Neil Harbisson & Moon Ribas: Transpecies


Welcome folks to the Penny Stamps Distinguished Speaker Series. We are going to have a Q&A today with Moon. So if you would like to speak with Moon and have questions for her, I’m sure you’ll have some burning questions, we’re gonna do that in the screening room. There is another event pressing hard on our heels to take over this space after. So, if you don’t know where the screening room is, exit the doors, go left down the hallway. Before you get to the bathrooms, there’s another sort of lobby. Turn to your right and you’ll find the screening room, and please do remember to turn off your cell phones. Being the opening event of the season, I’m gonna offer you a few thoughts, as I usually do, on our season theme, which is ‘Gather’. This is gather as in all the different and various forms of gather, which are very interesting and I’m not gonna go through all of them today, just a few, but gather as in, to come together in a group, assemble or aggregate just as we’re gathered here for this platform featuring creators and innovators from all corners of the globe. Let us not forget how precious the right to gather is, especially for free, as in today, but that to assemble as such is not legal in all times and places, and there is a reason it is the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights, which provides us the right of people to assemble. Today we open the season with some very interconnected folks who bring ideas to bear regarding gathering humans together with technology. This is another sense of gather as in to draw close to oneself or gathering the folds as pulling a thread through cloth, collapsing time and space by running a thread through us and gathering us together with the planet. Our knowledge and our concept of our planet’s size, its girth. It’s become much, much smaller, certainly in my lifetime, and it becomes smaller still through the advancements of technology and our ability to transpose space and time as we do business in an instant across the globe, or as we will invite Neil remotely here to be with us today. The Earth is also itself becoming physically smaller as we face the challenges of climate change, rising seas and receding shorelines. We will have less inhabitable land, so the space will be smaller, so much so that we must literally gather closer together. So, as we gather here, unified I hope, in an effort to explore, discover and connect, I hope that this season will bring us each a deeper understanding of our interconnectedness, not just to each other but to all that is around us. Enough of that. And now to introduce our guest, guests I should say, we have someone very fitting and someone who’s hard at work for all of you, and whom you should know. So I’m very pleased to be able to introduce you to him. He is the university’s Chief Information Security Officer. When not working with his team on matters related to the security of the university systems and privacy and data, he convenes Dissonance; a multi disciplinary group of faculty and students that explore issues at the confluence of technology, policy, privacy, security and law. And sometimes, like today, even the arts. So please welcome to the stage, Sol Berman. Good afternoon everybody. So, there are so many things I love about the University of Michigan. But let me tell you a little bit about my shortlist. There’s the cube, sadly a little hidden away for a while longer. There’s the bell tower, the band taking the field and there’s this, the Penny Stamps Speaker Series. All of these for me are both memories and stir emotions. The first three are never changing, and in its own way Penny Stamps is perpetual as well. It is always different, and as importantly, always challenging and provocative. Tonight is no different than that. Catlin based artists, self identified cyborgs and influencers in the global cyborg art movement, Neil Harbisson and Moon Ribas use the internet as a sense to fuel perception, understanding and its self expression. Both artists explore the boundaries between cybernetics and organism, defend the freedom of self design and believe that embracing our non human entities can bring us closer with the organic worlds of animals, nature and even the cosmos. Together, Ribas and Harbisson advocate on behalf of cyborgs worldwide through the Cyborg Foundation. Founded in 2010, the foundation is committed to the self actualization of cyborg identities, trans species rights and the promotion of cyborg art. An avant garde artist Ribas is best known for developing Seismic Sense, an online seismic sensor implanted in her feet that allows her to perceive earthquakes taking place around the world and even on the Moon, all through vibrations in real time. With an antenna implanted in his skull, Harbisson’s creative expression extends to his physical body as well with the focus of his work dedicated to the exploration of identity, perception, the connection between sight and sound and the use of artistic expression via new sensory inputs. Both of them ask us to consider what separates human beings from the technology we create and use. Today’s program will begin with a performance of seismic data collected