Extreme DIY: evolution, biohacking, and body modification

Body modification as performed by biohackers who desire to be cyborgs.

TESA: Technology/Entrepreneurship/Society/Arts
What happens when you combine the skills of a computer hacker, the pioneering mentality of body modifiers, and the desire to become a cyborg and live forever? Whatever you call it — bizarre, stupid, avant-garde, the future — It’s happening in basements, garages, and hotel rooms right now. You just cannot make this stuff up. Above ground, biotech is a respectable domain of study and biolabs are socially acceptable spaces. Check out for example the TED talk referenced below. But, then ask yourself, Is Ellen Jorgensen’s TED talk naive and overly optimistic or pragmatic and reasonable? Watch the other videos, employ your own knowledge of human nature, and draw your own plausible scenarios of potential futures.

The next tech-savvy generations may drive the DIY evolution revolution from the underground as they push the boundaries of what is “normal” and socially “acceptable”. The socially acceptable boundaries of what one can do to one’s own body may become increasingly blurred. What began with the bizarre practices of tattooing and piercing (which are now perceived by some as “normal”) will continue down a painful path towards an unimaginable end. (Please see the video referenced below about the man who drilled holes in his head in order to don a metal mohawk as an example of how far some are willing to go). A counter-trend of those totally “unscarred” may emerge as a counter point. The assumed right of Governments and corporations to own information and eventually even the human body may be challenged by rogue biohackers. Yes, there will amazing possibilities for personal biotech as well but this “spot” is about the current underground.


In the future, hackers’ and activists’ disputes with restrictive governments may not only be about communication, information, and digital infrastructure, but may also shift into debates about our own technologically-improved physical beings. In the face of companies and governmental agencies developing implants that are protected by patents and secret test procedures, the question of how to remain in control of our bodies may turn out to be a very real pressing social issue…

Click here to tweet this article


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *