The latest technology and exact science are creating an inconvenient and, at times, embarrassing situation for art and the entire so-called “humanities” as they enter, without permission, into to the scope of questions and problems reserved exclusively for the “spiritual” and philosophical pursuits of human beings. The things that were, until recently, the sole domain of philosophers, artists, writers, creators, poets, theologians, ethicists and prophets is becoming an area penetrated by neurosurgeons, neurophysiologists, physicists, computer scientists and biologists.
Owing to brain activity imaging using more and more precise MRI scanners and the latest generations of CAT scanners, scientists can more accurately define and stimulate the areas in our brains that are responsible for the creativity of our minds and souls. They can use computers to register and reproduce these areas and to manipulate human consciousness and memory. They can make these areas independent of a patient’s will. Recently, they have even grown an artificial brain which they have cheerfully dubbed “the organoid”.
On the other hand, in a fluid, post-modern void, we have lost our fixed points of reference. In a foggy relativity of values, holding gadgets and miracles of the latest technological solutions, we are beginning to experience and increasingly powerful need to put the human world in order and to identify within it some independent constants.
The new oracle, the new hope and the greatest fetish of the 21st century is the brain. We no longer talk about the mind, the soul, awareness or the self – this is where the definitions are blurry, ambiguous and easily questionable. The brain, however, is an objective, three-pound, gelatinous entity which, until a while ago, was humanity’s greatest mystery (not only from the perspective of evolution, but also of functionality and creativity as well as unpredictability and insanity). At last, we are capable of studying this mystery, discovering and manipulating it and turning it into an object of worship. The brain is, indeed, the maker and reproducer of everything in the universe that is not a pure work of nature! (Besides, the brain has already become outstanding in the manipulating of nature itself.)
As we decipher its access codes, we believe that we can discover the absolute truth; an irrefutable (measurable) truth that is evenly undulated, that can be verified and experimented with.
The show aims to ask about what is human in all of this. Can we, from this perspective and for our own use, define the interhuman and the suprahuman? Can everything be, already, reduced to and recorded in the neuronal diagrams of electrochemical impulses?
In the show, a group of “researchers” is closing a multistage project in which they subjected their own bodies and minds to extreme experiments. In the final stage of their research they are defining their personal points of reference and perspectives showing the opposition (and helplessness?) of that which is human towards the arrogance and ruthlessness of science and technoideology.