What is a transhuman anyway?

23 : 05 : 2017 Design : Technology : Culture

Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland – A new exhibition explores the idea of transhumanism, highlighting the ways in which it has already become part of our daily lives.

Mathieu Gafsou at Corps-concept, Switzerland Mathieu Gafsou at Corps-concept, Switzerland
Cynthia Ammann at Corps-concept, Switzerland Cynthia Ammann at Corps-concept, Switzerland
Yul Tomatala at Corps-concept, Switzerland Yul Tomatala at Corps-concept, Switzerland
Mathieu Gafsou at Corps-concept, Switzerland Mathieu Gafsou at Corps-concept, Switzerland

The exhibition, Corps-concept, introduces the idea of transhumanism by reflecting on the human desire to optimise the body. In this post-human mentality science and medicine have transformed people’s bodies through the use of artificial limbs, plastic surgery and drugs such as Ritalin, developed to optimise concentration.

The works at the show by comic book artist Beb-deum, photographer Matthieu Gafsou and artist Jean-Pierre Kaiser consider societal notions of the body since the turn of the nineteenth century, and how this has affected current ideas of the self. Beb-deum’s Mondiale animation stills present body modification as a means of transforming humans into the perfect package, which can be easily reproduced.

In line with this idea of perfection, a host of toy figurines exemplify the homogeny that has developed around male and female body image, and is intensified by the transhumanist search for optimisation.

The Big Picture

  • As people search for the optimised version of their selves, artists are looking at the effect this is having on our cultural sense of ego
  • While brands such as Elon Musk’s Neuralink pioneer the next stage of transhumanism, artists and designers need to engage the public in the discussion
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