Tagbio-hacking

Grinders: Tomorrow’s Cyberpunks are Here Today

Grinding:  Sovereign Bleak, post magnet installation

David Forbes looks at the history of the grinder/DIY transhumanist movement, tracing its origins from the experiments of Kevin Warwick and Lepht Anonym to Warren Ellis’ Doktor Sleepless comic to the Grinding.be website to Grindhouse Wetware:

Usually, a subculture starts in a particular societal splinter just far enough off the beaten path to find breathing room. Its members begin talking to one another, and eventually someone puts a name on it that sticks. The group hits a nerve or a style, and in time a journalist tells a bit of their story. Often, the writers who deal with subcultures act more as archaeologists than engineers, dredging up what’s already been rather than creating what is to be.

Grinders — who are dedicated to bringing a cyberpunk tomorrow into reality today through DIY body modification — are different. They started with a name in the literary world and migrated seemingly backwards into reality. In 2007, comic writer Warren Ellis launched Doktor Sleepless, a series about the eponymous mad scientist and his apocalyptic plots. It’s a stew of wild ideas — occult magic, implants, urban breakdown — set in a just-past-tomorrow era. The series, which lasted more than a year, is a bit hit or miss but with some truly fascinating moments and a heaping hodgepodge of speculative ideas. Central to Doktor Sleepless are grinders — the term originating from video games, where players “grind” their character through repetitive actions to reach a higher level of power. While identity overhaul has been a selling point of alternative cultures back to prehistory, Ellis’s grinders emphasized identity as a character sheet, with each capability up for modification, for upgrade.

Full Story: Airship Daily: Grinders: Tomorrow’s Cyberpunks are Here Today

See also:

Short Documentary On The DIY Bodyhacking/Transhumanist Underground

Interview with Stelarc, A Grinder Before It Was Cool

One in four Germans wants microchip under skin

Extreme Bio-Hacking: Wings and Tails for Humans

Great Moon Hoax of 1835

Dr. Joe Rosen at the Dartmouth Medical Centre believes that within five years he’ll be able to graft extra limbs such as wings and tails to humans. According to a Guardian Unlimited article “When we have a limb amputated, our neural map of that limb gradually fades away; and if we gain a body part, our neural map expands accordingly.” Rosen says “If I were to give you wings, you would develop, literally, a winged brain. Our bodies change our brains, and our brains are infinitely mouldable.”

Full Story: The Guardian: I’m having my wings done

(via Thumbmonkey).

Update: It appears that as of Spring 2007 Dr. Rosen is now more focused on facial reconstructive surgery than these more fringe pursuits.

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