CYBORG ART: ART IN THE BIO-CYBERNETIC ERA
“The work of art is the object seen sub specie aeternitatis; and the good life is the world seen sub specie aeternitatis. This is the connection between art and ethics.”
Ludwig Wittgenstein, Notebooks
Artist: The cyborg-artist is a technician by definition. It is the embodiment of three human cosmologies: A mind liberated from its biology, a mind as the creator of intelligible reality and a mind for which fiction is constitutive of truth.
Machine: Databases and algorithms that interact with the human through neural prostheses.
Authorship: The distinction between the artist and the tool becomes blurred. Absent of physical intervention, the artwork responds, on equal terms, both to human and machine’s potentialities and limitations. Being a hybrid artist/machine creation, will supersedes passion.
Skill: Substantial pleasure is derived from the mastering of prosthetic devices. In order to feel the empowerment they provide and explore their limits, the human yields soon-to-be obsolete skills in search for new ones. By the surrender of its body, the machine takes over. The more skillful, the better artist it is.
Nature: A dark room with the machine unveils the cyborgian universe from which Nature is expelled. The cyborg does not belong to a place, is a stateless that, in solitude, invents new worlds. The body becomes absent, an inanimate tool. Nature only comes back when it is time to take a leak. Isolation from Nature allows for the symbolic representation of the bio-cybernetic regime and the abandonment of art’s obsolete pretensions.
Reality: The prosthetic eye allows for the examination of the elementary units of the image, the modification of their code and the re-creation of an appearance of unity. The fictional nature of the analog continuum becomes apparent. If examined at nano-scale, the humid biology of humans is a composite of dry elements. Reality depends on the distance to the object. Liberated from human dimensions, the prosthetic universe opens up consciousness to new truths.
Time: Time is not a factor in the hybrid realm as the cyborg infinitely accumulates and deletes changes of the artwork’s code at will. The humid/viscous human time is replaced by the cyborg’s dry/electric algorithm.
Original: The cyborg’s artwork is invisible, can always change and, as such, has no identifiable original. A copy is the visible appearance of one version of the infinite range of potentialities the original contains. The decision when to create a replicant-object is purely arbitrary and performative.
Object: For the cyborg’s artwork, the object is the traumatic fall into the world. The transmutation of an image into a picture becomes the painful delivery of a replicant by the mother cell. The printed image is a clone of its mother, containing the same exact code, but in a diminished, dethroned, raped version. The replicant is an offensive offspring that lacks the vitality, the potentiality of its mother. Frozen, determined, framed, inoculated by water, by nature, it does not belong anymore to the hybrid realm. It has been gendered. The object is the return to the human.
Market: Cyborg art, by participating in the bio-cybernetic mode of production, re-writes art’s market value propositions.
Myth: The exhausted human, in lack of a destiny, can only hope for torpor in its religion, despair in its philosophy and irony in its art. The bio-cybernetic era is the dawn of new struggles and perils but also of an affirmative mythology in which gods are supplanted by humans and humans by cyborgs. The cyborg-artist will aspire to be Orpheus, it whom improves nature; Prometheus, it whom steals from humans their most precious possession; and Arachne, it whom finally challenges human superiority.
“Shall I go as the flowers that perished? Nothing shall remain of my name? Nothing of my fame here on earth? At least my flowers, at least my songs!”