What is the human experience? Is it defined by our everyday interactions with one another and our external environment? Or is it characterized by our seemingly unique abilities to empathize? Our ‘free will’?
Virtual reality, along with every other (insert adjective here)-reality tech, has given compelling responses to these questions, further blurring the line of what differentiates the human experience to everything else.
A curious project that is still in development, Wump VR is what most would describe as a psychedelic trip that peaked a bit more than it should. Mesmerizing visuals and musical interactions bombard your senses as users try to figure out how to navigate through this vivid Cronenberg version of the human experience.
Wump VR simplifies and transforms the human experience into what might as well be an alien dream. Each life state is defined by the visual aesthetics and interactions the user encounters as they progress through the experience. The user’s body changes and morphs through each stage, granting new modes of interaction with the environment.
“We wanted to keep the journey as universal as possible, focusing on the evolution of the body rather than lifestyles, life experiences, gender, etc.”
There are many virtual reality developers and creators with their own unique aesthetic stories to tell. Soon, we’ll be living in a future where we can choose any experience we want to live, temporarily or even permanently. I believe the human experience is not inherently human but rather an extension of the fluidity of existence. Are we all living a vivid virtual dream, wandering around as we all soak in the abstract information of our environment? Do we even want to take off the goggles? That’s for the individual to decide.
Vladimir Storm and alpha_rats are incredible VR designers. More of their beautiful work can be found on their Behance.
~ Emanuel Iral, Director of Visual Art, U.S. Transhumanist Party, June 30, 2018
It’s 2018, another year in this shared reality of ours. We’ve come a long way, perfecting our technological prowess as we continue our evolution into the post-human.
There are cyborgs out there. In fact, most of us are pretty much cyborgs at this point. However, it is indeed likely only some of us are truly beginning to tap into that potential.
Moon Ribas is known to the world as the Catalan avant-garde artist and a cyborg activist. Moon Ribas is one of those cyborgs, an example of the elegantly functional relationship between human and machine.
With an online seismic sensor directly implanted above her left elbow, she is able to perceive the vibrations of nearby earthquakes via data from a custom iPhone app that consolidates seismic activity from geological monitors around the world. Ribas then transposes this ‘seismic sense’ into bodily movement in her graceful performance known as Waiting for Earthquakes or into sound in her piece Seismic Percussion.
With the subdermal implant, Moon Ribas is able to further push the boundaries of perception and experience by means of personal augmentation. During the devastating 7.8 earthquake that struck Nepal in 2015, Ribas was awoken by a wave of vibrations in the middle of the night. She recalls it as the most peculiar of sensations, also describing it as her second heartbeat as she is able to empathize with the people experiencing the quake. This has lead her to advocate for a better understanding of the natural phenomena so that us humans may be able to better adapt to our own planet’s movements.
Along with Neil Harbisson, another fellow cyborg, they have co-founded the international organization Cyborg Foundation in the pursuit to help all the rest of us become post-human and to protect our rights as post-humans.
It is the insatiable creative thirst of humans like Moon Ribas that slowly pushes us to the inevitable brilliant future that is to come.
Moon Ribas is an artist and activist. More of her beautiful work can be found on her site.
~ Emanuel Iral, Director of Visual Art, U.S. Transhumanist Party, January 11, 2018