Thursday, February 7, 2008

Extropic Art Manifesto of Transhumanist Arts

Extropic Art Manifesto of Transhumanist Arts

We are [ ]transhumans.

Our art integrates the most eminent progression
of creativity and sensibility
merged by discovery.

I am the architect of my existence. My art reflects my vision and represents my values.
It conveys the very essence of my being—coalescing imagination and insight, challenging all limits.

We are exploring how current and future technologies affect our senses, our cognition and our lives.
Our attention to these relationships become fields of art as we participate in the most immediate and
vital issues for transhumanity—extending life, augmenting intelligence and creativity, exploring the universe.

Artists, as communicators, bring together the passions, the dreams and the hopes of transhumanity and
express these emotions in ways that touch us deeply.
Transhumanist Arts reflects an extropic appreciation of aesthetics in a technologically enhanced world.

We are voices of transhumanity. Our voices are a synthesis, rhythm and exploration of imagination.

The Transhumanist Arts movement and its genres regard art as more than an artifact.
Art influences social and cultural change: how we live and who we are.
It creates a sense of self, art as being, autonomous yet connected to culture’s
continuum. How we accomplish our intentions is a matter of selective individual choice—
whether abstract or representational, whether artifact or conceptual.
Our criteria for art remain open and we welcome cross-disciplinary innovations.

As we move into the 21st Century,
Transhumanist Arts and Extropic Art will suffuse the universe around us.
Our unique ingenuity will spread far out into the capillaries of our culture.
We are active participants in our own evolution from human to posthuman.
We are shaping the image—the design and the essence—of what we are becoming.

Natasha Vita-More
Authored January 1, 1997 ©
2003 ©

transhuman n. an evolution from being human to becoming posthuman

Transhumanist Arts FAQ

transhuman n. an evolutionary process from being human to becoming posthuman.

1. FAQ What is Transhumanist Arts?

Transhumanist Arts is an art period reflecting creative works of transhumanity. Just as Modern Art represents much of the arts of the 20th Century, Transhumanist Arts covers the late 20th Century into the 21st Century. The Transhumanist Arts period coalesces arts, sciences and technologies in reflecting the efforts of transhumans in enhancing and augmenting our minds and bodies as we strive for superlongevity and ultimately indefinite lifespans. The ideas generated by those whose work is transhumanist in scope, exemplifies the content of the transhumanist culture and is generated through many modes, from painting to New Media, and modes yet to be discovered. Transhumanist Arts include creative works by scientists, engineers, technicians, philosophers, athletes, educators, mathematicians, etc., who may not be artists in the traditional sense, but whose vision and creativity are integral to transhumanity.

The [ ]Transhumanist Arts Statement was authored by [ ]Natasha Vita-More (formerly Nancie Clark) in 1982. This is the first time the written words "We are transhumans" has left our Planet on its way through our Solar System. Hundreds of people around the world have signed the Manifesto.

The first Transhumanist Arts piece was made into a high 8 mm film. Performance Art " Breaking Away" which storyline themes human evolution in breaking away from our biological restraints and breaking away from earth's gravity as we head into space. The performance art piece was written and performed by Natasha Vita-More at Red Rocks Amphitheater and sponsored by the University of Colorado Film Department. Don Yannacito, Director of Film Studies Program for independent filmmakers, filmed the performance.

Later Transhumanist Arts works include a painting exhibition at EZTV Los Angles, video "2 Women in B&W" which received special recognition at Women In Video, 1985, "T - and Counting" (in deference to FM-2030, Marvin Minsky, Carl Sagan, Harold Choen, Anais Nin, Susan Sontag and other transhumans, futurists and great thinkers) which was exhibited at the United States Film Festival, 1992. There have been many digital art pieces and pieces covering the 1990s.

