Until the April 10th 2016, Barcelona Contemporary Culture Center (CCCB) hosts +Humans, an exhibition approaching the potential futures of humanity.
What does it mean to be human today? What will it be like in a hundred years?
With all the modifications of our bodies, contact lens, prosthesis, surgical operations aiming to improve physical characteristics or abilities, are we already a society of cyborgs? Should we keep improving ourselves or are there boundaries that should not be overstepped?
Are we evolving or running to our extinction?
+Humans – Barcelona exhibitions
Human modification, current technologies
Virtual reality helmets, “wings” for humans to fly, helmets enabling the wearer to see himself like in a third person videogame, and other curiosities are exhibited, demonstrations of what human beings have managed to accomplish that make wonder what will be created in 50 years from now.
Current technology already enables us to modify our appearance and abilities: contact lens, implants, prosthesis… To replace a lost limb, for medical or esthetic reasons, most of us are modified humans – cyborgs?
We could currently create the perfect human being on an esthetic point of view… But what is perfection? Is it the typical American beauty pageant winner? Are small breasts or fat bellies nature failures? What defines beauty today? Several artists have wondered about this issue.
What’s next? Implants to enable us to see at night? Surgical operations on babies such as middle toe cut to prevent asthma?
Influences on and of our mind
Bryan Lewis Saunders painted a series of self-portrait under the influence of different drugs and toxic substances, as to show that not only our appearance but also our inner self and perceptions can be tremendously modified.
A helmet designed to enable communication with autistic people turning cerebral activity into music is available to try, our minds can now communicate directly with computers.
Robotic skulls following you with their eyes as you walk by that will make you shiver, robotic legs that will imitate your footsteps, robotic arm that can rock your baby’s cradle… Where is the limit? Robots can do anything, so why not take your place in the education of your child?
Modifications on our environment
Dogs, mice, mosquitos, corn and even viruses have been modified by humans, some for research purposes, others, as for dog cross-breeding for other reasons. Most of what we call nature today is actually the result of human intervention. Whereas natural evolution has created species adapted to their environment, men have modified them to match our needs and desires.
What if, on the contrary, we started to reproduce natural phenomena such as pollination to replace bees that are currently endangered? An artist has already created a pollination kit to enable us to do so.
The future of our species
With all our innovations, we could someday become immortals. The exhibition fantasizes a future where men would be immortals, and death would be reached in amusement parks, on the euthanasia roller coaster.
We know that human species tends to grow up from generation to generation, leading our needs in food and space to grow with us. With the population growth and the lack of resources, maybe someday we will find a way to shrink. The Incredible Shrinking Man is research project showing the apartment of a human measuring 50 cm, the height of a chicken.
Human + is a playful exhibition wondering about the concept of humanity, in the present and the future.
For more information about the exhibition, you can visit Barcelona Contemporary Culture Center official website.