The Post-Humanist Animal|Artist in Contemporary Photographic Practice

What does it mean to think beyond humanism? Is it possible to craft a mode of philosophy, ethics, and interpretation that rejects the classic humanist divisions of self and other, mind and body,society an nature, human and animal, organic and technological? Can a new kind of humanities - post humanities- respond to the redefinition of humanity's place in the world, in which “human” is but one life form amongst them?

      This text will consider different definitions of humanism but it will be based in Cary Wolfe's
conception of humanism, which has strong links with Foucault conclusions. What Michel Foulcault (1984 pp.43-44) draws our attention to (aside from the heterogeneity of the historical varieties of “humanism”) is that humanism is it's own dogma, replete with its own prejudices and assumptions, which are themselves a form of “superstition” from which the Enlightenment sough to break free.

      According to Etinne Balibar (1991 pp.56) the 'human' is achieved by escaping or repressing not jut its animal origins but also buy transcending the bounds of materiality and embodiment
altogether. Post humanism is here the opposition to the fantasies of disembodiment and autonomy on man. This research aims to show that post humanism in art engages directly the problem of anthropocentrism and speciesism, but also sees post humanism as a mode of thought, as Derrida argues in “The Animal that therefore I am”, “With the force and effect of a virus”. (2002)

      Derrida insists that the animal question is part of the larger question of humanism, but for him these dynamics form the basis for deconstructing the various ways in which we have presumed to master the world in ways barred to them.

      With this conceptions of the world shared by humans and non-human equally, come
representations of such ideologies that simply state the art world's interest in exploring them.
Although this might seem over simplistic, it is important to relate both contents and...