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Photographer to have camera installed in the back of his head

agaA professor of photography at New York University is going to have a camera installed on the rear of his head for a year-long project entitled, “The Third I.” The work is under commission by a new Qatar museum.  The camera will take thumbnail photos and stream them back for visitors at the museum to see.

Wafaa Bilal, who is an assistant professor, will undergo surgery to have the mini camera installed.  The camera will take pictures at the rate of one per minute and stream them live to a monitor at the museum in Qatar.

Because Bilal is a working professor, engaged in the daily routine of teaching courses, more issues have been raised than you might expect.  Apart from the sense, and sanity, of having a backwards-pointing camera surgically affixed to your head, the process raises questions of privacy rights.

While professor Bilal certainly has the right to surgically attach a camera to his head and stream pictures to Qatar, what about the people, particularly the students, whose personal activities are caught by the gadget. Do these innocent bystanders have the right to demand that images of them living their daily lives not be broadcast for overseas strangers to observe?


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