.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

by Andy Miah, PhD

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Cyborg Bodies - the end of the progressive body

A great resource for the subject of 'Posthuman Art' from 'Media Kunst Netz / Media Art Net', deals with a range of ideas about the changing body and its representation/articulation through art. Editorial by Yvonne Volkart

Subject areas include:
Mythical Bodies / Unruly Bodies / Postsexual Bodies / Transgenic Bodies / Monstrous Bodies / Collective Bodies

Monday, April 18, 2005

Body Modification

The Body Modification Mark II conference takes place this week in Australia. This meeting looks as if it will be around for a good few years to come. The keynote speakers are first class and the range of issues they will discuss exciting:

"Once again, the aim of this conference is explore the many and varied ways in which bodies are modified, selves are formed and transformed, and culturally specific knowledges and practices are mediated and transfigured. We hope to include a wide range of interdisciplinary approaches to the question of what constitutes body modification, as well as performative and visual presentations."

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Designer Bodies: Towards the Posthuman Condition

I missed this one, but due to my budding, Scottish roots (do roots bud?), it seemed important to prevent it from slipping into the ether.....

New Media Scotland & Stills present an
International Symposium - Designer Bodies: Towards The Posthuman Condition

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art: Gymnasium
75 Belford Road, Edinburgh
Saturday, 3rd April 2004 10:30am– 6pm
£15 / £10 concessions (includes refreshments and buffet lunch)
Early booking essential due to limited seating. Please register using the form below.

Download the Registration Form

The symposium aims to unravel the aesthetics, ethics and future of biosciences. Do works of art inspired by new scientific insights into genetics explore the posthuman condition? Do biomedical science and genetics have a similar creative impact on contemporary art to that of anatomy during the Renaissance? What are the implications for artists using DNA and genetically modified organisms as their media of choice? How do we view today's alliances of science and art?

Speakers include:
- award-winning artists Christine Borland, Gina Czarnecki, Gair Dunlop
- Jens Hauser, Curator of L'Art Biotech, France - the first festival of biotechnological living art
- Steve Kurtz, Critical Art Ensemble, USA – an artists' collective dedicated to exploring the intersection between art, technology, politics and critical theory
- Dr. Keith Skene, a scientist working in Environmental and Applied Biology, University of Dundee
- Dr. Warren Neidich, USA - an artist-in-residence at Goldsmiths College, London and founder of the field of Neuroaesthetics
- Dr. Alan Bleakley, Psychologist and Senior Lecturer in Medical Education, Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro & Peninsula Medical School, Exeter
- Hannah Redler, Energy Project Leader, Science Museum, London
- Bronac Ferran, Director of Interdisciplinary Arts, Arts Council England.

The related exhibition, Designer Bodies shows at Stills from 3rd April – 6th June 2004. Artists Christine Borland, Gina Czarnecki, Jacqueline Donachie and Gair Dunlop use photography, film and digital media to explore the implications of genetics for disease treatment, human bioderversity, social perceptions and species boundaries. The resulting works spark excitement, fear and awe.

Organised by New Media Scotland and Stills, Edinburgh. In association with the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art; Edinburgh International Science Festival; London Science Museum and Arts Catalyst - the Science and Art Agency. Supported by the Wellcome Trust, Scottish Arts Council, Arts Council England and Edinburgh City Council.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Biotecknica - posthuman art

In Nov 2003, I met Jennnifer Willet and Shaun Bailey at a conference in Glasgow School of ART. The Conference was called 'The State of the Real' and was chaired by my good friend Dr Damian Sutton. It included a couple of excellent keynotes, one from Slavoj Zizek and another from Linda Nochlin. Jennifer, Shawn and I were in a symposium along with Anne-Sophie Lehman (Netherlands).

I was intrigued by their work on Biotecknica, particularly since they talked about how they had had a lot of comments from people who identified their art project as a real scientific organisation. This begs a question about what people really expect from science and how much can be taken for granted by non-experts. It also made me think about what might be characterised as posthuman art - less the content and expectations one has of the exhibit, and more to do with the conflation of fictional and non-fictional spaces.

The website for biotecknica is here

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Post-human history, New Perspectives Quarterly

I have had a copy of the NPQ sitting in my 'to archive' folder for a while and got around to looking through it today. I then had a closer look at the NPQ website, only to find an entire edition dedicated to posthumanism. The contents are as folllows:

Post-Human History?:

More Technology, Not Less ALVIN AND HEIDI TOFFLER
When Descartes Meets Darwin AMORY LOVINS
Act Now to Keep New Technologies Out of Destructive Hands BILL JOY
Regenerative Medicine: Where the Genetic and Info Revolutions Converge WILLIAM HASTELINE
Anthropo-Technology PETER SLOTERDIJK

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Brain implants & mind reading

is that you cannot simply infer from his case that we are becoming posthuman. I am very suspicious of those who will point to the use of radical technology and pose the question 'what next?', imagining all sorts of superhuman as the next step.

Matt Nagle is paralysed from the neck down and made headlines this week for being "the first person to have controlled an artificial limb using a device chornically implanted into hi brain" (Meet the Mind Readers, The Guardian). I am personally excited about the prospects of this technology and certainly wonder 'what next?', but we cannot talk about this case as a transhuman or posthuman innovation. The biggest obstacle to that this kind of technology remains intimately connected to therapeutic medicine. Until the applications are genuinely non-therapeutic, we cannot claim to have become posthuman.