 45 minutes. When the clamp is removed, the cut is made along the center of this compressed tissue in hopes that the extreme compression will provide a "seal," minimizing or eliminating bleeding.


A cauterized tongue splitting is similar to a scalpelled tongue splitting, but a heated blade or tool is used to burn the split through the tongue, hopefully (and generally successfully), cauterizing the tongue in the process, almost totally eliminating bleeding. This technique does carry a greater risk of peripheral damage and may be outrageously painful.


Suturing pulls the top skin of the tongue down into the split, leaving a more "natural" and rounded appearance that many people prefer. While similar healing often occurs without suturing, in other cases a non-sutured tongue may heal with a somewhat "flat" inside that looks artificial rather than natural.


Assuming the procedure is done by a doctor, the risks are negligible, and complications that arise in a controlled medical environment can typically be dealt with easily. Doctors will provide you with paperwork explaining the secondary risks, such as reactions to anesthesia.
If the procedure is done outside of a controlled medical environment, loss of blood is the single largest risk. The tongue contains major blood vessels, and without proper training and tools, amateur practitioners may find themselves unable to control blood loss. In these situations, a visit to the hospital emergency room is advisable.
Damage to nerves and glands in the tongue is also possible, although unlikely if the split is not extremely deep and remains centered. Care must also be taken not to accidentally damage glands in the base of the mouth.
Infection and scarring are certainly possible as well, but they are very rare.

Healing and aftercare

Tongue splitting takes about as long to heal as tongue piercing does. Primary healing (where you can talk and eat relatively normally) takes between one and two weeks, and full healing is usually complete within one month.
Regrowth is quite common. Some re-growth (where the tongue slowly heals back together) is normal, and in the case of short (1/2" or less) splits, total closure is not unheard of. Even in deeper splits, if care is not taken to combat re-growth, 50% closure is not uncommon, but this can be prevented by keeping the wound open. The smooth body of a cotton swab can prove useful for this task. It should be done regularly as the body heals incredibly fast. In addition to the regrowth that will occur during the initial healing, there will be some closure over the first year or so. Short of re-cutting, there's not a lot that can be done to stop that.
Many people have found that a well-healed large-gauge (4ga - 0ga usually) tongue piercing can act as an anchor for the split. Because the piercing is surrounded by solid tissue that does not, by nature, want to seal itself, if this tongue piercing marks the rear of the tongue split, closure may be all but eliminated.

Long-term health issues

Initial bleeding and infection can be a risk, especially with home-jobs. In a worst-case situation, the tongue can swell and block the airway, although this has not been documented. As far as long-term risk, there may be minor changes in some speech sounds, but this rarely happens, and effects are extremely minor at most. Tongue splitting does not appear to have any side effects with regards to eating.


Tongue splitting, to some, a pinnacle of "Khechari Mudra" practices, is a part of Hatha and Kumbhaka yoga where the tongue is split and then "milked" until it is long enough to be turned back inside the mouth and flipped up to the epiglottis. It then is used in breathing exercises, the goal being to seal the body's energy leaks and become aware of only the internal, thus entering a catatonic state, crossing back and forth between life and death (note that Westernized versions often omit, and even censor, the splitting).
Yogis that practice these rites believe that it allows them to be absorbed "into God" (that is, becoming conjoined with the universal soul, an experience that is also common in suspension and other body rites).
In addition, Kaliya and other characters in Hindu mythology are depicted as having split tongues, as are characters (often evil) in various other faiths. Most obviously, Christian mythology bestows a forked tongue upon Satan.
Recently, starting in 1997, tongue splitting became very popular in the West. I Am Not My Body (issue #2, summer 1997) postulated the possibility, and the first person (modern/Western) to be clearly documented as having this procedure was a man in Italy who had it done progressively by his dentist using silver nitrate for cautery. The second is believed to be Dustin, featured in Fakir Musafar's Body Play Magazine (issue 16). Dustin achieved her tongue split using the tying-off method over several weeks. Next is believed to have been The Lizardman and then Shannon Larratt, with their promotion of the modification starting the snowball rolling. Documenting the other "firsts," after that, Patrick Bartholomew did the first cautery (heat) tongue splittings in 1998, followed by Allen Falkner's strike branded split; the first scalpelled tongue splittings are believed to have done by Todd Bertrang and Blair at about the same time (first on himself and then on Philip Barbosa).
Since about 2000, tongue splitting has been one of the most popular, common, safe, and highest long-term satisfaction extreme modifications out there.


By removing the skin on the inside of the split and then suturing the tongue back together, it can be induced to "go back to normal." While, to date, no one has gone on record as willingly having undergone such a procedure, it has been forced on some people by new military regulations in the United States. Tongue splitting reversal is far more painful than splitting, takes far longer to heal, and seems more prone to complications.
Because of scarring and other damage done during the reversal operation, permanent damage to tongue mobility is not unheard of, leaving a shortened and narrowed tongue that is not as nimble, which of course damages speech and other activities. In addition, nerve damage from the reversal procedure is more likely than from the initial split, and there have been reports of damage to both touch and taste sensations in tongue splitting reversal procedures.
Reversing a tongue splitting is strongly discouraged—don't split your tongue if you think you might have to reverse it in the future.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

the arthouse inc: STELARC

the arthouse inc: STELARC: "I came across this artist about a month ago and have been trying to figure out what to write about him and so far i still cannot come up muc..."


I came across this artist about a month ago and have been trying to figure out what to write about him and so far i still cannot come up much to write however i did find an interview with him...

Extended-Body: Interview with Stelarc

Paolo Atzori and Kirk Woolford
Academy of Media Arts, Cologne, Germany
Stelarc is an Australian performance artist, born in Limassol, island of Cyprus. Stelarc moved to Australia, where he studied Arts and Craft at T.S.T.C., Art and Technology at CAUTECH and M.R.I.T., Melbourne University. He taught Art and Sociology at Yokohama International School and Sculpture and Drawing at Ballarat University College.
Stelarc has been extending his body through performances since the late 1960s. His performances include attaching a "Third Hand" to his body, extending himself into virtual space with a "Virtual Hand", and over 25 "suspension" events where he hung his entire body from hooks piercing his skin. Stelarc's artistic strategy revolves around the idea of "enhancing the body" both in a physical and technical manner. It originates as a polarism between the "primal desire" to defeat the force of gravity with primitive rituals and a low- tech and the hi-tech performance with the third arm and the related cybersystem. His intention in both cases is to "express an idea with his direct experience."
Through Stelarc's work, we reach a second level of existence where the body becomes the object for physical and technical experiments in order to discover its limitations. When Stelarc speaks of the "obsolete body" he means that the body must overcome centuries of prejudices and begin to be considered as an extendible evolutionary structure enhanced with the most disparate technologies, which are more precise, accurate and powerful: "the body lacks of modular design," "Technology is what defines the meaning of being human, it's part of being human." Especially living in the information age, "the body is biologically inadequate."
For Stelarc, "Electronic space becomes a medium of action rather than information".

