Moon Ribas

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Moon Ribas
Cyborg artist Moon Ribas.
Born (1985-05-24) 24 May 1985 (age 37)
Mataró, Catalonia, Spain
  • Spanish
Known for
Notable workSeismic Percussion, Seismic Dance
MovementCyborg art
  • 2018  Guinness World Record[1]
    Guinness Book of Records
  • 2010  Cre@tic Award 2010[2]
    Tecnocampus Mataro
  • 2010  Stage Creation Award[3]
    IMAC Mataro, Spain
  • 2001  Stage Creation Award
    IMAC Mataro, Spain

Moon Ribas (born 24 May 1985)[4] is a Spanish avant-garde artist and cyborg activist best known for developing and implanting online seismic sensors in her feet[5] that allow her to feel earthquakes through vibrations.[6] Since 2007, international media have described her as the world's first cyborg woman or the world's first female cyborg artist.[7] She is the co-founder of the Cyborg Foundation, an international organisation that encourages humans to become cyborgs and promotes cyborgism as an art movement[8] and the co-founder of the Transpecies Society, an association that gives voice to people with non-human identities and offers the development of new senses and organs in community.[9] Her choreography works are based on the exploration of new movements developed by the addition of new senses or sensory extensions to the dancer.[10]

Career and works[edit]

Moon Ribas grew up in Mataró (Catalonia) and moved to England at the age of 18 where she studied experimental dance and graduated in choreography at Dartington College of Arts (England) and Movement Research at SNDO Theaterschool (Amsterdam).[11] During her studies she began to explore the possibilities of sensory extensions by applying technology to her body.

Seismic Sense[edit]

In 2013, Moon developed a sensor that vibrates whenever there's an earthquake in the planet.[12] The sensor, which is permanently implanted in her feet, vibrates in different levels depending on the intensity of each earthquakes and is wirelessly connected to online seismographs, which means she can feel earthquakes from all over the world regardless of where she is.[13] Moon has been wearing the sensor permanently since March 2013 and has used her seismic sense to create dance pieces.[14] Waiting for Earthquakes is a solo dance performance where the dancer stands still until an earthquake is felt. The choreography depends on the earthquakes felt during the duration of the performance and the intensity of the dancer's movements depend on the magnitude of each earthquake (which can be felt from 1.0 in the Richter Scale). If there are no earthquakes during the time of performance the dancer will not dance.[15] The piece was premiered on 28 March 2013 at Nau Ivanow, Barcelona.[16] She discusses this in depth in the Shaping Business Minds Through Art podcast in 2020.[17]

Kaleidoscopic Vision[edit]

Moon's first sensory experiment was in 2007 when she created and wore a pair of kaleidoscopic glasses for three months.[18] The glasses only allowed her to see colour, no shape. The lack of shape perception increased not only her sense of colour discrimination but also her detection of movement. Any slight change of colour in her field of vision indicated that something had moved.[19] During the three-month period, Moon visited several cities in Europe and met people without ever seeing their faces.[20]


In 2008, Moon created a speedometer glove that allowed her to perceive the exact speed of any movement around her through vibrations on her hand. She wore the glove for several months and was able to sense different speeds depending on the vibration intervals.[21] She later transformed the glove into a pair of earrings that vibrated whenever there was presence around her.[22] Moon travelled around Europe with her speedborg earrings to find out what the average walking speed of citizens was in different cities. The Speeds of Europe is a video dance that shows the results of her research; Londoners and Stockholm citizens for example walk at a similar average speed of approximately 6.1 km/h whereas people in Rome and Oslo walk at an average speed of 4 km/h.[23]

By 2009, Moon was able to detect not only the exact speed of any person walking in front of her but also her own speed.[24] Knowing her own speed allowed her to create Green Lights a piece choreographed in relation to a set of 8 traffic lights: by learning the traffic light timings of Barcelona's Rambla de Catalunya avenue and by measuring the distance between each traffic light, she calculated the speed she had to walk to avoid red traffic lights and was able to get from one end to the other end of the avenue without stops.[25]

360° Perception[edit]

In 2010, Moon explored the possibilities of sensing movement behind her by turning the speedborg earrings around.[26] The earrings were developed further by students from La Salle (Barcelona) by adding 4 extra sensors in order to gain 360° perception of movement through vibrations around the head.[27]

Cyborg Foundation[edit]

