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Post- and Transhumanism

An Introduction


Edited By Robert Ranisch and Stefan Lorenz Sorgner

Scientific advances in genetics, neuroscience, and artificial intelligence signal the end of our traditional concept of the human being. The most vigorous movements dealing with this ongoing crisis of humanism are posthumanism and transhumanism. While posthumanism reconsiders what it means to be human, transhumanism actively promotes human enhancement. Both approaches address the posthuman condition in the technological age. In 20 articles, written by leading scholars of the field, this volume provides the first comprehensive introduction to debates beyond humanism.
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Music: Stefan Lorenz Sorgner


Stefan Lorenz Sorgner

Most academic treatments of post- or transhumanism and the arts have concerned the fine arts, science fiction, performance arts or bioart. The genre of music has been rather neglected in this context, even though the use of technologies and a new immanent or relational and non-dualistic understanding of human beings can be seen as particularly widespread within the realm of contemporary music, both popular as well as classical to use some outdated modes of classifying music. It starts with the DJ who can be seen as a Cyborg musician, continues with the use of amplified instruments in concert halls and can be found in the use of iPhones in iPhone ensembles or together with traditional music instruments (e.g. Ólafur Arnalds). There are connections and traces of both trans- and posthumanism in all of the diverse musical pieces mentioned here. In the following reflections, I move in between the conceptual and theoretical level concerning reflections on trans- and posthumanism, and the practical level of performing and composing music. Thereby, various movements which analyze the impact of our new technologies are supposed to be associated with clearer concepts and description, and at the same time, the wide spectrum of contemporary musical genres, which deals with questions related to the attempt to move beyond humanism are supposed to be hinted at.

By humanism, I am referring to a type of humanism, which is associated with the affirmation of categorical dualities, reason and the passions, nature and...

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