CTHEORY: When did you first decide to hang yourself between two different worlds - to place your body between two levels of existence...
Stelarc: Well you have to remember the suspension events weren't the initial, sort of primitive and physically difficult events and the technology ones were the more recent, more sophisticated ones. In fact, the third hand project begins a year after the first suspension event. These things were happening simultaneously. On the one hand you were discovering the psychological and physical limitations of the body. On the other you were developing strategies for extending and enhancing it through technology. I've always used technology in my performances. The very first things I made in art school were helmets and goggles that altered your binocular perception which stylistically has this connection with virtual reality head-mounted displays and compartments which were whole body pods that you sort of plugged you whole body into, and that was assaulted by electronic sounds and lights.
CTHEORY: When people see your suspension events, they immediately think of Hindu, American Indian, or other rituals. Which of these practices did you come into contact with first?
Stelarc: It was the Hindu Indian ones that I knew about, but one has to put this into the context that for 5 years I was doing suspension events with ropes and harnesses, with a lot of technology. Laser eyes were first used when the body was suspended, oh, '70, '71 that sort of time scale, but one of the sort of visual disadvantages of all this paraphernalia was that there was all this visual clutter: all the ropes and harnesses were seen more to support the body than to suspend it, so when I first came across the notion of piercing the skin, I thought, if you could suspend the body using techniques like these, then you would have a minimum of support, you'd have just the insertion and single cable. Mind you, I never hid, there was no desire to make the suspension a kind of image of levitation. For me the cables were lines of tension which were part of the visual design of the suspended body, and the stretched skin was a kind of gravitational landscape. This is what it took for a body to be suspended in a 1-G gravitational field. The other context is the primal desire for floating and flying. A lot of primal rituals have to do with suspending the body, but in the 20th century we have the reality of astronauts floating in zero-G. So the suspension event is between those sort of primal yearnings, and the contemporary reality. Of course, suspension means between two states, so I think there is an interesting linguistic meaning that fits in with the idea of suspending the body. For me there was no religious context, no shamanistic yearnings, no yogic conditioning that had to do with these performances. In fact, they occurred in the same kind of stream of consciousness. In mean, I don't take any anaesthetics, I don't chant or get into altered states. I think metaphysically, in the past, we've considered the skin as surface, as interface. The skin has been a boundary for the soul, for the self, and simultaneously, a beginning to the world. Once technology stretches and pierces the skin, the skin as a barrier is erased.
CTHEORY: Do you follow a very strict discipline to train your body for your performances?
Stelarc: In fact, there's never really been any discipline and when I start feeling the performances have become, in a sense predictable, because the techniques assume more importance than the creative impulses, then I stop doing them. I stopped doing the suspension events 4 years ago because having done 27 of them in various locations and different situations there seemed to be no more raison d'etre to continue doing them. The interest was really coupling the expression of an idea with the direct experience of it. That applies to all of these performances whether the suspension events, the stomach sculpture, the third hand performances, or the virtual arm event. These are all situations where the body is plugged into for direct experience. So it's not interesting for me to talk academically or theoretically about ideas of interface, the important thing for me is to plug in, extend the body with cyber-systems and see what it can actually do.
CTHEORY: So you've always been interested in enhancing the body?
Stelarc: Oh, absolutely. And the connection with VR systems is a very fundamental one with me because, as I said, the very first things I made at art school were these helmets which split your binocular vision and compartments which were sensory environments, multi-modal structures for experience with the body. So that was a primary concern, and really the suspensions are often taken out of context whereas they are part of a series of sensory deprivation and physically difficult events which include: making the 3 films of the inside of the body, where I had to film 3 meters of internal space, for example. All these actions occurred simultaneously. The agenda wasn't a stylistic one with a particular technology, it was a general one. A sort of probing and determining the parameters of physical and psychological interface.
CTHEORY: You always work with your body. Your body is your form of representation, your medium. How do you feel being both an artist and an artwork?
Stelarc: It's interesting you've pointed that out, I've never felt that I am the artwork. In fact the reason why my performances are focused on this particular body is that it is difficult for me to convince other bodies to undergo rather awkward, difficult and sometimes painful experiences. This body is just merely the convenient access to a body for particular events and actions. So I've really never been obsessed by the fact that somehow I am the artwork because I don't critique it in that way.
For me the body is an impersonal, evolutionary, objective structure. Having spent two thousand years prodding and poking the human psyche without any real discernible changes in our historical and human outlook, we perhaps need to take a more fundamental physiological and structural approach, and consider the fact that it's only through radically redesigning the body that we will end up having significantly different thoughts and philosophies. I think our philosophies are fundamentally bounded by our physiology; our peculiar kind of aesthetic orientation in the world; our peculiar five sensory modes of processing the world; and our particular kinds of technology that enhance these perceptions. I think a truly alien intelligence will occur from an alien body or from a machine structure. I don't think human beings will come up with fundamentally new philosophies. An alien species may not have the same notions about the universe at all. The desire for unity may well be the result of our rather fragmentary sensory system where we observe the world sensually in packets of discrete and different sensory modes. So our urge to merge, our urge to unify, that religious, spiritual, coming together might very well be due to an inadequacy or an incompleteness in our physiology.
CTHEORY: If such a philosophy is devised, it would not be a human philosophy. How would it be applicable to the human race?
Stelarc: Well of course one shouldn't consider the body or the human species as possessing a kind of absolute nature. The desire to locate the self simply within a particular biological body is no longer meaningful. What it means to be human is being constantly redefined. For me, this is not a dilemma at all.
CTHEORY: So a human is not this entity sitting here with these two arms and two legs, but something more beside?
