Feeds

Prof to drill camera into own skull

Al-Qaeda hacker set for third eye

SANS - Survey on application security programs

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 his head and have it take pictures at one-minute intervals for a year, with the images to be displayed in the museum — Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art — after it opens in Doha on December 30.

Bilal declined to comment on the project, entitled "The 3rd I", to The Wall Street Journal, which reported it on Tuesday,

In classic artspeak, the museum's promo materials describe "The 3rd I" as being "a comment on the inaccessibility of time, and the inability to capture memory and experience."

Some of the NYU faculty, however, describe having an active camera embedded in an active professor's skull as an invasion of students' privacy.

"Obviously you don't want students to be under the burden of constant surveillance; it's not a good teaching environment," associate chairman of Bilal's photography and imaging department Fred Ritchin told the WSJ.

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?"

The department is still mulling how to handle the matter. Suggestions include putting a lens cap over Bilal's all-seeing back of the head during teaching hours, or just turning the damn thing off when he's on the NYU campus.

Bilal's off-campus life is of no concern to the art faculty, athough Ritchen did note: "I guess anybody accepting a dinner invitation will have to realize that certain things will be going on."

Bilal is no stranger to controversy. After Al-Qaeda hacked the cheesy first-person shooter Quest for Saddam to replace the erstwhile Iraqi dictaor with George Bush, Bilal hacked the Al-Qaeda hack to insert an avatar of himself into the game as its chief protagonist.

Bilal's performance piece based on the hacked hack, "Virtual Jihadi", was shut down briefly after it opened at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, two weeks after the institute's College Republican blog had called the art department a "terrorist safehaven," a denunciation they later recanted. The FBI wouldn't say whether it was involved in the contretemps.

Perhaps Bilal's most famous work was "Domestic Tension", in which he lived in a gallery for one month, during which time anyone with internet access could either interact with him or shoot him with a web-operated paintball gun.

In another work, "Dog or Iraqi", Bilal asked his web audience to choose between whether he (the Iraqi) or a dog named Buddy should be "subjected to [a] popular interrogation technique in front of a live audience at an undisclosed New York location." Bilal lost, and was publicly waterboarded.

After being waterboarded, randomly shot at, and tattooed with Iraqi place names plus dots for each of 5,000 American and 100,000 Iraqi dead in a 24-hour performance entitled "...and Counting", it's understandable that Bilal can take a camera being drilled into his head in stride.

But let's not upset those art students, now, hmm? ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
New FEMTO-MOON sighted BIRTHING from Saturn's RING
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
Melting permafrost switches to nasty, high-gear methane release
Result? 'Way more carbon being released into the atmosphere as methane'
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.