The evolution of the „artifacts” only to a limited extent continues the evolution of organic bodies. At the latest from early modernity we observe the reverse process. (…) It is no longer technique that tries to keep up with organic life, but – the closer to modern times – life is being shaped accordingly to the models that derives from the field of technical artifacts.
Hartmut Böhme („Fetishism and Culture: A Different Theory”) of Modernity)
The project seeks to observe the recent intersections between medicine and high-tech industry. It aims at drawing out their engagement in the utopian quest for immortality that drives the medical research and high-tech production on the brink of quixotic fiction. Application of AI, AR and high-tech in science virtualizes research and medical learning that progressively resort to, and draw knowledge from the simulated, virtual experience.
In the era of advanced technology and when human body has become central to economic growth due to the dynamic technological development, virtualization of science may be identified on economic anthropology level. As Yuval Noah Harari notices, “the modern economy needs constant and indefinite growth to survive. (…) An economy built on everlasting growth needs endless projects—just like the quests for immortality, bliss and divinity”.
The quest for perfecting human body and resisting death creates a constant demand for increasingly advanced solutions and specialized, educated labor. Medicine and high-tech are joint and invested in to take up this challenge. While their products, such as humanoid simulacra, surrogates for human organs, bionic prostheses, augmented reality-based medical training systems, are not only technologically advanced, but costly and uncanny commodities. Could these ingenious and precious, yet unsettling artefacts bespeak the utopian desire for immortality? The project aims drawing out how capitalist economy establishes science a new field of endless production, which utopian dimension manifests itself with the uncanny and trans-human characteristics of the produced artifacts. The pursuit for longevity happens in concealment and out of sight, within the hermetic settings of medical laboratories, research and simulation centers that emerge as ambiguous zones where confusion between reality and fiction, empirical experiment and virtual simulation operate.