This lecture is in conversation with Maria Hlavajova and Timotheus Vermeulen.
Love Machines questions today’s shift to a post-humanist philosophy, with its dismissal of anthropocentrism, folk and identity politics. The film brings forth the confrontation between the animal, human and over-human (bio-techno-intelligence) forces that clash in the search of collective sensitivity and discourses of emancipation. On the one hand the outdated modes of human existence fall into the trap of essentialist values, on the other hand the accelerationist ethics cast the majority of people into the condition of still being retarded and technologically non-upgraded “humans”. Is the human an ‘anthropos’ at all, – a species with thinking capacities, whose evolutional domination is gradually expiring, or is it an ethical condition that has been a project since numerous revolutions but has never reached its goal? If it is an extinguished realia then the main questions is the following: what is the subjectivity that would at the same time strive for bio-elemental disjunction and bio-technological hybridity and claim the political event and is it possible to sustain such a program at all? Who will be those whose cognitive and ethical expectations still cling to the notion of “human” – are they excluded or considered to be a backward surplus population? And would not the dogmatism of the post-humanist condition occur to be as despotic as the “humanist” once had been?
BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht organizes the series of presentations, conversations, seminars, and workshops Posthuman Glossary. The series takes place in the form of intensive two-day gatherings with artists, scholars, and activists around the critical issues of posthumanity in present-day artistic and intellectual work. Posthuman Glossary is a part of BAK’s research program Future Vocabularies (2014–2016) and its chapter Human-Inhuman-Posthuman, which is developed in dialogue with BAK Research Fellow Professor Rosi Braidotti and organized in collaboration with the Centre for the Humanities at Utrecht University. The series leads to the publishing of the Posthuman Glossary in 2016, edited by Braidotti and BAK’s Artistic Director Maria Hlavajova.