December 6-7, 2017 San Jose Convention CenterSan Jose, CA

2016 Keynote – Open to All!

Keynotes are open to everyone attending the event. Below you'll find details about speaker and presentation.

No RSVP required to attend the keynote, but be sure to register for the event beforehand!

Wednesday, December 7

Neil Harbisson, Artist and Innovator, Co-founder of Cyborg Foundation

The Art and Science of Extending Perception through Cybernetic Technology

Neil Harbisson is the co-founder of the Cyborg Foundation, an organization that promotes the use of cybernetics as a body part to extend human senses and perception. Harbisson has an antenna implanted in his skull that allows him to perceive colours that are outside human vision such as infrareds and ultraviolets.

This talk will explore how taking an active part in our own biological evolution is no longer a theory, but an option. Becoming technology, instead of using or wearing technology, opens up the possibility of having additional organs and senses beyond the ones confined to our species. By merging ourselves with technology we can become the designers of our own body and perception; and we can increase our survival possibilities in earth and in outer space. Are we witnessing the renaissance of our species?

Born with the inability to see color, artist Neil Harbisson has an antenna implanted in his head that allows him to hear the spectrum, even those colors beyond the range of human sight, such as infrareds and ultraviolets. His unique experience of color informs his artwork which blurs the boundaries between sight and sound. In his Sound Portraits series, he listens to the colors of faces to create a microtonal chord. In the City Colours project, he expresses the capital cities of Europe in two colors (Monaco is azure and salmon pink; Bratislava yellow and turquoise).

He is best known for being the first person in the world with an antenna implanted in his skull and for being officially recognized as a cyborg by a government. The antenna's internet connection allows him to receive colors from space as well as images, videos, music or phone calls directly into his head via external devices such as mobile phones or satellites. Harbisson identifies himself as a cyborg, he feels both his mind and body are united to cybernetics. He doesn't feel he is using or wearing technology, instead he feels he is technology. His artworks investigate the relationship between colour and sound, experiment the boundaries of human perception and explore the use of artistic expression via sensory extensions. In 2010 he co-founded the Cyborg Foundation with Moon Ribas, an international organization that aims to help humans become cyborgs, defend cyborg rights and promote cyborgism as a social and artistic movement.

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