Stelarc: Yes, of course, if you are sitting there with a heart pacemaker and an artificial hip and something to augment your liver and kidney functions, would I consider you less human? To be quite honest, most of your body might be made of mechanical, silicon, or chip parts and you behave in a socially acceptable way, you respond to me in a human-like fashion, to me that would make you a kind of human subject.
CTHEORY: You keep speaking about redesigning the human body. Who decides and how should it be redesigned ?
Stelarc: (Laughs) There is often misunderstanding about these notions, partly because they are critiqued with a kind of rear-vision mirror mentality of a fascist, dictatorial, Orwellian-big-brother scenario.
I don't have a utopian perfect body I'm designing a blueprint for, rather I'm speculating on ways that individuals are not forced to, but may want to, redesign their bodies - given that the body has become profoundly obsolete in the intense information environment it has created. It's had this mad, Aristotelian urge to accumulate more and more information. An individual now cannot hope to absorb and creatively process all this information. Humans have created technologies and machines which are much more precise and powerful than the body.
How can the body function within this landscape of machines? Technology has speeded up the body. The body now attains planetary-escape velocity, has to function in zero-G and in greater time-space continuums. For me this demonstrates the biological inadequacy of the body. Given that these things have occurred, perhaps an ergonomic approach is no longer meaningful. In other words, we can't continue designing technology for the body because that technology begins to usurp and outperform the body. Perhaps it's now time to design the body to match it's machines. We somehow have to turbo-drive the body-implant and augment the brain. We have to provide ways of connecting it to the cyber-network. At the moment this is not easily done, and it's done indirectly via keyboards and other devices. There's no way of directly jacking in. Mind you, I'm not talking here in terms of sci-fi speculation. For me, these possibilities are already apparent. What do we do when confronted with the situation where we discover the body is obsolete? We have to start thinking of strategies for redesigning the body.
CTHEORY: This recombinant body implies a widening of our sensibilities, of our perception. But our senses are linked to our brains, everything "happens" in our brain. So it's not enough to have, for example, X-ray vision. We need to change our synapses, the connections in our brains as well.
Stelarc: We shouldn't start making distinctions between the brain and the body. This particular biological entity with it's proprioceptive networks and spinal cord and muscles, it's the total kinesthetic orientation in the world, it's the body's mobility which contributes towards curiosity. The desire to isolate the brain is the result of a Cartesian dualism. It's not really productive any more to think in that sense. We have to think of the body plugged into a new technological terrain.
CTHEORY: We can see things that were previously invisible. We can go to the very little through nano-technology, see into infra-red and ultra violet spectrums, but this is not a direct perception. We get this through artificial systems...
Stelarc: Yes, and what will be interesting is when we can miniaturize these technologies and implant them into the body so that the body as total system becomes subjectively aware again. New technologies tend to generate new perceptions and paradigms of the world, and in turn, allow us to take further steps. If we consider technologies as intermediaries to the world, then, of course, we never have direct experiences. At the moment, we operate within a very thin electro-magnetic spectrum, and I would imagine that as we increasing operate in wider spheres of reality, then yes our perceptions and philosophies alter or adjust.
Technology has always been coupled with the evolutionary development of the body. Technology is what defines being human. It's not an antagonistic alien sort of object, it's part of our human nature. It constructs our human nature. We shouldn't have a Frankensteinian fear of incorporating technology into the body, and we shouldn't consider our relationship to technology in a Faustian way - that we're somehow selling our soul because we're using these forbidden energies. My attitude is that technology is, and always has been, an appendage of the body.
CTHEORY: Stelarc, your latest work centers around a sculpture you built for your stomach. What was the impetus for creating a sculpture to display inside your body?
Stelarc: I've moved beyond the skin as a barrier. Skin no longer signifies closure. I wanted to rupture the surface of the body, penetrate the skin. With the stomach sculpture, I position an artwork inside the body. The body becomes hollow with no meaningful distinction between public, private and physiological spaces. The hollow body becomes a host, not for a self or a soul, but simply for a sculpture.
CTHEORY: Funding any artwork is difficult, especially getting money for high tech equipment. Did you have trouble finding funding for the sculpture?
Stelarc: Actually no. One of the museums in Australia was preparing a show and asking for sculptures which explored alternative display spaces. I told them I had an alternative way and place to display a sculpture.
CTHEORY: Can you describe the stomach sculpture?
Stelarc: It's built of implant quality metals such as titanium, steel, silver, and gold. It is constructed as a domed capsule shell about the size of a fist. The shell contains a worm-screw and link mechanism and has a flexidrive cable connected to a servo motor controlled by a logic circuit. The capsule extends and retracts opening and closing in three sections. An embedded instrument array, light and piezo buzzer make the sculpture self-illuminating and sound-emitting.
CTHEORY: How did you insert it?
Stelarc: Very slowly. The stomach sculpture is actually the most dangerous performance I've done. We had to be within 5 minutes of a hospital in case we ruptured any internal organs. To insert the sculpture, the stomach was first emptied by withholding food for about 8 hours. Then the closed capsule, with beeping sound and flashing light activated, was swallowed and guided down tethered to it's flexidrive cable attached to the control box outside the body. Once inserted into the stomach, we used an endoscope to inflate the stomach and suck out the excess body fluids. The sculpture was then arrayed with switches on the control box. We documented the whole performance using video endoscopy equipment. Even with a stomach pump, we still had a problem with excess saliva. We had to hastily remove all the probes on several occasions.
CTHEORY: Now you've penetrated the body. You've hollowed it out, extended it, expanded it, hung it out a window, mapped out several miles of its interior. What is the next step?
Stelarc: It is time to recolonise the body with microminaturised robots to augment out bacterial population, to assist our immunological system, and to monitor the capillary and internal tracts of the body. We need to build an internal surveillance system for the body. We have to develop microbots whose behavior is not pre-programmed, but activated by temperature, blood chemistry, the softness or hardness of tissue and the presence of obstacles in tracts. These robots can then work autonomously on the body. The biocompatibility of technology is not due to its substance, but to its scale. Speck-sized robots are easily swallowed and may not even be sensed. At a nanotech level, machines will navigate and inhabit cellular spaces and manipulate molecular structures to extend the body from within.

