The Biopunk Reader

4May/112

Human+ Exhibit in Dublin Explores the Future(s) of Humanity

Do biopunk or cyberpunk catch your fancy? If you live near Dublin, Ireland, you're in for a treat. The Science Gallery at Trinity College is hosting Human+ The Future of Our Species, a thought-provoking (and at times downright chilling) exhibit exploring future visions of humanity. It mixes art, speculation, and cutting edge science. You will find curiosities like an interactive virtual head, a statue of Gluttony (seriously, the thing looks like it walked out of Neil Gaiman's The Sandman), and bioart like the "Edunia," a petunia sporting the DNA of Eduardo Kac, the artist.

Don't live near Dublin? No worries. You're still in for a treat, because you can now explore highlights from the exhibits on-line.

"Song of the Machine" is my favorite exhibit, although calling a "favorite" is hard, because all of the exhibits are so intriguing. But "Song"--which is about augmenting vision--holds a special personal significance for me, since I have limited sight in one of my eyes. Superflux, which is a London-based team of scientists, designers, and ethicists, is designing a unique technology for the visually impaired that couples genetic manipulation with an external optical prosthetic. The idea is to prep the nerve cells to receive input from an external device. I'm getting that this technology would be applicable to the military and to the general public, as well as those with impaired vision, because augmented individuals would be able to see into the UV and infrared ranges. My only question: Why did the team use a "song" analogy...for a visual technology?

Here is possibly the coolest bio/cyber hybrid at Human+, "Aphasia Mechanica":

And the most bone-chilling exhibit, "Euthenasia Coaster." Yes, a euthenasia machine in the form of a roller-coaster. Spiral off into euphoria, unconsciousness, and the uknown. What a way to go.

(Did the man actually say "dealing with overpopulation"? ::shivers::)

Human+ runs until June 24, 2011.

--Christine

Comments (2) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Excellent post :)

    And in response to the young man advocating the “Euthenasia Rollercoaster,” I am shocked and horrified! More than likely exactly the reaction he hoped he would evoke. What is it with the Eastern Bloc dystopian “solutions” to the worlds problems, anyway? Why not fix the problems of overcrowding and starvation by better agriculture and engineering, rather than euthanasia and forced sterilization. Seems rather self-loathing and futilist, in my humble opinion. I prefer to make things better for everyone, not just for the “elite” who are not so lucky as to be euthanized.

    I also wonder about the calm onlookers that listen to his speech and quietly nod their heads and look thoughtful. Are they wondering if this guy is a total nutjob, and they are being polite? I certainly hope so.

    • Thank you!

      All good points! Honestly, the money that would be spent building and maintaining these sorts of machines could be spent to feed and shelter people to, you know, keep them alive.

      My dad brought up another great point: If we seriously have a problem with overcrowding…are we really going to “solve” it by killing half a dozen people at a time on a…roller coaster? I think you’re right–he’s trying to evoke a reaction. Hell, for all we know, it’s actually a social experiment/art piece to gauge peoples’ reactions to such an absurd proposition… :P

      Oh–and oy. ::facepalm:: I meant to credit you for bringing this exhibit to my attention. Thank you oodles!


Leave a comment

(required)

No trackbacks yet.