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Digital Mural Project: Los Cybrids
8/26/2001 - 4/23/2002
  Galería Exhibitions Digital Mural Project: Robert Karimi & Conchita Villalba <2001>
Atlas(t): A Mapping Expedition/Exhibition <2001>
Digital Mural Project: Los Cybrids <2001>
In the Heart of the World: Photos, Videos and Art from the Zapatista Insurgency <2001>
Digital Mural Project: Los Cybrids <2001>
Los Cybrids: Tecno-Putografía Virtual <2001>
Digital Mural Project: Los Cybrids <2001>
Ester Hernandez: Everyday Passions <2001>
Related Media for this Exhibition
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ARTIST STATEMENT As consumers find comfort via their small cell phones which can track their every movement via the Global Positioning System (GPS), the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and corporations (Hewlett Packard, IBM, Xerox) look to construct technologies that will reconstruct the human form from the atom up with the use of MEMS and Nanotechnology. Los Cybrids see this exploration into the body as the latest manifestation of the colonialist ideal of Manifest Destiny. In a world that has been completely colonized, we stand at the limit of human ability to move into space. With the help of IT, the military has found the body as an area of cyborg exploration, offering up billions of dollars in research and possible revenue for multinationals, research institutes and subsidiary military institutions. Between 1998 and 2001 the rise in expenditures rose from $100 million to over $400 million annually evidencing the amount of money to be made by Fortune 500 companies (RAFI "The ETC Century"). The turn of the century has offered up new and exciting opportunities for the military and it's agencies to expand their colonial grasp. DARPA has advanced the growth of body enhancements and human interface by leaps and bounds. Researchers funded by the military have created the Human Performance Enhancement (HPE), which uses Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Position Emission Tomography techniques to map brain function, leading researchers to posit that science will be able to manage, monitor and manipulate human functions, allowing for human subject control. The RAND Corporation predicts that "it is possible that in the near future we will be able to chemically enhance vigilance and attention spans, increase stress tolerance, increase sleep deprivation tolerance, and enhance memory [of human subjects]." This type of research has profound effects on the future of human biology. Pat Mooney of the ETC (formerly known as the Rural Advancement Foundation International - RAFI) states "In mid 1999, researchers showed how computers could direct brain activity when electrodes were hooked to rodents and pulses were sent that mimicked patterns that prompted drinking. The tests showed that computers could copy a normal brain wave and then send the message to the brain externally." How will these technologies be used? Who will control such technologies? Why are they important? Some see the advancements as having nothing but positive effects. The Extropians, a group made up of scientists, writers and researchers, propose that "[the application of] science and technology [will be] creatively [used] to transcend "natural" limits imposed by our biological heritage, culture, and environment..." seeing technology not as an end in itself but as an effective means towards the improvement of life. While the changes produced are purportedly made in order to transcend the "natural" limits of the biological body and improve life, one is left to ask who will most likely benefit. As the political and economic structures are presently rooted in first world economics, the benefits will accrue exclusively to first world beneficiaries. Poor nations and individuals will not benefit from the trends. More insidious is the level of control over the body that is being pushed forward. As we unwittingly lead ourselves into the age of electronic technological machines we find ourselves unwittingly controlled by them in subtle and pervasive ways. The notion that cellular phones, palm pilots and e-mail as tools will make our lives easier has not proven true, rather we are more connected to work and our lives are busier. As the technology becomes more pervasive and the profits to be gained grow, IT and electronic technologies will begin to forge into a new frontier: the body.