The first thing that hits you when you open up Human Futures: Art in an Age of Uncertainty are the visuals — they are stunning. And then you look at the content and are amazed. And then you realize it’s an academic book, and you are perplexed. And let me tell you a little something, it was put together in around six months or so. Now look again.
Human Futures is a compilation of creative essays from leading scientists, designer artifacts, and artistic works. Some of the best and the brightest weigh in on topics that address “NBIC (nano-, bio-, info-, cogno-) sciences, ethics and aesthetics of human enhancement, the future of biological migration and transgressions, the emergence of systems and synthetic biology, ecosystem responsibility, global catastrophic risk, and outer space.” And if one of these topics doesn’t rock your world, and you’re an h+ reader, I’m stunned.
Academics will use this book as a point of reference, but it’s also a damn good read (and it will look good on your coffee table.) With titles like: “Will Human Enhancement Make us Better? Ethical reflections on the enhancement of human capacities by means of biomedical technologies” by Ruudter Meulen, “Embracing the Unknown Future: In Defense of New Technology” by Russell Blackford, and “Flesh to Data/ subject to Data: Examining Processes of Translation” by Marilène Oliver, this book’s for you!
FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology),
Liverpool University Press
December 11, 2008