back to article Prof to drill camera into own skull

An assistant professor at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts will embed a digicam into the back of his head as part of a year-long art piece — and some of his fellow faculty aren't too happy about it. The Iraqi-born American artist Wafaa Bilal has been commissioned by a new museum in Qatar to drill the camera into …


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  1. mafoo


    Why not just put the camera in a hat?

    I don't see the need to implant it in the skull where the lens will be constantly obscured by the constant dribble of puss coming out the skin-camera boundary. Then again he's an 'artist'.

    This couldn't possibly be a publicity stunt by the museum that they never expected to be carried through? Surely not...

    1. mafoo


      Evidently he's not going to implant it in his skull, its going to be attached to sub dermal piercing. (Like an eyebrow piercing). So, in fact, the camera is completely external - making the "attached to his head" part of this stunt, really quite un interesting and pointless.

      At least if he had had a hole drilled in his skull it might have relieve some of the pretentious idiocy from his cranial cavity.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's Mad-eye Moody!

    'nuff said.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sounds like a surefire way to get an infection

    along with thousands of pictures of people rushing up to kick him

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward



  5. Giles Jones Gold badge


    I thought this would be another crazy cyborg idea from Kevin Warwick, Dr Cyborg who seems absent from The Reg in recent times.

    1. Heff

      I miss him

      Him and his wild shenanigans.

      On the OP subject, though, I actually like the sound of the Bilal guy. he's got a message and a platform and he's drawning attention to it. at least he's not making a 14 ft scultupre of a shuttlecock and calling "quaking venus" and waxing lyrical about how its a stand in for his mother or something utterly disposable.


      /very disappointed to only hear of this now.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        On all counts. Especially the journalism fail. :o)

    2. Gilbert Wham

      Aaaah, the Good Captain...

      Barmy fucker. Someone bought me his book as a christmas present once. Along with Bill Gates' 'The Road Ahead'. It's hard to decide which is worse.

      At least this bloke's putting some effort into being an arse in a creative way, poor old Warwick was born like that (well, not a cyborg, obviously).

    3. hplasm

      Knowing Prof Cyborg-

      and his ideas of 'cybernetic implants'

      He would probably have glued an EM80 'Magic Eye' to the back of his head...

  6. Identity
    Big Brother

    My mom

    always used to talk about having eyes in the back of her head...

  7. Annihilator


    The department chairwoman Deborah Willis says that when Bilal informed her of his planned headcam, she asked: "What if students are upset? What if you're documenting what they don't want you to see?"

    Easy - don't sneak up behind him

  8. skeptical i

    I guess one DOES have to have eyes in the back of ones head to teach.

    If he's not already a side-sleeper, he soon will be.

  9. Richard IV


    One of my favourite Calvin & Hobbes strips has Calvin asking for cosmetic surgery to get a 3rd eye in the middle of his forehead. So close!

    I, for one, look forward to boffins developing a tuna sandwich based tiger trap ;)

  10. Big-nosed Pengie


    They'll always be with us.

    How about inserting the camera in his fundament? Apart from anything else it'd be closer to his brain.

  11. Johnny Canuck


    What happens when he's sleeping? Will it still be taking pictures (presumably black because its smothered by his pillow)?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      It will be taking pictures of his ceiling-fan, then, the wall, then, the pillow, then, his wife, then, the ceiling, and repeat.

      1. frank ly

        This Has Potential

        I've always wondered what happens when I'm asleep. This could be useful.

  12. Anonymous Coward


    What happened to art as being something involving talent? (painting, writing, making music etc.)

    Now it just seems to be "think of something really stupid", then "call it art"...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And ...

      ... books must have a plot, and music must have a tune, and films must a fourth wall.

      Our culture is far, far richer for all the people working on the periphery.

    2. Tom 35

      And it just has to be "new"

      The first person to throw shit at a wall and call it art? A master!

      The second just gets arrested.

      The last time I was at the local art gallery (20 years ago) there was a guy that worked there talking to a couple of people telling them that a very nice painting that was stuck in a corner was no better then a paint by numbers, but a big 10' canvas covered in coloured blotches was a master work. He got pissed off when I said that it was a paint by numbers by a guy that could not stay in the lines (or it might have been the people he was trying to impress laughing that pissed him off).