over the past 50 years from the earthquakes which have taken place here in the US. Moon will play back the data so we can all hear how the country has been moving. Please welcome to the stage, Moon Ribas. Thank you. Now I have to give a talk. Wait, I’m gonna drink some water first because… I don’t know how that felt to you, but it felt intense for me. So this was like an interpretation of how your country had been moving for the last 50 years. So in this piece, Earth was actually the composer of the piece, and I was just interpreting the data that I collected. So I’ll… I’ll start… I’ll explain to you how I got to the cyber world. There are many things that happen around us that we cannot perceive because our senses are limited, and there are many… And we perceive the outside world through the senses that we have. But depending of the senses that you have, the world that you perceive can be differently. There are many things that happened around us that we don’t get, and I learned that if I unite myself with technology or using technology, I could perceive all these imperceptible things that were happening around me, and I couldn’t perceive it. I will start from the beginning, though, because I’m actually a dancer. I studied choreography. I was studying dance in England. And while I was studying dance, I was encouraged to use technology in my work. And actually, when I grew up I was very hippie and actually I was very anti technology. I always felt that it was very cold and distant, and then I realized that instead of using technology as a tool, if I use technology as experience of the dance, maybe it would be a more natural connection. Also, when I was studying choreography, I learned that instead of creating movement, that is what you usually do as a dancer, you can also find movement and there’s many things that move around us that we don’t perceive. And then I realized that if I unite myself with technology, I could perceive all this imperceptible movement that I cannot perceive with my natural senses. So I started doing several projects, and my first project was this kind of cloth, and I wanted to perceive the speed of the people walking in front of me. So I created this glove, and I would actually point at people, and depending of the speed of the people walking in front of me, I would know if someone was walking three per hour or four per hour, five per hour. But this had some inconvenience because I had to point at people, and that was weird and rude. And then, also, maybe a bit anti social. And then, also, this glove actually gave me information. It would tell me if someone was walking three per hour or four per hour, but I didn’t want to know the speed. I wanted to feel the speed. So, in order to… I know that to transform this tool to a sense, with the help of an engineer, I transformed this glove into a pair of earrings. And it was something like this. So I had two earrings in my ears, and when someone was walking from right to left, I would feel a vibration on my right ear, and then… So someone was walking, and then I would feel a vibration in my right ear, and then on my left ear, and depending of interval of each vibration, I would know the speed of the people walking in front of me. So I was developing the sense of a speed. And then when I was wearing this for some time, I realized that we, society as a… We have a common movement sense. You probably will walk faster, maybe if you are in New York, that if you are in Austin. I just relate these two places because I’ve been there. So there’s this common movement sense because we tend to… How to say to… To get along with the other ones. So, in order to do… I started the project where I would define the speed, the average speed of each capital city of Europe. Because… I don’t know if you’ve been to Europe, but I realized that people walk faster if they are in London, for example, than if they are in Rome. So I created a movement dictionary, where I interpreted all the speed of the people walking in the city… In the different capitals. This was one project. So, after exploring this sense for some time, then I decided to turn around my earrings, and this actually helped me to perceive what I had behind my body. All our senses are focused in the front of our body, so we know what’s going on in front of our bodies. But in the back of our bodies, we are very… That sensory speaking, we don’t really perceive what’s going on behind. And I don’t know if this happens in an hour, probably not because they have big streets, but in Europe, we have very narrow streets, especially in Barcelona. And I get very nervous when someone is walking very slow, and I want to go in front of them. I don’t know if that happens to you. So, I think everyone should have these senses, and then probably the way that you move to cities would be different. So like… And it’s actually a sense that we give to cars, because cars now, they can sense if they’re getting closer to another object, but actually, we as humans, we don’t know if we can get closer to… If a person is coming from behind or not. So, if we all had this sense, maybe I will wait of moving to cities would be different. Maybe new sports would appear because