2. FAQ What were early influences on Transhumanist Arts?

Early artists who were interested in Transhumanist Arts that I either collaborated with or exhibited with in the art world were [ ]Timothy Leary, [ ]John Dorr (famous for starting EZTV which is now internationally recognized Video art performance space), Eric Orr (who has exhibited his sculpture throughout the World), Robert Thrumbull (Kinetic artist and architect), Howard Cohen first artist to work with robotics, Bill Viola (video maverick), [ ]Francis Ford Coppola was an early collaborator and inspiration when I was at his studio Zoetrope in Hollywood and we worked on the first High Definition Film which I was in. Another truly incredible artist is Richard Lowenberg who set up the first Internet community and who I collaborated with on the 1979 project "Arts & Sciences '79" in which 30 well known artists and 30 well known scientists met for a week of brain storming. Other remarkable artist is Pam Lifton-Zoline (established a foundation and school for creativity in Telluride, Colo), [ ]Vito Acconci Italian performance artist and probably the recognized performance artists in the world and who was an early influence and collaborator in the 1980s when I met him in San Francisco. Also, an early colleague and inspiration in the area of video was and is [ ]Bill Voila who is an internationally famous video artist. I love his work and am honored that we met early on. Marian Gray was also an early fabulous inspiration and collaborator. As a photographer of performance art, Marian's photographic collection is superlative. Today may collaborate on a mountain muscle Internet piece, and [ ]Marque Cornblatt's with a transhumanist exhibition. Other Transhumanist Artists include [ ]Marvin Minsky, [ ]Fiorella Terenze , [ ]Karl Sims , [ ]Stelarc, [ ]Ebon Fisher , Charles Ostrum, and David Bowie.

3. FAQ What is the Extropic Art genre?

Extropic Art is a genre of Transhumanist Arts. The genre was founded by Natasha Vita-More in 1997, Los Angeles.

If you would like names of movements, genres and periods as well as individuals who inspired Transhumanist Arts period and the Extropic Art genre, then it would be all art periods and movements and all creative individuals. Specifically, however, Abstract Art, Performance Art, Kinetic Art, Cubism, Techno Art, science fiction and Communications Art. In these specific genres are numerous artists whose work has influenced Transhumanist Arts and Extropic Art and continues to influence. Today, however, Transhumanist Arts is more influenced by the work done in the sciences, especially biotechnology and molecular engineering, which will have great impact on the art of our future. Soon artists will be designing new bodies and new types of senses.

I have a later list from 1997 onward, hundreds of artists have written to me and sent their names to be added to the [ ]Extropic Art Manifesto.

Also, a great influence and colleague is [ ]ASCI which we are delighted to be affiliated with. ASCI puts on excellent conferences in New York and is at the center of arts and sciences.

3. FAQ What is the Transhumanist Culture?

In my self-published short book [ ]Create/Recreate: the 3rd Millennial Culture, I explain the beginnings of transhumanist ideas as presented by FM-2030 at UCLA in the 1980s, and at the New School earlier on. I also cover the extropic influence on transhumanism as well as the influences of science and technology on our emerging culture.

Art works were produced and exhibited at the well known LA Digital Gallery EZTV, at Electronic Café International, at the University of Colorado, UCLA, San Francisco Art Center, and videos were exhibited in "Women In Video", US Film Festival. The art world is an important culture (and a multimillion dollar industry) and has a lot of influence on society. Thus, I would add Transhumanist Arts as an important cultural event in the early 1980s. On television, the first transhumanist show was produced in 1985 called "Transcentury Update" which I produced and hosted with the advice of FM-2030.

4. FAQ Why Art in a World of Science and Technology?

The question of why we want to live longer, healthier and grow more intelligent, live indefinitely and develop an enhanced intelligence, creativity and transhumanist compassion. The art of life.

'We have responsibilities and concerns and the wisdom to deal with them. How we use technology and science, and what type of content we lend to our arts is not a flimsy affair. We must be conscientious and sensible, as well as daring and innovative. We must consider who we are in a world where the machine is becoming smarter and smarter, where the impossible is now quite possible." ("Culture In The Making" from [ ]Create/Recreate)

When we think of the arts, it is necessary to stretch our imaginations to a time when humanity will steer evolution. We are at the precipice of navigating this course now.

There are many concerns and theories about the future of the arts, but if the focus overemphasizes theory, content is neglected. Theory is necessary to assess content, but content must arise out of culture. Content is the pulse. It can reflect culture as a cultural portrait or it can steer culture by presenting a vision. How we engage in new technologies will reflect this.

5. FAQ How do we achieve/maintain direction as Transhumanist Artists?

By checking and rechecking the barometer of society and planning for the long range. If the pioneering technologies are focusing on extreme life extension and the innovative biotechnologies that will augment our brains and bodies are in the forefront, this is a cue. To learn more about the international art movement, please refer to the Transhumanist Arts Center located at [ ] Here you will find the [ ]Transhumanist Arts Statement.


Natasha Vita-More

Copyright © 2003. All Rights Reserved.

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