    3. Gotno iShit Wantno iShit


      Quite right. This boke is just a twatdangler.

    4. Andy ORourke

      You missed something

      Now it just seems to be "think of something really stupid", then "call it art" "Make shitloads of money from people with more cash than sense"

      There, fixed that for you :-)


  13. Rattus Rattus

    "let's not upset those art students"

    Pfft. Everyone knows art students aren't real people.

  14. Stewart Atkins


    Aww and there was me thinking this was oing to be about some experiment similar to Prof Warwick's work with ultrasound transducers.

    Oh well.

  15. Joe User

    When there's a camera in your skull...

    Don't look down while taking a wee.

  16. Eddy Ito

    Ah those wacky professors

    There are those times when you think they must have a hole in their head...

    So will interchangeable lenses be Nikon, Canon, Leica... what, inquiring minds and all that other stuff oozing from... oh fine, it's the one with a 3eb cd in the pocket.

  17. Tom 35

    I expect the students

    would moon/flash or hold up rude signs behind his back.

  18. lIsRT

    tie till

    This reminds of Tanya Vlach, but not as cool .

    (assuming she'll ever get it working)

  19. N2

    What next?

    A camera shoved up some ones arse to capture each passing turd?

    Unfortunately the word "Art" is a much abused term often involving the complete absence of ability or skill.

    I know, Ill fill an old power station with dried out varnished goat turds, each one with "Fuck Off" written on them & take the Turner prize!


    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: What next?

      I know right? Some of these things don't even have fruit bowls or paint or anything. It's a disgrace.

      1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Re: What next?

        Having said that, this guy is clearly a berk who doesn't deserve our attention.

  20. Valerion

    What is he going to do

    With thousands of pictures of people doing the "tosser" hand gesture behind his back?

  21. Ken 16 Silver badge

    A prize for the first person to hack it

    and insert photos of alien interrogation to cover his sleeping that's messing with someone's head!

    1. Stratman


      Now that's real art.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Clever. First time I've heard of the guy.

  23. A J Stiles

    He would have got on with my old newsagent

    I think he would have got on famously with my old village newsagent, whom everyone thought had eyes in the back of her head.

    If she spotted you shoplifting, she would say nothing to your face -- just quietly add the amount onto your parents' newspaper bill, to be dealt with later. Nobody ever tried it more than once, except one kid whose parents were especially bad at maths.

  24. Woodgar

    This would get me thrown in jail

    If I was to walk around town with a camera taking pictures of people at random, it wouldn't be long before I got stopped by the local Bobby.

    If it happened that some children happened to be in the pictures, I'd no doubt get arrested, my home raided and my name in the paper.

    What makes this guy so special he can go around taking pictures of children without their parents permission?

    1. Intractable Potsherd

      That took some time ...

      ... Nearly a page of comments before the first "Puhleeeese, won't somebody think of of the chiiiildren!".

    2. hplasm
      Big Brother

      He doesn't live in

      The State of Fear (UK).

  25. IglooDude

    Am I the only one

    anticipating a MarsLander-esque English/Metric conversion issue accompanied by a "this end toward target" sort of problem resulting in a year's worth of pictures of barely-functioning grey matter?

  26. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    They aren't children, they are university students

    Invasion of privacy! OMG he could TURN AROUND TO FACE THEM AND SEE WITH HIS EYES!

    Having said that, camera in hat or base ball cap = good. Extra eye installed into skull = bad, but could have applications for blind disability aids. Suggest install camera ONTO skull, glue in place onto bone, do not drill hole into brain. Drill hole into brain = bad, despite disability aid applications.

    He would not be allowed to do any of this in Saudi Arabia! But he isn't trying to! So it isn't relevant!

    DO you get arts grants from Al Qaeda now? I thooght they were fairly specific about the types of installation that they wanted you to perform. Or, Happening. You don't get those any more, you get flashmobs.

  27. bugalugs

    As daft as this stunt looks

    a brief look at some of the links shows a man bleeding for his people and their pain. He lost his brother to a ( coalition ? ) missile in 2004 ffs. This piece might well be an expression of his feeling that Iraqi citizens need to have eyes in the backs of their heads ! or something.

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