you can sense differently what’s around you. So it was like a 360 perception what I did. And after experiencing the movement at the heart around, suddenly I wanted to perceive a more universal movement. I thought that I want to perceive a movement that it didn’t depend on people, and I thought if I would be alone in the planet, how could I perceive movement? And movement is not only a human thing. And I realized that, actually, the Earth is constantly moving. Not only rotates by itself or on the Sun, but it shakes constantly through earthquakes, and then I thought it would be amazing to be united to this huge and natural movement that most of the time is imperceptible for us, and being united is through my own body. And this is when I created the seismic sense, the senses of being united to the natural movement of the earth. So for several years, I had some implants in my feet that were connected to online seismographs, and whenever there was an earthquake anywhere in the planet, I would feel a vibration inside my body. So if I was now here in Michigan but there was a earthquake in California, or in Japan, or in Greece, I would feel a vibration inside my body. And this is what I call the seismic sense, a sense of feeling the seismic activity. Of course, I had to get used to feeling all these vibrations constantly, because the earth is very alive and it moves a lot. So at the beginning, if I was talking to someone, I would feel a vibration, I would stop talking or get very distracted. Maybe when I was sleeping, I would wake up more often because of all these vibrations. I have to say that I sleep actually very, very deep, so it worked for me. I got used to it very fast. But if someone who has trouble sleeping, wouldn’t work that well for them. But yeah, so I had this extra weight inside my body. And a way I had to describe it is like I felt like I had two heartbeats now. I have two beats, my heartbeat and the earth beat, having its own rhythm inside my body. And we see this as cyborg art, the art of creating your own senses. So we feel that now artists, we no longer need to use technology as a tool. We can use technology as part of our body and change our perception of reality as an artwork. So the artwork of a cyborg artist would be the creation of a new sense. I see the seismic sense as my artwork, but the problem with cyborg art, or the inconvenience of it, is that it’s an artwork that happens inside the artist. So in a way, I’m the only audience of my own art, because it happens inside myself and I’m the only one perceiving it. So in order to share what I feel, I create external artwork, and one of the pieces that I have, it’s called, “Waiting for earthquakes.” And this is a durational dance piece. It’s a waiting room where I propose to the audience that we wait together. So I’m just standing still in a place, and whenever there’s an earthquake, I move according to the intensity of the earthquake. So it’s a durational piece. It can last 10 minutes, or it can last hours. And yeah, and in this piece, earth is the choreographer of the piece, and I’m just interpreting the data that she gives me. So if during the performance there is no earthquakes, there will be no dance. Lots of festivals are worried about this when they contact me, but it’s not my fault. It’s earth that doesn’t want to dance, but usually earth is very alive, so there’s always something happening. Another way that I have to share it is through the seismic percussion we just experienced. So earth is the composer of the piece, and the rhythm and intensity of the piece is based on the movement of the tectonic plates. This is like the score that I create based on the seismic activity that are happening in a specific place. And yeah, so in 2010, Neil and I co founded the Cyborg Foundation when… Basically with three aims, one was to help people to become a cyborg, the other one was to promote cyborg artists and artistic movement, and the other one was to defend the cyborg rights. The right and the freedom to be able to design yourself, to decide how many organs or what organs and senses that you wanna have. Actually, the word Cyborg was created by Nathan Kline and Manfred Clynes, and it was created to describe people that will have to modify themselves in order to survive in space. So they thought instead of creating spaceships and explore space, and you have to live inside these spaceships, we should be able to modify ourselves in order to survive in other environments. We think that maybe we should modify ourselves in order to understand better the planet we live in, so we kind of like this word Cyborg. But then since it has been created, it has been used in many ways, especially in science fiction movies. Now we think that being a cyborg is an identity, and from the Cyborg Foundation, we thought, “Okay, maybe there’s three ways of identifying yourself as a cyborg or being a cyborg.” We thought one could be a psychological cyborg, which is the feeling of being united to technology. Maybe most of you are already psychological cyborgs. When your mobile phone is running out of battery, you say, “I’m running out of battery,” instead of saying, “My mobile phone is running out of battery,” so