Body Shop: Exploring the Augmentation of Human and Animal Bodies

2017/04/29, 2-3:30 pm

㗊機體成員宮保睿受策展人 Rebecca Catching 邀請於2017年4月29日,在上海的 OCT Contemporary Art Terminal 會有場演講與對談,關於後人類 (Posthuman) 以及人類與動物身體的強化,並會提及成員宮保睿的作品,與相關主題的對談。


Getting to Know Your Inner Cyborg: 5 Posthuman Dialogues
Lecture 2: Body Shop: Exploring the Augmentation of Human and Animal Bodies
Speakers: Paul Gong and Shi Donglui, moderated by Rebecca Catching
Saturday, April 29, 2017, 2-3:30
OCAT Shanghai
30 Wen’an Lu, Jing’an District, Shanghai

“We need to explore potential risks, consequences and the possible negative implications of building a world where animals become factories, human bodies produce raw materials and everyday objects are potentially alive” — Critical Designer, Anthony Dunne

Through selective breeding humans have been altering the path of plant and animal evolution for millennia, but with genetic engineering and nanotechnology we now possess powerful tools fast track evolution, altering the structures and functions of living organisms. Transhumanists trumpet how these new technologies will wipe out aging, cure diseases and allow us to produce products in a clean and efficient manner, but are these utopian futures too good to be true?

Like any new technology, human and animal enhancements bring up a host of social, ethical, and environmental consequences such as nano-pollution and the potential of whole new classes of “non-enhanced” humans who will be seen by the super-transhumans by “disabled” because they do not possess designer genes and technological prostheses. Meanwhile our anthropocentric inclinations could turn animals into economic “inputs” as they gain new “utilitarian functions” as with the case of the “spider goat”, which through possessing spider genes produces silk proteins in its milk, which can be turned into thread. The only thing we can predict with any certainty about this future is that it is destined to be weird.

Artist and design researcher Paul Gong, from the artist collective “Ouroboros Organic Organisms of O” will present some potential future outcomes of animal and human enhancements with his projects: “The Cow of Tomorrow”, “Human Hyena” and “The Unnatural Nature” and professor Shi Donglu will present his ideas on nanoscience and its impacts on nature and life. There have been several recent scientific breakthroughs in areas of genetic engineering, simulated brain, artificial intelligence, nano and biotechnology and synthetic biology. These discoveries have not only enabled us to alter the genetic structures for therapeutic purposes, but also allowed us to design new biological systems. Then one of the profound questions is: “who will have control and access to the products of synthetic biology?”

Organized by: OCAT Shanghai


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