back to home page
What are media artists, telematic scientists, and others at the edge of creation / design actually producing behind the scenes? From Electronics and Biomedia to the converging of nano-bio-info-cogno (NBIC Media) — not just new molecular synthetic life - but radical life extension of the transformative human is drawing considerable attention! Are we genetic purebreds or an open system of matter and energy of 1,000 different species?
|If you are concerned about human futures, it is most likely that you think about the ratio of positive vs. negative outcomes of a biotechnological and nanotechnological induced human enhancement, and whether or not enhancing human physiology is truly beneficial to the individual and to society. Nevertheless, the majority of literature on the topic reports a consensus of opinion that the nanotech, biotech, information tech, and cognitive and neuro sciences — separately or together — will inevitably hybridize humans in the sense that we will blend our biology with technology at the molecular level.|
The human is a synthesis of more than human cells,
and some of these microbes are aggressive and a danger to our own
cells. Other microbes have merely landed on top of and inside our
bodies and set up their own house-keeping. And other microbes have
always lived inside us and our bodies support them because they are
beneficial and consequential to our well-being.
One could say that because we
are made up of many cells that do not contain our human DNA that we
are, in a matter of speaking – already hybrid. For example,
according to scientist Jeremy Nicholson, we are "1,000 species and
more than 10 trillion bacterial cells inside us at any given time.”
A great deal of our
evolution as a species was the result of bacteria, viruses, and
other foreign DNA changing our genetic make-up. Without this
diverse cell convergence, we would not have survived as a species.
And because most of the cells in our body are not our own, we could view ourselves as walking "superorganisms," a highly complex conglomerations of human cells and microbes. And our skin – well, our skin is actually a virtual zoo. It is populated by a diverse assortment of bacteria. Using a powerful new molecular method, researchers have found evidence for 182 species of bacteria in normal skin and approximately 71.4% of the total number of bacterial species were different from person to person.
Is this a good enough argument that humans are hybrids? In light of this, perhaps injecting the body with nanorobots may not seem so invasive and may even be beneficial — perhaps as beneficial if not more than the microbes who live inside us.
|Distributed identity is not a "disembodied" person.|
|Bioart is one field which applies biotechnologies to manipulate life forms, but it is limited by its use of biology. What is next?|
|While designers' and media artists works' extend, augment, manipulate, and enhance the human in corporeal and non-corporeal states by judiciously appropriating the technologies of respective eras, why is there a lack of attention paid to human transitions into semi and non-biological states of existence? Is there an artificial boundary by which augmentations and extensions of the human go only so far, but not too far?|
|What new opportunities await authors, designers, programmers, scientists, artists who are interested in the transitional, transformational stages of our biology and emerging technologies?|