Residency Unlimited

Neil Harbisson and Moon Ribas

Artist name: Neil Harbisson and Moon Ribas
Dates of residency: May – August
Born: Catalonia
Hometown: Barcelona
Lives and works: New York
Education: Neil: BA Honor Music Composition, Dartington College of Arts, UK
Moon: BA Honor Choreography, Dartington College of Arts, UK; Exchange program, SNDO, Dance for New Development, The Netherlands.

Neil Harbisson is a Catalan-raised, British-born contemporary artist and cyborg activist, best known for having an antenna implanted in his skull and for being officially recognized as a cyborg by a government. The antenna allows him to perceive visible and invisible colors such as infrareds and ultra violets via sound waves. The antenna’s Internet connection allows him to receive colors from space as well as images, videos, music or phone calls directly into his head via external devices such as mobile phones or satellites. Harbisson identifies himself as a cyborg; he feels both his mind and body are united to cybernetics. He doesn’t feel he is using or wearing technology, instead he feels he is technology. His artworks investigate the relationship between color and sound, experiment the boundaries of human perception and explore the use of artistic expression via sensory extensions. In 2010 he co-founded the Cyborg Foundation with Moon Ribas, an international organization that aims to help humans become cyborgs, defend cyborg rights and promote cyborgism as a social and artistic movement.

Moon Ribas is a Catalan contemporary choreographer and the co-founder of the Cyborg Foundation, an international organization that aims to help people become cyborgs, defend cyborg rights and promote cyborgism as an artistic and social movement. Since 2007 Moon has been experimenting with different cybernetics devices that allow her to perceive movement in a deeper way. Moon’s main research consists in developing the seismic sense, perceiving the movement of real-time earthquakes all around the world, small as 1 in Richter scale. Moon then translates this new sense on stage, her main piece is called Waiting for Earthquakes, a piece where she stands waiting for an earthquake to take place, when this happen she moves according to the intensity of the earthquake, so if there are no earthquakes there will be no dance.

Neil’s work has been exhibited at 54th Venice Biennale at Palazzo Foscari; Savina Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, South Korea; Museumquartier, Vienna, Austria; CCCB, Barcelona, Spain; Bankside Gallery, London, UK; Pioneer Works, New York, USA; Royal College of Art Gallery, London, UK; Centre d’ Art Santa Mònica, Barcelona; Can Manyé, Alella, Spain; Galeria Tramart, Barcelona, Spain; Pollock Gallery, Dallas, Texas, USA; American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore, USA.

His cyborg experience also became the topics in films and documentary. In 2013, Cyborg Foundation, a short documentary film about Neil Harbisson and the Cyborg Foundation won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival’s Focus Forward Filmmakers Competition. Since 2014, The Sound of Colours, a short film about Harbisson’s life is being filmed. In 2015, Hearing Colors, a black and white documentary about Harbisson in New York was chosen as a Vimeo “Staff Pick”. There is also a website of him, Cyborg Project, as a platform as a transmedia documentary about the experience of not perceiving colors and the world of cyborgs.

Ribas has performed and given talks in several venues and festivals such as TedxMunich, Germany; TedxMuscat, Oman; Campus Party London, UK; Fierce Fest, UK; TNT, Festival of New Trends, Spain.

SUPPORT: Neil Harbisson and Moon Ribas’ residency is made possible with support from ThoughtWorks.

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