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On January 14th, 2004, French performance and body artist Lukas Zpira, writing from Osaka, Japan with the encouragement of Ryoichi Maeda, announced the unveiling of a new philosophical movement—Body Hacking, or Hacktivism (with the enthusiasts being hacktivists).

He felt the term was "necessary to define a movement of artists, researchers and thinkers working around mutations using body modification as a medium, which, as opposed to modern primitives who use tribal anthropology as their basis, practice, theorize, and/or invent prospective avant garde body modifications." He cites manga culture, comics, science fiction, and a constant curiosity in the "evolution of tekno-medical discoveries" as primary influences.

Lukas writes that these experimental practices, defined as "Body Hacking," are an expression of the will of the individual to surpass the biological boundaries. He chose the terms "hacktivist" and "hacktivism" to emphasize the need for action—the importance of seizing control of your own destiny and reinventing ourselves.

Steve Haworth is, of course, considered one of the founding fathers of this movement, due to his application of cosmetic surgery techniques to body modification, citing things like Star Trek as an influence on his art.

Lukas explains further, writing, "Hacktivism doesn't include the need to be modified, and all modified people are not necessarily considered as body hacktivists. Beyond all, hacktivism must be perceived as a philosophy, as a state of mind."

Other Uses

Hacktivism in the body modification sense should not be confused with Hacktivism in the computer-geek sense—the fusion of hacking and activism; politics and technology.

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