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Neil Harbisson

Neil Harbisson was born on the 27th of July 1982 in Belfast, but was raised Catalan. He is known as an artist, composer, and cyborg activist, and has the particularity of being able to hear and perceive colors outside the ability of human vision.

Also, Neil was born with a very rare particularity: Achromatopsia, with enables him to see the world only in black and white. During his youth, he studied music, drama and dance in Spain. He used only black and white for his work until recently because he did not want to use colors he could not appreciate.

In 2003, during his studies, Neil attended a lecture on cybernetics, given by Adam Montandon. He found it to be most interesting, and after the conference, he went explaining Adam his condition. From that moment, they started working on the eyeborg.

But what is the eyeborg? It works with an head mounted camera that picks up colors directly in front of the person wearing it, and converts them in real-time into sound waves. Neil had to memorize the frequencies related to each color: high frequency hues are high-pitched, while low frequency hues sound bolder.

Neil is the first person in the world to wear an eyeborg. He never takes it off, as he even wears it on his official passport photo!

Neil makes portraits that he creates by listening to the colors of people’s face. Every person create different sounds, it depends on the colors. He sound portrayed many famous people, such as Prince Charles, Woody Allen, Al Gore or Leonardo Di Caprio.

After sound portraying persons, Neil is now starting to make city sound portraits. He is now working on the city of Venice, and is now focusing on the very colorful city of Burano.

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