by Manon Clavelier | Follow
H+ : Beyond Humanity
For a long time, we have thought that the classical humanist act involved repairing and caring human beings in order to purge them from pains and sufferings linked to their frail condition. Now, this act shows both a new and troubling face with the eruption of the transhumanist movement. It praises the human enhancement, and even more, the post-human. This photo series called «H+: Beyond Humanity» suggests a reflection on transhumanist movement duality. Duality because it is not only appearing as the maximization of a classical humanism but also as a mercantile project with destructive potential. Indeed, do we really wish to put our faith in the transhumanists vision of the world which mainly draws its strength in the individualism battery and in the fulfilling of the superpower dream of the modern times Man?
Let's review first a perception that we are probably sharing; this feeling of never being enough, that the «normal» human is no longer sufficient and that he ceaselessly has to stretch the limits of his physical, sensory and cognitive abilities with the aim of blocking the fragility and the incompleteness of his own existence. We all now agree that the enhanced body is already existing: false teeth or artificial legs, breast or hair implants, sunscreens and peacemakers, they are all permitting to overcome a great number of the human lacks and deficiencies.
Nevertheless, all technology is not already transhumanist. Actually, transhumanism is not only promising to transform subjects inside and outside; it is lastingly attending to modify human condition. This movement is a complete society and market project within Man is supposed to become the support of technologies to sell. For transhumanist thinkers, humanity as we know it, caught in a vice between an animal state and the post-human, have to free itself in order to access to the next stage of its evolution. It should be up to us to influence on the human that we are today, and especially thanks to nanotechnologies, biotechnologies, IT or cognitive sciences. So, to open this transition to the post-human, the transhumanists charm offensive made the most ultimate promise, the promise to tear away humans from their condition of an object tossed around by nature and transcendence by making them immortals. By taking possession of the religious principles, the transhumanist movement state loud and clear that Man salvation would arise from human ingenuity and not from the Divine gif. God is not existing, or not anymore, and the Death stage can be boycotted because tomorrow humans will be endowed with almost infinite powers which will make him a superhuman. De facto we understand that, possibly, we could live eternally, patched up from all quarters or just being a conscientiousness in a hard drive.
This being told, could the transhumanism finally be an execution project of the Human as we know it for now? Because when all is said and done, being human is to remain funded, constantly being turned between reversed forces and a powerful need of absolute. But it is also to be moved by this irrepressible desire of eternity while knowing that it is utopian.
Wake-up, humanity is not a total fiasco, humans do not have to become superhumans; they urgently have to be reconnected to their roots and moreover, to reconcile with themselves. It is essential that humanity preserve this equilibrium area between the connection with nature and the need for technology in order to define a limit in the use of technics. And despite all the hope and fears to whom the transhumanist movement is giving rise to, however, it allows us to question on our humanity, our finiteness, the foundations of our beliefs as well as our relation to transcendence.