The Posthuman Farm

Ruben Baart
January 26th 2017

We recently visited the solo exhibition “Born Beyond the Womb” by artist Wu Tzu-ning at the Goethe Institute in Shanghai. The show took us on an intriguing exploration of the transhumanist thought and got us excited for a future yet to come.

Wu Tzu-ning presents a posthuman reality from genetic engineering to digital afterlife.The exhibition is the second part of the ongoing series “Foreign Bodies: Human Identity in a Posthuman World” organized by the Department for Culture and Education of the German Consulate General in Shanghai (AKuB). Set up in three parts (posthuman skins, memories and implants), the posthuman pilgrimage presents a luminescent overview to highlight the techno-controversy on topical matters we face today.
Wu Tzu-ning presents a posthuman reality from genetic engineering to digital afterlife.By using videos, websites and installations, the artist addresses vertical farming, genetically modified food and infusion based feeding systems to help us navigate the fusing relationship between man and machine. Taking the womb as the “magical incubator of brilliance”, our lives move beyond this nurturing surrounding towards a cyber-scaped reality in which we are no longer bound to the rules of biology. As Laboria Cuboniks put it so well: "If nature is unjust, change nature".

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Should men be able to give birth to children?

Joyce Nabuurs: To me this question seems to be a logical next step in the emancipation movement of the past century. More and more women entered the workspace, but the responsibility for pregnancy and childrearing remained female.

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