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Posthumanity: Enhancement or Infringement?

Posthumanity: Enhancement or Infringement?

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Published by Kayjohns

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Categories:Topics, Art & Design
Published by: Kayjohns on Dec 21, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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02/05/2013

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Kay Johns BA (Hons) Fine Art: Sculpture, Northbrook College,Level 3, Year of Graduation 2009.
Posthumanity: Enhancement
 
or
 
Infringement?
 
Exploring how artists andcyberneticists portray the advantagesand disadvantages towards the futureof Posthumanity
 
1
This
 
dissertation has only been possible due to the help from somefantastic people. A special thank you goes to the following:Stelarc, Nancy Nisbet, Kevin Warwick, Steve Mann and Paula Roush, forall their help from interviews and correspondence.Jac Cattaneo for her motivational Cultural and Supporting StudiesSeminars. Richard Walker for his help and discussions on this subject.My friends Pete, Ony, Sally, Maz, Liz, and all the wonderful librarians atNorthbrook College for all their support and encouragement.
 
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Abstract
In contemporary society most people have become extremely reliant ontechnology; our existence has become empowered by our discoveries.While machines were once thought of as separate human technologicalcreations, some observers suggest that our development has sincesurpassed this level. Technology has become entwined with our bodiesand the dawning of a new hybridization between human and machine hasled to the emergence of the Posthuman. This dissertation explores someof the cultural technological developments in society that may lead to thisidea. I will research how artists and cyberneticists portray the advantagesand disadvantages towards these developments; along with how theirwork may address human rights and ethical issues, in a world merging lifeon earth with the machine. Formed of three main subject areas, chapterone will attempt to clarify how technology can change our identity, bygenerating
 
obsolescence of the body, along with the ethical issues that itmay encounter. While in chapter two interactive technologies will beexplored, by looking at both surveillance and sousveillance systems, alongwith Orwellian concerns of human rights and privacy. The final chapter willexplore direct implantation of micro chips into the body. This topic willattempt to unfold the problematic concerns generated by implantation,exploring both benefits and fears towards a future that Posthumanity mayembrace. While technology can give us the freedom to redesign ourbodies and enhance our abilities, it can also be used to devoid people ofany rights, privacy and freedom. The issue of control and who has thepower becomes a recurring concern throughout this dissertation, and onebegins to realize the truth. The implantation of a micro chip so that you canbe tracked wherever you go, is not about the advancement of technologyto aid with our safety or enhance our abilities to become Posthuman, it isultimately about power and control.

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