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Visions of improving, expanding, or even overcoming human nature are probably as old as human nature itself. However, it is only since the 20th century that technology has advanced to such an extent that what once seemed like a distant utopia is now within reach. A liberal, post-essentialist zeitgeist, together with transgressive capitalism, has facilitated and encouraged experimentation on many levels of human existence. Ironically, it is the Anthropocene (from the Greek "anthropos", "human") that has made post- and transhumanism paradigmatic phenomena. Modern and contemporary art has reacted to the potentials of post- and transhumanism in a variety of ways, from warning against dehumanisation or fear of the rule of machines to affirming the emancipatory effect of technology.

The seminar offers an introduction to the philosophical concepts of post- and transhumanism, discusses their cultural, social, political implications and discusses various related art projects from the 20th and 21st centuries. Examples from everyday life and popular culture will also be considered. The course will conclude with a visit to a gym and the Shedhalle Zürich.