we’re kind of all psychologically connected to technology. One could be a biological cyborg, which is the physical union between yourself and technology. One could be a neurological cyborg, which is the modification of the mind and the brain because you’re being united to technology. And now, after this, I actually came out, or I realized that there’s another way of being a cyborg. This is… I haven’t told much this yet, because it’s very recent, but since a month ago, I actually took out the implants in my feet. I’ve been wearing… I’ve been having these implants for many years, inside the feet, but then I realized that I wanted to experience movement in another way, so I took them out. And I realized that maybe now I am a phantom cyborg, because even if… It’s very recent, so it’s been a month or something, but when I took them out, I could still feel the earthquakes, because I’ve been having these implants for so long that I could still feel the sensation. So I thought it was very similar, like the people that lose an arm and they still feel that they have the arm, so I have this feeling with a sense. I don’t have the implants anymore, but I still have the feeling of feeling the… The sense of feeling the vibrations. It will probably go away with the years, but for now, I feel that I’m a phantom cyborg. It’s something that I realized not long ago. This is when I took them out. And other projects that we did with Neil, this was like… My experience with all the cybernetics with other projects that we did with Neil was… We were invited to Brazil to do a project for a week with very talented engineers. And actually, I had a tooth missing, but I still have a tooth missing, and Neil had two tooth missing. So, we proposed to have people to make a tooth that it would do something a bit different. So, a tooth was implanted in my mouth, and the other tooth was implanted in Neil’s mouth, and whenever he click, I would feel a vibration. Or whenever I click, he would feel a vibration. And we both know the Morse code, so we were actually to communicate from mouth to mouth by clicking the vibrations, and we did a little demonstration. So I was sitting at the end of a table, and then Neil in the other end, and the audience will write a word to me, and then I would be like… And then he would write it, and then it was the first tryout of this system, and we call this system the transcendental communication system, because we were communicating from tooth to tooth. And it was actually a system that it worked with Bluetooth, so it was actually a Bluetooth tooth. There is now… We like this. This is also the poetry. I want to tell something more about it. Okay… Yeah, I think that’s it. It was no, no, no. And then, yeah, this also… Neil had two spaces in the mouth, and he decided to put a light tooth in the other space to have light by himself. We call this the bioluminescence. The problem is that it also worked by clicking. So whenever he was eating, the light was on and off all the time. So, we have to find another system to have a light by himself. But yeah, we’re working on it. Another project… We did a workshop in the south of France, and this is a project by a student. Actually, this part of the body is called solar plexus. This student designed a prototype to have here like an implant that will tell you the heat of the sun, because the sun changes the heat and it has solar flares. So this implant will tell you, and it will connect you to the sun and to this heat. This is like magnetic hair, so I don’t know if there are any balds in the theater, but this will intervene your interest. So this is like… We thought that this could be an implant that you could feel the magnetic fields around you. So, if you go close reach, your hair would move around. We went to Colombia to give a talk and we met the Mayor, and the Mayor was actually very interested in this. So, maybe he will be the first cyborg Mayor with the cybernetic hair implant. Another… Yeah, this is Manele. He is an artist from Barcelona, and he was very interested with the weather and the rain. So, he’s creating this new sense, these new implants. That it will be this type of things that it will tell, he can perceive the atmospheric pressure. And if you know the atmospheric pressure, you can know if it’s gonna rain or if it’s gonna be sunny on the temperature. So, he’s actually the weatherman. He can feel the weather with this new sense. And in Barcelona, with Neil, we have this lab, the Cyber Foundation Lab, we have in the studio and we create the new sensors. ??? is the engineer who help us to create and to create other sensors for other people, and other artists. And some of them, for example, I use the air quality sense. So, it’s a sense to know the quality of the air around you, and actually these would help you to… If you know the quality of air, maybe if you live in a very polluted place, you will choose the less polluted way to go home. Another sense is the ultraviolet sense from Pao. The cosmic sense, the cosmic rays is also an artist from Barcelona who wants to perceive the cosmic rays. The rays are going from space to the Earth with the sound. Echolocation, this is similar from, to perceive