Thursday, December 9, 2010

Third Eye Reveals Artist's Commitment

Iraqi artist Wafaa Bilal has added a new over-the-top project to his resume: a surgically implanted "third eye" on the back of his head. It's actually a digital camera, with the mount affixed to his skull. Articles about the project appeared around the world this week including this morning's ArtDaily Newsletter, where I first encountered it.

Artists love patrons with cash and for this project Qatar was the patron. You might say Qatar wants to be on the cutting edge of the art scene. According to news reports, Bilal's camera will take a photo every minute for the coming year. The images will be streamed over the Internet.

This isn't Bilal's first far out art project. Earlier this year he received 100,000 tiny tattoos on his back to commemorate those who had been killed in the Iraq War. Undoubtedly many people who had not heard about that project will learn of its existence as a result of the publicity from this project. Perhaps followers of his Internet stream will get a chance to see those images if he undresses in front of a mirror at some point.

According to the article in TechNewsWorld New York University asked him to cover the camera's lens cap while on university property. My guess is that Bilal will not be getting Pentagon clearance any time soon.

For more details on Wafaa Bilal's The Third I, read Richard Adhikari's article at

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