July 19, 2012

A superhuman exhibition

The ImmortalYesterday I attended the opening of the Wellcome Collection Superhuman exhibition in London. It is a wonderful combination of objects, art and debate. Everything from ancient Egyptian prosthetics to autonomous wheelchairs to comicbooks to transhumanist timelines.

In particular I was fond of Revital Cohen's "The Immortal", a set of life support machines linked together to support... nothing in particular. I was reminded by Monty Python's sketch "the little machine that goes 'bing'". But there is also a kind of elegant purity to the devices. They form a closed system, circulating matter and energy perfectly without the disturbing presence of a suffering messy patient. In a sense this might be what some of us would like to aspire to: to become something equally pure, quiet and self-contained. Superhuman by being purely posthuman.

Talking headsThere is also an installation with enhancement experts monologuing about being superhuman. Everybody makes sense except maybe for that crazy Swede...

(The cool thing is that since that recording is part of the exhibition I can now honestly claim to be part of the Wellcome Collection - together with the medieval surgical instruments, Victorian quack medicine, creepy biological samples, and hightech artworks. Yay!)

Posted by Anders3 at July 19, 2012 01:27 PM