Camera Implant Gives Photographer Eyes in the Back of His Head

Paul Lilly

Like something we'd expect to find out of an unaired episode of Nip/Tuck, a New York University photography professor is having a camera jammed into the back of his skull, The Wall Street Journa l reports .

His name is Wafaa Bilal, an Iraqi assistant professor at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, and he's having the camera surgically installed in his head in order to broadcast a live stream of images to a new museum in Qatar, which has commissioned the project.

For an entire year, the thumbnail-sized camera will snap still pictures every 60 seconds, which will then be shuttled off to monitors at the museum. Why do it? According to press materials, " The 3rd I " project will attempt to "comment on the inaccessibility of time, and the inability to capture memory and experience."

Not everyone is jazzed about the project, with some citing privacy concerns with the idea of a professor snapping pictures of his students.

"Obviously you don't want students to be under the burden of constant surveillance; it's not a good teaching environment," said Fred Ritchin, associate chairman at NYU.

University spokesman John Beckman said there has been a "good deal of discussion" on the topic and "the school is still determining what rules it will set for Mr. Bilal and his camera on campus."

Wafaa Bilal has never shied away from controversial artwork, including a piece called " Virtual Jihadi " in which Bilal casts himself as a suicde-bomber in a videogame.

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