Nice to talk to you again.
I'd like to comment on your final
suggestion to "get beyond the cyborg symbol and investigate what is being done
*right now* in art, science, philosophy, technology which are specifically
located in *the field of human enhancement".
As a matter of fact, I do not
feel I want to go beyond the cyborg figuration just because the term isn't
fashion anymore. My idea of cyborgness, filtered trough Haraway, Sandoval, and
postcolonial cyberfeminism, among the others, has never been fashion. Rather, I
have always considered it as an antidote to what Haraway has termed
"trashumanist tecnoenhancement", which very often neglects the political
implications and the hierarchies and inequalities on which it rests. I am not
specifically talking about your projects or your idea of transhumanism,
although, I must confess, I am deeply uncomfortable (and surely not because I
am a biological fundamentalist) reading about the evolution/enhancement of
human nature as an individual choice and right "regardless of why, when or how
biotechnological advancements come about" (I am quoting from your "The New
[human] Genre — Primo Posthuman" paper here). And this because of the words
"individual" and "choice", and "regardless".
But anyway: are we sure that
what we have been differently experiencing as our actual or potential enhanced
condition is a direct "consequence" of technological "evolution" and of the
eventual merging of nature (biology) and culture (sciences)? Or isn't rather
that a different set of practical and theoretical possibilities (apparatuses),
undoubtedly also offered by the production and consumption of new technologies,
allows us to rethink our boundaries and boundary enactments and do without
binary categories? Why do we still have to think of humanity as an endangered
species, that must be either (partially) protected or superseded? Following
Karen Barad** (very "right now" thinker, quantum physics and all…), I notice a
very common tendency towards "thingification", that is the transformation of
material-discursive relations into entities, which in a way or another evokes
a metaphysical distinction of subjects/objects, minds/bodies and so on. Do we
really need this?
Hope to meet you soon,
>Data: 21/07/2009 22.26
>Ogg: Re: [Yasmin_discussions] ethnic
>Quoting Joseph Ingoldsby <email@example.com>:
>> In the
discussions to this point mention has been made of the cyborg as an
extension of human beings, compensating for their weakness, and magnifying
their strength- for good or bad. They are used for scientific exploration,
industrialization, and for war. They are physically formed with a human
face and there has been attempts to imbue them with human attributes to be
both servant and master. The machine is an extension of the human being. We
are also of the earth in a web of interconnected life. Our technology allows
us to destroy life and ourselves. The development of our inner life and
consciousness have not kept pace with our technological advancement. Those
cultures who lived in cyclical harmony with all organisms have been killed,
conquered and marginalized. We are a seriously flawed species, who will self
destruct in time. Our technology may not be able to save us from ourselves.
>Thank you for a stimulating post.
>I have mentioned this before, but it does
not seem to draw interest or
>response. But I think it might be helpful to
look outside the cyborg
>domain for what is occurring in other areas which
are taking leaps and
>bounds in the area of human enhancement.
of human enhancement has been the central focus for decades
>- far longer
than postmodernism or the brilliant work of Haraway with
>her cyborg theory.
This field of human enhancement stems from the
>works and writings of
philosophy, cybernetic theory, and the
>scientific and technological advances
>Assessing a future human which stems from our
unfixed biology and
>which merges with technology is the fully developed
>transhumanism. Now I know that many of you do not favor
>because of some bad press several years ago ? that you
>with capitalism, consumerism and America, but that is simply
>inaccurate and insufficient reasoning in not investigating what it is
how it can be useful in these types of discussions.
>If a human merges with
technology for the purposes of augmentation,
>modification and enhancement
that human is improving his/her
>physiological condition. This improvement is
>but ultimately a technical modification for
>augmenting the senses, modifying the restricted
lifespan of 122
>maximum and enhancing cognition through nanotechnology and
>general intelligence means that the human is evolving beyond what
>Homo sapiens sapiens wholly biological condition.
>Once we started
changing the genetics and producing offspring outside
>the body, and further
extending our cognition beyond the neocortex
>structure within the body, we
were approaching something other than
>biological dependency. This
technological enhancement is leading
>toward a species transformation.
Whether or not one favors or
>disfavors the term "transhuman" it has been the
>characterizes the human?s transitional transformations brought
>by the merging of biology with the sciences and technologies
>nano-bio-info-cogno/neuro). That transformation does not have to
>a full stop at the posthuman or leave behind the human, as no one
>truly knows what we will become in the next hundred/thousand years.
what is human that is worth saving? Empathy? Memory? Love? Intelligence?
just gave a talk on Human Enhancement Aesthetics at the Metanexus
Conference in Tempe, AZ last weekend ("Cosmos, Nature,
>Culture A Tran
>It is our "humaneness" that is worth sustaining.
It is our sense of
>love, joy, compassion, kindness, curiosity, creativity,
>etc. that we must protect and explore more deeply.
is an artist who speaks a poetic visual language of our self
>> immolation. He
is Robert ParkeHarrison, who knits together the tattered
>> remains of a
destroyed planet. Robert ParkeHarrison becomes the last human
>> alive on a
smoldering planet. His work stages futile attempts to mend the
reconnect the technologies, to communicate, to restore the damage to
earth despoiled. The works are a series of elegies to humankind, to the
Industrial land, to the Promised land and Earth Elegies that speak with a
poetic voice a shattering scream that echoes against the barren landscape.
To be human, to be alone, with the façade of technology stripped away to
face an uncertain future. His work embraces the human consciousness as one
reconstructs memory after a tragic, cataclysmic event
>Beautiful work. But my
question is why do we not envision an
>aesthetics of the future which
suggests a future worth living in?
>This was the crux of my talk. Too often
the future is perceived
>through the media of SF literature and filmmaking,
which are either
>highly utopian or enormously dystopian. Most of the
>aesthetics is dark, dismal and saturated with how rotten the
>become. I am a big Buckminster Fuller fan, and I have to say that
>continue to return time and time again to his particular logic. What
>can we do to bring about a vision for the future which will prompt
>I think Bruce Mao did a marvelous job with this in his
>project (although it was not about human enhancement). And I
>many of my colleagues at the Planetary Collegium are producing
>meaningful projects to bring about a glimpse of vision - hope - and
>experience, be it virtuality, immersive design, or theory.
>Anyway, if we
want to develop a larger discussion on human
>enhancement, it might be
beneficial to get beyond the cyborg symbol
>and investigate what is being
done *right now* in art, science,
>philosophy, technology which are
specifically located in *the field of
>Yasmin URL: http://www.media.uoa.
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