what’s behind, but actually he has an upgraded version of mine. He can perceive what’s behind, but also if it’s a person or just an object through the temperature, he would know if it’s a live or not object. This is a project that we did, Neil, Manele, and I. This is actually, doesn’t have cybernetics. It’s a bit an alternative project that we did. Actually, there’s this theory that before humans used to know whether north, east by ourself, and we used… There’s some theory that we used to know it in the back of our knees. We could feel the north in that part of the body. We did a tryout, and we put a compass in that part of the body to see if we could to wake up these dormant sense to see if it was like an experiment. And we worked for some months to see if we could to wake up this sense. We didn’t, actually. This was… But it was an experiment. I think Neil and Manele still has it, have the implant. I took it out. Maybe it will wake up. Actually, all these sensors, I want to say… It relates everything to the outside world. It help us to understand the planet we live in. And actually, these senses doesn’t make us feel close to robots or to machines that… Now that I feel that I’m a cyborg, actually feel closer to the planet, to the Earth, and other animals than actually to technology and to machines. We also think that we can get very inspired by the sensors that other animals have. Sometimes we don’t need to imagine things like science fiction or things that are unreal. If we take a look at nature, we can think that some things, what we think it’s very unnatural is actually very natural. For example, some bees can perceive the ultraviolet, the birds can fly. There’s infra sounds, some animals can perceive infra sounds. They can perceive the heat. Even immortality really exists in nature because there’s a jellyfish that never dies, and keeps regenerating. I think we can get very inspired by the sensors and how other animals live in our planet. And, we call these actually revealed reality with this new sensors. We don’t think that we do virtual reality, augmented reality. We feel that we are revealing a reality that is actually around us, but we don’t perceive. So, creating these new sensors is like revealing a reality that it’s in front of us but we cannot perceive it. Also, as with the experience of all these… Actually, me after feeling earthquakes for so many years, I realize that, actually, it doesn’t make sense to build all these big cities at the edge of the tectonic plates that’s actually are very dangerous places to live. We feel that maybe, we have arrived on time that… For many, many, many years, humans have been changing the planet in order to live more comfortable. But, maybe we have arrived on a time that it’s better to change ourselves, to design ourselves, and to stop designing the planet in order to be more comfortable. Maybe we have arrived on a time that we should modify ourselves in order to adapt better and to understand better the planet we live in. Like, for example, the earthquakes. I don’t think, it makes sense to make big cities at the edge of the tectonic plates, that actually are very dangerous places to live. Maybe the animals wouldn’t do that, or also, instead of creating artificial light, we can create night vision and stop using artificial and wasting so much electricity and actually have half of the planet dark at night and not having so much electricity. Also, if we had our own temperature, we wouldn’t need to heat up or cool down the planet itself. We can regulate ourselves and leave the planet within peace. Also, the last project I want to comment, when I had the implants, I also connected to the moon, to the seismic activity of the moon because the moon also has moonquakes and it shakes every now and then. And, actually these connections with planets outside the Earth, we call these to be a sense tronaut. We feel that we no longer need to be an astronaut and go physically in space in order to explore it. We can remain on earth and have extra sensors to explore space, that is probably more comfortable. And, now, Neil will do… Now, I think we will connect with Neil, and then he will talk about his sensors. Hi, Neil. Hi. Sorry, I couldn’t be here, but as you see, we might talk cybernetically, so it’s very cyborg for me to be with you, cybernetically. So, Moon, you will pass this mic here… Yes, just… About… Well, I’ll continue with what Moon said. In my case, my interest was not human, my interest was color. I was interested in extending my perception of colors ’cause I was born completely colorblind. So, I’ve always seen in gray scale, and as a child, I tried to ignore the existence of color, but it was impossible for me to ignore the existence of color because even if you don’t see color, you can’t ignore that color exists because people who see color keep mentioning it every single day. I would hear words, Blue, pink, yellow every day. And I couldn’t ignore the existence of color. So, some of the examples… Can you see the slides? No, no? Yes. Yeah. Some of the examples I hear, just the Yellow Pages, for example, Bluetooth, the Red Cross, Greenpeace, Blu Tack, Red Bull, Pink Panther, the Green Card, James Brown, it’s