In 2010, Moon Ribas and Neil Harbisson created the Cyborg Foundation (and an offshoot of it called the Cyborg Arts organization[28]), an international organisation that encourages humans to become cyborgs.[29] The aims of the organisation are: to extend human senses and abilities by creating and applying cybernetic extension to the body, to promote cyborgism as an art movement, and to defend cyborg rights.[30] In 2010, the foundation won the Cre@tic Award, awarded by Tecnocampus Mataró. In 2012 a short film about the foundation was awarded at Sundance Film Festival.[31]


  1. ^ Guerrero, J.A "Los records más extravagantes de los Guinness", El Confidencial, 9 November 2017.
  2. ^ Martinez, Lluis "La Fundació Cyborg s'endú el primer premi dels Cre@tic", El Punt, 20 November 2010.
  3. ^ "Temporada del Monumental" Archived 8 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Capgròs, 27 August 2010.
  4. ^ Registre El Maresme Número 503, Verano 1985
  5. ^ Staff, C. N. N. (23 October 2018). "The cyborg dancer who can detect earthquakes". CNN Style. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  6. ^ Garcia, Gabriella "The woman who can feel every earthquake in the world", "Hopes&Fears", 17 de octubre 2015.
  7. ^ Nadja Sayej, "World's first cyborg artist can detect earthquakes", Vice, 2016
  8. ^ García, F.C. "Nace una fundación dedicada a convertir humanos en ciborgs", La Vanguardia, 1 de marzo de 2011.
  9. ^ Suzuki, Hiromi "Transpecies Identities", Wired, Japan, 1 January 2018.
  10. ^ Ploeger, Lieke. "Re:publica 2013: In/sideout" Archived 27 December 2019 at the Wayback Machine, Research in the National Library of the Netherlands, 22 May 2013.
  11. ^ "Neil Harbisson, Moon Ribas" Revista Antic Teatre p.52-53, Diciembre 2010
  12. ^ Bandzimiera, Krystian. "Because Cyborgs Can Dream Too" Archived 16 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Mercedes-Benz mb!, 29 August 2013.
  13. ^ Delatte, Marta. "Sentirse tecnología: la cibernética y el futuro de la sensualidad" Archived 5 September 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Playground, 20 January 2014.
  14. ^ "The cyborg dancer who can detect earthquakes". CNN Style. 23 October 2018. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  15. ^ Davis, Sally. "Encounters with the Posthuman" Archived 5 January 2020 at the Wayback Machine, Nautilus, 29 April 2013.
  16. ^ "Waiting for Earthquakes", Eventot, 28 March 2013
  17. ^ #11 Moon Ribas & Manel de Aguas. Cyborg Art: Creating New Senses and Organs. - Shaping Business Minds Through Art - The Artian Podcast, retrieved 26 February 2021
  18. ^ Bojka "Katalonci "čudnim zvukovima" odredili boju Zagreba" Lupiga, 29 de noviembre de 2007.
  19. ^ Solon, Olivia. "The Cyborg Foundation: we urge you to become part-machine", Wired, 30 October 2013.
  20. ^ Marković, Stjepan. "Prvi sluzbeni covjek kiborg cuje trideset i sest boja" Archived 6 February 2010 at the Wayback Machine 24sata (Croatia) pp.12-13, 17 de diciembre de 2007
  21. ^ Björg, Johanna "Human Cyborg Project Wins Grand Prize in Filmmaker Competition", Goodlifer, 28 January 2013
  22. ^ Mügge, Marvin. "How to become a cyborg", Weltenschummler, 8 May 2013.
  23. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 November 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2014.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  24. ^ Pau, Merce. "Medio humano, medio maquina", La Vanguardia, 28 February 2014.
  25. ^ "Documentos TV", Televisión Española, 11 June 2012
  26. ^ Oremus, Will. "Choose your own sixth sense",, 15 March 2013.
  27. ^ "What if... we could all become cyborgs?", BBC World Service, 25 February 2013
  28. ^ "The cyborg dancer who can detect earthquakes". CNN Style. 23 October 2018. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  29. ^ Redacción "Una fundación se dedica a convertir humanos en ciborgs" El Comercio (Peru), 1 de marzo de 2011.
  30. ^ Merchant, Brian. "What it’s like to be a cyborg, as explained by a cyborg", Motherboard, 8 May 2013.
  31. ^ Kilday, Gregg "Sundance 2013: Rafel Duran Torrent wins Focus Forward Filmmaker Competition Grand Jury Prize", The Hollywood Reporter, 22 January 2013

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