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The World Transhumanist Association

in cooperation with the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology and Transhumanist Arts & Culture

Presents

TransVision 2004
Art and Life in the Posthuman Era

August 5 to 8, 2004
University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

» Attend Public Presentations by Steve Mann and Stelarc! «
» Journalists: Cover the Conference! «

World Transhumanist Association

In cooperation with

McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology

Transhumanist Arts & Culture

Learn more


About TransVision 2004

Transhumanism is a nascent approach to bioethics, futurism, art and culture whose adherents affirm the use of technology to overcome the limitations of the human body. Transhumanism, as both a philosophical and cultural phenomenon, has experienced exponential growth worldwide in recent years.

Presently two international transhumanist organizations exist, the World Transhumanist Association and the Extropy Institute, both of which publish online journals, while supporting and promoting the work of transhumanists around the world. There are local transhumanist groups in many countries, discussion groups in many major cities and a proliferation of transhumanist discussion lists. A growing body of transhumanist culture is being published on the web as well as in books and journal articles.

Transhumanism has been implicit in the writings of many humanists, futurists and ethicists for centuries, but the trend has only become visible with the emergence of transhumanist groups, journals and books in recent years. And transhumanism has only recently acquired critical viability now that the breadth, power and scope of 21st century biotechnologies and their inevitable impact on the human condition is becoming widely apparent.

Cloning, stem cell research, cybernetics and other novel reproductive and health technologies illustrate the rapid pace at which society and culture are changing. Our sense of who and what we are is rapidly expanding and diversifying, as are our means of expression and self-actualization. Consequently, an exciting and provocative new community of social activists, artists and cultural facilitators is emerging. As art and life continue to reflect and create each other, both are changing as we move into a posthuman form and into a posthuman era.

TransVision 2004 seeks to capture and highlight these trends by bringing together a wide array of transhumanist thinkers, artists, scientists and ethicists. In a celebration and investigation of the new culture, TV04 will provide captivating and avant-garde performance art and exhibitions, in concert with academic discussions, debates and presentations.

This conference will also provide an opportunity for transhumanists and the broader community of concerned and interested participants to come together to critically discuss and analyze the radical potential for life in the posthuman world. Experts from around the world will offer perspectives on the posthuman condition in consideration of recent advances in cybernetics, artificial intelligence, genetics, nanotechnology and life extension.


About the Faith, Transhumanism and Hope seminar

At first glance, religion and transhumanism may seem to have little to do with one another, or even be in direct conflict. Yet in the past few years transhumanists have emerged in a variety of religious traditions. A recent survey of the members of the World Transhumanist Association found that a quarter of the members were religious or spiritual, based in more than a dozen different religious traditions. Meanwhile debate has emerged within religious communities about the potential outcomes of human enhancement technologies and a transhumanist worldview. Some images and ideals of the posthuman sit well within discussions of spiritual transformation and relate to religious longings. Others, such as pursuing transcendence through technology, stir up heated debate and antagonism. Discussion has emerged about whether a syncretic religious transhumanism is possible or desirable.

For this symposium and a special issue of The Journal of Evolution and Technology we are looking for contributions that address questions such as:

  • Are transhumanism and religious faith compatible, complementary or antagonistic?
  • How much is transhumanism a product of secular humanism?
  • Are only specific theologies or faiths, such as religious humanism, technopaganism or Buddhism, compatible with transhumanism?
  • What does a Christian transhumanist believe? A Buddhist transhumanist?
  • Is transhumanism utopian or merely progressive?
  • Do transhumanists deify technology?
  • Is the transhumanist desire for immortality just a sublimation of a desire for heaven or nirvana?
  • Is the transhumanist expectation of a Singularity just a sublimated religious millennialism?
  • What does Jerusalem have to do with Silicon Valley?
  • How long, oh Lord?! How many years are enough?
  • Can robots ever have souls?
  • Is humanity granted dominion over our own evolution along with dominion over nature?
  • Have concepts of hubris and divine limits changed over the years? What ramifications do those changes have for theological interpretations of human enhancement?
  • What are the spiritual implications of neurotheology and entheogenic technologies that create subjective experiences of meditative absorption, or religious awe and reverie?
  • Do we have a moral obligation to use enhancement technology to make ourselves more compassionate, moral and wise beings?
  • What are the spiritual implications of procreative liberty and procreative beneficence (using germinal choice technology to improve the lives of our children)?
  • How can transhumanists improve dialogue with, and understanding among, suspicious people of faith?

Information for journalists

  • Press passes are available to accredited journalists. Please contact Simon Smith at simon@betterhumans.com to inquire about a pass.
  • There will be a special seminar for journalists on Friday, August 6, 2004 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM in the JJR McLeod Auditorium (Room 2156 Medical Sciences Building, University of Toronto campus).
  • Information about the World Transhumanist Association is available at http://www.transhumanism.org/.
  • Information about TransVision 2003 is available at http://www.transhumanism.org/tv/2003usa/. Press clippings relating to the event are are available upon request.

 


Organizing committee

Conference Chair

George Dvorsky. President, Toronto Transhumanist Association; Deputy Editor, Betterhumans. Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Organizers

Nick Bostrom, PhD. Oxford University, Philosophy Faculty. UK.

Shannon Foskett, MA. Associate Editor, Betterhumans. Toronto, Ontario.

James Hughes, PhD. Bioethicist, Public Policy Studies, Trinity College. Hartford, Connecticut, USA.

John Smart. President, Institute for Accelerating Change. San Pedro, California, USA.

Simon Smith. Editor-in-chief, Betterhumans; Vice-president, Toronto
Transhumanist Association. Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Natasha Vita-More. President, Extropy Institute; Artist, founder and director of Transhumanist Arts and Culture. USA.

Mark Walker, PhD. Dept. of Philosophy, Trinity College, University of
Toronto. Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

 

News

06.07.2004—Call for submissions of art by organizational sponsor Transhumanist Arts & Culture. Submit art now!

05.27.2004—Second press release issued: Cyborg Thinkers to Address Humanity's Future. Use it as you wish, and don't forget to check out more marketing collateral.

05.26.2004—More marketing collateral: 120x60 button.

05.20.2004—No room for a banner on your site? How about a skyscraper? It's our newest piece of marketing collateral.

04.07.2004—Conference extended to accommodate Faith, Transhumanism and Hope symposium on August 5, 2004.

03.23.2004—Keynote presenters announced: Steve Mann and Stelarc.

03.03.2004—728 x 90 banner is the newest available piece of marketing collateral.

02.27.2004—Online gallery opened!

02.04.2004—First press release issued: The Future Is Coming to Toronto this Summer. Use it as you wish, and don't forget to check out more marketing collateral.

12.04.2003—Online registration is available!

 

 



 
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