CNR 2015: Lectures: Louis Armand (AUS): De-Evolution: Human Robots, Interpassivity & the Metamorphosis of Being
De-Evolution: Human Robots, Interpassivity & the
Metamorphosis of Being
In a series of essays published in 1998 on the "interpassive subject," Slavoj Zizek inverted a commonplace assumption about technology as a "prosthesis of experience" that, in the age of virtual reality and AI, experiences phenomena on our behalf, to posit instead a state of affairs in which it is only ever the Other that experiences: that the human subject is in fact, and from its origin, the prosthesis of a certain technology; a "prosthesis of a prosthesis." That, in other words, its experience is only ever that of a separation from experience itself. And that its perceived "selfhood" is really the passive agency of a (technological) evolutionary process to which it is a contingent adjunct and which is ambivalent to it. In this sense, the "human hypothesis" is the extension of a technological idea rather than the contrary.
Confronted with the prospect of an ongoing "machine metamorphosis" independent of human agency, Zizek's argument receives renewed validation. From originary technicity to the technological sublime, the immanence of "human obsolescence" has come to stand in place of the escatological view of the "perfectability of man" in the figure of an apocalyptic god. To paraphrase Heidegger, the "essence" of humanity is nothing "human." Where Fukuyama's "posthuman future" is really only humanism by other means, Zizek's "interpassive subject" points to a primordial "simulacrum" at the origin of the "human hypothesis," whose evolution is in fact the prosthesis of an impossible experience: the becoming-technology of a technological "consciousness," by way of the simulacrum of a becoming-human.
[image source: Louis Armand]
[source: Vive Les Robots!]
Louis Armand is a writer and visual artist who has lived in Prague since 1994. He directs the Centre for Critical & Cultural Theory at Charles University, Prague.
De-Evolution: Human Robots,
Interpassivity & the Metamorphosis of
Louis Armand will present his lecture "De-Evolution: Human Robots, Interpassivity & the Metamorphosis of Being" at Cafe Neu Romance on the 26 November 2015 at IIM.
IIM (Institute of
Hall H25 at FEL CVUT
CZ-160 00 Prague.