What defines us as being human?
Do we attribute our humanity to a ‘rational soul’?
Do we quantify it through our biology?
What happens when we can alter our biology, manufacture a soul? If these standard benchmarks are altered then what do we have left, what makes us 'human' anymore? These are the question I have investigated in a new artistic project with Birmingham Open Media, funded by Arts Council England.
Since the dawn of the 21st century we have had to answer such questions in entirely new contexts; artificial intelligence, cloning, In Vitro Fertilisation, stem cells, and synthetic life. These new arenas of science have opened up the discussion surrounding what it truly means to be human, in an age when we can make them artificially.
Over a six month research and development residency, I will be investigating the concept of humanness through the lens of transhumanism; the evolution of humans through technology. The residency will conclude with a final artwork, formed in part from your contribution on the subject. I will be presenting my project, ideas, and research in a half hour talk, after which I would like to open the discussion to the audience, to further understand your hopes, and fears, for the future or such technologies. A worksheet will also be made available to record thoughts and comments towards the project.
Please join us for an evening of discussion at the Victoria pub, Birmingham, with the Birmingham Skeptics - led by artist Laurie Ramsell, artist in residence and fellow at Birmingham Open Media, investigating near future technologies in his new project 'Novo Sapiens'.
This is a free event and there is no charge for attending and participating.