A photography professor at NYU plans to install a camera in the back of his head for an art project commissioned by a new modern art museum in Qatar.
Artist Wafaa Bilal (shown below), who was born in Iraq, will stream images captured by the device to the museum; visitors there will be able to peruse whatever is to be seen out of the back of his head. Snip from WSJ:
Wafaa Bilal, an Iraqi assistant professor in the photography and imaging department of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, intends to undergo surgery in coming weeks to install the camera, according to several people familiar with the project. For one year, Mr. Bilal’s camera will take still pictures at one-minute intervals, then feed the photos to monitors at the museum. The thumbnail-sized camera will be affixed to his head through a piercing-like attachment, his NYU colleagues say. Mr. Bilal declined to comment for this story.
The artwork, titled “The 3rd I,” is intended as “a comment on the inaccessibility of time, and the inability to capture memory and experience,” according to press materials from the museum, known as Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art. Mr. Bilal’s work would be among the inaugural exhibits of Mathaf, scheduled to open next month.
If flying in the US with an Iraqi name wasn’t already fun enough, I can only imagine Mr. Bilal will have an even more delightful time at TSA screenings once the device has been implanted in his head.
News coverage: Wall Street Journal, New York Times, CNET, CNN, PopSci.
The artist’s website is here—poke around, some intense previous projects involving body modification, the internet, jihad, the US occupation of Iraq, and surveillance. His brother was killed at a US security checkpoint in Iraq five years ago.
Here’s his 3rdI (third eye / third “I”) project site.
The museum’s website is here, Facebook, Twitter.
(via the BB Submitterator, thanks TimDrew)