Assignment# 8- 3 TED Talks
In Lucy McRae’s Ted Talk How can technology transform the human body? she discusses her career as a “body architect”. She creates art pieces for the human body that question it’s function and find ways to transform it. For example, she created a perfume that could be swallowed as a pill and allowed the fragrance to exude from a person’s skin or sweat. This idea could even act similarly to how animals release specific pheromones when they wish to attract a mate. By taking this pill you would release a scent that you felt was desirable to attract or please others. She also created pieces that covered the body so that there was less of a distinction between the body itself and it’s surroundings. This process of transforming the body is a new way to look at art and also product design in the future. How can designers create products that don’t just sit on the body but actually interact with it or even change it?
Neil Harbisson’s I listen to color posed an interesting question about the limits of the human bodies function and how technology could change it. Neil Harbisson, a man who is colour blind so that he only sees in grey scale integrated his mind with a technology that allowed him to hear colour rather then see it. Through this, he has created artwork from both sound and colour to portray how he is now able to perceive colour through this technology. One interesting part of his discussion was that he now felt that the colour sensing technology was now apart of himself and his body. He became so used to hearing colour that it translated into multiple parts of his life. He even starting dreaming in colour. This example shows how technology could be used in the future to modify or improve the human body and it’s function. Neil discusses how his sensor can even detect more colours then the human eye. Maybe there are other forms of technology that could be created to help humans in the future to see a larger spectrum of colours like how Neil can hear them?
Prototype: The Making Of shows the life of Viktoria Modesta, a singer and artist. Viktoria had an accident as a baby that injured her leg and as a teenager made the brave decision to have her leg amputated. Within her music videos and other photos she pushes the boundaries of the perception of prosthetics and disabilities. Her prosthetics, rather then attempting to appear like a human leg, are used as a form of expression and artwork. Within her videos she wore many different styles of prosthetics such as a spike and one that lit up as a form of fashion and expression. In the past most people who have created prosthetics have worked to make them as realistic as possible. Now that prosthetics have gotten to such a lifelike form, it’s interesting to see how the design of some has started to shift towards self expression rather then simply a disguise. It will be interesting to see how this evolves and the way prosthetics can be used to help people in ways other then simply replacing a lost limb.
Overall, it was interesting to see how see how all of these Ted Talks were able to question our bodies function and find ways to make it more innovative. People usually make products that function with our bodies, but never ones that transform our bodies themselves. All of these people have used art and technology to innovative and essentially improve the human body in some way. Even if it was simply creating work that aesthetically changed the body.