Moon Ribas (born May 24, 1985) is an avant-garde artist and cyborg activist of Spainish origin. She is famous for developing the Seismic Sense, an online seismic sensor implanted in her arm that allows her to perceive earthquakes taking place anywhere in the planet through vibrations in real time. Moon's choreography works are based on the exploration of new movements developed by the addition of new senses or sensory extensions to the dancer. In addition, Moon is the Co-founder of the Cyborg Foundation, an international organisation encouraging humans to become cyborgs and promotes cyborgism as an artistic and social movement.
Early Years & Education
Ribas grew up in Mataró, Spain. She graduated in Choreography at Dartington College of Arts, and studied at SNDO Theaterschool. After studying dance and choreography in London and Amsterdam, she started experimenting.
Since 2007 Moon has been experimenting with the union between technology and her body to explore the boundaries of perception and to experience movement in a deeper way. Her first project was in 2007, when she wore DIY kaleidoscopic glasses for three months, allowing her to see the world through blotches of colour. A year later, she created a speedometer glove, which traced the movements around her, from speed walkers to cars zooming by. She then created a pair of earrings that allowed her earlobes to feel different kinds of vibrations if people were walking behind her.
Ribas has performed and given talks in several venues and festivals such as TedxMunich (Germany), TedxMuscat (Oman), Campus Party London (United Kingdom), Fierce Fest (United Kingdom) and TNT (Festival of New Trends, Spain).
Ribas started collaborating with technology art professor Jeffrey Scudder, who helped her design a tiny cybernetic implant which senses earthquakes. In 2013, it was grafted into her left elbow. With an online seismic sensor directly implanted in her body, she is able to perceive the vibrations of nearby earthquakes via data from a custom iPhone app that consolidates seismic activity from geological monitors around the world. Ribas then transposes it into bodily movement in her graceful performance known as Waiting for Earthquakes or into sound in her piece Seismic Percussion.
With the subdermal implant, Moon Ribas is able to further push the boundaries of perception and experience by means of personal augmentation. During the devastating 7.8 earthquake that struck Nepal in 2015, Ribas was awoken by a wave of vibrations in the middle of the night. She recalls it as the most peculiar of sensations, also describing it as her second heartbeat as she is able to empathize with the people experiencing the quake.
Cyborg Foundation & Transpecies Society
In 2010 with Neil Harbisson Ribas co-founded the Cyborg Foundation , an international organisation that aims to help people become cyborgs, defend cyborg rights and promote cyborg art. Ribas also co-founded the Transpecies Society in 2017, an association that gives voice to non-human identities, defends the freedom of self-design and offers the creation of new senses and new organs in community.