in his surname here, or this huge country called Greenland. So, it was really impossible for me to ignore color. Also, when color is used as a code, it can be confusing. Sometimes, hot water and cold water is only expressed through color, or maps are also using codes. This is fine, if I go to Lisbon, but if I go to Tokyo, I can get easily lost ’cause some maps really depend on color. Then when I was a child, and I was trying to learn colors of flags, I had this situation. So, France, Ireland and Italy share exactly the same flag, or if I was talking to people like this, if someone would ask me, “Have you seen a man with ginger hair, blue eyes, and dressed in pink?” I would have no idea, ’cause the only information I get here is that the man has hair, that he has eyes and that he is not naked, basically. So, I wanted to sense color because it’s a social element. I didn’t wanna change my sight. To me, seeing gray scale has many advantages. I can see better at night, I can detect camouflages more easily because color doesn’t distract me from seeing the shape of things. And, also photocopies are cheaper in black and white. So there are advantages in seeing gray scale. So, when I was interested in color, I found this theory by Isaac Newton that says and relates each color of the rainbow to a musical note. So, I was really interested in this. And Isaac Newton was right, each color of the rainbow, each color that exists has a frequency, and these frequencies could be related to sounds. Isaac Newton had no way of detecting the vibrations of color, but now, knowledge allows us to know the vibration of each color. So, I started this project in 2003 at university in order to create a system to hear the vibrations of color. And the first system was a webcam, a 5 kilo computer, and headphones, and then I was able to hear the colors around me. And this is how colors sound like. So if we could hear the vibrations of color, we would hear these frequencies. So I learned the vibrations of each color and then when I was able to distinguish all the visual spectrum, then I didn’t see why I should stop there ’cause there’s more colors that exist that go beyond the human perception. So I included infrared and ultraviolet perception in the system. From that moment, I was able to perceive more colors than a human eye. Sensing infrared, it’s interesting ’cause it allows me to know if there’s movement detectors in a room so I can go to a shop or a bank and tell if the alarms are on or off, and in many cases, they are off ’cause the infrareds are not working, or ultraviolet perception allows me to feel if it’s a good day or a bad day to sunbathe. If I sense there’s a high level of ultraviolet, I avoid the sun. This was my sense of color but then I didn’t want to use technology to sense color. I wanted not even to wear technology to sense color. I wanted to become technology to sense color, so I wanted to create a new body part. First, I thought of creating a third eye in the middle of my forehead, but then I thought that maybe the best way to sense color would be through an antenna ’cause antennas allow me to sense color 360 degrees, so I can be looking in front, but I could be sensing the colors behind. So the aim was to create an antenna that would be implanted in my head and the antenna would allow me to feel the vibrations of color inside my skull without having to block my ears. So, by entering the vibrations in the bone, I would feel and hear the vibrations of color. So when we finished the design of the antenna, I went to the doctor and I said I wanted an antenna implant and he said, “No.” But then, in the end, he said, “Well, okay.” But we had to do the surgery and not with an anonymous doctor. You just saw the surgery there, this is my head facing down and my head was drilled four times for four different implants. One is this chip that vibrates depending on the color vibration and the other chips are for wireless connection, which I’ll talk afterwards. So the antenna in my skull merged, so now the antenna is part of my skeleton, which means that I’m also officially taller now ’cause it’s part of my body. This is my brain as well. The union between the cybernetics, the software, and the brain has created a new sense, which I call the sonochromatic sense. I also now feel that I’m a cyborg, a biological cyborg, and a psychological cyborg. And this is what I tried to explain to the UK government in 2004 ’cause they didn’t allow me to renew my passport. There’s a law that says that you’re not allowed to appear in passport photos with electronic elements. I told them the antenna is not an electronic element, it’s a body part so it should be allowed in passports. And then in the end, they allowed me to appear in the passport. This helps me travel freely now. Now I’m in conversation with the Swedish government because the materials that I used to create the antenna are Swedish, so I told them that I am Swedish so I think that I should be entitled to become a Swedish citizen. But they still haven’t replied. So I’m just waiting. So having a new sense has changed many things in daily life. Now, I can dress in a way that it sounds good. I can dress in silence. I can dress in