The Open: Mediating the Human and Non-Human Interface

Symposium:


Session Title:

  • Ecology, Cybernetics and Open Systems in Art and Technology

Presentation Title:

  • The Open: Mediating the Human and Non-Human Interface

Presenter(s):



Abstract:

  • Panel: Ecology, Cybernetics and Open Systems in Art and Technology

    Both Heidegger and Agamben referred to ‘the Open’ as forces unknown, those of art and of everyday experience. According to Heidegger, to be open is a strictly human experience. A nonhuman organism is closed off from anything except the strict routine of sustaining life. Agamben disagreed with this view and redefined ‘the Open’ as a reconciliation of the human with animality. In this presentation, several contemporary artists examine ways in which humans interact with nonhumans through cultivating the ‘other’ and integrating the bodies or remains of nonhumans into their work. In many cases, human and nonhuman organisms have been mediated. While Heidegger and Agamben use the human/nonhuman dichotomy to define what it is to be human, many of the works in this presentation tend towards Harroway’s notion of the inextricable connection between co-evolved species: man, animal and others. Like Harroway, most of these artists engage bioethics and biopolitics in their work.
    Questions to consider:

    1. What is in the gap separating human and nonhuman? What is the role of language, cognition and consciousness in this gap?
    2. Does technicity play a role in what Agamben calls “the central emptiness that separates man and animal” ?
    3. Can an artwork disrupt Agamben’s notion of the anthropological machine by inventing ways to reconcile human and nonhuman life?

Venue(s):


Category: