STAND-UP

Natasha Vita-More (US) “Morphological Freedom” (4 photographs, 2008), www.natasha.cc

In STAND-UP artists on February 20, 2009 at 3:21 am

Natasha Vita-More

media artist (BFA, MSc, MPhil) is a PhD Candidate, Planetary Collegium, University of Plymouth.

Natasha’s research investigates the transformative human and radical life extension, with a focus on social change and the potential of emerging influencers—nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology and cognitive science (NBIC). She lectures on human/machine interfaces, and on philosophical outlooks concerning human rights and ethical means for human augmentation.

Natasha’s design Primo Posthuman, future human prototype, has been featured in Wired, LAWeekly, The New York Times, U.S. News & World Report, Net Business, Teleopolis, and Village Voice. She appears in twenty-four televised documentaries on human futures and exhibited at National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Brooks Memorial Museum, Institute of Contemporary Art, Women In Video, Telluride Film Festival, U.S. Film Festival, and recently “Evolution Haute Couture: Art and Science in the Post-Biological Age”.

Natasha is a proponent human rights and ethical means for human enhancement, and is published in Artifact, Technoetic Arts, Nanotechnology Perceptions, Annual Workshop on Geoethical Nanotechnology, Death And Anti-Death. She has a bi-monthly column in Nanotechnology Now, and is currently the Guest Editor of The Global Spiral academic journal. Formerly president of Extropy Institute, she currently advises non-profit organizations including Center for Responsible Nanotechnology, Adaptive A.I., and LifeBoat Foundation, and a Fellow of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies.

Morphological Freedom

bio-semi-bio-small-copy

Emerging technologies such as nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology and cognitive and neuro sciences (NBIC) are augmenting, extending and enhancing human biological, and consequently human cognition. The body and the mind/brain are at the crux of this issue. Two issues concerning human rights are on the table: How will we protect the rights of people who want to be enhanced? Of equal importance is how will be protect the rights of people who do not want to be enhanced?

This practice based work titled “Morphological Freedom” is expressed in visual narrative which illustrates the human body and the human rights to enhance one’s body and personal identity and the right not to be coerced to enhance one’s body and personal identity.

The entire concept of morphological freedom addresses the pros and cons of accelerating technological change and decide what type of human being we might become as we augment, enhance, and morph our human biology with newly developing technologies. The enhancements are the result of scientific investigations and discoveries, technological innovations and applications, and design intentions, methods and visual and sensorial appeal, by which human physiology is changed or morphed. I suggest that the transformative human’s physical presence, its biology, and its cognition and identity, are to be enhanced and reshaped through nano-bio-info technologies and cognitive and neuro sciences. Here, worldviews which aptly address such changes and are investigating how these changes could affect us individually and as a society, such as transhumanism, might seek the continuation of life beyond currently human biological limited lifespan, and addresses the means by which science and technology could ethically provide positive and practical values.

Issues concerning human futures — the augmentation, extension and enhancement of the body/mind has been of consequence in the arts most significantly from the Electronic Arts period, and becoming more consequently during the time frame of robotics, cybernetics and information technologies. Now we are in the period of Biotech/Nanotech where more dramatic changes are occurring and what it means to be human is of issue. Because artists create our works of art (both practice-basted and theoretical) with the specific “tools of the times”, we are now using biotechnological tools and nanotechological tools, as seen in Bioart practices and more recently nanotechnological art conceptions. Artists must be aware of both the consequences and the benefits of using the specific nano-bio-info-cogno quartet of tools in creating works of art, which will be located in the augmentation, extension and enhancement of the human body and mind.

  1. Great to see a human body (transhuman) instead of a cyborg! In the future we will not look like machines, but integrate with them. This is a stunning example of why our human rights are consequential to our future.

    CA

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