[From the keynote at STARTS European Project, Industries meet Creativity, MEET Milan, October 29, 2020]
There is no HIATUS between Humanity and Technology – only an insane war on humanity. Creative industries should focus on quantistic cures suturing ageless wounds.
Who and what will next rule the world. Who will compelled to cure and make evident the human and non-human world – a world of entangled agencies in transition to a post-humanist ‘security’ characterized by a lack of care and indifference – an artificial ‘security’ which has turned Emperor Constantine’s anthropocene world view away from the Christian interpretation of the individual as an exceptional being disengaged from the world.
The definition and deployment of a ‘cure’ can act as a balance against future governance (power) offering complex technologies as a sine qua non ‘cover’ for a global minority that continues to exploit a century-long repression encouraged by a clique of world leaders who give free reign to the absolute worst form of political representation, namely to global business.
When Emperor Constantine offered tolerance to the oppressed Christians and lulled them into administrating the declining Roman Empire, he erected an Arch (Arch of Constantine) – a monument representing how to preserve the sol invictus power of the late Roman Empire for the ruling few – the primus inter pares (first among equals) of the masses.
We should recall the twisted architectural Arch of Constantine as the first ‘media as the message’ installation with its friezes wrongly seen for centuries as an example of decadence, solely because they anticipated a vision beyond good and evil and celebrated post-humanism.
The Christians’ looted gold accumulated during the centuries of their persecution became the currency of the Roman Empire and aided the Christians rise to power and their infiltration into Roman society.
Their resounding message still resonant today is a cure defined by rebirth, charity, and forgiveness today confronting several interlocking crises: the economical emergency, climate change, and a public health emergency. These crises are all overshadowed by the increasing intermingling of humans and intelligent technology and the increasing dissipation of the differences between the two – all of which is crying for a new digital or informational ontology.
In the western hemispheres the inevitable turn toward a society of indifference and uncaring began with the installation of the Arpanet (by the military) in the 1960s and the abrogation of the Bretton Woods Agreement and abandonment of the gold standard in 1971.But today we can imagine the possible contemporary heirs of the Roman Christians and their descendants: the victims of harassment, indifference, and exploitation. But are they capable of comprehending the challenge before them today and offering a ‘cure’ to our injured society?
Think of the billions of nameless ‘ghost’ workers tied to computational work all day who are blindly managing our future through distributed ledger technologies, blockchain, cryptocurrencies and digital assets. They are suffering an ‘informal orphanization’ through perpetually utilizing artificial intelligence for surveillance, health care, and the like – all the while being denied any inherent and genuine gratification from their social function.
No apparent community should be allowed to determine our future. But if the ‘invisible hands’ controlling our lives today are too overwhelming, we should embrace the ‘cure’ such as black lives matter where the process of healing in the community is the source of their political energy, or the ethics of care which is perhaps the most significant ethical theory to emerge from feminist analyses.
If we want to stop the war on humanity, those committed to caring should step forward and accept the challenge of ‘ruling‘, and activate the quantistic cure inherent in the shamanistic, holobiont, longue durée wisdom, the arts, science practice, and non-violence to embody the re-delineation of second nature’s assemblages of intelligences to an instantiation to creative technologies.
I’m ready and you?
Technology claims to be an emerging influence changing our perception of human rights and their limits in midst of historical contortions encircling the very idea of humanism and humanity. It is imperative at this critical moment to expose the hypocrisy of humanists, philosophers, policy makers, and others committed to the principles of human rights and human dignity which are in practice only available to a select few.
We see the danger for democracy in the fictional contraposition of Biden and Trump nurturing the cranky mass to keep the dividends on shares accumulating for the few. We can see the malign consequences from the threat of technological advancement and inherent impulse to change human nature and the nature of politics itself. We see the implicit technophobia in a stale dialectic with its attendant transhumanist aspirations of technology-aided (rather technology mediated) disembodiment.
Humanity in western culture is tired, exhausted, and outmoded.
The war raging in humanity today can be solved, if we use and not abuse technology and empower and expand science hand-in-hand with the arts and leaving binary exceptionalism dogma behind.
[Transcription review Stuart Gibson III]