By Martine Duplessis

Body Sculpture. Suspended in the air, hanging from black leather contraptions and metal, nearly naked people go limp and float and gently swing in arranged tableaux. Hoisting them up and arranging their relaxed limbs is the job of an artiste. This art subculture is well-repesented in cyber-land.
The performing group Human Sculture boasts a new web site at Led by Gerry Witbeck, Human Sculpture stages dark erotic body performances of people pierced and suspended in the air and formed into tableaux. Their web site is appropriately red and black. In it you will find contact info, performance schedules and best of all, a photo gallery. For those who haven‘t experienced Human Sculpture live, this is definitely the next best thing. Black and white photos illustrate actual suspensions, as well as dangerous-looking piercings with fishhooks prior to suspension from them. (Don‘t try this at home!) Portland-based.
TSD, aka Traumatic Stress Discipline, is another group who performs the art of body suspension. Their site is more technical and less arty than Human Sculpture‘s site. It contains information on types of rigging, ropes, suspension types as well as a perfomance schedule and a complete list of “aftermath” and warnings. There are limited pictures on this site, but all of them that I found featured suspension by fishhooks.
Physically based in New York City, this is the web site of the body modification zine, BME. If you are into suspensions, piercing, scarification, ritual, and tattoos, this is your spiritual home. Navigate over to “ritual” to see a huge gallery of photographs that illustrates ritual body play “not resulting in permanent modifications.” These detailed color photos depict the sequence of events during piercing suspensions. Thoughtfully, thumbnails are provided so you can select the photos you are willing to wait for full-detailed downloads.
The grand daddy of all piercee‘s, Fakir Musafar has been doing unusual things with himself since way before the Gen-X‘ers brought the world of body modification into popular culture. You may be familiar with him from the classic ReSearch book Modern Primitives. He‘s also the publisher of his own magazine, Body Play & Modern Primitives Quarterly, and his site contains a preview of the issue titled “Unusual People Doing Unusual Things with Their Bodies.” His site also contains information about the how-to seminars Fakir conducts on piercing and branding. Navigate to “Flesh/body suspensions" for more photos of suspensions, including an informative section on historical perspectives. Over in “Altered States” you‘ll find essays accompanied by photos of three suspensions. In “Paul Stoltz Flies Like a Bird” are photos of a naked man (Paul Stoltz, I presume) completely suspended by flesh hooks. There are limited pictures on this site.

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