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Meet the Artist Who Implanted an Antenna in His Skull That Allows Him to ‘Hear Colors’

Cyborg artist Neil Harbisson is best known for implanting an antenna in his skull that allows him to see colors through audible vibrations.

Harbisson, who was born completely colorblind, gave a TED Talk back in 2012 describing the device that allows him to “hear color.” This means that he can listen to paintings, faces and even food.

Neil Harbisson (Image source: TED Talks)Neil Harbisson (Image source: TED Talks)

“I used to dress in a way that looked good,” Harbisson said in 2012. “But now I dress in a way that sounds good.”

Since Harbisson had the antenna inserted in 2004, the artist has learned the musical notes that correspond with each color name, developing something like an artificial synesthesia, the neurological phenomenon that connects two or more senses. Many famous musicians and artists — from Franz Liszt to John Mayer — have claimed to experience various degrees of synesthesia.

Image source: SalonImage source: Salon

He recently teamed up with music producer and DJ, The Josh Craig, for a musical experiment. The two spent an afternoon at a supermarket, where they searched for vibrant, beautiful-sounding goods.

Image source: SalonImage source: Salon

The result was a musical collaboration inspired by the sounds of orange Tide and turquoise Ultra Downy detergents.

Watch the video via Salon:

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