New York University arts professor Wafaa Bilal got a small digital camera implanted in the back of his head - and it's all for his art!
Bilal underwent the procedure for The 3rd I, a project commissioned by the Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, which will open at the end of the year. The exhibition is entitled Told/Untold/Retold.
"I am going about my daily life as I did before the procedure," said the artist. The project will raise "important social, aesthetic, political, technological and artistic questions."
He will wear the camera, which is 2 inches in diameter and less than an inch thick, for one year. Bilal chose to put it on the back of his head as an allegorical statement what we don't see and leave behind.
The camera will capture his activities at one-minute intervals for 24-hours a day. It will then be transmitted to monitors at the museum.
Curator Sam Bardaouil said:
"He doesn't have to alter his lifestyle or what he does. In principal, he's moving on with his life. It will be a three-dimensional, real space-and-time experience. Once the piece is revealed, you'll realize that the camera is only one aspect of the work and there are aspects as important that will be experienced."
Since he is still teaching three classes this year, NYU is not happy with the possibly of student being put in an art project overseas. The school will continue "to discuss with him the right mechanism to ensure that his camera will not take pictures in NYU buildings."