Wacky Wafaa Bilal, a New York University photography professor has been in the news in local New York papers for a while now. Understandably so, as he has had a camera implanted in the back of his head.
Speaking with the Wall Street Journal he said that the camera is ruining his social life, with some of his friends removing him from their guest lists. He is hard to offend however “”If people don’t accept it, then I don’t want the invitation, It’s part of me, and that’s the idea.”
Mr Bilal is an assistant arts professor at the NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and he was commissioned to implant the camera for a period of one year by a new museum in Qatar. The camera broadcasts an online stream of images at one minute intervals. We haven’t been following this gallery, but we can only begin to imagine the number of people pointing at the back of his head with wide open mouths.
Two weeks ago Mr Bilal had surgery to install the device. This is a ‘transdermal implant’, and a ‘serious operation’ according to comments he made to the WSJ.
He had three titanium plates with a post inserted into the back of his head, undernearth a large flap of skin. The skin was reattached consealing the plates but not the posts. The camera is a 10 megapixel unit, under two inches in diameter and features automatic adjustment and colour. He said the installation of the camera was painful and he couldn’t watch a video recording of the implantation. Let’s hope the surgeon didnt have a camera already attached to the front of his own head.
Not surprisingly, sleeping is difficult and he has to prop himself upright with pillows and can’t place any behind his head either. Not sure if anyone wants to see photographs of a bed covering either mind you.
The Project is called ‘The 3rd I” and was initiated to provide a ‘methodical documentation’ of his existence and surroundings.
This is not his first weird project Mr Bilal has undertaken, he previously took part in ‘Virtual Jihadi’, a video game of himself as an avatar, taking part as a suicide bomber, hunting President George W. Bush. Obviously this sparked some controversy at the time.