Wednesday, July 16, 2014



Humans have been called death machines, genetically programmed to self destruct through a disposition to the onslaught of particular diseases. Our history tells us that we have inflicted death and damage on other human beings and creatures in our environment. Our bodies ~ more bacterial than human are periodically invaded by dangerous viruses. We create death machines capable of destroying individuals, populations and the environment. We elevate the notion of the human ~ its intellect and achievement and yet many see human life as worthless, viewed purely in terms of its use value, as pure commodity. What is this hu(man) then in this world in which the female is still the poorest of all individuals, are subject in many countries to rape, abuse, under-age marriage and slavery, where they are still the primary object of the pornographic imagination and the object in cinematic as well as game play scenarios, of attack, mutilation and humiliation? Some individuals and cultures elevate animus (spirit) above the human (homo-sapien ~ of the earth) and the value that they place on the notion of the afterlife inspires them to suppress, oppress or attempt to eradicate those who do not value their values, especially the beyond human expression of another worldly state. Likewise, those who do not applaud the notion of the resurrection of the spirit, adhere to and promote longevity as a mark of the contemporary human and one which we should all aspire to, one that finds us entering into an alliance with non-humans (animals/machines/technology) in order to enhance or extend human life, thus valorizing the human’s relationship to land/place/the environment. Philosophically the human is perceived as a ‘work in progress’, however some would argue that evolution of the human ended as soon as individuals mastered genetic engineering and became capable of altering the human genome, creating a synthetic evolution of life on earth. Life takes on different currency in virtual space in which aspects of our lives are played out in social media and other internet forums that proffer our (selves), selfies and other images as code. Traces of our lives, strange phantoms that stand as avatars of our imagination, together with electronic footprints of our monetary and other transactions form a picture of the human as information that can be circulated ad infinitum. Indeed these ephemeral and ghostly aspects of self continue long after the demise, decomposition or cremation of the material body. Our ‘humanity’ then, alive or dead, material (actual) or virtual, animus (spirit) or of the earth, a conglomeration of hybridity is a hotly contested zone of enquiry. The question remains: how can we be ‘anything but (except) human’? Might we inspire to be anything beside (outside) the human, indeed, how may this otherness be imagined? Is this quest to be beyond the human pure fantasy, simply a desire to be different from, an escape from the pleasures and perils of being such?

Artists (visual poets) or writers are invited to engage with the above thought or to offer alternative interpretations of the theme ‘anything but human’ to be exhibited on the ANYTHING BUT HUMAN blog to help celebrate the blog’s 5th Anniversay in mid August this year.

Artists are requested to submit an image of an artwork in a jpeg file no larger than 2MG, together with the title/medium/year/name of artist/country, PLUS no more than 150 words that explains how the artwork fits the theme (no videos please or web links). No images will be posted without the explanation. Writers and poets are asked to submit in word document no more than 250 words a response that is self evident. Works should be submitted by Friday 8 August, 2014 to and selected works will be posted on the blog the week after. No remuneration. Copyright will remain with the artists and writers.

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