Stelarc's views on technologically augmenting the body are very interesting, and he challenges some fundamental assumptions that we take for granted. However, I find his ideas to be completely ignorant of social and political issues.
The interviewer raising concerns about who decides how the body should be redesigned, which Stelarc dismisses offhandedly, but it is an issue we ought to consider. Moreover, I think that the dangers of connecting technology directly to our bodies are more complex and varied than that. For instance, there is the problem of constant corporate surveillance and data collection. More abstractly, the problem of ownership - who owns our data, or our networked connections? To take the interviewer's concern a step further, if our bodies are technologically connected and redesigned, who owns the technology embedded in them and the networks that they are now directly connected to?
Stelarc talks about how technology so far has focused on extended the mind, rather than the body: "...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." I see this as another product of Cartesian dualism, a technological catering to the mind as an abstract and disembodied entity, when in fact it isn't. And I wonder if perhaps connecting technology to our bodies might bring our awareness back to them again, in a way that could begin to reverse our course towards technologically-mediated dissociation.
However, we are already seeing the individual and social dangers of hyperconnectedness. Social media in particular can create addiction, dissociation from one's immediate surroundings, and divisiveness via algorithmically-governed information bubbles. These problems do not arise from the "extended mind" of the mind + the device. They arise from the total social system in which the extended mind is situated and networked. If we are to create the "extended body" by plugging the body into the technological network, how will it be affected by the network in which it is now technologically embedded? Who will own that network? Who will decide how it is shaped?
By penetrating the skin and by working on the body directly and viscerally, Stelarc works to counter the Cartesian dualism that separates brain from body and self from world. I strongly support that project on a philosophical level. But his understanding of the extended self seems to stop at an extension to our technological devices and machines. He lacks an understanding of how the self extends into, and is affected by, the social, political, and economic systems which construct and maintain our technologies.