2.25.2008

Art and technology

Among my Google alerts during the weekend was the following opening paragraph:
"A COLOUR-BLIND artist who could only recognise black and white shades has learnt how to paint with a full palette by “hearing” the hues he cannot see."
Of course, I was intrigued, and clicked onto the article which was published on Sunday in the London Times Online. I was fascinated to learn that the technology which enables him to do this is called an Eyeborg, which converts 360 colors into sounds. The device features a head-mounted digital camera which reads the colors in front of the artist and converts each, via computer, into sound. A musical scale of tones represents the spectrum of colors: lighter colors are high-pitched, while darker ones sound bolder. Its creator, 24-year-old digital multimedia expert Adam Montandon, describes his invention as “like hearing a colour wheel”.

The artist is Neil Harbisson, shown here with the Eyeborg, which works this way, according to his website:
"Neil receives a note in his ear corresponding to the different colours in front of him. This enables him to understand – and enjoy – colours for the first time in his life. The eyeborg creates a new sensation, a cyborgian extension of the human perception residing in both the brain and the hard-drive. Harbisson wears his eyeborg 24 hors a day. He became the first person in the world whose passport recognized his as a cyborg."

What a wonderful use of technology! Here are some of Harbisson's creations, made possible by the Eyeborg. Enjoy.

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