Future Of The Human Species

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Future Of The Human Species

August 21, 2017

Find out what it means to be human in a world of artificial intelligence, life-like robots and genetic modification in the ArtScience Museum’s latest exhibition HUMAN+: The Future Of Our Species.

The cutting-edge exhibition is a collaboration between ArtScience Museum, Science Gallery Dublin at Trinity College Dublin and The Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona.

Delving into a future world where the lines between fiction and reality are blurred, the exhibition addresses issues such as advances in genetic engineering, biotechnology and nanotechnology; the current existence of cyborgs, superhumans and clones; and what it will feel like to be a human 100 years from now.

It also probes the social, ethical and environmental questions raised by using technology to modify ourselves and whether there are boundaries that shouldn’t be overstepped. Will virtual reality be the new reality? What would happen if a robot knew what we wanted before we knew ourselves? In the future, who will have ownership of our genetic information?

Exploring possible future paths for the human species, the exhibition spotlights the works of 40 international artists, scientists, technologists and designers, with major names from the fields of robotics, biotechnology, synthetic biology and artificial intelligence including the world’s first living cyborg Neil Harbisson; Australia’s leading performance artist Stelarc; and Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr, who grow sculptures from living tissue.

From spectacular demonstrations of the latest robotic technologies to challenging contemporary artworks, intriguing design prototypes and exciting innovations from Singapore, the exhibition imagines many possible futures in four themed galleries.

• Chapter 1: Augmented Abilities
Discover the physical and biological ways in which we have augmented our minds and bodies. From prosthetics that augment bodily functions to medical interventions that change how we think, explore what it means to be a cyborg today.

Neil Harbisson has an antenna implanted in his skull to allow him to perceive colours as sound waves. He is officially recognised as a cyborg by the British government.
Photo: Hector Adalid

A highlight is the work by Neil Harbisson, the world’s first human to be officially recognised as a cyborg. Born without the ability to see colour, Harbisson, who will be in Singapore for the opening of the exhibition, wears a prosthetic antenna called “eyeborg” that allows him to hear colour. This antenna has been implanted in his skull since 2003.

Other works to check out include those by star performance artist Stelarc, as well as captivating images and fascinating prototypes by Aimee Mullins and Chris Woebken.

• Chapter 2: Encountering Others
This gallery explores the changing nature of our social relationships (with family, friends, co-workers and even pets) due to advances in technology. Are the personalities we interact with on our devices living, artificial or a combination of the two?

Check out Addie Wagenknecht’s provocative artwork which explores how motherhood might evolve in a world of robotics. Her artwork depicts a robot arm that gently rocks a bassinet whenever a baby cries.

Look out also for cutting-edge artworks by Louis-Phillippe Demers, Cao Fei, Yves Gellie and S.W.A.M.P.

• Chapter 3: Authoring Environments

The Human Pollination Project by Laura Allcorn
Photo: Laura Allcorn

Discover how we are transforming the very environment we live in due to far-reaching advances in science and technology.

Look out for The Human Pollination Project by Laura Allcorn, a pollination tool kit, designed to be worn as a fashion accessory. It raises questions about the social and environmental implications of the collapse of bee populations which are responsible for pollinating the plants that grow into the food we eat.

There are also intriguing speculative artworks and design proposals by Antony Dunne and Fiona Raby, Liam Young, The Centre for PostNatural History, and leading Singaporean contemporary artist Robert Zhao.

• Chapter 4: Life At The Edges
Explore the limits of human life and longevity, and find out what it means to create life or extend a person’s lifespan.

Check out designer Agatha Haines’ realistic sculptures of five human babies, each with a surgically implemented body modification.

Don’t miss the living artworks designed in a laboratory by Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr, and works which explore the end of life by Julijonas Urbonas, and James Auger and Jimmy Loizeau.

Transfigurations by Agatha Haines consists of sculptures representing five babies who have body modifications. Each modification is designed to solve a potential future problem for the baby, ranging from medical or environmental issues to social mobility issues.
Photo: Agatha Haines

Till 15 October 2017

ADMISSION (for non-Singaporean)
• Adult: $17
• Child (aged 2 to 12), senior (aged 65 and above), student: $12
• Family package (two adults & two kids): $46


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