A biohacker conference, “Biohack the Planet”, convened in Las Vegas from 31 August to 1 September, bringing together people in the biohacking community to provoke conversations about the future.
Anastasia Synn, a stunt and magic performer, transhumanist and biohacker opened up on why she has injected 26 microchips and magnets into her body, speaking with STAT news at a recent biohacker conference in Las Vegas.
Unlike many biohackers who experiment out of personal interest, Synn does it for her magic career, working as a “cyborg magician.”
When asked what it meant to her to be described in interviews as a cyborg, she said:
“A cyborg is anyone that wants to add technology or anything that isn’t already in their body to their body to achieve a new sense or a new ability.”
Synn proceeded to launch into a fascinating narrative on how she uses the numerous implants:
“I’m a magician, so I use them in my magic act. And I also use them in my day-to-day life — to unlock my door at home, or to let my cat speak. I know that sounds crazy, but my cat’s upgraded even,” said the magician.
“The computer that I want to put my leg that we’re working on right now will actually have an NFC and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.”
The magician added she was regularly monitoring her health, having her liver and kidneys checked every three months.
“The things that we’re coating my implants in are not medically sanctioned there. So we are using data sheets to make educated judgements on whether or not something should be used and following up with liver and kidney tests to make sure there’s no toxicity escaping into the body.”
Asked if she inserted most of the implants herself, Synn responded:
“I’ve put a little more than half of them in myself. The microchips are really easy to do. They come in a pre-sterilised assembly, you pop them in, and as long as you watch a quick five-minute YouTube video, I’m pretty sure anybody can do it. The ones that need to be scalpelled in — the larger magnets — I get my friend to do. He’s an emergency room nurse.”
The cyborg magician also answered a frequently-asked question about what is it like going through TSA security at US airports, saying:
“The first time I went through, I showed them my implants and I said: “Is this going to set off any detectors?” And I was really kind of proud and wanted to show them off. And I went through the magnet detector. Nothing. Then I went through the other one. Nothing. And since then even the wands haven’t been getting me when I go into shows.”
In spring, Synn testified before the Nevada state legislature against a bill that sought to ban coercive microchipping. Along with other critics she was concerned the bill went too far, and could potentially lead to a ban on transmitting devices that a person might want to implant out of their own free will.
“The fact is that it wasn’t just banning coercive microchipping. It originally was introduced as that bill, but then it was sneakily changed into voluntary microchipping also being banned, and considering I already have 26, I saw a problem with that,” said Synn.
Social media had something to say about Synn’s bold experiments with bodily implants, with many expressing their fascination:
Some twitter users couldn’t help joke about the airport screening issues all those inserted magnets must entail:
There were those that didn’t see the point of such experiments:
Anastasia Synn is a stunt & magic performer, transhumanist and biohacker. More recently, she has been working on innovated uses of biohacking in magic and stunt performance to advance her professed transhumanist goals.
A self-proclaimed wearables addict, she claims to be working towards a future when we become one with our wearables.