Electrocyte Appendix.Scary or ingenious ?

Electrocyte Appendix from Revital Cohen on Vimeo.

The Electrocyte Appendix is an artificial organ that could be implanted into the body to allow people to become electric organisms. Inspired by the electric eel and the way it uses electrocyte cells to produce electrical current from its abdomens, the organ is constructed of artificial cells* that mimic and improve the electrocyte mechanism by converting blood sugar into electricity. 

Replacing the vestigial appendix, the artificial organ brings a new functionality to the human anatomy, giving humans the ability to farm and produce electricity directly from their body. By discarding the remains of redundant anatomical functions in favour of new abilities, the body is redesigned in order to sustain its new way of living.

Biotechnology could allow us to transform our genus into something else. The idea of our species changing from Homo-Sapiens into Homo-Evolutis (the human as a species controlling and designing its own evolution) is materialising quickly in research labs. And what kind of genus be constructed when the Homo takes after the Gymnotus? Forecasts for 2050 point towards technologically assisted reclusiveness, self sufficiency and social isolation. These behaviours are enabled by communication networks which allow one to survive without leaving the home or having physical interactions with others.

In this kind of existence, where electricity becomes vital for survival, should the body adapt to the behaviour and adjust to sustain it? Humans are by nature social animals, by retracting into a self sustaining solitude a person becomes not dissimilar to the electric eel in behaviour. The eel is a solitary animal, it lives alone, hunts and breeds without any interaction with other organisms, it senses and reacts to the presence of others through electric charges. As we start behaving this way, should our bodies evolve to provide us with electric energy? In this future scenario the body changes its function; instead of an organism designed to attract, socialise, mate and reproduce with others, it becomes an electricity generating vessel, nurtured and harvested by its owner, designed to sustain a new form of virtual existence for an individual who lives through electronic networks.

* Based on the research Designing artificial cells to harness the biological ion concentration gradient by Jian Xu and David LaVan, Nature Nanotechnology, September 21, 2008.


more information on:http://www.revitalcohen.com/project/electrocyte-appendix/

Final Project Progress

17/03/12  -Got T31 Polar belt and HRMI (heart rate module interface)  , manage to make both to communicate with each other, soldered appropriate jumbers.

18/03/12  -Mange to create an algorythm to find the time between heart-beats (in ms)

Algorythm:X= (float)BPM/(float)60


19/03/12   -Able to transfer 2 signals into processing. a)Average BPM, b)A beat signal

20/03/12  -Xbee wireless kit arrived.Everything connected wirelessly

21/03/12  – Manage to get reading form temperature sensor.Able to trnasmit temperature, heart-rate and beat into Processing.Problem to fix.If the last 10 readings are the same –return 0.

Found better algorythm: TimeBetweenBeats=(1000/((float)HeartRate/60))

23/03/12  -All signals are stable.

See yourself sensing – “Reframers” Notes

 *these are simply notes (my interpretation) on the Reframers section of the stunning book See yourself sensing, Redefining human perception by Madeline Schwartzman

*all “quotations” are taken from the actual book.


Installations that change the foundations of our senses –“dispense with the everyday and create mind-bending shifts in function, utility or outlook”

• Asking questions such as: ”Are we at the helm of our own body? Do we move of our own free will? Are our senses reliable? What is the difference between I and you?”(p13)

• Makes a point about sensing something yourself by watching something or someone in pain.

“Patients who have experienced damage to the right parietal lobe, one of the areas responsible for our body image, experience themselves as having a doppelganger, or phantom twin.” ( p12)

Marcel Li Antunez Roca in one installation(see Epizoo) gives control of his own body to someone else.(p14)

Ann Hamilton– Sense reframer! (Toothpick suit, Face to Face images, the lids of unknown positions, she usually “..use of one part of the body for an extraordinary or unusual purpose, or to replace another body part.”(p16)

Olafur Eliasson , usually makes large scale installations that “reframe” the senses ( see his installations The weather project, Green River, Double Sunset p20-21)

• Exploring installations from artists such as:

Hyungkoo Lee (incorporated magnifying lenses on helmets)

Daito Manabe + Motoi Ishibashi (Face Visualizer, manipulating face muscles by the use of electrodes that sent signals according to a music track)

Atsuko Tanaka (light costume)

Erik Hobijn (setting fire to his body)

Carsten Holler ( upside down mushroom room, test site, upside down glasses)

Tim Hawkinson (Emoter, an image of the artist face ; motors move specific elements of the face to construct expressions that the actual human face cannot create)

Lucy and Bart (hook and eyes, Germination, Day one and day eight (grass suit) )

Rebecca Horn (Pensil mask, human extensions and prosthetics)

Janine Antoni (She “..wanted to know the taste of his vision” (p48)in Mortal and Pastle)

Ene-Liss Semper (Oasis, converting her mouth to a flower pot, the end of one thing and the beginning of another)

X-sense, Arijana Kajfes (synaesthesia, converting one sense to another)

Alfons Schilling (installations with optics, vision)

Allan Wexler (“..rethinks and reproduces the stuff of everyday life to yield poignant outcomes..”,(p56) Coffee seeks its own level, Wall ( I want to become architecture))

Ann Hamilton, Untitled (body object series) #5-bushead

Face Visualiser – Daito Manabe

Daito Manabe is not your everyday artist..By using his own body he creates unconventional artistic installations and performances.This video is from a live performance at NoiseLab ( part of AND Festival in Manchester 2010)

  • 16 electrodes are manipulating  the facial muscles ( according to the music played

The Body Electric: An Anatomy of the New Bionic Senses by Geary James


This is another interesting book that I started reading recently..looks promising and really helpful so far 🙂

Amazon.co.uk Review

The publication of James Geary’s The Body Electric offers evidence that is becoming ever more familiar–and ever more comfortable–with the idea that we live cybernetic lives. We are born in intensive care, and we will die there. We mend our broken hearts with artificial valves; we swallow complex chemical machinery to brush away the difficulties of our lives.To some degree, then, we read Geary’s book purely for comfort: for the thought that, as our own senses begin to fail, cybernetic senses are already being developed that can aid or replace them. As far as that goes, Geary’s take on medical technology is entertaining, enthusiastic and free of bombast. But his shop of wonders is much more than a window display. It’s informed throughout by philosophical concerns that would (and, if Geary’s of a mind, probably should) make books in themselves. There is, for example, his overarching awareness that we are very small, in a very big universe. As such, we can only perceive a tiny fraction of what’s out there. When we look at the real world, it’s more accurate to say that we’re looking at a scale model, filtered by our brains from out of the spew of sensory data with which the world bombards us. This being the case, what are the ethical consequences if we build machines that further filter–or filter in a different way–our experience of the world?

The Body Electric describes wonders enough to satisfy the most jaded technocrat, but big questions are never far below the surface.–Simon Ings –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Aaron Koblin’s House of Cards music videoclip

This is an amazing music videoclip (for “House of Cards” by Radiohead) made by Aaron Koblin.Visit http://www.aaronkoblin.com/work/rh/index.html  for an amazing interactive experience of the actual videoclip

(images taken from http://glossyinc.com/misc/hoccredits.html)

Kinetica Art fair, London 2012

This is a video I have recently made about Kinetica Art fair held in London from 9th- 12th February.
Kinetica is a fair that celebrates kinetic artistic installations and explores the notion of “kineesees” (greek for movement) and, in most cases, interactivity.

Kinetica Artfair, London 2012 from stavros siamptanis on Vimeo.