notes from the Eyeborg presentation at The Other Film Festival

For my friends that couldn’t make it (or are not in Melbourne) here’s a rough brain dump of the Eyeborg presentation, from Sunday night at The Other Film Festival.

In summary, I was extremely impressed with Rob ‘Eyeborg‘ Spence’s presentation. He is funny, smart, well-spoken, knowledgeable.. and he looks like a pirate! (I may have a slight man crush). I was just expecting an overview of his work so far; what he delivered was much more than that.

He did, of course, start with a background on his Eyeborg project; which you can get an idea of from this video:

But then he went on to talk about Cyborgs in pop culture and what they really are. The Terminator was used as a constant reference point, for a lay person’s idea of a Cyborg. BUT!, he stated that to him, just the act of wearing clothes makes people cyborgs, that this is an Augment that allows humans to enhance their native human state (or naked human state). From there he discussed whether glasses made one a cyborg.. if not that, then pacemakers? This was refreshing to hear. Of course, I share this view and it’s something that both Kevin has written about recently on Grinding, and Timothy Taylor has written a book about. I’m very happy to see that this view is gaining currency.

Then he showed the iArm video and spoke about the future of Augments. That these forms of enhanced augments are something that lie in our near future (a view to which I also subscribe).

Going on to then explain the Singularity and the notion of being Posthuman, he talked about mind-uploading and that he thinks there’s an evolutionary imperative to spread not just our genes, but to share our ideas too; and that’s what Facebook, Twitter, etc facilitate.

Touching on how people have reacted to his upgraded prosthetic, he related a story where he’d been filming, with a simple red LED lighting it, and that this had completely freaked out a cyclist that had crashed into his cameraman. Because he looked like the Terminator.

Further explaining his project so far, he said that unlike his inspiration, the Six Million Dollar Man, he was the Zero Million Dollar Man; working with no budget at all. Instead, it was the power of his idea that was ‘funding’ his work. He’d simply made a lot of cold calls to various companies and they were intrigued enough to send him free samples and/or offer advice as to how he could accomplish his goal. He said there’s plenty of bored engineers out there that are more than happy to bring something ‘crazy’ like this, from pop culture, into reality.

He spoke of his plans to film a ‘Pimp My Gimp’ documentary, help others like to him to have fantastical augments, starting with his plan to create a real-life Cherry Darling from Death Proof.

Finally, he hooked his Eyeborg device up to the big screen and showed people how well it worked.

All in all, a fascinating evening. A preview into the future.

58 thoughts on “notes from the Eyeborg presentation at The Other Film Festival

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