Cyborg Foundation

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The Cyborg Foundation is a nonprofit organization created in 2010 by cyborg activist and artist Neil Harbisson and his long-time partner, choreographer Moon Ribas.[1] The foundation is an institution for the research, creation and promotion of projects related to extending and creating new senses and perceptions by applying technology to the human body.[2] The Cyborg Foundation was first housed in Tecnocampus scientific park in Mataro (Province of Barcelona) and is currently based in the center of Barcelona. It collaborates with several institutions, universities and research centers around the world.[3]

The mission of the foundation is to help humans become cyborgs, to promote the use of cybernetics as part of the human body and to defend cyborg rights. The foundation believes that some cybernetic extensions should be treated as body parts, not as devices.[4]

Harbisson states that the foundation does not intend to repair people's senses, the foundation makes no difference between people with disabilities and people with no disabilities as he believes we are all in need to extend our senses and perception: "We are all disabled when we compare ourselves with other species, a dog for instance can hear and smell much more than any of us"[5] Harbisson has donated eyeborgs to blind communities and has taught colour to blind children to help them develop the sense of colour.[6]

History[edit]

Neil Harbisson and Moon Ribas at the Berlin based re:publica 2013 conference: "Life with extra Senses – How to become a Cyborg"

The foundation was created as a response to the growing amount of letters and emails that Neil Harbisson received from people around the world interested in becoming a cyborg.[7] Since its creation the foundation has kick-started several new-sense development projects and has donated eyeborgs to blind communities in Europe, Asia and America.[8] The first blind person to try out an eyeborg was Sabriye Tenberken followed by blind students from Braille Without Borders in Tibet and members of the Sociedad de Ciegos de Pichincha in Ecuador.[9] In 2010, the foundation was the overall winner of the Cre@tic Awards, organized by Tecnocampus Mataró.[10] In 2011, after Harbisson's visit to Quito, vice-president of Ecuador Lenin Moreno announced that his government would collaborate with the Cyborg Foundation to create sensory extensions and electronic eyes.[11] In 2012, after lecturing at Escola Politécnica de Pernambuco in Recife,[12] the Cyborg Foundation signed a partnership to create new cybernetic extensions in collaboration with Universidade de Pernambuco in Brazil.[13]

Sundance Film Festival[edit]

In 2012, Spanish film director Rafel Duran Torrent, created a short film about the Cyborg Foundation. In 2013, the film won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival's Focus Forward Filmmakers Competition and was awarded with $100,000 USD.[14]

References[edit]

External links[edit]