The TECHNOLOGY AS A MEDIUM OF ARTISTIC CREATION: THE CASE OF BIOTECHNOLOGY
Keywords:transhumanism, posthumanism, transhuman art, gene editing, co-evolution, Maja Smrekar, Patricia Piccinini
In recent decades, artists have lost interest in the search for new solutions. In the celebration of traditional techné, and in pursuit of means of expression, they have turned to extreme areas of human activity or to the field of science and new technologies. The latest gene-editing technologies open up new challenges for art and force a rethinking of the interpretation of projects, artefacts, performances, and installations by artists focused on biotechnology. This is especially due to the fact that, for the time being, art criticism is in thrall to a posthuman discourse (grounded in theories of postmodernism) that at various levels focuses on the nature– culture opposition, primarily delimiting the biological aspects of humans to the interspecies social relationships of human and non-human beings. Because of this, artists and critics lack appropriate philosophical concepts to develop interpretive frameworks for art that reach into the realm of empirical investigations of human nature. Transhumanist discourse seems to offer a solution of sorts. Although still evolving and facing ethical critiques, it provides a more appropriate (emulative) framework for some contemporary artistic activities than the existing posthuman discourse.