Russ Foxx discusses his love of suspension and various body modifications
Russ Foxx has been a well-respected body-modification artist in Canada for close to 17 years now. Over the course of his career, Foxx has never stopped researching newer body modifications that pop up every few years. With a home base in Vancouver, Foxx spends much of his time on the road, touring and performing with his RISE Suspension Crew, modifying and piercing people, teaching techniques, and learning.
“Everything I do-—I consider myself responsible for, whether it’s suspension, scarification, piercing, or facilitating a suspension,” Foxx says.
He remembers when he got into and became a huge follower of body suspension, the art of hanging the human body from (or partially from) hooks pierced through the flesh in various places around the body.
“I went to the Rocky Horror Picture Show with some friends for the first time in Toronto during Halloween night in the early 2000s,” he says. “Then they took me to this goth club and there was this team called I Was Cured and they were doing suspension performances.”
Once Foxx saw what the crew suspending, he was spellbound. He talked to no one at the club, stopped partying and just watched.
“I honestly couldn’t blink,” he says. “I was so taken aback by this performance and I didn’t really know why. So I went up to the performers and said I wanted to try it and I got connected with one of the team members who hosted an event called Suscon.”
A few months later, Foxx was invited to Suscon Suspension Convention in Toronto where he tried his first suspension.
“It was just an eye-opening experience. It’s so empowering and it gives you tools to deal with trauma. In doing many suspensions, I can handle immense pain and am less likely to experience shock,” he says.
Soon suspension became a hobby, and then, morphed into an obsession leading Foxx to create his non-profit RISE Suspension Crew. Since his first Suscon, Foxx has performed more than 200 unique suspensions.
“Once you’ve done one session there are always ways to push yourself,” he says. “You can hang from your upper back, or hang horizontally like superman. They’re two completely different sensations. Hanging from your knees upside down, it’s a very different world.” he says.
He continues “It’s euphoric and it can be a lot of things based on what intent you have going in. If you do it in a meditative way, it can be a very serene experience. It’s scary, painful, and it’s going to bring anxiety and spur on fear. But when you approach this voluntarily and approach it head on, you come out as a stronger person. I’d put it up there with skydiving or bungee jumping … It will be life-changing and at least, memorable.”
Foxx’s love for body mods doesn’t stop at suspension. He practices scarification (an umbrella term that covers the act of scarring the body in an artistic manner), subdermal (his implanted horns) and transdermal implants, ear pointing, and magnetic vision (magnets implanted subdermally for the ability to sense magnetic fields).
“I also have an RFID (radio-frequency identification) chip in my hand that is used in key fobs or pets to hold information about your dog or something,” he says. “Mine is used for a couple different things. It starts with my motorcycle. I’ve removed the key ignition and put in an RFID trigger switch so to wake the bike up and turn it off I scan my RFID chip. I also have a gun safe in my home that can only be accessed with my RFID chip.”
Foxx also has an NFC (near-field communication) chip implanted in his hand that is used to access his home door and unlock his phone.
“It also stores data, so, all my business information is in this chip in my hand and if you scan it with your phone it’s like a built-in business card.”
Those implants fall under the term body hacking, a relatively new movement that has humans implanting technological devices in their bodies.
“Things are really starting to take off within the last five years with newer advancements in technologies. What I have is just the start.”
Apr., 21 & 22 (11 am – 7 pm)
Russ Foxx, guest artist
Crimson Empire Tattoo