Saturday, April 30, 2016

A HUMAN'S HOUSE AND A POSTHUMAN'S HOUSE

A Human's House and A Posthuman's House Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm 12016



I am still 'playing' with ideas of the posthuman! This latest painting plays with concepts of 'house' and 'home'. In September last year I wrote a blog post called HOME where I wrote about various kinds of homes, ranging from houses to planets. I wrote about why people might flee homes, mass exodus and concepts of new homes. But, in keeping with my current interest in the posthuman, as a place or an entity or both, I wondered what a posthuman house would be like. 

THE POSTHUMAN
So...the posthuman's 'house' might be THE POSTHUMAN ie: the presence, time and place combined...no separation. Why? Well...can you imagine a posthuman, like a downloaded mind, 'returning home' to a place? Wouldn't it already be 'home', embedded within its algorithmic 'instruction'? However, if a posthuman entity, such as a completely synthetic 'embodied' artificial intelligence, needed shelter then maybe it would like to have a 'house' as a home? But, maybe its 'body' could be the house? I mean, it's not like it would get cold or hot, wet or tired. However, if it needs to protect itself from radiation or other contaminants, then maybe a 'house' would be necessary?

POST-EARTH
If the Posthuman is a place, time or entity in the far distant future it might not involve Earth at all. It could be post-Earth as well as post-human. The sun's eventual demise means that a post-Earth situation will occur in billios of years time due to the solar system's demise along with the sun.  Humanity's chance to return to star dust? Yes!  Because our remains will be scattered along with Earth across space and the universe. 

So, if there was no alternative being/entity that could be classed as a posthuman, then maybe the posthuman is actually a time when we humans return to the stars? 

A Human's House and A Posthuman's House
In this new painting I have had fun with two houses - one is a human's house and the other is a posthuman's house. Yep...that's right!

The human house is a typical construction that anyone would identify as a house. The posthuman house is 'built' with four layers of binary code 'instructing' ...'House'. The pathway leading up the posthuman house is lined with zeros and ones, whereas the human house has a pathway of steps. The posthuman house's roof is a caret symbol indicating a space, whereas the human house's roof is attached to the building. Entering the posthuman house seems impossible, whereas entry to the human house seems possible, even welcoming.

TREE-OF-LIFE
The human house has a tree! Yes, it could be any old garden variety tree, but to me it is my much loved trans-cultural/religious tree-of-life. As regular readers know the tree-of-life visually and conceptually ties my work together...in an exploration of life past, current and into the future. It acts as a beacon across time and space, especially in my cosmic inspired paintings. I class A Human's House and A Posthuman's House as being cosmic. Thus, it is one of my 'cosmic landscapes', with an 'urban' theme!

Cheers,
Kathryn
www.kathrynbrimblecombe-fox.com 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

MY POSTHUMANS ARE DANCING, BUT DO THEY HAVE HEARTS?

My Posthumans Are Dancing, But Do They Have Hearts? Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm


MY POSTHUMAN TRIBE
I am still fascinated by posthumans. In fact I've painted a tribe of them over the last months! And, here are two more. These two are dancing. Why? Well, when thinking about the posthuman ie: a place and/or an entity from the far distant future, when humans no longer exist, I wonder about all sorts of things. Some say we are already posthuman, but I think that idea is driven by identity questions and issues, rather than existence ones. 

DANCING
So, why are my new posthumans dancing? And, why do I ask if they have hearts? If a posthuman entity was some kind of downloaded mind, would it have a facility to 'know' what dancing is or is like? Would it have a sensation of movement? Would it appreciate the dynamism of dancing with someone else? Would it improvise? Would it tire or know what a tired sensation is like? Would it be aware of spectators? Would spectators marvel at the dancer's strength and grace?

HEARTS?
So, to the question about hearts. I love to dance. My daughter loves to dance. We both feel it in our bodies and our hearts, although I apparently dance in a very old fashioned way! Our hearts pump faster for sure, but the joy and vibrancy of dancing is not just about physical movement. It involves a connection to music, to others, to imagination. It connects you to the rhythms of the earth...hey the whole universe! Could a posthuman downloaded mind or a completely synthetic being experience these things?  Could it say " I love to dance or I love dancing"?

I've tried to imagine posthumans dancing. My two, in this new painting, look like they are dancing. Their tree-of-life limbs seem hopeful but the binary code running down their 'bodies' - 00111111 instructs a ? This question mark/code asks lots of questions about form, embodiment, structure, reality, the future and it also 'asks', due to its positioning, "Where is the heart?" But, it's not just asking about a literal heart is it?

"Where is the heart?" could be a good question to ask even now. As previously mentioned some people think we are already posthuman...maybe it's because when we question the human identity we are really questioning where our hearts are?

Cheers,
Kathryn
www.kathrynbrimblecombe-fox.com

P.S. Scroll through my other recent posts and you will find more of my posthumans! 


Sunday, April 17, 2016

IMAGINING THE POSTHUMAN

 Imagining The Posthuman Gouache on paper 42 x 30 cm 2016


Yes! Another posthuman painting for you. But in this case the posthuman could be a posthuman entity/being or the posthuman era or the posthuman place. Imagining The Posthuman, as a title, could be 'read' a few ways. I quite like that, because whilst people think about posthumanism, I do not think we are already posthuman. We maybe transhuman, to varying degrees...pacemakers, hearing aids, drug enhancements, plastic surgery and so on...BUT

I wonder if we know enough about human capabilities. What if we become fully transhuman with machine, bio-tech and artificial intelligence 'enhancements' before we understand why some people know when a loved one has died, or that someone is about to ring, or even how an artist creates a painting from imagination. What if we ignore these things and then they are forgotten, no longer experienced. What if these human attributes hold keys to even more impressive outcomes than merging with machines?

There are a lot of questions to be asked!

Imagining The Posthuman
This new painting is similar to some other recent posthuman paintings. I did say I was having fun, didn't I!? This painting is less defined yet still includes my much loved transcultural/religious tree-of-life. Unlike previous paintings this one has only one string of binary code 0011111 to form the backbone or trunk...or is it suggestive of a map, or maybe stepping stones? 0011111 is code for ?

Even though the painting has a figurative quality, it also has a sense of landscape, and I suggest it is also futuristic. So, it could be a posthuman entity ie: not human but some kind of presence? Or, it could represent the posthuman habitat which may not be tangible or material but rather systemic? Or it could represent a time in a far distant future thousands of years after humanity became extinct? Maybe it is all three entwined?

BUT

For the time being, we are still human. Phew! We may be flawed, in varying degrees, but let's make sure we give ourselves, and future generations, the time to develop in ways where reflection, critique, research, understanding and compassion drive our energies, rather than fear and haste.

My painting Keep Us Human has the word 'Human' painted repeatedly around an orange/red circle. I imagine this circle to be the 21st century and the emanating lines the various choices of futures humanity might have.


                                Keeping Us Human Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm 2016


My Future Posthuman? 
Is This A Posthuman?
Cheers,
Kathryn
www.kathrynbrimblecombe-fox.com