Neil Harbisson is a top innovation keynote speaker, artist, and the first person in the world with an antenna implanted in his skull and for being officially recognized as a cyborg by a government. Born with the inability to see color, artist Neil Harbisson has an antenna implanted in his head that allows him to hear the spectrum, even those colors beyond the range of human sight, such as infrareds and ultraviolets.
His unique experience of color informs his artwork which blurs the boundaries between sight and sound. In his Sound Portraits series, he listens to the colors of faces to create a microtonal chord. In the City Colours project, he expresses the capital cities of Europe in two colors (Monaco is azure and salmon pink; Bratislava yellow and turquoise).
The antenna allows him to perceive visible and invisible colours via audible vibrations in his skull including infrareds and ultraviolets as well as receive colours from space, images, videos, music or phone calls directly into his head via internet connection.
Harbisson identifies himself both as a cyborg; he feels he is technology, and as a transpecies; he no longer feels 100% human. His artwork explores identity, human perception, the connection between sight and sound and the use of artistic expression via new sensory inputs.
In 2010 he co-founded the Cyborg Foundation with Moon Ribas, an international organisation that aims to help humans become cyborgs, defend cyborg rights and promote cyborg art. In 2017 he co-founded the Transpecies Society, an association that gives voice to people with non-human identities, defends the freedom of self-design and offers the creation of new senses and new organs in community.