Culture & Arts

Tanya Vlach's 'Grow A New Eye' Camera On Kickstarter (VIDEO)

When they rebuilt the Six Million Dollar Man, the doctors of the 1970s TV series made him "Better...stronger...faster." Now, if San Francisco artist Tanya Vlach gets her way, she will be able to add "web-optimized" to that list.

Vlach, who lost an eye in a car accident, is now seeking funding for a tiny, wireless-enabled camera to be inserted into her prosthetic eye. Her implant will contribute to a number of artistic projects. She explains, "I've been plotting new strategies to tell my story, both my personal one and the one of my sci-fi alter ego, into a transmedia platform, which will include: a graphic novel, an experimental documentary, a web series, a game, and a live performance."

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Indeed, the idea is provocative just as a piece of conceptual art. With the possibility of an intra-ocular camera, a whole world of science fiction plots opens up: it's hard not to imagine the applications for spies, secret shoppers, and (literal) eyewitnesses.

One hopes that the project won't turn into another We Live In Public, the 2009 documentary in which constant observation drives an internet entrepreneur to stress and depression. Vlach says that at least part of her camera's output will be documentary, but if it affects her behavior to know that she's being filmed, doesn't that mean she's acting?

But there's something beautiful about the idea as well. Depending on how much Vlach plans to record, she may find herself capturing memories of daily minutiae, making the sorts of images that would normally fade available instantly on a comprehensive scale. Would having a permanent record of the visual data from your life be handy, or just cumbersome? Would it tempt you to spend more time reliving than actually living?

Naturally, this sort of discussion is itself an aspect of her project, and the actual footage--if Vlach's project gets funded--will undoubtedly raise even stranger questions. See the Kickstarter link and donate to her project here.

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