We have decided not to die

On Thursday, March 18, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm, the Arlington Arts Center will host a panel discussion about radically altered bodies in our not-too-distant future. The event is FREE and open to the public.

What defines us as humans? How do we keep from losing those essential facets in a future where we may become immortal, or might even abandon our biological bodies altogether? Shane Hope, Jason Horowitz, and Ivan Lozano, three of the artists featured in our current show, TRANSHUMAN CONDITIONS, will discuss how they use futuristic imagery to make arguments about who we are in the present tense—and who we may become in the next few decades.

Neuroscientist and ethicist Dr. James Giordano will address what can be known—and how little is commonly understood—about the rapid pace of advancements in neuro- and biotechnologies. Dr. Giordano asserts that immense ethical problems as well as opportunities lie ahead as a result of developments happening right now.

And independent scholar Martin E. Rosenberg will discuss the work of Arakawa and Gins, architects who claim to extend human life through the designs of their buildings, and whose 1997 Guggenheim retrospective featured a catalogue with the bold title we’ve borrowed for this discussion: WE HAVE DECIDED NOT TO DIE. Rosenberg will provide historical context, showing how Arakawa and Gins figure into the development of the avante-garde in the 20th century.

After brief presentations from all five panelists, exhibition curator and AAC Director of Exhibitions Jeffry Cudlin will lead a conversation about the relationship between art and technology, and contemporary art’s effectiveness as a tool for unpacking difficult questions of science, ethics, and public policy.

Shane Hope is a Brooklyn-based artist represented by Winkleman Gallery. He uses open source molecular visualization software to imagine a future where objects are constructed by artists one atom at a time.

Ivan Lozano is a Chicago-based artist who works with images found online to create videos about gay male identity and the breaking down of media technology.

Jason Horowitz is an Arlington/DC-based artist, represented by Curator’s Office. His photos are typically extreme closeups of human anatomy, transforming flesh into semi-abstract occasionally grotesque topologies.

James Giordano, PhD, is Director of the Center for Neurotechnology Studies and Chair of Academic Programs at the Potomac Institute. He is the author of more than 120 publications in neuroscience, pain, neurophilosophy, and neuroethics.

Martin E. Rosenberg is a Pittsburgh-based independent scholar, specializing in the cultural implications of science and technology. He has focused mainly on the history of emergence in science, philosophy and the arts: Poincare, Bergson and Duchamp; the nobel work of Ilya Prigogine in chemistry and physics; and the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze. He is currently organizing the AG3 Online Conference for New York architects Arakawa and Gins.