We are approaching ever closer to a time when artificial intelligence mimics or outperforms traits of organic intelligence. On the other hand, as humankind increases in calculation - becomes "trackable" and predictable the machine becomes poetic. This project is a transdisciplinary research at the intersection of biology, art and science, that will explore bio-technological possibilities of the human sight through a specific human extension in the form of biomimetic third eyelids.
The third eyelid , otherwise known as the nictitating membrane, is a natural feature found in most species of mammals and birds. The only species lacking one are humans and a few fellow primates. Unlike the upper and lower eyelid it moves horizontally across the eyeball and serves as protection and to moisten the eye while maintaining or increasing vision. Alternatively, humans have a specific feature, a product of evolution, called semilunar fold - a small fold of membrane at the inner corner of the eye - that was believed to be the reminant of the the third eyelid that eventually became redundant through evolution.
The idea of stretching/reconstructing this once existing third eyelid and upgrading it with a biomimetic lense will be explored in this research, narrated through speculative scenarios that aim to address socio-cultural and ethical implications.This scenario embodies cybernetic and augmented reality concepts of the future but through a somewhat inverted notion of reaching back to the biological evolutionary past..
The materiality of the project will be researched by producing a series of bio-technological artefacts(machines) based on key concepts embodying this idea, such as: membrane expansion and upgrade through the elements, including silicone membrane, stem cells, solar powered motors; augmented reality through- holograms, holographic projection, organic light diode and lastly the powering for the implant- through electricity harvested from rfid, wifi or muscle movement power conversion.
This is a new ongoing project that started as a short "fake-scientific report" published in the publication of Julian Hespenheide called "Biotic explorers".