October 24, 2017 - National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea - "Superhumanity: Post-Labor, Psychopathology, Plasticity"
October 24, 2017

National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea

Courtesy National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea.

"Superhumanity: Post-Labor, Psychopathology, Plasticity"
Symposium co-organized with e-flux architecture
October 27–28, 2017

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The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (Director: Bartomeu Mari) co-presents with e-flux architecture an international symposium "Superhumanity: Post-Labor, Psychopathology, Plasticity" at the Multi Project Hall of MMCA Seoul from Friday, October 27 to Saturday, October 28.

Focused on post-labor, psychopathology, and plasticity of human mind and body, this symposium consists of lectures and panel discussions by experts of diverse disciplines, ranging from design and architecture to science, media, history, philosophy and contemporary art. Faced with the fourth industrial revolution, it is worthwhile for us to recognize that manmade, artificial objects are continuously reshaping our daily lives, and to rethink the intimate and fundamental relationship between design and what it means to be human.

The first session “Post-Labor” looks at the crisis of labor in the time of automation through the lens of Karl Marx on the dynamics of capitalism and machines, Gilbert Simondon’s posthuman optimism, and Bernard Stiegler’s techno-capital pessimism. Alternatives such as “labor as play” and “designing ethics of artificial intelligence” are to be proposed as well.

The second session “Psychopathology” is an attempt at understanding human attributes through addiction, mental, and emotional diseases. Cases such as luxury town houses turning into rehabilitation centers for addiction patients, an autistic boy as a mechanical human, and the transformation of post-mortem grief into a political militancy will be examined.

The third session “Plasticity” is premised on the way the human brain and body is shaped by experiences and environments. This session analyzes the idea of repetition and Nietzche’s spirit of revenge, body modification through cosmetic surgery and other means; brain activity when engaged in artistic creativity; and the potential for affordance to be operative concept in shaping the environment. 

Catherine Malabou, Professor in the Philosophy Department of Kingston University and Chin Jungkwon, Professor of the Faculty of Liberal Arts at Dongyang University, will be this symposium’s keynote speakers. Chinese philosopher Yuk Hui and Japanese AI’s ethic designer Hiroshi Yamakawa, as well as Hong Sungook, Professor of Biological Sciences Department, Seoul National University; Hannah Proctor, Research Fellow of Institute for Cultural Inquiry Berlin; and Mark Wasiuta, Co-Director of Critical, Curatorial and Conceptual Practices in Architecture, GSAPP, Columbia University, among others, will present their points of views on the topic from their respective areas of research.

This event was organized by Lee Jihoi, Associate Curator of MMCA, Korea; Nikolaus Hirsch and Nick Axel of e-flux architecture; Beatriz Colomina and Mark Wigley, co-directors of 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial Are We Human? – Design of the Species

Advanced registration is available on the MMCA website on a first come, first served basis. Registration will also be available on site on the day of event, if there are remaining seats.

For more information, visit MMCA’s website.

General public information: (MMCA Seoul main telephone number) T +82 (0)2 3701 950

For further information on this press release, please contact Superhumanity Symposium Secretariat at T +82 (0)2 3701 9899 / superhumanity [​at​] chrisnp.co.kr.

National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea
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