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Listening to Colours

This article was originally published on the Catalan digital newspaper  Vilaweb and is part of the collaboration agreement set up with Global Voices.

In the last edition of the independent Sundance Film Festival which took place from the 17th to the 27th of January in the mountains outside Utah, Catalan filmmaker Rafel Duran received an unexpected surprise when he discovered his documentary had won the Focus Forward Filmmaker Competition. ‘Cyborg Foundation‘ tells the story of Neil Harbisson, one of the foundation’s first members who is also officially recognized as the first cyborg by the British government. Harbisson was born with a visual condition known as achromatopsia, making it impossible for him to distinguish colours apart from black and white. This visual artist and composer invented the Eyeborg together with the help of an electronic engineer. The eyeborg is similar to an antenna and helps to receive the frequencies that the colours emit and transform them into audible impulses that he receives through the bones in his ears.

Mariana Viada i Neil Harbisson, de la Cyborg Foundation.

Mariana Viada and Neil Harbisson from the Cyborg Foundation.

A second surprise is the fact that Neil is one third cyborg, a third Irish/British and a third Catalan. He has lived in Mataró for many years and in 2010 set up the Cyborg Foundation there. It now has a new home in Barcelona and is the first foundation promoting the use cybernetic devices and technology to enhance our senses. Here we talk with Neil Harbisson, who has spoken at prestigious events like TED (video) and also with Mariana Viada, also from the foundation.

· Video [ca] snippet of the interview.

· Listen to the programme in mp3 [ca].

· Or also from some local radios and online [ca].

· You can download the the Internauta podcast from VilaWeb or iTunes [ca].

The Internauta [ca] is broadcast on VilaWeb every Friday afternoon.

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