The full line-up for Manchester Science Festival’s headline You Have Been Upgraded event has been revealed.

And it will feature ‘Metal Gear Man’ James Young, body modification expert Jenova Rain, Spanish cyborg Manel Munoz, Hero Arms ambassador Tilly Lockey and genderless biohacker Lepht Anonym, among others.

Featuring cyborgs, biohackers, body modification experts, artists and researchers, the event will be a fantastical showcase where fact meets fiction. A futuristic expo hosted by the (fictional) Unlimited Enhancement Technologies, featuring (factual) scientists, academics, entrepreneurs and hackers working in the field of human enhancement technologies there will be live human enhancement themed body tattooing, humans being implanting with RFID chips to become cyborgs… and dancing.

Among those taking part,

  • Body modification expert Jenova Rain, talking about her work implanting microchips into humans. Jenova will also be performing a live cyborg upgrade on the night.
  • Biologist-turned-blackwork tattoo artist Rebecca De Cadorette, aka DC. DC will be finishing a newly commissioned piece of body art live over the course of the evening, inspired by the themes of the event. She said: “I am interested in ideas of self-ownership, tattoo as ritual and rite of passage in the posthuman experience.”
  • Tilly Lockey, a 12-year-old girl who lost both her arms after contracting meningitis aged 15 months. In 2017 she was fitted with a pair of 3D printed “Hero Arms” from Open Bionics for whom she is now an ambassador.
  • Lepht Anonym, a faceless, genderless British biohacker who will be talking about their experience of hacking themselves with various implants.
  • Double amputee James Young, who has worked with Japanese gaming giant Konami to personally design and develop his own advanced bionic arm – earning himself the nickname Metal Gear Man.
  • Catalan perceptual artist Manel Munoz, best known for developing and installing a cybernetic sensory organ to perceive changes in atmospheric pressure in his body. Manel will speak about how technology no longer needs to serve the role of a tool but instead it can become an extension of our body to help expand our perception and reconnect with our surroundings and the planet we live on. 
  • Ghislaine Boddington, a specialist in body responsive technologies and immersion experiences. She is recognised as an international pioneer, having strongly advocated the use of the entire body as a digital interaction canvas for over 25 years. Ghislaine will be speaking about the future of the body with reference to implants, intimacy and data.
  • Professor Andy Miah, Chair in Science Communication and Future Media at the University of Salford. Andy’s research discusses the intersections of art, ethics, technology and culture and he has published broadly in areas of emerging technologies, particularly related to human enhancement.

You Have Been Upgraded is at the Science and Industry Museum, Liverpool Road, Manchester, on Thursday 18 October from 7.30pm – 10pm (doors 7pm). Tickets cost £5, and are available from


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