The Art of Transhumanism

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Technology and art relate more to each other than you might think. Art mimics life. And it’s an understatement to say that technology is changing the way we live. The Transhumanist movement embraces technologies like cognitive science, cryonics, artificial intelligence and biotechnology—the same forces that are bringing about profound physical and societal change. And as technology advances, so do our visions of the future. But what truths do these visions represent? Humans are extending current biological limitations, and in the next few decades what it means to be human might change considerably. Check out these cool photos below to get a Transhumanist and artistic slant on what the future may hold.

Transhuman Images: Artificial Wombs

Synthetic Wombs by Unknown Artist

Artificial wombs? Not so far-fetched. We already have the ability to keep donor hearts pumping externally with nutrient-rich oxygenated blood before transplants are performed. That’s mind-blowing.

Transhuman Images: Cyborg Man

Cyborg Man by Benedict Campbell

Believe it or not, this guy has a lot in common with former cyborg Kevin Warwick, the professor at Reading University in England who wired his nervous system to control a robotic hand on the other side of the Atlantic. Warwick is already putting animal brain cells into robots as a control system.

Transhuman Images: Dying Race

"Dying Race" by Joachim Luetke

Transhuman Images: Dystopia

"Dystopia" by Joachim Luetke

Transhuman Images: Cyborg Baby

"Kov Seti" by Joachim Luetke

The only thing creepier than a baby robot named Diego-San is a cyborg fetus with no name. It’s an interesting concept that before long we might be incubating our unborn children in tanks, but we might want to think about what that means for population control and the Super Bowl first.

Transhuman Images: Hybrid Sculpture

"The Map Is Not the Territory" by Kate Clark

We can’t find a single reason to make a human-gazelle hybrid, but fusing animals and humans (however frightening the concept may be) could be good for something. Couldn’t it?

Transhuman Images: da Vinci

"da Vinci Transhuman" by Unknown Artist

Transhuman Images: Female Terminator

Advertisement from Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Transhuman images: Mechanical creature

"Cyberneticus" by Jana Doležálka

It’s only a matter of time before we start digging up skeletons of robots past. With all of these robot dogs walking around and being taught new tricks, how long will it take for robots to adopt other more efficient animal designs?

Transhuman images: Cyborg seductress

"Frustration Attraction" by Heidi Taillefer

Transhuman images: Wolves

"The Wolves of Prejudice" by Heidi Taillefer

Transhuman images: Robot plugin

"Future Plug" by Unknown Artist

Transhuman images: Cyborg profile

"InterFace" by Conzpiracy

Transhuman images: Cyborg sculpture

"diag modeside" by Dominic Elvin

Transhuman images: Robot housekeeper

Robot Housekeeper by Unknown Artist

Transhuman images: Robot at Work

Robot at Work by Unknown Artist

With stunning achievement’s like Toyota’s robot violinist, it’s no wonder that someday soon we’ll have robot assistants helping us with formulas, figures and other tasks at work. This paradigm could be a catalyst for a new robot population, complete with legal rights and an education and housing system.

Transhuman images: Human After Death

Image courtesy DeviantArt.com

We all have some sort of anxiety surrounding death. But what if we could cheat it? Would we still be afraid of it? We now have a neural interface that allows our brain impulses to control wheelchairs, computer cursors and robotic body parts. This could be profound for those of us who want to live beyond death.

Bottom line: Transhumanism isn’t fantasy, but a far-looking aesthetic based on real technologies. Whether or not you’re a Transhumanist, future society and all of the potential it brings does seem exciting. Now all we need is a box that keeps our brain working long enough for a cyborg transplant. Sounds routine enough.

Discussion — 32 Responses

  • Donna Winter June 7, 2010 on 9:47 pm

    Thought-provoking post and amazing collection of images/art.

  • Donna Winter June 7, 2010 on 5:47 pm

    Thought-provoking post and amazing collection of images/art.

  • Hugh June 7, 2010 on 10:01 pm

    A lot of these images seem pretty negative and dystopian, and personally, my interest in transhumanism really stems from the potential for it to improve our lives.

    I think there’s more interesting art that could be seen as being related to transhumanism. Off the top of my head: Masamune Shirow’s Ghost in the Shell, in particular Man/Machine Interface (though I concede this also has dystopian elements).

    • Nathan Waters Hugh June 7, 2010 on 11:52 pm

      I have the same issue with any movies relating to robotics and future scenarios. But violence and dystopia sells, at least in the West. I hear that the East see robotics in a much grander light ever since Astro Boy came on the scene.

