Transhumanism art. What are visionary artists on transhumanism? 7 examples: Agi Haines, Orlan & Cirque Du Soleil. Paintings, photo’s, performances & more!
Most of the transhumanism technologies are about improving skills that we already possess as human beings. That’s not surprising, because that is our starting point. But perhaps in the future, humans will use some of these technologies for very different purposes.
In addition to movies and books that explore this idea, there’s also plenty of artists and designers that are unleashing their creativity on the limits and possibilities of our future as humans.
At the HKU Day 2022, I gave a webinar about this topic. This was my presentation:
Art is a method for thinking about the impact and effects of transhumanism. I myself have come to appreciate the role of artists and speculative designers in recent years.
A few examples are:
Cirque du Soleil
If you have other examples, please leave a comment down below!
The English designer Agi Haines made a number of works with babies who are adapted to warmer temperatures on earth, or who have an opening in their skull to connect a cable to the brain. The picture at the top of this article is one of her works.
At the Brave New World Conference 2018 I had an interview with Agi.
The French artist Orlan has been working since 1990 on the transformation of herself [link at the bottom]. In a series of operations, a plastic surgeon slowly changes her face. She does this on the basis of five mythical female characters from art history: Mona Lisa, Diana, Psyche, Europe and Venus.
Joanna Grochowska is a contemporary artist exploring transhumanism and human enhancement technologies. Her work contributes to the dialogue about morphological freedom and the future. The conceptual basis of her art are the notions of Transgression and Singularity. As an artist, she defines herself as a Project.
She received the MFA from the Faculty of Media Art and Set Design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw; an alumna of the Jewish Open University of Shalom Foundation, Poland.
Martin Sallières created a futuristic design to improve the lung capacity of marathon runners. He invented an outfit with extra air sacs that are connected to the lungs [link at the bottom]. In an interview about this, he remarked: ‘I’ve copied this from birds.’
Liviu Babitz is the CEO of Cyborgs Nest. One of the projects this company is working on, is the creation of a breast implant with a compass in it. Each time the compass is facing north, the implant gives off a small vibration.
At the Biohacker Summit 2017, I talked to Liviu about this.
Moon Ribas is a cyborg artist. She has a sensor that is connected to seismographs via a Bluetooth connection and her smartphone. If there’s an earthquake anywhere in the world, she feels it. She uses this capability in haar performances as a dancer.
Like Agi and Liviu, I also interviewed her, together with her partner Neil Harbisson.
Cirque du Soleil
The artists of Cirque du Soleil explore the possibilities of human enhancement to use in their shows [link at the bottom]. For example, one of the designers talks about ‘adding a mechanical tail to change the center of gravity.’
Watch a short item by Engadget:
In short, the possibilities of human enhancement are used or explored in all kinds of cultural and artistic expressions. The pursuit of improving our capabilities is something that has fascinated us as humanity for centuries.
Since the start of our existence as Homo Sapiens, they have been stories, myths and legends about people with Divine or superhuman capacities. We have never lost that pursuit of improvement, only the form in which we now tell is different.
Now we use computer games such as Deus Ex, books such as Frankenstein, science fiction films such as Ghost in the Shell or art like mentioned in this artice.
Artist help us envision the future, so when can come up with actions and regulations to strive for that future (or prevent that scenario from happening).
Do you want to know more about transhumanism?
Please contact me if you have any questions! Like if you want to invite me to give a lecture, presentation or webinar at your company, at your congress, symposium or meeting.
Or if you want to book a session with me as an expert consultant on this area.
This section contains additional information.
Earlier I wrote the following articles on this theme: