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The Evolutionary Perspective
Category Archives: Post Human
Posted: August 25, 2017 at 3:31 am
Spectrum Project Space will host an exhibition by artist Dan Gladden this September, featuring works that explore the idea of the posthuman from a romanticised and imagined queer perspective.
Gladdens work primarily focuses on body image and masculine beauty, exploring merging, diving and mirrored forms from the idea of a gay clone the idealised, muscle-bound visage of a Western male body.
Gladden explores this notion of the posthuman by taking contemporary media representations of masculinity and projecting an imagined future of superhumans based on these ideals of beauty.
We caught up with Gladden to find out more about what motivated the work, the Western image of the ideal man and the notion of the posthuman.
Was there a particular moment or scenario that inspired this series?
There was no particular moment that kick started the works in the exhibition, however I have been addressing similar themes in my practice since uni, where i examined gay male identity and body image as a marketable commodity.
The works in frag/men/t further elaborate on this theme but have merged into a much stranger space where bodies and forms morph, merge and melt into new bodily creations and beings, like some bad cloning experiments gone wrong.
I guess what also influenced me is the insanely increasing technological advances especially in terms of designer genetics.
Why did you choose to represent this idea of the posthuman?
The post-human is a concept of what the next state of being human could or will be. I think we are entering into strange, uncertain and interesting times and Im often overwhelmed by the idea of an apocalypse, especially considering the state of the world at the moment.
I wanted to explore the idea of a not-too-distant imagined yet romanticised world where humans have become explicitly designed for pleasure. There is a definite Margaret Atwood/Oryx and Crake influence.
Im conscious that the types of bodies gay men in particular are consistently exposed to in the media are the same, white, muscular perfect symmetrical men so I wanted to develop ideas of this gay clone further into weirdly grotesque yet supposedly beautiful ideals.
You mention the notion of the gay clone also the idealised Western male Ive seen this first hand at Mardi Gras. Do you think this is an issue our community doesnt address thoroughly enough?
Absolutely although I would hope that given the increasing interconnectedness of online social spaces it has become a bit easier to find groups you may align yourself with, however I still see the dominant media representation as being a Eurocentric image of ripped muscular clones.
Some people can look like that, but its unrealistic for many, which can lead to feelings of isolation, anguish and insecurity.
What can we do to dispel this idea of the perfect Western man?
I dont really have the answer to what we can do but I would hope that we can just further embrace difference as beautiful (by difference i mean different to the medias representation of the male body).
The works Ive created have really pushed the boundaries of perfection by exaggerating typical representations and morphing into something grotesque.
Hyper-masculinity is something Ive seen discussed more in queer circles, but still too often dismissed. Have you seen real examples of its effects?
Absolutely. Its a tough road being gay already with society telling gay men they are not real men. I think of online profiles and all the cliches of masc4masc and the casual (sometimes blatant) racism and internalised homophobia. Its bullshit. Its damaging. It can completely destroy peoples confidence, ability to relate or be themselves.
I say be who you are, embrace it, push it, work it. Just be true to yourself, whether youre masc, femme, large, skinny, green hair, no hair, or anywhere in between. We are a diverse community of so many incredible types of people and this is where our strengths lie.
Dan Gladdens frag/men/t will be at Spectrum Project Space at Edith Cowan University Mount Lawley from Thursday August 31st Wednesday September 13th.
Leigh Andrew Hill
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Posted: August 22, 2017 at 11:25 pm
LAWRENCE The Hall Center for the Humanities Fall Faculty Colloquium is designed to enliven the intellectual atmosphere of the University of Kansas and contribute to the interdisciplinary training of faculty. This fall, four KU faculty members and four graduate students will convene under the leadership of directors Allan Hanson, professor emeritus of anthropology, and John Symons, professor of philosophy, to explore the topic of The Posthuman?
The faculty participants in the colloquium are Jennifer Foster, lecturer inSpanish & Portuguese; James Gunn, professor emeritus of English; Christopher Ramey, assistant professor of psychology, and Paul Scott, associate professor of French. The graduate student participants are Ramon Alvarado, philosophy; Anthony Boynton, English; Aaron Long, English, and Christina Lord, French & Italian.
The group will explore the question of whether we are morphing into something beyond the human. Today’s bewildering onslaught of technology supplements and often replaces what were once defining features of humanity. Or is the whole idea of the posthuman misguided? Artificial intelligence may be fundamentally different from human intelligence, a supplement rather than a competitor. All current technological developments may signal nothing other than an unfolding actualization of what it is to be human.In a word, this colloquium raises the question of whether a posthuman condition exists. If not, why not? If so, what is it (or will it be) like?
The colloquium directors determine the theme, provide intellectual leadership and guidance, act as coordinators and facilitate feedback to participants on their presentations. The participants each present a paper and contribute to the discussion. Past colloquia have covered topics on global citizenship, colonizing knowledge, imagining the modern and future city, and consciousness.
Although the colloquium participants will guide the readings and responses, faculty and staff interested in the topic are invited to attend meetings. Starting Aug. 25, the Posthuman colloquium will meet at 10 a.m. most Fridays in the Hall Center Seminar Room. A detailed schedule of each meeting is available on the Hall Center website calendar and in the weekly e-bulletins.
In addition to the regular meetings, the colloquium will host guest speaker Katherine Hayles, James B. Duke Professor of Literature at Duke University. She teaches and writes on the relations of literature, science and technology in the 20th and 21st centuries. She will present a public lecture at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 13 in the Adams Alumni Center. Her talk is titled A New Mode of Orientation: Planetary Cognitive Ecologies. The next day, Nov. 14, she will meet with a special session of the colloquium.
For more information about the Fall Faculty Colloquium, please contact the Hall Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (785) 864-4798.
See the original post here:
Hall Center for the Humanities events to explore the posthuman condition – KU Today
Posted: at 11:25 pm
While Mr. Sisi approved the new law almost two months after his meeting with Mr. Trump, concerns over Egypts human rights record and its relationship with North Korea have been percolating for years.
Robert Satloff, the executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said the conflicting messages from the Trump administration were surprising.
It is unusual that the Trump administration would take a punitive measure against Egypt, given the presidents outreach to President Sisi and his general embrace of this Egyptian government, Mr. Satloff said. I would not say reports of difficulties with Egypts human rights situation or its connection with North Korea are new.
Secretary of State Rex W. Tillersons top priority has been to increase North Koreas economic and diplomatic isolation, and he has asked foreign leaders in almost every meeting that they cut ties with Pyongyang.
Egypt has been close with North Korea since at least the 1970s. North Korean pilots trained Egyptian fighter pilots before the 1973 war with Israel, and Egypt was later accused of supplying Scud missiles to North Korea, said Daniel Leone of the Project on Middle East Democracy.
This year, United Nations investigators said they acquired evidence of North Korean trade in hitherto unreported items such as encrypted military communications, man-portable air defense systems, air defense systems and satellite-guided missiles in the Middle East and Africa, among other locations.
In 2015, a United Nations panel said that Egypts Port Said was being used by North Korean front companies and shipping agents engaged in weapons smuggling.
Successive American administrations have privately raised the issue of North Korea in talks with Cairo, but with little success. The United States may be pressuring Egypt over its civilian and military links to North Korea. One of Egypts richest men, Naguib Sawiris, owns Orascom Telecom Media and Technology, the telecommunications company that helped set up North Koreas main cellular telephone network in 2008.
Another factor in the decision to limit funding to Egypt is the draconian law regulating aid agencies particularly those funded by Western governments and organizations which was signed into law by Mr. Sisi in late May. Several Egyptian groups, including those working with victims of police torture, said the law will make it impossible for them to continue their work and may force them to shut down.
The Trump administration has proposed significant cutbacks in foreign aid and has promised to demand greater accountability from aid recipients.
But Tuesdays actions were not as tough as they might have been. By pausing the provision of $195 million in military funding, the Trump administration saved the money from expiring entirely on Sept. 30. This way, Egypt could eventually get the money if its record on human rights improves.
Gardiner Harris reported from Washington, and Declan Walsh from London.
A version of this article appears in print on August 23, 2017, on Page A8 of the New York edition with the headline: U.S. Curbs Aid to Egypt, Citing Human Rights Record and North Korean Ties.
See the original post here:
US Slaps Egypt on Human Rights Record and Ties to North Korea – New York Times
Posted: August 20, 2017 at 5:45 pm
Forensic experts in Brazil are investigating a mans disappearance after locals discovered human remains in the guts of a 13-foot caiman.
Farmer Adilson de Oliveira, 47, was camping on the banks of the Javae River, in Tocantins, last month when he was likely swallowed by a black caiman, according to a report from the Palmas Forensic Medical Institute released Tuesday.
Locals slaughtered the reptile during a search for the presumed victim, who was last seen fishing on the night of July 27. Oliveiras flip-flops and a lighter were found at the edge of the river but he was nowhere to be seen.
After a campsite official reported Oliveira missing several hours later, it took firefighters nearly a day to access the dangerous and remote area near the campsite.
More than 30 officers searched the alligator-, stingray- and piranha-infested waters for two days.
When we reached the deepest part of the river, where the water stands still, I dived in and went about 13 feet down, Sgt. Ronaldo Barbosa said of the perilous rescue mission.
It was a huge risk. The water was very dark and cloudy with very little visibility. About 20 minutes later, when I came back to the surface, an alligator was swimming about 20 feet away from me, he added.
When rescuers failed to find any further trace of Oliveira, locals concluded he was likely devoured by one of the reptiles in the area.
They also noticed at least seven alligators gathered on the opposite banks of the river a day after Oliveira went missing another sign that the creatures ate a big meal recently.
Locals told us these creatures dont normally come together unless they have been eating. Because of their experience in the area, they decided to take matters into their own hands, Barbosa said.
A group of the victims colleagues hunted down, trapped and killed a gator that appeared to be fatter than normal and that had an unusual swelling in its abdomen.
They disemboweled the creature and found a round lump of flesh in its stomach along with some plastic bags.
Adilson was known to stuff plastic bags into his trouser pockets and when the locals called us to report their find, we discovered evidence of plastic bags, broken bones, hair, skin and other body parts inside the caimans stomach, Barbosa said.
Forensic experts are waiting to confirm the human remains belong to the victim. They asked members of Oliveiras family to supply samples of their DNA for analysis and comparison.
The test results will be released within the next few weeks, pathologists said.
View original post here:
Human remains found in caiman may belong to missing man – New York Post
Posted: at 5:45 pm
Authorities discovered human remains behind a house in Aruba, a grisly find that may finally crack the mystery surrounding a young womans disappearance 12 years ago.
The remains, discovered following a renewed 18-month probe, are being tested to see if theyre a DNA match with Natalee Holloway, the Alabama teenager who went missing while on a graduation trip in 2005, her father, Dave Holloway, and investigator T.J. Ward revealed on Today on Wednesday.
I know theres a possibility this could be someone else, and Im just trying to wait and see, Holloway said. It would finally be the end.
In 2012, an Alabama judge granted Holloways request to have his daughter declared dead but no one has ever been charged in her disappearance.
Joran van der Sloot, a Dutch man the teen was last seen with outside a bar, is serving a 28-year sentence in a Peru jail for killing business student Stephany Flores a killing that came five years to the day after Natalees disappearance.
In March 2016, van der Sloot appeared to have made a shocking confession to an undercover reporter about having murdered Natalee.
The dad said the investigation led them to an informant known as Gabriel, who lived with a friend of van der Sloot, and eventually, to the remains.
[He] had information that took us to a spot where remains were found. And we took those remains and had those remains tested, Holloway said. Weve chased a lot of leads and this one is by far the most credible lead Ive seen in the last 12 years.
The DNA tests will take several months.
Read the rest here:
Natalee Holloway’s dad finds human remains in Aruba – New York Post