The Aesthetic Beauty of the Artificial: when Prosthetic Bodies Become an Art Expression of Empowering Design Technologies

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Session Title:

  • Posthumanism II

Presentation Title:

  • The Aesthetic Beauty of the Artificial: when Prosthetic Bodies Become an Art Expression of Empowering Design Technologies

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Abstract:

  • Abstract

    Keywords: aesthetics, cyborg, posthumanism, transhumanism and futurism

    Old futuristic dreams and utopias
    Over the course of one hundred years, humanity has moved from the visionary and fantastic description of a new futuristic human to the contemporary actualized realities of cyborgology. The aesthetic of the human body has changed from the futurist’s ideal – a world based on a merging between the human and the machine for the creation of a new being able to supersede the limitations imposed upon the body by nature and society – to the contemporary realities of bioengineered prosthetics that are used to overcome physical limitations and mutilations (Poggi 1997: 19-20).
    Humanity is no longer relegating the possibility of a cyborg to the realms of illusion and wondrous utopia. The existence of beings that are in part machines has become a fact of life with the increased possibilities of exchanging and replacing organs and limbs for prosthetics and mechanical devices. The ethical question to be asked is no longer whether a human being with an artificial heart or with artificial limbs is still human, but how much of a human body can be artificially reconstructed before the human element is overtaken by the nature of the mechanic.

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