Technology is developing rapidly and especially 3D printing is becoming more and more advanced everyday. In old Amsterdam a 3D printed canal house is in the making, in Dubai a Museum of the Future will be constructed, partially using this technology and the printing of human organs is quite underway. Italian research studio MHOX is taking this a little further with the speculative project EYE (Enhance Your Eye). The designers imagine a 3D printed eye that would replace the original organ. The synthetic eye would not only be used to cure blindness or other rather annoying optical diseases, it would also enhance the eye. With the EYE the spectator would be able to see much sharper, filters (black and white, ‘vintage’) could be applied and it could even record and share visual experience through a WIFI connection. MHOX decided to release this project after researching and developing for a year after hip hop artist and producer Will.i.am (producer and frontman of the Black Eyed Peas) stated in an interview with Dezeen that, with the rapid technological development, we need new ethical and moral codes. It is striking that technology is going forward with blinding speed, but that the philosophical and ethical backbone is slacking terribly.
With the option to record and save images, visual memory, now still rather subjective recollections of the past, would become facts. It reminds us strongly of the third episode of the series Black Mirror, in which everyone gets a ‘grain’, a little instrument inserted behind one’s ear that records every memory of its wearer. Through a process called ‘Redo’ these memories can be watched again, either on a screen or in one’s own mind. Black Mirror is about the negative effects of technological advancement and recording and replaying one’s own memories also proves to have rather unpleasant side effects. With MHOX’s EYE project this might quite soon become real, let’s hope that we can avoid said unhappy accidents while redoing our visual memories and see the world through a happy pink filter.