His website can be found at....

the arthouse inc: origin of tattooing

the arthouse inc: origin of tattooing: "Origin of Tattooing Believe it or not, some scientists say that certain marks on the skin of the Iceman, a mummified human body dating from..."

the arthouse inc: scarification

the arthouse inc: scarification: "Scarification is the creative and artistic application of scars in a controlled manner to achieve an aesthetically or spiritually pleasing..."

the arthouse inc: 18 piece dermal anchor project

the arthouse inc: 18 piece dermal anchor project: "i have been working on an 18 piece dermal anchor project since oct 2010. today i put in the last 2 anchors. Sondra took some awesome pict..."

the arthouse inc: Body Suspension

the arthouse inc: Body Suspension: "Vertical Chest suspension ('O-Kee-Pa') This suspension takes place hooked from the front of the body and hung vertically. Many people refe..."

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

all kinds of different ear piercings

Anti Tragus - An anti-tragus piercing is an ear piercing done through the ridge of cartilage immediately above the earlobe (and "across from" the tragus). To many people's surprise, it is also one of the most painful piercings!

Daith -
This ear piercing passes through the ear's innermost cartilage fold. In most areas this piercing is pronounced "day-th" although the proper pronounciation is "doth" (rhymes with "moth")
A client of Erik Dakota that is said to have been studying Hebrew in college first named this piercing ("daath" meaning "knowledge"). Her reasoning was that the piercer must have been very "smart" to figure out how to do the piercing. The actual root word of the piercing is the "da'at", a part of the Kabbalistic tree of life traditionally representing the union of wisdom and understanding. In more modern times daath has come to represent the void or the abyss ("the sacred nothing"), or the hole left behind when Malkuth fell out of the Garden of Eden

Ear Lobe -
Earlobe piercing and earlobe stretching is perhaps history's most common piercing. The typical placement for an earlobe piercing is directly in the center of the lobe and can vary from one earring to multiple earrings. Earlobe piercings other than directly "across" the lobe include lengthwise transverse lobe piercings as well as vertical lobe piercings.

Forward Helix -
A piercing on the inside of the upper rim of ear cartilage, close to the head.

Helix -
The helix piercing is any piercing through the rim of the cartilage (thus making it susceptible to complications such as Ear Collapse if care is not taken to use proper tools and procedures; for example, Piercing guns have been shown to be capable of causing cartilage to shatter).

Industrial -
An industrial piercing is two or more piercings connected by a single barbell. In normal usage it refers to an ear piercing whereby two helix piercings are connected by a single straight (or curved) barbell. While most industrials are a straight bar connecting two helix piercings, they are also often done vertically (sometimes more than one, becoming an ear cage) or through piercings other than the helix, such as rook to helix piercing or inner or outer conch piercings.

Inner Conch -
The inner conch piercing is a piercing through the innermost shell of the ear, next to the ear canal itself. Piercings through the outer shell are called Outer Conch Piercings. Historically it was performed by the Mangebetu of Zaire and the Gorakhnathis.
While this piercing is often done as a standard piercing, a great many people choose to Dermal Punch this piercing immediately to a larger gauge. It should be noted that making significant changes to the structure of the conch can cause minor loss of hearing. Large gauge inner conch piercings and other piercings that noticeably alter the structure of the ear will make slight differences in the ability of your ear to channel sound (like a funnel) into the inner ear. The degree of this change should be extremely minor in normal circumstances and most people arent even aware of it
Most people pronounce this piercing with a soft "ch" (ie. as in "cherry"), although the "official" (and less common) pronunciation is "konk" with a hard "k" at the end

Lobe Orbital -
A lobe orbital is best described as two earlobe piercings fitted with a single piece of curved jewelry (captive bead rings, circular barbells, etc).

Orbital -
Similar to an industrial piercing, an orbital piercing is two piercings connected by a single ring.

Outer Conch -
An outer conch piercing is a piercing through the outer shell of the ear. It is actually a somewhat unusual placement when it comes to "normal" sized piercing because most people tend to pierce along the edge of the ear (helix piercing) which one could argue are not really outer conch piercings, or do inner conch piercing instead.

Ragnar -
The Ragnar piercing is a local term for a "deep snug" piercing; sort of half way between a snug piercing and a transverse lobe piercing. As you can see from the picture, the jewelry enters the body inside the ear roughly where a snug would start, and then exits on the edge of the lobe/helix.

Rook -
The rook piercing is an ear piercing through the fold of cartilage between the inner and outer conch (the anti-helix). Care must be taken with it during healing, as it is easy to contaminate (and damage) from things like telephones touching it.

This cartilage piercing passes through the vertical ridge that "outlines" but does not edge the ear. Technically speaking, this is an "anti-helix piercing," although snug seems to be the term in most common circulation.

Tragus -
Piercings through the tragus, the little nub in front of the ear canal, are a common form of ear piercing. This piercing is not known to have a historical basis.
This piercing can be done with a captive bead ring, barbells or even a labret stud. This piercing should have no effect on hearing, nor is it linked to facial paralysis or any other urban legends.

Transverse Lobe -
A transverse lobe is an earlobe piercing turned 90 degrees such that the length of the piercing is parallel to the sagittal plane of the earlobe. Most often, it runs as close to horizontally as the ear will permit

Vertical Lobe -
A vertical lobe piercing is just that; a piercing, usually using a straight barbell, travelling from the top of the lobe (ie. the anti-tragus) down and exiting at the bottom of the lobe. It is essentially a transverse lobe piercing turned 90°.

Vertical Tragus -
Using a curved barbell (or other jewelry), the tragus may be pierced vertically. Many piercings that appear to be a vertical tragus piercing are actually surface piercings located immediately in front of the tragus. These can be done with a curved barbell as well, but are prone to rejection. The chance of rejection can be reduced by using surface bars, as well as having the piercing done by an experienced piercer. Even under optimal conditions though, they can still reject.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

MODIFY! (the movie)

All of us know we should not pre-judge others, not to judge a book by its cover.
Does this feeling of acceptance apply to people who modify their body beyond what
is normal? Extreme is relative to perception. It is human nature to fear what we do
not understand. What is ‘normal’?
Everyone modifies their body in one form or another to help show on the outside
how they feel on the inside.
Using intirely original music, including over forty never before heard songs from
more than twenty new artists, this original groundbreaking documentary hits the
screen rockin’ right from the start.

