What makes us human

Dear Reader,

This week, we dwell on what makes us human even as we dwell amongst machines.

In his interview, prolific writer and speaker Sidney Perkowitz discusses emerging technology, human impermanence, and the commercial forces that haunt any creative venture. One polarizing topic to emerge is Anish Kapoor’s artistic monopolization of Vantablack, a substance that absorbs and diffuses 99.965% of the light that strikes it. Perkowitz has dedicated much of his career to rectifying public misconceptions of the workings of science, an endeavor that has indirectly shed light on the workings of society and the human brain. Perkowitz is currently co-editing a text on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein that compiles academic and popular perspectives addressing why the story has remained in circulation for two hundred years – at its core, Frankenstein reveals our irrefutable fear of death and the desire to extend our lives beyond the limits of the body. In an era of genetic manipulation, biotechnology, and mass digital integration, this conversation could not seem more applicable.

Multimedia artist Suzan Woodruff has explored the parallel between artmaking and daily experience since her adolescence at the edge of a desert in Phoenix, Arizona. With an undeniable resolve and a voracity for the esoteric and uncharted, Woodruff has modeled her life and art after the ineffable formation of physical and social topographies. Bearing the form of celestial landscapes, her acrylic works are curious inquiries into external and internal realities, carrying with them a marked undertone of transience and change.

Additional interviews include: Bernd Upmeyer, Eva Davidova, Assunta Sera, Robert Atkins, Janet Echelman, Gaby Steiner, and Diana Arce.

What are you reading? Andrew Maillet is perusing the hyper-relevant The Stack by Benjamin Bratton, a comprehensive account of the now tenuous boundaries that distinguish humans from nature and God from software. Karen Atkinson, another one of our users, is investigating Hans Abbing’s Why Are Artists Poor? an analysis of the complex economic dynamics between viewer, creator, patron, and institution.

Until October 31st, the University at Buffalo’s Creative Arts Initiative is accepting residency proposals for their 2017-2018 cycle. CAI is a lenient and multifaceted program where established or emerging artists from any discipline are offered the resources to actualize their ideas and the peer group to set those ideas in motion. Applicants can strike up a fully customizable residency plan to mediate budget, duration, and artistic motives.

Could you be the one who locks eyes with the sun? Are you in tune with the gestures of the moon?

As always, here are the links to the interview archive and artist resources page.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here