Since we first took mastery over fire, mankind has steadily been shaping his world around him.
It may have taken us a few thousand years to get from building walls, pyramids and roads to the microchip and spaceships, but the colossal innovation of the last 100 years shows just how quickly we have accelerated our development.
Now the Wellcome Collection is celebrating how humanity has developed - and specifically, how we have been able to alter our own bodies, with a summer exhibition to coincide with the Olympics.
Visitors are first introduced to Icarus, the Greek myth of a mortal who symbolises the exhibition with his fabled attempt to overcome his own weakness through technology and fly - although, with disastrous results.
‘Superhuman’ brings together over 100 artworks, artefacts, videos, photographs, comics and medical objects which record our seemingly limitless desire to be more than ourselves.
From an ancient Egyptian prosthetic toe to the superheroes of sci-fi imagination and the futuristic promises of nano- and biotechnology, the exhibition takes a long view of physical and chemical enhancement and explores the science, myths and cultural reception of body extension.
Rebecca Horn’s delicately menacing appendages in ‘Scratching both walls at once’ (1974-5) examine the body’s occupation of space, and video works by Charlotte Jarvis, Regina José Galindo and Floris Kaayk explore the cultural effects of cosmetic surgery on our psyches and the extremities of potential and actual physical intervention.
Meanwhile Revital Cohen takes the replacement of body parts to an endpoint in ‘The Immortal’ (2011), an arrangement of connected life-support machines that continue their biological functions despite the absence of a human body to sustain.
Emily Sargent, Curator of Superhuman, said: ’Human enhancement is one of the most exciting and feared areas of modern science, where sci-fi imaginings seemingly come alive. But it is not the exclusive preserve of the contemporary technologist, as our desire to enhance ourselves and our ingenuity to do so is in evidence throughout our history.’
A prosthetic hand is exhibited: Another way man has been able to overcome Nature.
Now we can fix ourselves: A prosthetic leg is exhibited at the exhibition, which focuses on the many ways mankind have sought to improve, adapt or enhance their body’s performance
Undercover: A prosthetic penis, which was used to help cheat at drugs test, joins the very modern Viagra pill.
"Whole Brain Emulation is going to create synthetic humans, if the functionalist point of view is right, by implementing their thought processes in forthcoming hardware, and software systems, which could arrive as early as the middle of this century. What are the rights of these uploads? How will their existence impact our economy, and the society as a whole? Anders Sandberg of the Future Of Humanity Institute of the University of Oxford talks about these issues"
Ray Bradbury - Icarus Montgolfier Wright - Format Films 1962
England Bans its Own Flag to Avoid Offending Muslims 2016-04-27 2:23 St. George's Cross "racist" towards immigrants
Government officials said their city was ‘too multicultural’ to celebrate St George’s Day, England’s version of the 4th of July.
The council said that displaying the English flag may have been seen as “racist” towards immigrants.
Half of Western European men descended from one Bronze Age ‘king’ 2016-04-27 2:09
Half of Western European men are descended from one Bronze Age ‘king’ who sired a dynasty of elite nobles which spread throughout Europe, a new study has shown.
The monarch, who lived around 4,000 years ago, is likely to have been one of the earliest chieftains to take power in the continent.
He was part of a new order which emerged in ...
"Local Residents" Are Filmed Stealing Dozens of Bottles of Water at London Marathon Stop 2016-04-25 23:10
Editor's Comment: "Local" residents? Why bother blurring their faces? We know who they are.
London marathon runners were robbed of dozens of bottled waters when thieves raided a refreshment area armed with trolleys during today's race.
Nearby residents - including parents with children - were captured on camera piling up crates of free water handed out by volunteers during the 26-mile event.
BBC says this woman looks like the 15th century Queen of England 2016-04-25 23:15
Sophie Okonedo, the daughter of a Nigerian father and Jewish mother, is portraying Margaret of Anjou in the BBC Drama series “The Hollow Crown”.
Margaret of Anjou was a White Christian woman. Okonedo is probably the polar opposite of that.
Over the years we have seen Black Vikings in Thor: the Dark World. We have seen only non-White people playing the American ...
Three German Cities to Tip Nonwhite 2016-04-23 2:24
Mass Third World immigration to Germany will “soon” cause the three German cities of Augsburg, Stuttgart, and Frankfurt to tip into majority nonwhite status, one of that country’s most prominent demographers has announced.
Speaking in an interview in the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper, “integration expert” Jens Schneider said that Augsburg will be one of the “first major German cities where people with ...