Meet the 'transhumanist' who has over 100 body modifications
Even though body modifications are commonly associated with more recent generations, it is a well-known fact that people have been altering their bodies in some way or another for millennia. Different hairstyles have been observed in cultures all over the world in art and artifacts, evidence of piercings has been found on corpses thousands of years old, and the oldest known natural mummy to be found in Europe, Otzi the Iceman, is famed for his dozens of tattoos.
In recent years, however, people have taken these modifications beyond their tribalistic means of identification and personal expression, and moved into more futuristic territory - some of them to extreme lengths.
Russ Foxx, a self-identified transhumanist, is one such person.
"I view modifications as the art and my body is the canvas. I define myself as a transhumanist – I evolve with technology and time. I’m always updating; always upgrading," Foxx explains.
His foray into the world of body modification began at the age of five when he got his ears pierced. After that, he began coloring his hair, adorning himself with tattoos, and fitting his body with pieces of technology which alter the ways in which he interacts with the world around him.
By the age of 18, he had more than 50 piercings in his face, a feature which earned him the nickname "tackle box". However, as he's grown older, Foxx has gravitated more towards practical alterations.
"Since becoming an adult, I find myself gravitating towards more functional modifications that enhance my natural abilities – such as unlocking my front door with a device I’ve had surgically implanted in my hand," he says.
However, he admits that not all of his extra features are for ergonomic purposes, saying, "occasionally I undergo modifications just for aesthetic reasons."
Unsurprisingly, Foxx works as a body modification artist, and spends his days giving people forked tongues, pointed ears, and - if they are like him - implants which change the way they interact with technology. While at work, his UV tattoos, scarification work, and silicone horn implants don't look at all out of place; but he knows he's not part of the norm.
"I’m not forcing anyone to like the modifications and I encourage people to ask questions if they’re intrigued," he says;
"If you want to ask a modified individual questions, you should always take the same consideration that you would when approaching anybody else in public.
"Whether its tattoos, piercings or advanced body modifications, do not choose the cheap option. You only get one body, and your health is of the upmost [sic] importance."
But, while Foxx might be considered something of an oddball in the present day, his body modifications could become more accepted in the future. After all, with all the wireless technology we have these days, who wouldn't benefit from having an electronic key to their house embedded in their skin, or some kind of bionic adaptation that would allow them to stream Netflix directly to their eyeballs.
As for the silicone horns, though... I think I'll leave it.