I guess that around year 2014 I made my first contact with Liviu Babitz through Skype: I was doing research about art, consciousness, energy and posthumanism, and I had been following the work of the Cyborg Foundation (Neil Harbisson, Moon Ribas and colleagues). I was trying at that moment to do a series of solar sculptures that would act as living beings (absorbing, processing and returning energy to their environment), and I was also working on my PhD which was all about art and energy. Liviu was close to launch Cyborgnest, a mindware company, and their first product ever, the North Sense: an artificial sense that would allow people -through a not so invasive body modification- perceive the magnetic north of the Earth.
About a year after I received my North Sense and started the slow process of becoming a cyborg; I was excited but also cautious since disruptive technologies and devices always happen to suffer a slow progress curve at the start, being the first releases always rich in flaws and things to improve. Technology is always iterative.
North Sense was received by different communities involved in body modification, body hacking, post and trans humanism with agitation. Some people was very excited, some people was skeptic and some where angry (many different reasons here that have to do with underground communities, ethics, religion and a long etcetera), some others where just trying to understand why would you voluntary implant an electronic device in your chest just to be able to perceive the north. In my case I was eager for the experimental process and the experience itself, it was living the technogenic process to its fullest and experimenting all my research and thoughts first hand. Years passed by and I kept the conversation active with Liviu and with some researchers from the London School of Economics and from the Ravensbourne University and lately with the UX designers that are working in the next Cyborgnest projects to come.
There is a lot to talk about regarding the experience of becoming a cyborg (a soft cyborg if you like) and a lot of conversation triggered out of having a circuit attached -implanted- to the chest. I might tell more in further posts. I remember when I encountered a good friend that I hadn’t see for a while at the art week Salon ACME 2019 exhibition in Mexico City, we had a long talk about North Sense and the implications of a deep merge between human beings and their technologies, she was excited, almost angry, because I was not sharing the story to the public. That day I realized that most of this experience is more about the conversation than about the immediate consciousness change that a device like this can bring to its user, so because of this I intensified my willingness to talk about technogenesis, cyborgism, energy, living beings and art.
I was glad for example to have a very interesting conversation with the Japanese personal robot company Incubion and enjoyed a lot an interview with the magazine from Paris L’ADN, but still, I have a lot to say after almost 5 years of experience with cyborgism (and yet I’m still not fully integrated with my circuit at all), so, I’ll try to keep you updated or at least I’ll try to tell more reflections, anecdotes and adventures regarding this process.
See you, space cowboys!