Who's in town?
Ute Meta Bauer
Becoming Posthuman

Salt Beyoğlu

May 29, 2018 19.00

This Changes Everything 2015 <i>This Changes Everything</i> [Bu Her şeyi Değiştirir] (2015) filminden bir kare
Still from the film This Changes Everything (2015) ©FilmBuff
Walk-in Cinema

The posthuman debate had significant impact on cultural production and theory of its time in the last fifty years. The exploration of outer space, the fear of an alien invasion that emerged with sightings of the UFOs, along with the early envisions of Artificial Intelligence served to an apocalyptic and dystopian imagination, which were stimulated with the race between national space programs and nuclear threats. Yet, even then, the thought of befriending aliens were considered exciting.

However, the current posthuman debate is shaped by the impact of ever-worsening climate change, as well as failures caused by what is called the Anthropocene, a geological epoch shaped by human interference. The focus has meanwhile shifted to closer terrains, such as the extinction of species and the consequences of ecocide. It has become more apparent that a “me, myself and I” egocentric attitude will not provide us with the necessary mental skill set to cope with the complex and pressing challenges our planet faces today. Particularly feminist and queer theorists are proposing a posthumanities scenario as a positive development. They are looking beyond the anthropocentric calling for an inclusive understanding of the world as a shared habitat for all living forms where the “right of nature” equals, if not replaces, “human rights.”

In this talk, curator Ute Meta Bauer will explore the argument stating that it is not humanities per se in crisis, but rather the anthropocentric perspective that dominates our planet that calls for an urgent revision.

This program will be held in English.

Ute Meta Bauer is the founding director of the NTU CCA Singapore, and a professor at the School of Art, Design and Media at the Nanyang Technological University, as well as an editorial team member of Afterall. Prior, she was an associate professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she served as the founding director of the MIT Program in Art, Culture, and Technology. She was also a co-curator on the team of Okwui Enwezor for the Documenta11, artistic director for the 3rd Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, and founding director of the Office for Contemporary Art Norway. Recent publications co-edited with Anca Rujoiu include Place.Labour.Capital. (2018), Simryn Gill/Michael Taussig. Becoming Palm (2017), Theatrical Fields – Critical Strategies in Performance, Film and Video (2016), Tomás Saraceno: Arachnid Orchestra (2015), and SouthEastAsia. Spaces of the Curatorial (2016), co-edited with Brigitte Oetker.