Performativity · Science · Shows · Technology

Superhuman: An exhibition exploring human enhancement

Glasses, lipstick, false teeth, the contraceptive pill and even your mobile phone – we take for granted how commonplace human enhancements are. Current scientific developments point to a future where cognitive enhancers and medical nanorobots will be widespread as we seek to augment our beauty, intelligence and health.

Superhuman takes a broad and playful look at our obsession with being the best we can be. Items on display range from an ancient Egyptian prosthetic toe to a packet of Viagra, alongside contributions from artists such as Matthew Barney and scientists, ethicists and commentators working at the cutting edge of this most exciting, and feared, area of modern science.

Text and Image via Superhuman: An exhibition exploring human enhancement.
19 July – 16 October 2012

Bio · Human-ities · Performativity · Science · Technology · Vital-Edible-Health

Dreaming in color after 20 years: Eye implant restores vision to blind patient

It was the ‘magic moment’ that released Chris James from ten years of blindness.

Doctors switched on a microchip that had been inserted into the back of his eye three weeks earlier.

After a decade of darkness, there was a sudden explosion of bright light – like a flash bulb going off, he says.

Now he is able to make out shapes and light. He hopes his sight – and the way his brain interprets what the microchip is showing it – will carry on improving.

Mr James, 54, is one of two British men who have had their vision partly restored by a pioneering retina implant.

The other, Robin Millar, one of Britain’s most successful music producers, says he has dreamed in color for the first time.

Both had lost their vision because of a condition known as retinitis pigmentosa, where the photoreceptor cells at the back of the eye gradually cease to work.

Their stories bring hope to the 20,000 Britons with RP – and to those with other eye conditions such as advanced macular degeneration which affects up to half a million.

Mr James had a ten-hour operation to insert the wafer-thin microchip in the back of his left eye at the Oxford University Eye Hospital six weeks ago. Three weeks later, it was turned on.

Mr James, who lives in Wroughton, Wiltshire, with his wife Janet, said of his ‘magic moment’: ‘I did not know what to expect but I got a flash in the eye, it was like someone taking a photo with a flashbulb and I knew my optic nerve was still working.’

The external device that allows chip pairs to process images.

Written by y Jenny Hope (Hopeful article by the way) at the Daily Mail. Continue article HERE

Images via Daily Mail, and The Telegraph

Performativity · Technology

Michelangelo Prosthetic Hand – Advanced Arm Dynamics

The Michelangelo Hand and AXON-Bus® prosthetic system from Otto Bock is a product that is currently under development. Advanced Arm Dynamics has been involved in research, development and beta testing for this promising new breakthrough in electric hand technology. Michelangelo features multiple grip functions that allow users to master everyday tasks like opening a tube of toothpaste, gripping a key, holding a credit card, and using a clothes iron. The thumb can also open up to create a natural palm shape that can hold a plate or bowl, and the flexible-positional wrist joint offers a more natural shape and movement.

Check out the Michelangelo Hand from Otto Bock in this video featuring test patient Army Sgt. Ethan Payton (RET). Advanced Arm Dynamics has been involved in the early research and development of new hands for many years.