Dr. Nishant Shah is a feminist, humanist, technologist and is currently the vice-president of Research at the ArtEZ University of the Arts, The Netherlands. He works as a knowledge Partner with The Digital Earth fellowship with Hivos, and with the Feminist Internet Research Network with the Association of Progressive Communication. His ongoing work is invested in understanding the state of misinformation, fakeness, and violence through the frame of techno-aesthetics ‘aesthetechs’ in order to find new processes of civic action.
Not quite human enough: Digital Futures of Being Human
The promise of the digital was to go beyond the human – either through a molecularization of the human through crystalized data-sets of extreme minutiae, or through forming geo-temporal patterns that exceed both human imagination and capacity for information processing. As digital technologies become more ubiquitous, the promise of ‘beyond human’ starts shaping the condition of ‘being human’. With the digital becoming not just our default toolset but also our critical ontology of the future, we are at a point where we will have to stop thinking about the cyborg, the android, the post-human and in fact try and think about the intertwined relationships between acts of digital and facts of lived experience. Drawing from the postcolonial discourse, feminist theory, history of technology, and digital cultures, this talk proposes to think about the new calibrations of being human that the current developments in digital technologies foretell. Particularly emphasizing the human body as a technosocial construct, through four symptomatic moments of the shaping of the human, it foresees a digital future that will be not quite human enough and its implications on questions of agency, rights, protection, and justice.