In the centre of England
We are all of us Posthumans
We are no longer wholly human; we are part flesh, part electronic machine, part telecommunications network, part mass-mediated culture. We are mere nodes in a globe-spanning 21st century cultural matrix, like neurons in a giant brain. We do not think our thoughts, our thoughts think us. Our self-conception is not a product of ourselves but of our culture. Our ideas are not our own, they have evolved independently over millennia. These ideas are more alive than we are. We do not exist. We do not make our art, it makes itself, using us. We are Posthumans.
We are no longer wholly human; we are part flesh, part electronic machine, part telecommunications network, part mass-mediated culture. We are mere nodes in a globe-spanning 21st century cultural matrix, like neurons in a giant brain. We do not think our thoughts, our thoughts think us. Our conception of ourselves is not a product of ourselves but of our culture. Our ideas are not our own, they have evolved independantly over millennia. These ideas are more alive than we are. We do not exist. We do not make our art, it makes itself, using us. We are Posthumans. We are everywhere and everything. This is the second decade of the twenty-first century. We live online, we adventure online, we experience the arts online. We need a new model for interaction between the media and new creative entities. The system creates its content these days. Posthumans are an I.C.E. - Internet-based Creative Entity (whatever the truth - we don't care about truth) Posthumans are determined to end the overly-traditional boring, and moribund relationship between musical acts and the media that results in the same tedious patterns being repeated again and again. Now is the time. Posthumans will also include photographers, designers, video-makers, etc. Posthumans will attempt to re-define what a group/band is in this post-internet age. What makes a band a band? What is the nature of identity? - 'We don't exist.' - 'Everyone is in Posthumans'. We will declare fiction to be king. Truth is lies, only artifice is real. (Us humans pretend we know ourselves when we attempt to be sincere, but, even if we are trying our best to be 'truthful' we know ourselves only partially). However, fiction is itself and only itself - it is therefore more true than any attempt to tell the truth. All that we do will be part of an elaborate theatre. We will 'lie' constantly to create the imaginary world we will then inhabit. The act of creation is the only valid act. There is no such thing as 'reality', or rather there may be such a thing as 'reality', but we have no direct relationship with, or access to, it. Everything we experience is over-poweringly mediated by the precepts of our culture. We create 99% (or more) of our actual experiences by our thoughts about them as we have them. We need to acknowledge this and play with it. Posthumans will and do. We are all conformists. The R'n'R myth of the individualistic rebel is ridiculous. We are all just parts of our culture, desperately trying to belong and avoid ridicule or exclusion or worse, while pretending to reject that which we most fear - everybody else. There's power to be had wherever art/culture explores an idea that is a more accurate representation of the way things actually are, while being substantially different from the way most people think they are. All great cultural shifts have embodied this principle. It combines the resonance people feel when something of which they'd previously only dimly been aware is suddenly made clear, and the excitement of entering into a whole new way of looking at the world - which is effectively to create a whole new world. If truth is perception, then to change a culture's perception is to change reality. New philosophical ideas seem obscure, esoteric, inconsequential and unconnected to the bulk of people's lives, an intellectual game played on the fringes of society with no real meaning, but they are actually far more than that. They reveal a deeper or more accurate take upon reality and our minds' relationship with it, which can have enormous ramifications, not just for intellectuals but for everybody. This project's ambition, like all serious art, is nothing less than to change the world. New ideas permeate through society over time - Initially amongst a small cognoscenti, then philosophers in general (but by no means all of them), then the intelligentsia, then the literate, and at some crucial point, often connected to some barely-related social dynamics, they go mainstream, crossing over into the general public discourse and consciousness. I think that time has come for some of the following ideas. This project will explore and play with the ideas of post-structuralism (which is itself vaguely-defined and incorporates elements of post-modernism & structuralism). It focuses upon - The unreliability of identity - We are not the independent individuals we believe ourselves to be, or rather as our culture has told us we are. We are actually merely one of several billion nodes in a great matrix, like neurons within a giant brain, which thinks the thoughts that are our culture. Our culture controls us, far more than we do, or realise. Do we think our thoughts, or do our thoughts think us? The answer is the latter - and they aren't even our thoughts, they are our culture thinking through us. We are just the medium through which ideas pass. We don't exist, not in the way we think we do. We don't think, our thoughts think us. We think we are what our culture tells us we are. However, we don't need to fight this, we need to acknowledge and give in to the way things are. This is what is behind the much repeated claims of a millions artists over the years that they don't come up with their ideas or art, it just comes to them from somewhere else. It postulates a kind of Zen freedom. The unreliability of language - Language is far less objectively meaningful than we think it is. It is actually a shifting jungle of varying signifiers and signified, meaning different things to different people at different times in different contexts. Yet we act as if it is universally agreed, stable, meaningful, and useful tool of communication, capable of conveying 'reality'. It is not. It leads to misunderstanding, conflict and ridiculous consequences (like Religion for one) We must become seductive poets - using language only to maximise its theatrical value. Our tenuous link to 'reality' - Most of what we perceive of as reality are actually the stories our culture has told us about reality. We are constantly trying to put the square pegs of genuine experience into the round holes of our conception of the world, and then wondering why things don't feel right. The only real benefit of education is to realise one's own ignorance (and this is an incredibly worthwhile goal) Give up dealing with the illusion that is what we call reality, live in your imagination, that's where you're actually living anyway, so acknowledge it! The primacy of myth/narrative. Everything we think is 'true' about society, history, politics, humanity and ourselves is merely stories. We live in a conceptual environment made of narratives - We conceive of ourselves, those around us and the world in relation to that conceptual environment, not in relation to 'reality' - as we have no connection to such a thing. Myths & archetypes make up the air our minds breathe. Posthumans will create new narratives. All these post-structuralist ideas will combine with the posthuman ones, and the modern emerging social/creative environment of the internet to create a new conceptual world. We all live, create, meet, socialise, entertain ourselves and others on the internet these days, so why shouldn't a band only exist there. Sincerity is always lies, only artifice and fiction are what they really claim to be. Create myths, create narrative, write fiction and when it resonates you have done something valuable.