Neil Harbisson Biography, Age, Cyborg, Antenna Device, Guiness World Records, Eyeborg App, Solar Crown, Moon Ribas, Artworks, Quotes, Awards, Films

By | May 5, 2021

Neil Harbisson Biography

Neil Harbisson an English world’s first cyborg contemporary artist and transpecies activist hailing from Ireland but currently based in New York City. He is known to be the first person in history to be implanted with an antenna in his skull.

The antenna transmits audible vibrations through his skull to report information to the brain.The antenna also relays measurements of electromagnetic radiation, phone calls, music as well as video or images which are translated into audible vibrations.

Additionally, the antennae is WiFi-enabled, enabling Neil to receive signals and data from satellites. He co-founded the Cyborg Foundation in 2010 which defends cyborg rights, promotes cyborg art and shows support to individuals wanting to convert to cyborgs.

Harbisson co-founded the Transpecies Society in 2017. The foundation is an association that gives voice to people with non-human identities, raising awareness on the challenges they face, advocating for the freedom of self-design and offers the development of new senses and organs.

Neil Harbisson Age

Neil was born on 27th July 1984 Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom.

Neil Harbisson Young

He was born with a condition known as Achromatopsia which is an extreme form of colour blindness characterized by greyscale vision. The artist grew up in Barcelona where he studied piano and by age 11 he was already composing his own music .

He enrolled for fime art classes at the Institut Alexandre Satorras, where he was given special permission to use no colour in his work. His early works are all in black and white. Neil relocated to England to study music composition at Dartington College of Arts at the age of 19.

Neil Harbisson Cyborg Art

Neil’s work has been known as cyborg art, the art of designing new senses and new organs, and the art of merging with them. He defines this particular branch of cyborg art as perceptionism, the art of designing new perceptions of reality and sees it as a post-art movement because its practicality makes no distinction between the artist, the work of art, the space where it exists and the audience. He is the artist, the work of art, the space where it exists and the only one in the audience.

Neil Harbisson TED Talks

Over the years,Neil has contributed significantly to the public awareness of cyborgs, transpecies, artificial senses and human evolution by giving regular public lectures at universities, conferences to audiences of thousands such as the TEDGlobal conference in 2012 where he publicly exhibited how the antennae works, urging the attendees to go the cyborg route

Neil Harbisson Films & Television Appearances

Harbisson spawned in 2013, going ahead to win the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival’s Focus Forward Filmmakers Competition. Consecutively in 2015, a black and white documentary titled Hearing Colors, was chosen as a Staff Pick on Vimeo becoming the winner of New York’s Tribeca Film Festival X Award in 2016.

He has appeared on documentaries by Discovery Channel, Documentos TV, Redes; in specific documentaries about his life and on a number of chat shows including NBC’s Last Call with Carson Daly, Richard & Judy, Buenafuente, and Fantástico. He has taken part in radio shows on New York’s Public Radio International BBC World Service, Cadena SER, and has contributed in newspapers and magazines such as The New York Times, The New Scientist, Wired, and The Scientist, among others.

Harbisson appears in Aladdin, an independent film directed by Adam Green and starred by Macaulay Culkin, Natasha Lyonne and Francesco Clemente among others.

Neil Harbisson Activism

As a teenager, Harbisson lived in a tree for several days in Mataró to save three trees from being cut down. His initiative was supported by over 3,000 people who signed a petition to maintain the trees. After days of protest, the city hall announced the trees would not be cut.

In 2004, Upon seeking to travel, Neils’s British passport renewal was rejected. The UK Passport Office would not allow him to appear with an electronic device on his head. Harbisson wrote back explaining that he identified as a cyborg and that his antenna should be treated as an organ not a device. After weeks of correspondence, Harbisson’s photo was accepted.

In 2011 during a demonstration in Barcelona, Harbisson’s antenna was damaged by police who believed they were being filmed. Harbisson filed a complaint of physical aggression, not as damage to personal property, as he considers the antenna to be a body part.

Neil Harbisson & Moon Ribas Collaborations

Over the years, the artist has collaborated extensively with his childhood friend and cyborg artist Moon Ribas in performances and art projects. His first performances as a cyborg were at Dartington College of Arts, using pianos and collaborating with other students. He has performed with artist Pau Riba with whom he shares the same interest in cyborgs. They first performed in Barcelona followed by other performances

Neil Harbisson Guinness World Records 2018

The artist was featured in the Guinness World Records book in 2018 for being the first man to implant an antenna in his skull: a novel way of curing his colorblindness.

Neil Harbisson App | Eyeborg App

The Eyeborg app is a mobile application that places the experience of being a cyborg like Neil Harbisson into your hands. The app allows you to listen to the sound of colors and create and share your own colour scores

The app intends to recreate the metaphor of the phone being Neil’s “eyeborg”. It enables the user to experiment through the phone the same sensations that Neil feels. What the app does is capture colours using the phone’s camera, analyze them and transform them into a sound/frequency that will be played through the speaker. Capturing a few pixels from the center of the image, you are able to listen to all the different colours.

