Transhumanism in Performance Art


  • Andreea-Iulia Somesan "Babeş-Bolyai" University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania



autonomy, performance art, postmoralism, transhumanism


Medical biotechnologies have developed as a result of man's desire to increase his abilities and to improve his lived experiences. The individual can target, as part of the improvement of his existence, interventions on his body or on his mind. Regardless of how biotechnologies are used, the interface through which the individual benefits from them is his corporeality. Transhumanism can thus aim the improvement of the typical abilities of the human being or the development of atypical ones. At the body level, it is about practical and non-practical purposes, such as those of performance art. Moreover, art states its amoral and non-utilitarian character, the only declared value being the artistic one. In the contrast, the medical practice was, from its beginnings, governed by ethical principles and values. Nowadays, the principle of autonomy is in a favoured position, giving the right to choose interventions that do not represent a medical necessity. But how does favouring the principle of autonomy change the limits of morality in clinical practice? The vanguardists of performance art are vectors in the development of transhumanism in experimental ways. The patient can ask the doctor for interventions on his body that defy the principle of improving typical human characteristics. Thus, if transhumanism has brought us to a posthuman era, it also places us, from the ethical point of view, in a postmoral time when the moral values are replaced by other value categories. So who decides what medical intervention is acceptable and how far transhumanism may arrive?