Lukas Zpira

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Lukas Zpira
Birth Date April 29, 1966
Birth Place France
Death Date living
Occupation Artist, Body Modification Practitioner

Lukas Zpira is a body modification artist, nomadic performer, documentor of the contemporary fringes and one of the major figures of the contemporary underground.



Lukas Zpira began his artistic career in 1992, at age 26. It was upon the presentation of two charcoal sketches that he was accepted as a member of the art collective "ADADA" in Avignon, which consists of about 30 artists of various influences. It was with the help and support of Daniel Romanie, founder and director of the collective, that he made his first real artistic experiments: paintings, sculptures, installations, writings, and photography.

His works, closely related to nouveau realism, differed in style to his writing and photography, which were far more influenced by surrealism and Dadaism, notably Duchamps and Man Ray's rayographs. It was in 1993 that he took on the name Lukas Zpira, an anagram inspired from the surrealists. Multiple experiences and various exhibitions still left him unsatisfied, and he felt he had quickly reached the limits of his medium. He left the collective in 1995 to turn towards body art.

Soon after, Lukas opened Body Art/Weird Faktory in Avignon, the first studio in France dedicated to body modification, and immediately got critical respect for his detailed and precise cutting work. In a short period, Lukas grew from a talented cutter to offering a full range of body modifications, including tongue splitting, implants, and subincision.

In early 2004, in Japan, Lukas Zpira developed and wrote the body hacktivism manifesto, an artistic and political movement that asseverates the corporal biodiversity facing beauty standards imposed by Hollywood. More inspired by the bestial extra terrestrials of Star Trek than the tribal references of the modern primitive movement, this activism of a new genre asserts the heritage of science fiction in the battle for body autonomy.

Lukas Zpira either coined or brought to the mainstream the terms "body hacking," "body hacktivism," "no body is perfect," and "like a butterfly."

In the spring of 2005, his book "Onanisme Manu Militari II" was published by Hors Ed.

Onanisme Manu Militari II

This book is a compilation of text and images retracing a decade of experimentation and iconoclast collaborations. This work includes the contributions of David Le Breton, Maxence Grugier, Philippe Liotard, Ryochi Maeda, Edp infected, Gnom, Human Game and Laurent Courau.


Current Activities

Lukas Zpira is currently on the self-proclaimed "Crazy BodMod Tour." Started in 2000, the tour is a journey which takes him to the U.S, Canada and Japan, but also to more unexpected lands such as Brazil, Venezuela, Guatemala, Argentina, New Zealand and Australia, while continually pursuing his personal evolution.

He's also working on subcultures documentation such as Vampyres. Two books, "Vampires"(Flammarion Ed.) & "Hidden Shadows" (Hors Ed.) have already been published and a movie by Avalanche Productionsis due out september 2007.


In 2000 Lukas organized the event ART-KOR.OO, which took place in Avignon, France, during the very famous art festival. This went on for 6 months featuring up to 80 performances and conferences from many international artist, giving birth to the ART-KOR collective.

For several years now Lukas has been doing many body art performances and installations mixing suspension, scarification and branding along with Japanese traditional bondage performed by his wife Satomi. Since 2001 he has been touring all around the world and has been a regular performer for Torture Garden. Together with Satomi, he recently gathered various artists and musicians (ODM, Kannelle, Phyl Von), as well as poets (Tarik Noui, David Defendi) within the collective "HACTION MUTANTE" with which they presented "HACTION I" inside the bunker of the abode of chaos in Lyon, France.

Body Hacktivim manifesto 2.0

Created at the dawn of the twenty first century under the impulse of Ryoichi Maeda, the term body hacktivism was born from the necessity to define a movement of artists, researchers and thinkers working around mutations and using body modifications as a medium.
These artists, as opposed to modern primitives who use tribal anthropology as their basis, practice, theorize and/or invent prospective avant-garde body modifications which are influenced by manga culture, comics, science fiction films and literature.
Made possible by a constant inquisitiveness regarding the evolution of tekno-medical discoveries these practices, experimental by essence, are defined as Body Hacking, and expresses the will of these artists, researchers and/or thinkers to surpass the bio-logical frontiers.

The terms body hacktivist and body hacktivism also signifies the necessity to act and to take our destiny into our own hands and the perpetual will to reinvent ourselves.

Body hacktivism also poses the question on the freedom of choices concerning an ever increasing number of transformation options humankind is facing and re-evaluates the notion of collective interest versus individual interest.

Body hacktivists can only refute the validity of any patent, license or copyright relative to the body and its transformation.

Body hacktivism doesn’t include the need to be modified.
All modified persons are not necessarily considered as body hacktivists.
De facto, many artists, researchers and philosophers appear as body hacktivists without necessarily revendicating it.

Body hacktivism is not a group and should foremost be perceived as a state of mind, as a philosophy each is free to adopt.

........................................................................................................................Lukas Zpira .08


Lukas Zpira, wrote the following statement in 1998:

To be, and to appear what we are
hybrid beings
half organic matter, half manufactured product,
relieved of our self destructive instincts,
just trying to repossess our bodies
to better master our minds.
what caterpillar would think of flying before becoming a butterfly?
our metamorphosis is a self-examination,
each step is an experience,
each element an answer,
it is a metaphor,
a challenge,
slashes in the lines (pre-traced?) of our lives.

And some other major texts such as :

Putting an end with BAUDRILLARD
Toward a political approach of mutation
Ritual body

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