For the first time ever, in their own words, the finest, more well spoken, talented,
surgeons, piercers, tattooists, cutters, body artists, and pioneers of body modification
in the United States, show and tell all in the Committed Films motion picture
You will meet more than thirty of the most amazing modified people that have ever
lived, and the body artists that have changed them forever. We have traveled the
country and have filmed more than fifty body modification procedures including
tanning, waxing, piercing, branding, scarification, genital beading, elective
amputations, bodybuilding, tattooing, tongue splitting, non-surgical implants, plastic
surgeries, trans-gender surgeries, and everything in between.
Why have they chosen to do this to their bodies?
We explore their thoughts on the difference between body modification and
mutilation, their feelings on discrimination, addiction, religion and the legal limits
regarding the right to choose what someone can or can not do to their own body.

it is also now available on netflix.

the arthouse inc: the arthouse inc

the arthouse inc: the arthouse inc: "welcome to the arthouse inc blog! we are a piercing and tattoo studio located in calgary, alberta, canada. we have been in business since ..."

the arthouse inc: the wonderful world of dermal anchors

the arthouse inc: the wonderful world of dermal anchors: "A dermal anchor is a technique that is essentially a single-point pocketing . A small piece of jewellery designed to be inserted into the bo..."

the arthouse inc: wood plugs and tunnels

the arthouse inc: wood plugs and tunnels: "here are a few links to beautifully made organic tunnels and plugs... Omerica Organic grenades by omerica organics Diablo Orangics ..."

the arthouse inc: origin of tattooing

the arthouse inc: origin of tattooing: "Origin of Tattooing Believe it or not, some scientists say that certain marks on the skin of the Iceman, a mummified human body dating from..."

the arthouse inc: scarification

the arthouse inc: scarification: "Scarification is the creative and artistic application of scars in a controlled manner to achieve an aesthetically or spiritually pleasing..."

the arthouse inc: AUTOCLAVE.

the arthouse inc: AUTOCLAVE.: "An autoclave is an instrument used to sterilize equipment and supplies by subjecting them to high pressure saturated steam at 121 °C or mo..."

the arthouse inc: 18 piece dermal anchor project

the arthouse inc: 18 piece dermal anchor project: "i have been working on an 18 piece dermal anchor project since oct 2010. today i put in the last 2 anchors. Sondra took some awesome pict..."

the arthouse inc: type of materials for body piercings

the arthouse inc: type of materials for body piercings: "Surgical steel Surgical steel, also referred to as Implant grade steel is a steel alloy that is the most common body piercing material in ..."

the arthouse inc: sea salt for piercing aftercare

the arthouse inc: sea salt for piercing aftercare: "Sea salt soaks serve as a quick, cheap home remedy that is effective for the after-care of a piercing, both body piercings and oral piercing..."

the arthouse inc: Body Suspension

the arthouse inc: Body Suspension: "Vertical Chest suspension ('O-Kee-Pa') This suspension takes place hooked from the front of the body and hung vertically. Many people refe..."

the arthouse inc: Why piercing guns are dangerous

the arthouse inc: Why piercing guns are dangerous: "Piercing guns are a common tool used in mall shops, mall kiosks, beauty salons and by other non-professional piercers. Unfortunately, the p..."

the arthouse inc: different types of scar tissue & vitamin e

the arthouse inc: different types of scar tissue & vitamin e: "Atrophic Atrophic scars are sunken, depressed areas of scar tissue. The scar tissue is generally very thin and weak, and blood vessels can ..."

the arthouse inc: modern primitive

the arthouse inc: modern primitive: "Modern primitives or urban primitives are people in developed nations who engage in body modification rituals and practices while making r..."

modern primitive

Modern primitives or urban primitives are people in developed nations who engage in body modification rituals and practices while making reference or homage to the rite of passage practices in "primitive cultures"These practices may include body piercing, tattooing, play piercing, flesh hook suspension, corset training, scarification, branding, and cutting. The motivation for engaging in these varied practices may be personal growth, rite of passage, or spiritual

I came across this interesting article today....

"Modern Primitives": The Accelerating Collision of Past and Future in the Postmodern Era

