Meet Moon Ribas, a ‘cyborg artist’ who is able to literally feel every single earthquake that takes place anywhere on the planet. She senses the tremors through a tiny sensor permanently grafted under her skin near the crook of her elbow, and dances to these vibrations during her performances.
“I want to perceive movement in a deeper way,” Ribas said. “The planet moves, constantly shaking and moving every day. I thought it would be amazing to translate the massive and natural movements of the planet in a different way.” So she had a tiny magnet implanted near the crook of her elbow that allows her to feel the Earth’s vibrations in real time. Her choice of body hacking may not be as obvious as the antenna sticking out of the skull of Neil Harbisson, or these LED lights implanted under the skin, but its purpose is just as bizarre.
Ribas, a choreographer who studied movement at Dartington College in the UK, described the physical sensation near her elbow as being similar to having a phone vibrate in your pocket. Of course, the stronger the earthquake, the stronger the vibrations she feels. For instance, during the devastating 7.8 quake in Nepal last year, Ribas woke up in the middle of the night with strong vibrations coursing through her arm. “It felt very weird, like I was there,” she said. “I feel connected to the people who suffer through an earthquake.”