LAS VEGAS — At a biohacker conference convened here the other day, panelists took to the stage, settled into their chairs, and launched into their slide decks. Not Anastasia Synn.
With Frank Sinatra crooning “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” over the loudspeakers, Synn pulled out a giant needle and twisted it deeper and deeper into her left forearm as the music played on. It was only after finishing her routine, capped off by loud applause from the crowd of biohackers, that Synn sat down for a fireside chat about her work as a “cyborg magician.”
Synn has 26 microchips and magnets implanted throughout her body. Unlike many biohackers who experiment purely out of personal interest, Synn does it for her magic career. These days, she’s doing less performing on stage and spending more time designing bodily implants for other magicians.
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STAT sat down with Synn after her performance last weekend at “Biohack the Planet” to learn more about her bodily implants, her medical precautions, and what it’s like to go through airport security.
You’re often described in interviews as a cyborg. What does that mean to you?
Yes, and a 28th tomorrow. [A few days after this interview, Synn said she hadn’t yet installed implants No. 27 and 28. But, she said, “I suspect by the end of the month I’ll probably be up to 35.”]
What do you use these implants to do?
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, so I can scan him, and he will tell his story about how I found him behind a grocery store. I love my cat.
I can’t go into too much detail about how the implants are used in magic, but there’s multiple ways that they can be used and even more ways they can be designed to be used.