TransHumanceToward the precipitation of Self
19 June - 9 July 2023 CON-TEMPORARY Art Observatorium Corso Buenos Aires 42 11 Lavagna, Italy
«The abominable deterioration of ethical standards stems primarily from the mechanization and depersonalization of our lives.»
artists: AIRYNA CALINICENCO • BOBBY KIM LING CHEN • ANDREW CHEUNG • MARTIN DEL CARPIO • ELINA • IAN HAIG • MAGDALENA HEJZLAROVÁ • ERIKA KASSNEL-HENNEBERG • LUCIEN.ART • JEREMY PELLINGTON • NINA SUMARAC • SHAHAREE VYAAS • ANDRZEJ WOJCIECHOWSKI
In the previous group exhibition, entitled Escapism, we addressed the issue about the always more penetrating and totalitarian oppression and control exerted on the individual by the political and governmental system, which implements the old method of “carrot and stick” to forcedly push the masses. If the “stick” is oppression, TransHumance wants to investigate one of the brand new “carrots” that today the system of power tries to feed to peoples: the trivial benefits of a transition toward the digitalisation and the artificial sophistication of the person, as a prodrome of transhumanism, leading to epochal anthropological implications and prime philosophic and ethical dilemmas. The transhumanism would be an ideology that, starting from the union between man and the robotic and/or computer machine into the so-called “singularity”, would shift mankind toward another phase, a goal: the post-humanism, that is an era where the natural human being will be outdated, extinct, evolved into something that will not be human any more, since the prefix post- itself always specify the end of an era, in this case of the human being. The roads toward this transition are paved with promises: bodily, cognitive, computational and sensory improvement, immortality and eternal youth, the achievement of a superiority condition, of divine nature, up to become the One. But whether this is evolution, involution or extinction, in any case it would imply that we will be no more human beings. Continues on the catalogue...
Toward the precipitation of Self
The advent of robotics, computer science, nano-technologies and bio-technologies is just the dawn of a revolution that is leading us to an evolutionary juncture, asking us to make an anthropological choice. It is up to us to use these technologies in favour of the human being, or let them be used on us by an emergent technocracy. Right today, many people are even more transhuman of those pioneer artists of transhumanism. We observe many cases in the world of people who are satisfied with their courage for having surgically modified their own visage, sometimes in a repulsive way.
But the transhuman is even more spread among multitudes of people who are not realize that they have now descended along that slope of addiction and technological dependence: they can no longer live without a "smart" phone - a real cerebral appendage that will precede the implantation of a microprocessor, - they think they have no reason to remember the phone numbers of loved ones or friends, or to do a mental multiplication, while delegating their interpersonal relationships to a social-networking company, with which they sign contracts without ever having read them simply by ticking a box. Many now live a virtual identity, made of telematic and retouched narcissism, or presenting themselves on the net as personifications of fantastic creatures, avatars, or what they would like to be ideally. It is just a game, of course, or a way of expressing one's dreams, but what is noticeable is that some no longer distinguish fiction from reality, living in a permanent frivolity, in a soap bubble, which when it bursts in contact with reality causes pain, repulsion and therefore increases the desire to escape again into the virtual. In fact, it is not so worrying the rapid evolution of "intelligent" objects or the so-called Artificial Intelligence (AI, which is nothing more than a simulation, always dependent on those who programmed it to offer plausible answers at impressive speeds, but who will never have a conscience), but the progressive thinning of cognitive abilities and critical judgment in people who resort to technology to avoid straining, to think and use reasoning, preferring to rely on the Electronic Oracle, the deus ex machina behind which an occult officiant always hides.