C major, in A minor, or I can dress as a song. I can decide what colors to wear and this might sound like a melody. Also, hearing music has changed ’cause now when I hear music, I perceive different colors so I can paint what I hear. This is Mozart’s Queen of the Night, note by note, from the middle to the end. So when I look at this painting, I actually hear Mozart’s Queen of the Night and this is Baby, Baby by Justin Bieber, which looks very different from Mozart ’cause they use very different colors. Also, voices can be transposed to color. This is Martin Luther King’s speech, I Have a Dream, transposed to color. And also, this new sense can be used in gastronomy. We’ve collaborated with a restaurant where you can go to this restaurant and then you can also hear the sound of the food that is placed on a plate and then when you rotate the plate, you hear the melody. So you can go to this restaurant and eat some songs, like a Lady Gaga dessert or whatever you want. So the chef becomes a composer. Also, a big change in my life is the way I perceive people. When I look at someone’s face, now I hear their face so I really enjoy creating sound portraits so I get close to someone’s face and then I listen to the sound of the eyes, lips, skin and hair and then I send them an mp3 of their face. The first sound portrait I did was of Prince Charles. I asked him if I could listen to his face and this was his reaction when I asked him. We all sound different. Marina Abramović sounds very silent, very low frequencies, and very deep. Macaulay Culkin sounds C major, so he has a major chord in his face. Philip Glass sounds very microtonal, almost like his music. Robert De Niro has a melody in his lips because he has different shades of red in his lips. James Cameron. James Cameron has a very high pitched sound of skin, and Steve Wozniak has very pure sound in his eyes, a very pure note, an A, like a tuning fork. Bono. And Bono had very loud glasses here. But what really shocked me is… Through all these years, I’ve realized that people who say they’re black, they’re not black, and people who say they’re white, they’re not white. People who say they’re black, they’re actually very, very dark orange and people who say they’re white, they’re actually very, very light orange. The fact that people say that humans are black and white is completely false. We are all orange. You can see an example of a face. Yeah. Oh no, maybe not. We’ll do it later. So, having an antenna in my head has created a lot of social reactions, and it’s interesting to see how these reactions have changed. In 2004, most people thought this was a reading light, so people would ask me if I could turn on the light. In 2005 ’06, people thought it was a flexible microphone. In 2007, people thought it was a hands free phone. In 2009, people thought it was a GoPro cam, so people would wave at me thinking that I was filming them. In 2012 ’13, people thought I had something to do with Google Street View. And that I was working for Google. In 2015, people, well, especially children, asked me if this was some kind of selfie stick attached to my head. And in 2016, many people shouted at me, “Pokemon,” and they tried to catch me. It’s changed what people think it is. Hopefully, in the 2020s, people will just think it’s a new sensory organ. As Moon said, we can start using the internet to explore space through new sensors. I use my internet connection in my head to connect to NASA’s International Space Station, and when I do this, I can sense colors from space. But I also use the internet connection to receive colors from five friends, so I have five friends in the world that have permission to send colors to my head. So, now, I’m here in Switzerland, but people from Japan can actually send colors directly to my head, and then this allows me to have an eye in each continent and to extend my perception of color beyond my continent or beyond Earth. So my current project is to have a new implant in my head that will allow me to sense the passage of time. We all have a sense of time, but we don’t have an organ for time, so it will be… Actually it’s here, it’s this circular crown that goes around the head. This is the first prototype, but it will eventually be implanted, and it’s a point of heat that goes slowly around the head and it allows me to feel where the sun is. If you go to the next slide, Moon, there’s newer slides here now. Alright. This is, if I feel the point of heat in the middle of my forehead, it means it’s 12 o’clock solar time in London. If you do go to the next, if I feel it in my right ear, it means it’s, the sun is shining where you are in Michigan, so it’s 12 o’clock solar. And then the next one is mid night in London, therefore it’s 12 o’clock solar time in New Zealand, and the next one is the next. So having this organ will allow me to feel the 24 hour cycle, the 24 hour cycle of the planet around my head, and it will allow me to feel time. The aim is not to know what time it is but to see whether or not in the future I can modify my perception of time. So when my brain gets used to it, I will see, by changing the speed in which the point of heat goes around the head, I can actually change