Neil Harbisson, The Human Cyborg, 2015

Neil Harbisson, The Human Cyborg, 2015

Neil Harbisson is himself a work of artistic creation, and the world’s first cyborg artist. He has incorporated an electronic antenna as a new part of his body, which enables him to hear color and see sounds. The interconnectivity between the technology and his interpretation of color and stimulation around him does make up for his complete color blindness in traditional human standards. He now however can see the full color spectrum, triggered by a noise. This elicits not only an extensive set of reactive material to his brain, but also completely different reactions to culturally fabricated ideas and feelings associated with a color or sound. This transhumanist improvement upon Harbisson’s senses creates a multiplicitous outcome.

For example, the color red “sounds” soothing to Harbisson, when in traditional and culturally driven contexts, humans respond to red as a trigger for passion or alarm. Harbisson states that “the cybernetic device was no longer a device.” The small piece of machinery has become one with his body, altering but also widening his sense of perception. The synchronicity formed between this cyborg artist and his antenna also changes our perception of recognition, observation and human association, and what a “full person” constitutes according to Nayar. The critical posthumanist perspective of blurred lines between machine and man are exemplified with Harbisson’s experimentation. The art that is produced from this intermingling of technology and human perception also touches on Nayar’s explanation of technological intervention and enhanced bioethics. This new artform also considers and changes information feedback loops and the standards in which the human race perceives and understands surrounding sensory cues. 

 

Link to his artwork: http://artistsandalgorists.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/1-scaled1000.jpg