Thresholds 42: Human prompts us to consider the past and present changing notion of ‘the human’ with regards to its physical, virtual, and psychological habitat.
In the last decade innovations within cognitive imaging, computer interfaces, communication technologies, surrogate natures, sensory mediators, and global tracking have reshaped our understanding of the Self. This shift can be seen, on one hand, as a revolution of sensibilities while, on the other hand, still pushing towards an enlightenment-based, rationalist perspective of the human as a neurobiological mechanism.   No matter which way this ‘human’ is being reshaped, does it not also reshape ‘the humanities’ as well as our understanding of ‘humanity’? Have we indeed formed new gateways of artistic and architectural possibility or have we forced ourselves into a deterministic and mechanistic view of both occupants and design? Humans are different than machines, after all, but how has the human/machine duality been rethought in our current age? How does art, architecture and film envision, critique, or challenge this ‘new human’?
Due: April 30 2013