A photography professor at New York University surgically installed a camera in his skull last month, as part of an art exhibition commissioned by a new museum in Qatar. The project is called 'The 3rd I', and the camera will collect still images of whatever happens to be going on behind him – spaced one minute apart – for an entire year. A live stream of the images from the camera is to be broadcast to monitors at the exhibit, which is scheduled to open Dec. 30. A web site connected to the project was recently launched, where some of the images from the camera can be seen.
Interesting, right? I can't help but wonder why this professor didn't opt for a wireless camera? The camera in his skull runs cables to a laptop that he will carry around at all times. Doesn't seem like the most convenient plan, but I can only assume that he was worried about connectivity issues disrupting the project. Also, the privacy issue. After much debate with NYU's school board, he agreed to wear a lens cap over the camera while on NYU campus, in order to protect the privacy of the staff and students. But what about other various places – customs lines in airports, for example – that outlaw cameras?
I have to admit that I think it will make for a very interesting art exhibit and I am anxious to see the results. But it does make me wonder -- are we headed for a time when everything done outside of our private homes is caught on a camera of some sort? When everyone is augmented like cyborgs from Star Trek? Honestly, I think we may be. Coworkers joke that I'm already on my way to being a cyborg-dom with my bluetooth headset constantly in my ear. And personally, I kind of want a camera in my head. I just don't want it to look so freaky.