Neil Harbisson Awards & Achievements

  • 2001 & 2010 Stage Creation Award-IMAC Mataro, Spain
  • 2004 Europrix Multimedia Award-Vienna, Austria
  • 2004 Innovation Award 2004-Submerge (Bristol, UK)
  • 2005 Best Performing Story- ResearchTV, UK
  • 2009 Phonos Music Grant- IUA Phonos, Spain
  • 2010 Cre@tic Award 2010- Tecnocampus Mataro
  • 2013 Focus Forward Grand Jury Award -Sundance Film Festival, USA
  • 2014 Bram Stoker Gold Medal -Trinity College, Dublin
  • 2015 Futurum Award- Futurum, Monaco
  • 2016 Tribeca X Award-Tribeca Film Festival, New York
  • 2018 Guinness World Record- Guinness Book of Records

Neil Harbisson Device Cyborg Antenna

The device implanted is known as a cyborg Antenna. Neil began developing the antenna in 2003 while at college with the help of Adam Montandon. The device would later be upgraded by Peter Kese ,Matias Lizana among others specialists.

The antenna entailed a sensory device created to specially extend color perception. The antenna is implanted and osseointegrated in Harbisson’s head, sprouting from within his occipital bone. The antennae’s was attached to Harbisson’s head permanently in 2004.

This allows Neil to feel and hear colors as audible vibrations inside his head, including colors invisible to the human eye such as infrareds and ultraviolets. The antenna also allows internet connection and therefore the reception of colour from other sensors or from satellites. The antenna implant surgery was repeatedly rejected by bioethical committees but went underway regardless by anonymous doctors.

Neil Harbisson Solar Crown

Harbisson solar Crown is a sensory device that helps him to tell time. The device features a rotating point of heat takes 24 hours to slowly orbit around Harbisson’s head.When he feels the point of heat in the middle of his forehead it is midday solar time in London (longitude 0°), when the heat reaches his right ear it is midday in New Orleans (longitude 90°).

His plans to further Albert Einstein’s theory of time relativity into practice by creating time illusions. When his brain gets accustomed to the passage of time on his head, he will explore if he can modify his perception of time by altering the speed of rotation.Harrison states that in the same way we can create optical illusions because we have eyes for the sense of sight, we should be able to create time illusions if we have an organ for the sense of time. If time illusions work he will then be able to stretch or control his perception of time, age and time travel.

Neil Harbisson & Moon Ribas | Bluetooth Tooth

The transdental communication system is composed by two teeth, each containing a bluetooth enabled button and a mini vibrator. Whenever the button is pressed it sends a vibration to the other person’s tooth.

One tooth was installed in Harbisson’s mouth and the other tooth in Moon Ribas’ mouth. Both Harbisson and Ribas know how to communicate in morse code therefore they are able to communicate from tooth to tooth. The first demonstration of the system was presented in São Paulo.

Neil Harbisson Artworks & Exhibitions

Harbisson’s artworks are a series of paintings based on the transposition of sounds, music or voices into color. Hisworks have been exhibited on exhibitions such as the 54th Venice Biennale at Palazzo Foscari, Pioneer Works (New York City) Savina Museum of Contemporary Art ArtScience Museum (Singapore) ,Museumsquartier (Vienna), CCCB, Centre d’Art Santa Mònica, Pollock Gallery, and at the American Visionary Art Museum, among others.

His work has been ranked together with the works of Yoko Ono and Marina Abramović as one of the 10 most shocking art performances ever. His work is focused on the creation of new senses and the creation of external art works through these new senses.

Neil Harbisson Artworks

To create a sound portrait Harbisson stands in front of the person and points his antenna at different parts of the face, he then writes down the different notes he hears and later creates a sound file. He has created live portraits of: Philip Glass, Robert De Niro, Iris Apfel, Oliver Stone, Steve Reich, Bono, Buzz Aldrin, Solange, Bill Viola, Prince Charles, Woody Allen, Antoni Tàpies, Leonardo DiCaprio, Judi Dench, Moby, James Cameron, Peter Brook, Al Gore, Tim Berners-Lee, Macy Gray, Gael García Bernal, Alfonso Cuarón, Ryoji Ikeda, Gabriel Byrne, Prince Albert II of Monaco, Steve Wozniak, Oliver Sacks and Giorgio Moroder, among others.

Neil Harbisson Guinness World Records

The artist was featured in the Guinness World Records book in 2018 for being the first man to implant an antenna in his skull: a novel way of curing his colorblindness.

Neil Harbisson Human Color Wheel

The artist published the Human Color Wheel in 2009. The wheel was based on the hue and light detected on hundreds of human skins from 2004 to 2009. The aim of the study was to state that humans are not black or white,but instead different shades of orange – from very very dark orange to very light orange.

World’s first skull Transmitted Painting In 2014, Harbisson executed the world’s first skull-transmitted painting. Colours sent from audience members in Times Square as they painted simple colored stripes onto a canvas were received live via internet directly into Harbisson’s brain. He correctly identified and painted the same color stripes onto a canvas in front of an audience at The Red Door, 10 blocks away from Times Square.

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