2016 - Ongoing
Transhumanists are a group of individuals harnessing the power of tech to transcend our human biology. From designing new senses to extending life expectancy, the opportunity to become human architects is only limited by their imagination, allowing them to redefine what it means to be human.
“I don't feel like I'm using technology, or wearing technology. I feel like I am technology.
I don't think of my antenna as a device – it's a body part.”
Cyborg Neil Harbisson
Transhumanism is the belief that human beings are destined to transcend their mortal flesh through technology. They are devoted to the idea that our biology is fundamentally flawed and that we don't have to accept what nature has given us. From designing new senses to extending life expectancy, these individuals are redefining what it means to be human.
The movement is disrupting a broad spectrum of society from healthcare to politics. The profile of these futurists is as diverse as its applications, from artists and CEOs to academics and bedroom hackers. It’s given artists new ways to experience the world and been a transformation space for people suffering from severe injuries or disease, enabling them to redefine who they are and how they are seen.
Although ideas about Transhumanism started as early as 1923, the movement is still considered to be in its infancy. In the last decade, there have been significant developments due to the democratisation and accelerated evolution of technology, opening up a new frontier.
Through this project, we explore a spectrum of Transhumanism in three chapters. ‘Testing Ground’ looks at individuals creating wearable tech to expand our human abilities, improving everything from concentration to mental health. ‘Patient Zero’ charts individuals making permanent changes to their being, becoming half human and half machine. At the extreme end of the spectrum is ‘Humanity 2.0’, Transhumanists focused on life extension and immortality. While many of the ideas being explored in the final chapter are still theories, academics are following closely as the post-human state has ethical, political, personal and economic implications. We felt it was critical to capture both ends of this divisive spectrum.
While the opportunity to design our evolution is a seductive proposition, the broader implications cannot be ignored. Although these ideas have long lived on the pages of comic books and sci-fi novels, the movement is now a reality and starting to disrupt industries and individuals in meaningful ways. With technology evolving as fast as it currently does, further change is imminent.
The work of these individuals demonstrates how optimising our brains and bodies could revolutionise and redefine the traditional parameters of humanity. While our imagination only limits the opportunity to become human architects, it does raise some important questions for us all. While we love the efficiency and entertainment technology provides, can we embrace a future where it goes beyond our environment and enters our minds and bodies? Could we reach a point where we are gifting friends and family cognitive implants and new senses? And, most importantly, will this evolution divide or unite us?
Humans are now Gods. We are now able to create and design humans, but do humans have the foresight to do it in the right way?