      • Hugh Nathan Waters June 8, 2010 on 12:41 am

        True that violence and dystopia sells, but still wouldn’t choose to promote transhumanism with images reminiscent of H.R. Geiger, and don’t really feel its representative of what transhumanism is about.

        Mind you, just choosing images that present a rose-tinted view of the future may also be a bit mistaken.

    • Capissen Hugh June 9, 2010 on 1:24 am

      Seconded…we need to be careful about the way in which we sell the concept of transhumanism to the public at large, because they are crazy, and they vote. I’m already wondering how many people will be against therapeutic cloning after this “Splice” film.

      How about some images of a senile grandfather reverting to a vibrant teenager, or a world free from waste and disease?

      • Stuart Harrison Capissen June 9, 2010 on 9:07 pm

        Jasher 4. 18-19: “And their judges and rulers (Fallen angels/Elohym)went to the daughters of men and took their wives by force from their husbands according to their choice, and the sons of men in those days took from the cattle of the earth, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and taught the mixture of animals of one species with the other, in order therewith to provoke the Lord; and God saw the whole earth and it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted its ways upon earth, all men and all animals. And the Lord said, I will blot out man that I created from the face of the earth, yea from man to the birds of the air, together with cattle and beasts that are in the field for I repent that I made them.

  • Hugh June 7, 2010 on 6:01 pm

    A lot of these images seem pretty negative and dystopian, and personally, my interest in transhumanism really stems from the potential for it to improve our lives.

    I think there’s more interesting art that could be seen as being related to transhumanism. Off the top of my head: Masamune Shirow’s Ghost in the Shell, in particular Man/Machine Interface (though I concede this also has dystopian elements).

    • Nathan Waters Hugh June 7, 2010 on 7:52 pm

      I have the same issue with any movies relating to robotics and future scenarios. But violence and dystopia sells, at least in the West. I hear that the East see robotics in a much grander light ever since Astro Boy came on the scene.

      • Hugh Nathan Waters June 7, 2010 on 8:41 pm

        True that violence and dystopia sells, but still wouldn’t choose to promote transhumanism with images reminiscent of H.R. Geiger, and don’t really feel its representative of what transhumanism is about.

        Mind you, just choosing images that present a rose-tinted view of the future may also be a bit mistaken.

    • Capissen Hugh June 8, 2010 on 9:24 pm

      Seconded…we need to be careful about the way in which we sell the concept of transhumanism to the public at large, because they are crazy, and they vote. I’m already wondering how many people will be against therapeutic cloning after this “Splice” film.

      How about some images of a senile grandfather reverting to a vibrant teenager, or a world free from waste and disease?

      • Stuart Harrison Capissen June 9, 2010 on 5:07 pm

        Jasher 4. 18-19: “And their judges and rulers (Fallen angels/Elohym)went to the daughters of men and took their wives by force from their husbands according to their choice, and the sons of men in those days took from the cattle of the earth, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and taught the mixture of animals of one species with the other, in order therewith to provoke the Lord; and God saw the whole earth and it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted its ways upon earth, all men and all animals. And the Lord said, I will blot out man that I created from the face of the earth, yea from man to the birds of the air, together with cattle and beasts that are in the field for I repent that I made them.

  • Julian June 8, 2010 on 12:45 am

    “Robot Housekeeper” and “Robot at Work” was made by Blutsbruder
    http://www.blutsbrueder-design.com/

    “Future Plug” was made by Fausto de Martini
    http://faustodemartini.cgsociety.org/gallery/547776/

    Just thought I’d mention it if someone wants to see more great work from these artist.

  • Julian June 7, 2010 on 8:45 pm

    “Robot Housekeeper” and “Robot at Work” was made by Blutsbruder
    http://www.blutsbrueder-design.com/

    “Future Plug” was made by Fausto de Martini
    http://faustodemartini.cgsociety.org/gallery/547776/

    Just thought I’d mention it if someone wants to see more great work from these artist.

  • LarvaMaster June 8, 2010 on 8:46 pm

    Dystopian Images. Tech needs to be elegant and functional. funcional above all.

    Science of the future will resemble the magic of d&d worlds, on my opinion.

  • LarvaMaster June 8, 2010 on 4:46 pm

    Dystopian Images. Tech needs to be elegant and functional. funcional above all.

    Science of the future will resemble the magic of d&d worlds, on my opinion.

  • Chris June 9, 2010 on 5:06 am

    I’m passionate about the future and transhumanism. I believe the future will be beautiful and elegant. My wife on the other hand thinks I’m crazy and hates the idea of adding wires and junk to our bodies, and thinks its creepy to transfer our consciousness into robot shells. She’s got it all wrong and I’m trying to convince her that tech is beautiful and science is better than religion, but today she caught me looking at this transhuman artwork at singularity hub… This sure didn’t help! Now she’s never going to let me donate to any transhumanist or singularity research. There’s gotta be better artwork than this!

    • Louis Chris August 16, 2010 on 8:05 pm

      Let you? I don’t understand she’s your wife not your Mom?

  • Chris June 9, 2010 on 1:06 am

    I’m passionate about the future and transhumanism. I believe the future will be beautiful and elegant. My wife on the other hand thinks I’m crazy and hates the idea of adding wires and junk to our bodies, and thinks its creepy to transfer our consciousness into robot shells. She’s got it all wrong and I’m trying to convince her that tech is beautiful and science is better than religion, but today she caught me looking at this transhuman artwork at singularity hub… This sure didn’t help! Now she’s never going to let me donate to any transhumanist or singularity research. There’s gotta be better artwork than this!

    • Louis Chris August 16, 2010 on 4:05 pm

      Let you? I don’t understand she’s your wife not your Mom?

  • rlv54 June 9, 2010 on 6:16 pm

    lol God will never let this happen, they were gene splicing in noahs day and God destroyed the whole thing with a global flood, next time will be by fire, if you want to live forever Jesus Christ is the answer.

    • Jack_B rlv54 June 10, 2010 on 1:48 am

      snore

    • Luke rlv54 June 18, 2010 on 4:55 am

      You don’t seem to have learned from the history of your religion. Never make disprovable claims on the basis of your beliefs, because it’s only a matter of time before your claims are disproven.

  • rlv54 June 9, 2010 on 2:16 pm

    lol God will never let this happen, they were gene splicing in noahs day and God destroyed the whole thing with a global flood, next time will be by fire, if you want to live forever Jesus Christ is the answer.

    • Jack_B rlv54 June 9, 2010 on 9:48 pm

      snore

    • Luke rlv54 June 18, 2010 on 12:55 am

      You don’t seem to have learned from the history of your religion. Never make disprovable claims on the basis of your beliefs, because it’s only a matter of time before your claims are disproven.

  • Stella Bloom June 14, 2010 on 3:47 am

    How sad that so many of the artists are unknown.

    I was freaked by Cyborg Man and by Advertisement from Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, probably because subconsciously they struck me as images of dead people, as a human would be dead or dying if so many of its crucial parts were missing or exposed.

    I laughed out loud at Frustration Attraction, probably because I have a tendency to read religious writings and art as science fiction, and this piece was an eloquent example.

  • Stella Bloom June 13, 2010 on 11:47 pm

    How sad that so many of the artists are unknown.

    I was freaked by Cyborg Man and by Advertisement from Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, probably because subconsciously they struck me as images of dead people, as a human would be dead or dying if so many of its crucial parts were missing or exposed.

    I laughed out loud at Frustration Attraction, probably because I have a tendency to read religious writings and art as science fiction, and this piece was an eloquent example.

  • Kulakovich June 14, 2010 on 1:47 pm

    I’m with Hugh. If you want to shill dystopia, pic a different title for your gallery page here.

    No offense meant, but you may as well have titled this “World Cup images” because some of them contain people with circles.

    Truly – you’ve captured most of what the public dislikes about Transhuminism. Propagating these memes as H+ is a bullet in the foot of human progress.

  • Kulakovich June 14, 2010 on 9:47 am

    I’m with Hugh. If you want to shill dystopia, pic a different title for your gallery page here.

    No offense meant, but you may as well have titled this “World Cup images” because some of them contain people with circles.

    Truly – you’ve captured most of what the public dislikes about Transhuminism. Propagating these memes as H+ is a bullet in the foot of human progress.

  • Sean_K June 14, 2010 on 3:42 pm

    One notable omission is Bjork’s “All is full of love”

    Chris Cunningham’s visualization of robots has since been copied directly (CC recieveing royalties) and indirectly in films and advertisements since… (“Robot at Work” above is a prime example…)

  • Sean_K June 14, 2010 on 11:42 am

    One notable omission is Bjork’s “All is full of love”

    Chris Cunningham’s visualization of robots has since been copied directly (CC recieveing royalties) and indirectly in films and advertisements since… (“Robot at Work” above is a prime example…)