Transhumanism / Posthumanism / Compost

Julia Grillmayr
Fine Arts and Media Art, Site Specific Art
2019W, Vorlesung und Übungen (VU), 2.0 semester hours, course number S02733

Description

In this seminar, we will discuss the basic notions and concepts of posthumanism in contemporary philosophy, literature and art.

All ‘posthumanisms’ are concerned with questions like What makes the human human? How does the body and the mind relate to each other? How do human minds and bodies relate to the bodies and the cognitive capabilities of non-human animals, landscapes and machines? However, different strands of posthumanism will approach and answer these questions very differently. With the help of short theoretical and literary texts as well as works of fine art and performance art that relates to this discourse, we will consider different ways of ‘becoming posthuman’ -- from transhumanism to critical posthumanism and finally compostism . Besides ethical and political questions, we will inquire if there is something like a specific posthuman esthetics. Furthermore, we will consider how the hopes or fears of ‘becoming posthuman’ relate to environmental discourses and ‘the Anthropocene’.

With central topoi like human-animal-relations, man-machine-hybridization, human enhancement, singularity, and space exploration, posthumanism has always had a close relationship and affinity to Science Fiction. Therefore, the watching & reading of cyberpunk and biopunk fictions and feminist SF will accompany this seminar.

Examination Modalities

The core of this seminar is discussion and exchange!

Attendance is required, active participation in discussions is highly valued and there will be regular small reading assignments. At the end of the seminar, every participant will present a work reflection the contents we have discussed – this can take the form of a classic Seminararbeit, a more experimental/literary text, an essay, an artwork.

Key Words

Posthumanism, Anthropocene, Cultural Studies, Literature, Science Fiction

Dates

09 October 2019, 12:30–17:30 Exhibition Room Site-specific Art and Sculpture and Space , "Einführung ins Seminar & gemeinsamer Besuch der Ausstellung "Stone Telling" im Kunstraum Niederösterreich"
12 October 2019, 11:00–14:00 Exhibition Room Site-specific Art and Sculpture and Space , "Many ways of 'becoming-posthuman'"
06 December 2019, 16:00–19:00 Exhibition Room Site-specific Art and Sculpture and Space , "Transhumanism"
07 December 2019, 11:00–14:00 Exhibition Room Site-specific Art and Sculpture and Space , "Critical Posthumanism"
13 December 2019, 16:00–19:00 Exhibition Room Site-specific Art and Sculpture and Space , "Compost"
14 December 2019, 11:00–14:00 Exhibition Room Site-specific Art and Sculpture and Space , "presentation of participant's works, wrap up, evaluation"

co-registration: possible (2.0 ECTS)

Fine Arts (2. Section): Free Electives out of Artistic Practice in Technical Context (2.0 ECTS)

Individual courses: possible (2.0 ECTS)