At the Tisch Family Galleru and Koppelman Gallery, there is an ongoing exhibition called “States of Freedom: The Figure in Flux” that showcases different artists’ works celebrating the human form as an unstable amalgamation of histories, technologies, and cultures.
The exhibition invites you to ask yourself questions such as “What is the human body?” “What happens when we enhance the human body?” and “When does the human body stop being the human body?”
We are living in a time where technology is only expanding. As technology expands, so does our meaning for what constitutes a human body. This notion does not only encompass a human body with prosthetic limbs, but also experimental brain implants and prosthetic organs that can take the place of one’s spleen, pancreas or lungs. Although these advancements are extremely important and invaluable to those with medical needs for these prostheses, what happens when prostheses become so enticing that instead of being the substitute, they become the desired replacement? The average adult human body is 50-65% water. In the future, will the average adult human body be 50-65% integrated technologies?
Perhaps not that high of a percentage, but I think the changes that technology will bring to what constitutes a human body is inevitable. Since our creation, humans have always been looking for ways to adapt to adversities, survive and thrive. We’ve always been creating tools to extend our abilities. Clothes to add another layer to our bodies and keep us warm. Spears as extensions of our hands to hunt with. Medicine to alleviate and/or cure illnesses that our body can’t fight on its own. Phones to be able to communicate long distances. The Internet to expand our brain’s wisdom. Utilizing technology to enhance our body and mind is nothing new.
In envisioning what the future might look like, I’m reminded of another art installation called A. Human. It is an exhibit produced by Society of Spectacle that brands A. Human as a "a futuristic fashion brand" that "displays body modifications" instead of clothing. Could this be our potential future for fashion?