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article imageNew York professor gets camera implanted in head

By Lynn Curwin     Nov 23, 2010 in Entertainment
A university arts professor in New York won’t be caught without a camera when he wants to take a photo, he will just have to make sure he is turned away from his subject so that he can use the camera implanted in the back of his head.
Wafaa Bilal had a surgical procedure to install a camera in his skull, as part of an art exhibition commissioned by a museum in Qatar.
“I am going about my daily life as I did before the procedure, but I ask for a period of rest before I am going to give any interviews,” The Wall Street Journal quoted Bilal as saying in a statement issued through spokeswoman.
The camera, which is reported to be thumbnail-size, will take one photograph per minute for a year.
Bilal plans to activate the camera on December 15, and broadcast a live stream of images to monitors at the Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, in Qatar, which is scheduled to open December 30.
Bilal has launched “The 3rd I” website, named after the project, but it is not known whether a live feed of photos will be available on the site. It currently showed a timer, which is on a countdown to December 15.
“‘The 3rd I’ builds on my previous body of work in combining various art forms, such as performance art, digital art, body art and photography, into a unique conceptual piece expressed in my own unique artistic language,” Bilal, who is an assistant professor in the photography and imaging department of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, said.
University administrators and faculty are looking at what rules should be set to protect student privacy while Balil is on campus. It has been suggested a lens cap be used or the camera be turned off during those times.
Some of Bilal’s previous works have resulted in controversy.
In a 2008 project called “Virtual Jihadi” he hacked a video game to insert an avatar of himself as a suicide bomber after President George W. Bush.
His 2007 work, "Domestic Tension," involved people visiting a website where they could shoot a paintball gun at him.
Bilal, who was born in Iraq, also had a map of Iraqi cities tattooed on his back, with dots marking the locations of American and Iraqi casualties.
Information on his past projects can be found on his website.
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