Today is a beautiful day. The sky is a flawless shade of blue, and birds chirp merrily outside of my window. I feel blessed, in my body, in my skin, with my place within the whole of humanity.
Within the present day, however, I describe the future- a micro and macro expression that is yet to exist and yet happens with each breath that I take and forward step that I make. It has also influenced my art style a great deal, for its in-corporeality. The mental processing of the future can take on any shape that we- as humans- want, according to our perceptions, our desires. A utopia. A dystopia. Or any number of shades of existence between those two terms.
However, I no longer think that these words, in their present sense, are as poignant as the term "transhumanism". This word mostly involves augmenting humanity's destiny with a secondary, non-organic system of support. According to your personal perceptions of technology, this can have various meanings, positive or otherwise.
...a intellectual and cultural movement supporting the use of science and technology to improve human mental and physical characteristics and capacities. The movement regards aspects of the human condition, such as disability, suffering, disease, aging, and involuntary death as unnecessary and undesirable.
From this definition, I perceive the motivations behind it. The nature of human invention, whether it is art, tech, or even basket weaving, are all centered around making a better, easier, more beautiful place to live and work in. All of the things that eventually stop us, in regards to our physical bodies, are now being lumped together as a problem that transhumanist thought will have the best chance with solving.
The thing that I admire the most about transhumanism is its optimistic aim to do away with all suffering and inconveniences regarding the physical body. This also means, in the process, the establishment of a separate standard of what health, appearances, and documentation will become- and as an artist, what will I draw for variety, when such normalization of health, appearance, and standards of living occur within this future? Or, maybe this is not a problem that I face, since I do not produce facsimiles of the body as an artistic means of expression. Instead, I draw subjects with non-traditional physical features; I focus more on the essence and innate, kinetic energy to elicit an emotional, instinctive response from an indeterminate audience.
Following this logic, I believe that transhumanism will lead the society it affects to a gradual devaluation of individuality, and the capability for individual selves to be defined through unique experiences. If, as humanity, we cut out the negative side effects of events such as aging, disease, and death, we do away with a huge motivator to create something that will outlast our physical bodies. Perhaps this frees up humanity as a whole to create on purely leisurely terms, but it also encourages a type of laziness- regarding the value of time and eventually the value of others that are involved in creating and living as well.
In short, transhumanism has the potential to allow artists to create without the current real-world restrictions, allows for realism to verge over into the abstract in a unique path, away from the 20th century masters. But will life be as poignant, a path from which we must collect and keep our memories and things precious, when it is extended indefinitely?