‘Song of the Machine’ explores the possibilities of a new, modified – even enhanced – vision, where users can tune into streams of information and electromagnetic vistas currently outside of human vision.
This film is a part of an ongoing collaboration between Superflux and neuroscientist Dr. Patrick Degenaar, whose pioneering work in optogenetic retinal prostheses aims to bring back sight to the blind.
Unlike the implants and electrodes used to achieve bionic vision, this science modifies the human body genetically from within. First, a virus is used to infect the degenerate eye with a light-sensitive protein, altering the biological capabilities of the subject. Then, the new biological capabilities are augmented with wearable (opto)electronics, which, by mimicking the eye’s neural song, establish a direct optical link to the brain. It’s as if the virus gives the body ears to hear the song of the machine, allowing it to sing the world into being.