News / 26 Feb 2024

Cyborg artist Neil Harbisson visits Leeds Arts University for Creative Networks event

Creative Networks

Neil Harbisson standing in front of the Leeds Arts University building and logo. He is wearing a black suit, and has shoulder-length sandy brown hair, with an antenna coming out of the back of his head.

Neil Harbisson. Image by Mia Holman Harris

Man standing on a stage lecturing at Leeds Arts University. He is wearing a black suit, has sandy brown hair and a metallic cyborg implant in his head

Neil Harbisson. Image by Mia Holman Harris

Neil Harbisson, Cyborg Artist, recently joined us at Leeds Arts University for a Creative Networks talk.

Catalan-raised, British-born contemporary artist and cyborg activist, Neil Harbisson is best known for having an antenna implanted in his skull. For his talk, 'Becoming Technology', Harbisson explored the possibilities of biological and technological evolution within art.

Attendees were treated to a brief colour concert in which, instead of playing an instrument, the artist played colours using his antenna!

Harbisson identifies himself both as a cyborg; he feels he is technology, and as transpecies; he no longer feels 100% human. He defines his art as cyborg art, where artists extend their senses beyond their physical boundaries by applying technology into their bodies.

In a time where there is anxiety about the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in creative communities, Harbisson offers an alternative where technology can be used for good: Artificial Senses (AS), where the stimuli is gathered by technology but the intelligence is created by the human.

“We are the ones who need to decide if the union between technology and ourselves alienates us from nature, or instead, brings us closer to nature, other animals and space.”

Neil Harbisson, Cyborg Artist

"Taking an active part in our own biological evolution is no longer a theory, but an option.", Harbisson says. "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."

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