Precisely Like a Hole in the Head

| October 9, 2016
Bart Huges trepanning himself, 1965. Photo Cor Jaring.

Bart Huges trepanning himself, 1965. Photo Cor Jaring.

Bringing you the latest old news of perforated interiors, we find this article from Cabinet magazine, Like a Hole in the Head.


“Feilding wasn’t interested in performing the operation as an extreme form of body art, but because she believed it would have a life-changing effect on her. She hoped that a hole in her head would increase what she terms “cranial compliance,” that alleviating the pressure in her skull would allow the heart to pump more blood to her brain, thereby giving her a new feeling of buoyancy. “If you don’t have that expansibility,” she says of the prison of inflexible bone that most of us have for skulls, “then the heartbeat pushes against the brain cells, which isn’t very good.”

“Trepanation (from the Greek word trypanon, meaning “to bore”), the creation of a hole in the skull, is the oldest known surgical procedure. Perforated crania up to 8,000 years old have been found in prehistoric sites all over the world. Some of th­e holes, made by scraping away the bone with a flint or obsidian knife until a piece could be prised out, are the size of a man’s palm; other skulls have been pierced several times like a sieve. The majority of these apertures have soft edges, indicating that they had begun to heal and that there was a high post-operative survival rate.”