Blind Faith — Lecture by Francesca Ferrando

Francesca Ferrando, Ph.D in Philosophy, M.A. in Gender Studies, is a philosopher of the posthuman; she teaches Philosophy at NYU, Program of Liberal Studies. Dr. Ferrando has published extensively on the topic of Post- and Transhumanism, she was awarded the Philosophical Prize „Vittorio Sainati“ with the Acknowledgment of the President of Italy; her book “Philosophical Posthumanism and its Others” is coming out in English by Bloomsbury Publishing. In the history of TED talks, Dr. Ferrando was the first speaker to lecture on the subject of the posthuman. US magazine “ORIGIN” named her one of the 100 Top Creatives making change in the world. She is one of the founders of the NY Posthuman Research Group. For more info: www.theposthuman.org.

The (After)life of the Cyborg: On the past, present, and future of human-machine interactions

Despite being published more than three decades ago, Donna Haraway’s seminal text A Cyborg Manifesto (1984) remains a key point of reference for artistic inquiry. The one-day symposium The (After)life of the Cyborg: On the Past, Present and Future of Human-Machine Interactions at Haus der Kunst brings together artists and theoreticians with a view to explicating the relevance of the Cyborg in contemporary society. While technological advances in robotics, artificial intelligence, and augmented/virtual reality may make the Cyborg look like a very real prospect, the utopic social vision for a new form of subjectivity proffered by Haraway, which called for a more permeable approach to the established binaries of man and woman, self and other, nature and culture, remains as yet unrealized.

Organized as part of the exhibition „Blind Faith: Between the Visceral and the Cognitive in Contemporary Art“, the symposium looks at how the historical image of the Cyborg, as presented by Haraway, compares with the social, political, and technological realities of the present moment. Consisting of a keynote speech by Francesca Ferrando, a performance by Lili Reynaud-Dewar, and a presentation by Cécile B. Evans on her work Sprung a Leak (2016), The (After)life of the Cyborg offers a multi-disciplinary examination of the relevance of the Cyborg in the age of technological mediation and digital capitalism. While Evans’ installation explores the influence of human-machine and machine-machine interactions on our emotions, Reynaud-Dewar’s project TEETH GUMS MACHINES FUTURE SOCIETY (2016) redefines the grill-the metallic dental prosthesis with roots in hip-hop culture-as an integral part of the utopian Cyborg body that harbours the power to transcend boundaries of race, class, and gender. These artistic positions are underpinned by a presentation by Francesca Ferrando who traces the Cyborg’s lineage into the present day and beyond, reflecting upon the challenges and revisions it has encountered in the face of technological and social change. The symposium will end with a panel discussion between all the participants.

More information: Haus der Kunst