Go ahead, give that second pair of ears a little wiggle. Slip on an extra index finger and open the door to a cyborg future. Berlin-based jewelry artist Nadja Buttendorf carefully creates silicone rings and earrings by hand that replicate body parts. They're freakily realistic.
"Yes it's a real EARring!" Buttendorf exclaimed on her website. Made mostly from silicone with a little silver, each of the dangling fake ears had a range of skin tones, helping them match actual ears more closely. Similarly, each "Fingerring" is a flesh-colored ring that has another silicone finger protruding from it.
Robots could wear a human-like accessory to feel a little bit human - and humans can have a sixth finger, the artist's description on her site says somewhat jokingly.
The earrings and rings, created in 2015 and last year respectively, are more than just a visual stunt. "Our body is the sensor to the world. We perceive information through the body and process it there, to build a common reality," Buttendorf told Andrew Salomone from The Creators Project. She explained that she sees her jewelry as a tool that frees the body from the norm.
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Her other jewelry is also weird yet familiar. She's produced necklaces that have protruding hair, others that resemble chains of human skin, and yet another line that looks like giant sparkly milkshake spills. My favorite might be her giant Turkish bread necklaces. Perfect for a stylish late afternoon snack.
Recently Buttendorf debuted a set of bright red soft fingernails she crafted from silicone. These long fake nails flex completely, making tasks such as plugging in a USB charger and turning on the stovetop much more doable than if the nails were solid. Her other unique nail art includes ones that light on fire, contain magnets, and have wisps of her own hair.
Watching the brief clip of Buttendorf donning a Fingerring and taking it for a spin was simultaneously fascinating and uncomfortable. I winced when it bent - a similar reaction to watching dancers do hyper-flexible popping. You've been warned: