CONTEXT: Post-Humanism, Johannes Klabbers and Cécile B. Evans

As part of Light Night 2017, Johannes Klabbers was offering Post-Humanistic therapy (which was previously offered at Unsound festival in Krakow) so I signed up. Having my interest sparked in different perspectives through new materialism I was keen to discuss this view and what a post-human could be with Klabbers. Post-Humanism is tricky to define but it consists in the idea that our anthropomorphic understanding of reality is limited. That there is nothing particularly especial about taking a human point of view over say an animal, a rock or a planet. Indeed, it can be liberating.

My partner and I did a joint therapy session with Johannes which simply began with the question, “what is this?” (usually “what are you?” for individual sessions). It floored me and the conversation and silence that ensued really changed my perspective irrevocably. My answer was a ‘collaboration’. We talked about quantum physics, veganism, the role of the sublime and beauty, the breakdown of binaryism, Descartes and Kant, the importance of optimism and sadness. We both left changed.

The liberating idea that there is nothing special about the human or indeed my perspective really threw me. I walked down the street aware that I was no more valued than the lampost to the passer-bys. I felt a real freedom.

I looked into post-humanist artists and came across Cécile B. Evans‘ work. I’d seen her ‘Sprung a Leak’ in the Tate in Liverpool recently (pictured above). An installation of robots and videos of social media and pole dancers, a robot dog. A narrative about an online persona dying and the contrast of real and cyber life. In terms of accessing a non-human perspective, I find her work very successful.

 

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