Ben Burtenshaw: Beyond Cyborgs ~ PART 2

Often when we attempt to visualise prometheanism, we use some version of science-fiction cyborg as technology’s best effort at human, a Human 2.0. But prometheanism is more nuanced than just advancement. To see this, we need to look past humans running faster and living longer in a distant utopian future, and put prometheanism alongside other planetary scaled challenges. Beyond Cyborgs attempts to ignore the initial desire for advancement, that prometheanism conjures up, and instead asks ‘what does prometheanism look like in a state of survival?’ To grasp this interpretation, the audio performance samples science fiction novels which move beyond the traditional cyborg in cinematic portrayals. These narratives tackle humanity through complex uses of prometheanism, based on technologies completely separate from our own. They are based on biological or psychological enhancement, rather than digital technology. Through this they offer a version of prometheanism that can be applied to contemporary issues, without seeming far-fetched.

Ben Burtenshaw graduated from the Dutch Art Institute in 2015, and submitted a thesis considering prometheanism in the context of contemporary art. He is now researching how contemporary art, sport and science-fiction conversely deal with prometheanism.