The Middle School Era: Texas is the Reason



The middle school era of contemporary body modification culture was a time of constant innovation; the work of controversial pioneers like Tom Brazda, Jon Cobb, Blake Perlingieri and Steve Haworth blurred the lines between heretical and genius with new techniques, materials and ideologies replacing standard accepted practices. The evolution of 3D implants, for example, a field largely driven by the efforts of Phoenix, Arizona’s Haworth, went through constant genesis- pearls to stainless steel to teflon to silicone with each success and failure spawning further investigation on why it worked or why it did not.

This implant, performed by Steve while doing a guest spot in Philadelphia, was done with a large sculpted piece of medical grade teflon made to resemble the great state of Texas. Teflon offered advantages over stainless steel- the ability to go beyond basic shapes and the presumption of greater bio-compatibility- but for larger more detailed pieces came with a much larger incision required for implantation and problematic issues due to it’s rigidity. Still, it offered the chance for early 3D Art clients to push the boundaries with more creative designs which no doubt influenced the move to bio-compatible, ultra flexible silicone implants which are now the standard.

These photographs were taken by BME founder Shannon Larratt and submitted to the spcOnline sit in 1997.

Shawn Porter has spent the majority of his life in the modification world. As a body modification archivist and documentarian, he has one of the most extensive collections of documents relating to the early American body modification community outside of academia. He edited the SPC website from 1995 to 2005, co-founded ModCon, was the host of ModCons 3.5 and 4, and created and hosted The Scarwars Project from 2004-2007. In 2011 Shawn launched Occult Vibrations, a blog devoted to traditional American tattoos with a focus on the occult and esoteric. He currently resides in Philadelphia with his wife Julia and their creepy pets Mr. Bailey Papers and L. RonBenet Ramsey.

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