Today, largely thanks to publishers such as Re/Search and Loompanics, Autonomedia, and Amok Press, many people are familiar today with the "modern primitive" movement. They know that it involves some sort of strange juxtaposition of high technology and "low" tribalism, animism, and body modification - a kind of 'Technoshamanism,' if you will, at once possession trance and kinetic dance. In books like William Gibson's Count Zero , ultracomplex Artificial Intelligences (AIs) take on the personality of Haitian Voudoun deities, seizing the minds of initiates through neural networks, creating an ersatz technoreligion.
The idea of the "primitive" is of course one from anthropology's abandoned socioevolutionary past. While invented to simply function as a descriptive for temporal phases, it inevitably also functioned as an evaluative term, suggesting that those societies to which it was applied were inferior in terms of literacy, knowledge, technology, social organization, or moral judgement - in a word, they lacked 'civilization.' The notion was of course inescapably ethnocentric, since it assumed that all societies on the planet were on an undeviating climb toward the standards of Western culture with regards to religion (monotheism), marriage practices (monogramy), economics (the free market), governance (representative democracy), etc. The 'primitive' was at once reviled and romanticized, especially by Romantic artists fascinated with the taboo and the exotic, and philosophers swayed by the image of the unfettered Noble Savage.
While a more culturally relativist anthropology has sought to cleanse the perjorative ideas associated with 'primitivism,' preferring to describe idiographically rather than evolutionarily the less 'advanced,' pre-modern, indigenous societies of the planet, the notion of the "primitive" remained a powerful one in Western culture, which internalized representations of "primitives" from both within (the Native Americans) and without (Oceanians, Africans, etc.) To many people within Western civilization's orbit, (which increasingly encompasses the entire planet), the "primitive" still signifies a premodern, "untainted" alternative to industrialization, capitalism, and the European Enlightenment. It represents a preferred "Golden Age" past, of things left aside in the march of "progress", to which might be juxtaposed a dystopian technological future.
And, then, of course, there is modernity. What it means to be a modern is still being argued about, as well as whether we have left the condition of modernity behind. If anything, modernity was probably the vision that the future would be radically different (and most likely better) than the present. Certainly, in the arts, modernity was associated with Futurism, involving a penchant for action, speed, power, abstraction, and change, as well as other movements in the avant-garde - Surrealism, Dadaism, Expressionism, etc. Modernity basically meant experimentation to many people; a refusal to be fettered by conventions of the past, and a demand to shock the morals and traditions of the bourgeouisie. New territories - the unconscious mind, for example - were being opened to investigation and creation.
Postmodernism, if anything, is in essence a combination of modernity and the premodern - a genre blurring of the abandoned and the untried. In a world where the old (tradition, superstition, folk beliefs, etc.) is increasingly being abandoned, there can be nothing more new and avant-garde then to reintroduce it once more... thus the ironic state of postmodernity. There can be no more postmodern movement than that of the "modern primitives," determined to follow the simultaneous tracks of the past and the future toward their inevitable collision. Having at once embraced a mythical "low-tech" past and a mythical "high-tech" future, the "modern primitives" are preeminent denizens of the postmodern, cyclical-time era...
The "modern primitives" like Stelarc and Fakir Mustafar are perhaps best known for their use of body distortion, modification (elongation, coloration, etc.), and piercing. Many moderns were familiar (from visual anthropology) with the practices found in less 'civilized' cultures such as footbinding, elongating the neck or skull, or ritual incision. Body manipulation is not anything alien to modernity, with its use of more antiseptic and clinical plastic surgery, but then neither is tatooing or piercing either. Moderns never gave up the urge to inscribe and mark the body, or to alter and distort its features... indeed, Foucault's biopolitics suggests that a preeminent feature of modernity was the pursuit of unnattainable somatic norms, especially for women. Still, many people see body marking (tatooing) as transgressive, exotic, and 'primitive,' and this is one reason why modern primitivies embrace it as a custom.
What does make the modern primitive movement unusual is its pursuit of sensation. Borrowing from the S & M sexual subculture, the modern primitives suggest that one of the effects of modernization and industrialization has been psychic numbing. People no longer know either authentic pleasure or pain, and have forgotten the curious neurochemical ways in which they are interwoven. Piercing is more than just inscription; piercing of the genitals or other sensitive areas of the body means pain, especially during sexual intercourse... but it is a pain that becomes part of the ecstasy for ModPrims... there is this idea of a knowing through pain which modernity has forgotten.
When Mustafar or Stelarc hang themselves from hooks, or pierce themselves with sharp painful implements, they are only duplicating a practice found all over the world. It is a key ritual for many "primitive" and other societies for the person to go into trance and to demonstrate their "absorbtion" by the divine through the negation of pain and injury. The ModPrims claim that their performances are a pursuit of transcendence, proving the ability of the mind to go beyond the taxings and limitations of the body. Stelarc calls himself a "Cyberhuman," pointing to his belief that the future of human evolution toward a greater interconnection of men and machines will require humankind's mastery over (rather than suppression of) passion, suffering, and pain.
Futher, within the ModPrim movement, there is this sort of obsession over technological invasion of the body, through prosthetics, genetic modification, implants, and so on. This bodily invasion is at once feared (as a colonization by capital) and desired (by permitting people to directly neurally link into the "consensual hallucination" of Gibson's Virtual Reality.) The body is seen as information (DNA provides the 'code') and its invasion as either 'scrambling' (through viruses, cancer, etc.) or 'purification' (by removing 'noise' or 'distortion.') The technological modification of the body is seen as a reworking of the shamanic 'deconstruction' of a past era, where the shaman is torn apart by the gods of his tribe, and then his bones and flesh are replaced with quartz or fire or something else...
The limitations of the body need not be obeyed. It can be made to live longer, or be healthier, through artificial organs and nanotech 'magic bullets.' It can be made stronger and more dextrous through steroids and enhancing nervous signal transmission. The mind can be extended as well, its memory or perceptions or intelligence increased. The "primitive man's" desire to imitate and become like his gods can be met. But ModPrims also know that there is the danger of forgetting the body as well - that in cyberspace, people will no longer be "in tune" with their tangible physicality... thus they push for ways in which the "feedback" from the Matrix will be at once tactile and visual...
ModPrims also embrace the rave as a sign of the uniting of past and future. The rave is at once 'primitive,' with its gathering of 'tribes' of young people for the experience of Levy-Bruhl 'participation mystique' through kinetics and MDMA (Ecstasy), and 'futuristic' (or modern) with its use of digitally sampled and remixed music, laser and light effects, and multimedia expositions. Ravers at once dress in way that signifies past and future - piercing their ears with computer chips, wearing 70s (or earlier) clothes with futuristic hologram jewelry, combining the fashion of folk and punk. They consider themselves the heirs of the 60s counterculture, and also its antithesis, since they reject its anti-technology, pro-natural, 'peace and harmony,' and idealist emphases for a more pragmatist, aggressive, and techno-positive viewpoint... to the raver, whether a drug is synthetic or organic is besides the point.
Besides raves and piercing, ModPrims are perhaps best known for their attempts at juxtaposing magick and science. Publications like Virus 23 juxtapose Crowleyan occultism with chaos theory, Neo-Paganism & Wicca with memetics and information theory, and use of ancient hallucinogens with the latest findings in neuroscience. Shamanism is shown to have a basis in quantum mechanics, and Hermeticism in astrophysical cosmology. Fringe science publications, full of diagrams of Tesla machines, antigravity motors, UFO propulsion systems, free energy devices, perpetual motion machines, and radionic/psychotronic boxes, combine at once the impossible fascinations of past eras with the latest technological principles...
Computer hackers often call themselves "wizards," for good reason. Abstruse computer programs are not all that dissimilar from blasphemous incantations; electrical logic diagrams often look like mystical Tables of Correspondences from olden times; complex systems are inevitably suspect to the interference of unguessable entities variously called "bugs," "glitches," or "gremlins." The technoshaman/computer hacker knows that he is part of an elite whose knowledge is mystifyingly undecipherable to the general public, and that society has placed an almost religious faith in the power of computers to solve the problems of society, from traffic routing and personal communications, to psychiatric diagnosis and aiding athletic performance...
The ModPrims eagerly embrace technoshamans like Timothy Leary, John Lilly, Terrence McKenna, and Jose Arguelles. The I Ching really becomes a computer code, connected to the rhythms of history and the codons of the DNA sequence. The hallucinogenic mushroom really becomes an extraterrestrial colonizing spore, seeking to link human consciousness with its cosmic roots. The use of mystical drugs like LSD really becomes a means to activate normally dormant "circuits" within the "biocomputer" known as the brain, thus making "metaprogramming" possible. Human-animal communication becomes at once a technological duty, and a necessity for realizing the interconnectedness of "Gaia," or the collective identity created by organic life on the planet...
The ModPrims themselves point to the collision of the past and future. Reading McKenna, they point to the cycles of history, and the way in which many linear trends (scientific invention, etc.) are reaching bottleneck points where they may accelerate exponentially (this being thought to be "TimeWave Zero," or the "Omega Point.") The Principia Cybernetica Newsletter advances the idea that the new webs of telecommunications networks are creating a "global brain" in which humans are the individual neurons. Others suggest that the Human Genome project may unlock the means for humanity's next great evolutionary advance. Many ModPrims think that we have passed out of linear, past-to-future, historical time, and entered some other new kind of cyclical time or maybe even the "end of history"...
People interested in materialist analyses of culture wonder whether this efflorescence of modern primitivism, with its explicit rejection of older notions of linear progress and evolution, has anything to do with the changing material basis of culture. Has the fact that we have entered a post-industrial, service/information economy, 'disconnected' from material production because of automation and other forces, similarly 'disconnected' people from the idea of a rational, orderly march of time? Such a sense of time was essential to industrialism, in which time was money and the Puritan criterion beyond all others was time-efficiency, e.g. not 'slacking' or 'wasting time.'
In his book "Time Wars," Jeremy Rifkin suggests that many of the conflicts between groups may have been over competing notions of time. Rifkin sees the conflict of our era as being between 'industrial' time, which is individualistic, atomistic, quantitative, utilitarian, artificial (clock-based), centralized, and mechanistic; and what might be called 'postindustrial' time, which is communitarian, participatory, qualitative, empathetic, rhythmic, cyclical, decentralized, and organic. From the 'industrial' viewpoint, time is a resource for the progressive creation of wealth, which is not to be squandered. Perhaps from the 'postindustrial' viewpoint, time is a resource for human lives and experiences... recognizing entropy, the person living in 'postindustrial' time knows that material 'progress' is not indefinite or without external cost.
I would suggest that the way ModPrims can perhaps best be understood are as people living in a different time-order or time-value-system. This ideological shift is partly due to the transition of people toward a post-industrial economy, where the previous system of linear industrial time no longer makes sense. For them, there is no contradiction between past and future. If time is a circle, then of course past and future are heading toward their point of uniting. In the postmodern world of the ModPrims, the "moderns" have much to learn from the ecological sense of interconnectedness of the "primitives," and vice versa, the "prims" can learn from the experimental sensibility of the "mods." Together, they can perhaps turn the spiral of time back to its point of origin, at a higher level of existence.

