/1/ Post human tension between nature and technology

October 1, 2014

post human landscape

Post human landscape appears as the environment where the centuries old-beliefs concerning the role and rights of humans are taken into very radical consideration. Post humanism argues with the term of humanity where the ideas of anthropocentrism are inseparable part indicating that, as the matter of fact, only due to being ‘born’ as humans we are automatically ‘given’ a set of privileges that can make us feel more important than the rest of organisms inhabiting the Earth. We are ‘allowed’ to adapt surrounding environment to our needs and our sake is the first importance. Post human reality questions this ideas, setting us in the position where we cannot glorify our species anymore, staying egocentric, greedy and parasitic still blindly believing as we were more than any other living creature.

To which extent can nature be used to create post human unit characterized by super intelligence and modified body, resistant to natural processes, such us sicknesses or aging. Is post human going to be the first in history being capable of skipping human biological limitations and needs? How much will he exploit the nature in order to stop being a part of it? Does this mean the end of the today’s human who used to compete with biology but always ended up losing with it as David Altmejd depicts it in his sculptural works, showing human’s bodies occupied by plants, mushrooms, animals, bacteria etc..? Is the post human landscape sharply divided into nature and post humans, where one doesn’t interrupt another?

I see the post human landscape as the place where knowledge, intelligence and technologies allows post humans to minimalize their footprint and where their presence is not working against other inhabitants of the planet. How much it means to be detached from nature and where is the limit of nature control? As the example trying to deal with this question I am bringing up the polish movie “Seksmisja”, sci-fi comedy from 1983. Two men are waking up in 2044 after being hibernated for 50 years, as the only male representatives in the world led by league of females. Earth surface is said to be radiated, thus the entire community of women is living underground in the artificial, scientifically controlled and self-sufficient bubble where reproduction is possible thanks to parthenogenesis. Two men are trying to bring back the natural (for the end of 20th century) ways of living, introducing post human females to the old world of feelings, desires and gender differences. Facing the great difficulties in breaking the new no-men reality accusing men of destruction of women’s dignity, finally they are making them discover the importance and pure pleasure of gender relations. They are starting reconstructing the past…

All doubts described above make me think about two opposing tendencies in progressing world. On one hand we have a great temptation for technological and scientific aid which puts as further and further from nature but closer to the evolutionary leap. On the other hand we are so nostalgic about eternal relationship of man with nature which is reflected in the hot topic of ecology and sustainability. If humans succeed in combining undeniable values of technology with no harmful impact on nature and within this symbiosis create physical environment, this environment is what I wish to see under enigmatic term of “post human landscape”.

KB

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