my perception of time. If it happens, we would be able to take into practice Albert Einstein’s theory of time relativity. So we could decide if a situation, if you want a situation to last longer, you make the point of heat go faster or slower, or if you wanna travel in time you can make it spin several times so that you are traveling in time. So it would be able, you would be able to create time illusions, ’cause if you have an organ for time we should be able to create time illusions in the same way that we can create optical illusions because we have an organ for sight. So that’s my current project. So, yeah, we see these as species design or cyborg art, and one of the ways we also define it is, not artificial intelligence, but artificial sense. If the antenna was telling me the names of colors, that would be AI, but we are not allowing technology to give us intelligence, we are allowing technology to give us a sense, and then through these new sense, through these stimuli, we might or we might not create intelligence in collaboration with the technology. So, when you merge with an AS, the intelligence is created by your own brain; when you merge with AI, the intelligence is given to you by the machine. I think this is it. I was, I’m very happy that the technicians made this possible, so I would really like to thank the theater and the organizers that you made possible that I was here. But we also organized something that we’ve never done before, so this is gonna be an experiment. We wanted to… As I said before, there’s five people in the world that have permission to send colors to my head, so we thought that we could send one of these people here in Michigan. So, now there’s someone here in Michigan that has an antenna and can connect to my head. So we thought, it would interesting to do the first live demonstration of an antenna to antenna communication from Michigan to here where I am in Switzerland. So, please welcome artist Kim Ji Don who will actually be sending colors to my head. Is everything… Is it on, Moon? I can’t hear, Moon… Okay, I… Can you see? Or I move the camera. Okay, so now my antenna is connected to… Okay, now my antenna is connected to you and I’m receiving different colors. Green. Ready? Okay. He doesn’t hear me if I don’t… Are you ready Neil? Okay. We’re waiting for you. Yeah, yeah. I’m ready, I’m ready. I’m receiving, I’m now connected to you. Okay. So if you can just send some colors… The first one. Okay. Yeah, now I’m receiving C sharp, so it’s blue, a very unusual blue. This is a very weird green. So now I’m here… So the first color was C sharp, this was A, so the note went down. This is the lowest sound now, this is an F, so this is a type of red, red is the lowest color, this is the first color that I ever perceive. And this is G. So this is a yellow, G is yellow. So to me, this allows me to share a sense with someone. Usually we don’t do it like this, people just… The friends send colors directly to my head without notice, but we thought that we could try out something else now, which is simply try to create a face concert. So I will from here, amplify the sounds that I receive so that you can hear them. So basically, we need people’s faces, and then we’ll create a face concert from Michigan to Switzerland. So I’ll be receiving the colors of your faces, and I’ll be playing them from Switzerland. And if the concert sounds really bad, it’s not my fault ’cause that’s where the colors are coming from. So please Kim, if you can find some faces and then I’ll start playing the faces that I receive, I’ll amplify them here on my computer. So this is the first transcontinental face concert done from antenna to antenna. Okay, yeah. I think he get’s it. So is that the skin Neil? Sorry. Do you hear us? Do you hear me? Can you hear this? Yes. Can you hear it? Okay. So we… Okay, give me some… So what is that, the skin? So, like lips, maybe lips, I need lips. The sound of lips, ’cause it will sound better, maybe. Okay. Neil? See… Again? You look worried… Okay. I’m trying to amplify. Good. Oh, I’ve sent. If it confuse you, let us know what are the sound. Should we do another face Neil? We do… No. Is it too noisy? No. No. We’re just confused, we didn’t know what we are hearing. I’m just adding the colors that I’m receiving. Okay, let’s find another face, the key ones. He really wants to… Should we send, which should we send? Some hair? What? What do you need? Neil, communicate. We’re very… You wanna do more faces? Yeah, he’s now doing another… I’m adding it, I’m adding. It just you are very weak and we all see your face reaction. You’re not preoccupied. I’m very worried. Yes. I’m a bit confused, ’cause I’m receiving many colors. We too, we too. Yeah, and then you… There’s a colorful audience. Wow, I think there’s a very interesting color member audience. Neil is very confused. It’s because of her. This is an interesting… … I’m actually looking at you, so I’m sending your face too. Sorry. Okay, yeah. Thank you. It was a bit confusing for me, sorry. Well, so yeah, thanks a lot for coming. So that was the demonstration. Thank you. Thanks. Thank you. We can carry on in the Q&A.

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