Steve Mizrach

Sunday, April 17, 2011

different types of scar tissue & vitamin e

Atrophic scars are sunken, depressed areas of scar tissue. The scar tissue is generally very thin and weak, and blood vessels can be seen very close to the surface. They are caused when insufficient collagen is laid down in the wound. This sort of scar tends to be formed as the result of acne, though some scarification work (especially when no aftercare regime is followed) will result in this sort of scar.
A wound healed under optimum conditions will form scar tissue that is almost the same colour and thickness as the skin around the wound, and be substantially smaller than the original wound. The body tries to form scars which mimic the tissue around them. A large number of scarification pieces heal like this, most of the people who get scarification work are young and healthy, and consequently their bodies heal wounds very well, even if aftercare techniques are followed. For the first couple of months the scars may be red/purple, but over time they will fade through pink to white, leaving a very subtle effect on pale skinned individuals.
Hypertrophic scars are raised scars which do not extend beyond the border of the wound. They are formed when the rate of collagen production in a wound exceeds the rate of collagen breakdown. Unlike keloid scars, the collagen fibers are still aligned evenly within the scar, so the scar will be more even, and less likely to be painful when you move. Hypertrophic scar formation can be encouraged by giving the wound a difficult healing environment, although the predisposition to forming hypertrophic scar tissue is a genetic trait. Hypertrophic scars sometimes form next to piercings, especially on the ear. They often fade in colour and become less raised over time, especially when any irritant (i.e. piece of jewelery) is removed. Wearing high quality, well-fitting jewelery and massaging regularly with Vitamin E oil can help reduce hypertrophic scar tissue around piercings.

Keloid scars are large, raised, generally uneven scars that extend beyond the border of the original injury. The word 'keloid' is very commonly misused by individuals who are actually referring to hypertrophic scarring. People with dark skin are much more likely to form keloid scar tissue, especially on the back, shoulders, upper arms, and earlobes. Keloid scars are formed when the rate of collagen production in a wound exceeds the rate of collagen breakdown, and the collagen fibers align themselves in a random pattern (as opposed to in parallel lines as in normal scars). It is not known exactly what triggers the formation of keloid scars, but it is thought that the wound healing factors mentioned above can influence keloid formation. Keloid scars tend to increase in size over time. Keloids also occasionally form next to piercings, and while removing the jewelery and rubbing with Vitamin E oil may help, it is likely that a medical professional will have to assist with their removal, either by steriod injections or surgically

Vitamin E Oil

Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin which is found naturally in certain vegetable oils and other foods (for example: germ oil, nuts and seeds, whole grains, egg yolks and leafy greens). It is an antioxidant that protects your body’s cell membranes and other fat soluble parts of the body, and a necessary constituent of a healthy diet. Vitamin E oil has shown to penetrate the dermis. It is able to reduce the formation of oxygen radicals that impede healing. Vitamin E also stabilizes collagen production.

Vitamin E oil is renowned for its healing properties; it is an excellent moisturizer, and it can help reduce unwanted scar tissue. It's commonly used to lubricate organic plugs to help keep stretched ear piercings healthy. It can be purchased in bottles, or in capsules each containing a small amount of oil.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Why piercing guns are dangerous

Piercing guns are a common tool used in mall shops, mall kiosks, beauty salons and by other non-professional piercers. Unfortunately, the piercing gun or stud gun is an inferior piece of equipment that can cause unnecessary damage and increase a piercees risk of complications.


