Curated by Cathrine Kramer
Advisor team: Juliana Adelman, Rachel Armstrong, Michael John Gorman, Aoife McLysaght, Ross McManus, Richard Reilly, Ricard Solé and Charles Spillane
The Center of Contemporay Culture of Barcelona (CCCB) in association with Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin present the exhibition Human+. The future of our species.
Cyborgs, superhumans and clones. Evolution or extinction? What does it mean to be a human today? What will it feel like to be a human a hundred years from now? Technological capabilities are increasing at a rapid pace—should we continue to embrace modifications to our minds, bodies and daily lives, or are there boundaries we shouldn’t overstep?
Showcasing the work of fifty artists and pioneering research proposals, HUMAN+ explores possible future paths for our species.From assisted reproduction techniques and incipient experiments in synthetic biology to the possibility of perpetuating ourselves through the digital realm, our lives are conditioned, mediated and defined by the explosion and convergence of scientific and technological fields.
The 21st century will be characterized by the confluence of fields such as biotechnology, robotics and artificial intelligence. Manipulating biological processes, controlling digital and mechanical machines and creating non-biological intelligence above and beyond what humans can comprehend—all these advances raise ethical questions about the appropriation of life and the alteration of the self. HUMAN+ offers an in-depth exploration of the scientific, ethical and legal boundaries of these possible futures.
Will virtual reality be the new reality? What would happen if a robot knew what we wanted before we knew ourselves? How might we modify ourselves to adapt to an environment that we are drastically transforming? Is longevity a noble aspiration or a terrible threat for the planet? In the future, who will have ownership of our genetic information?
From subtle provocations to grand gestures, the artworks in this exhibition consider how these changes might be adopted and assimilated. The value in speculation is not prediction, but reflection. What are we striving for? We are designing our future, consciously or not, and every creator, whatever their discipline, will play a part in this process. In this exhibition, artists, designers and scientists speculate on and imagine many possible futures.
First presented at Science Gallery Dublin in 2011, HUMAN+ re-emerges now as a co-production, featuring many additional works, and accompanied by both a comprehensive event series and new catalogue. The exhibition marks the first co-production for CCCB with Science Gallery, who have received international acclaim for a transdisciplinary approach that bridges art and science, and connects the work of respected international artists with emerging research.
Artists and projects:
Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby, Addie Wagenknecht, Arne Hendriks, Liam Young, Agatha Haines, The Center for PostNatural History, Regina José Galindo, Laura Allcorn, Bryan Lewis Saunders, Ramon Guillén-Balmes, Marc Owens, Lorenz Potthast, Chris Woebken and Kenichi Okada, The Alternative Limb Project (Sophie de OIiveira Barata), DIY Bio Bcn, Niko von Glasow, Jacob Peter Gowy, S.W.A.M.P. (Matt Kenyon), Nina Sellars, Cyborg Foundation (Neil Harbisson and Moon Ribas), Cao Fei, Howard Schatz, Julijonas Urbonas, To Be Another Lab, Heidi Kumao, Louis-Philippe Demers, Yves Gellie, Nikolaus Geyrhalter, Zoe Papadopoulou and Anna Smajdor, EventLab for Neuroscience and Technology, Tissue Culture and Art Project (Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr), James Auger and Jimmy Loizeau, Jaemin Paik.
The exhibition includes an integrated activity space: the Beta Station run by a team of mediators. The main activities organised as part of the exhibition include meetings with the artists, experiments with robotics, neurotechnology, virtual reality, encounters with biohackers, workshops, film seasons and a wide range of conversations and debates.