Barbican launches Life Rewired: a season exploring what it means to be human when technology is changing everything

AI: More Than Human Mimic (concept), 2018 by Universal Everything Image courtesy of Universal Everything
AI: More Than Human Mimic (concept), 2018 by Universal Everything Image courtesy of Universal Everything

The Barbican today launches Life Rewired, an arts and learning season running throughout 2019 exploring what it means to be human in the face of technological and scientific forces that are dizzying in their speed, scale and complexity. The season investigates the impact of the pace and extent of technological change on our culture and society, looking at how we can grasp and respond to the seismic shifts these advances will bring about.

Life Rewired will interrogate how artists are responding to a time when technology is simultaneously enhancing our lives and challenging our identity by creating machines with human characteristics. It will explore how scientific breakthroughs can affect us at every stage of our life; from expert and first-person perspectives on IVF to the personal and societal impact of lengthening life expectancy.

The season will demonstrate how artists are finding imaginative ways to communicate the human impact of unprecedented technological shifts, as well as finding creative new uses for Artificial Intelligence, big data, algorithms and virtual reality.

AI: More Than Human LAUREN Devices by Lauren McCarthy Image credit: Lauren McCarthy
AI: More Than Human LAUREN Devices by Lauren McCarthy Image credit: Lauren McCarthy

Louise Jeffreys, Artistic Director, Barbican said:

“With scientific and technological change having the potential to alter everything we think we know about being human, the arts are uniquely placed to find creative and accessible ways to present and respond to the complex ideas and technological developments that will affect us all. The Barbican’s cross-arts approach enables us to offer something for everyone, presenting work that showcases the creative potential of new technology, while starting a conversation about the role we want it to play in our world.”

Borrowed Light by Troika CREDIT Max Colson
Borrowed Light by Troika CREDIT Max Colson

Chris Salter (Concordia University Research Chair in New Media, Technology and the Senses) has been the Barbican’s Creative Consultant on Life Rewired, undertaking over a year of new research and planning in collaboration with the Barbican to develop the season.

More INFO: barbican.org.uk/liferewired

Ursula Martinez – A Family Outing – 20 Years On Image credit: Hugo Glendinning

About Mark Westall

Mark Westall is the Founder and Editor of FAD magazine, ' A curation of the world’s most interesting culture' [PLUS] Art of Conversation: A tri-annual 'no news paper' AofC - Issue 1 Autumn 2018