All equipment used in any piercing must be properly sterilized between uses to prevent the spread of blood borne diseases and reduce the chance of infection. To be properly sterilized, equipment must be run through an autoclave. Piercing guns cannot be autoclaved. When a piercing is performed with a gun, tissue and blood become airborne and will come into contact with anything near it, including the gun, the piercer and the person being pierced. Wiping a piercing gun with antiseptic wipes or alcohol swabs between uses is not sufficient, as it will not kill all blood borne pathogens. This means that both the piercer and person being pierced are exposed to the tissue and blood of every other person that has been pierced with that equipment. In addition, the new piercing has come into contact with the dirty gun and all of the bacteria on it. This greatly increases the risk of infection. This risk of infection is of even more concern when applied to cartilage piercings. Infections in cartilage can become trapped between the layers of cartilage and cause deformation of the ear, sometimes requiring surgery.

clean adj. - Free from dirt, stain, or impurities; unsoiled.
ster·ile  adj.  - Completely free from live bacteria or other microorganisms.

Stud vs. Needle
A properly done piercing is performed using a hollow needle that is extremely sharp. It has a beveled edge that creates a very neat, clean slice in the tissue. This leaves the area with very little damage or trauma, allowing for the easiest healing and minimal complications as well as less pain for a shorter period of time.

A piercing gun uses a dull stud that is forced through the ear through sheer force. Look closely at the end of a piercing stud and it is obvious just how dull it is. Remember that you can sleep on these studs without cutting your neck. Because the stud is dull, it rips through the tissue, causing major tearing, trauma and compaction in the tissue. This will lead to a longer healing time and increased risk of building up excessive scar tissue in and around the piercing. It also causes more irritation and swelling, leading to more pain for an extended period of time.

Excessive scar tissue can cause problems for those that intend to, or decide to stretch their piercings to larger gauges. Some find that it hinders stretching, or even makes it impossible. It will often cause the stretching process to be much slower and involved than normal to allow the scar tissue time to soften and the stretch to heal properly.

The only appropriate materials for use in a fresh piercing are implant grade metals, plastics, glass: Surgical Stainless 316LVM, Titanium, Niobium, PTFE, Bioflex and Pyrex. The nickel content in gold, silver and low grade steel can cause serious reactions and irritation in many people. The porosity of other materials allows the harboring of dirt and bacteria, causing serious irritation and infection. Piercing studs are generally made of a low-grade metal and are often plated. Most common are gold and silver studs.

It is necessary for the jewelry in a new piercing to allow room for swelling and proper access to the piercing for cleaning and to allow the piercing to drain.

Every aspect of the piercing stud makes in inappropriate for use in a new piercing. They are much too short to allow the tissue to swell comfortably. Swelling can be exacerbated
by the restriction of the stud, leading to further damage and irritation of the piercing. The locking butterfly backs cover the back of the piercing and pull the jewelry tight against the front of the piercing. This will not allow a piercing to drain properly as well as building up lymph and dirt and holding it against the healing piercing. Butterfly backs are extremely difficult to clean properly as the loops are very small and cannot be accessed easily.

Proper Placement and Similar Concerns on Body Parts Other Than Ears
When the piercing gun is used, it visually blocks the person operating it from seeing exactly where the stud is being placed. This, along with minimal training on the part of the person using the gun and the kickback of the gun often leaves poorly placed piercings. This also means that matched piercings are often not symmetrical. Many people are left with a no-win situation. Take out the piercing and have it done re-done to correct the placement or live with an improperly placed piercing. This may not be an immediate concern for some, but those wanting to stretch to larger gauges later may find that any asymmetry becomes more pronounced at the larger gauges.

In less common cases, "piercers" will use the gun to perform other piercings, such as in the navel, nose and even tongue. The gun was designed for use on the ears and cannot accommodate other body parts. The design does not allow a larger amount of tissue to be placed in it and the short jewelry is even more dangerous on the thicker piercings.

The width of a gun stud cartridge makes in impossible for it to be fully inserted into the nostril. This leaves the piercing too far forward on the nostril. While being aesthetically unappealing, it also makes it difficult or impossible to wear a ring or nose screw comfortably. A screw will tend to hang out of the nose because it cannot be turned around properly and a ring will stick out from the nostril.

Trained Piercers vs. Minimally Trained Gun Operators
A professional piercer must apprentice under a trained profession. This training includes classes in blood borne pathogens and cross contamination, as well as first aid. This prepares a piercer to handle any situation that may arise during a piercing procedure as well being able to accurately assess a person and any possible complications. They also understand all possible complications and can assist a client with the correct solution to a problem.

The majority of piercings performed with a piercing gun happen in mall shops and/or kiosks, and beauty salons. The people using these guns receive minimal training on the use of the equipment and no training whatsoever on human anatomy, the proper care for a new piercing or the risks and complications involved with piercings or how to treat them. Generally, training consists of two weeks of instruction on use of the gun and possibly practice on a teddy bear or foam ear. The trainee is then loosed on the general public with minimal knowledge and no experience whatsoever.

Piercing guns can jam while being used, leaving the piercee with a half embedded stud and most likely a piercing gun stuck to it. This can be very painful for the piercee and someone that is not properly prepared to deal with this situation can cause unnecessary pain and extended damage to the piercing.

The lack of proper training leads back to the inability of a piercing gun operator to prevent the spread of blood borne diseases, as they are not aware of the risks or the precautions that need to be taken. They also open themselves to exposure, as most do not wear gloves.

Should any serious complications arise, a piercing gun operator will not be able to help you. With little experience in body piercings, they are unable to identify or offer guidance on problems that may arise.

A piercing or tattoo shop is a safe, clean environment with trained staff. To ensure the safety and comfort of a client, piercings are performed in a room specifically set up for piercing. This means that all of the tools and equipment are within easy reach, as well as any medical equipment that may be needed in case of an unforeseen problem. The area is kept extremely clean, there is a Sharps Container for used needles to be disposed of in and equipment is cleaned in a separate area. All of these things greatly reduce the risk of contamination from the piercer or a previous client.

Mall kiosks and stores are not closed off from the public. In fact, if it is a store, they typically keep the piercing booth right at the front. Equipment is not kept in a sanitary manner nor is the area in which a person is pierced. The open-air environment of a mall means that you are exposed to many more germs and bacteria than the controlled environment of a piercing studio. Should any problems arise, such as unexpected bleeding, you will most likely get an unsanitary paper towel to hold to your ear. Used gun cartridges are tossed in a trash basket, further increasing the chances of spreading disease.

For a safe piercing experience, please choose a professional piercer that works in a proper piercing or tattoo shop and uses the correct equipment and jewelry. Your piercings will thank you!