As technology moves far faster than the public’s imagination, humankind will soon find itself in a remarkable position: being the first species to direct its own evolution. Throughout 2019, swissnex San Francisco will bring together experts from a range of disciplines to explore the questions we confront in an age of CRISPR, genetic body modification, the datafication of our DNA, and the intersections of artificial intelligence and synthetic biology.
Connecting artists and scientists, the LifeCycle series poses challenging questions about where we want health tech to take us: not only looking at what is possible today, but also how we can be responsible stewards of our emerging cyber-organic future.
As time moves forward, so does the LifeCycle series, with a focus on three stages of life as the year progresses. We begin 2019 with Creation, then examine Life itself, and finally, we re-imagine what it might mean to die.
Beginning with the changes at the forefront of reproduction and the engineering of new forms of life, the Creation series examines the rapidly shifting understanding of how we create life: from genetically modified babies and algorithmically selected embryos to the creation of entirely new forms of organisms.
While the tools that people use have been changing rapidly, the human body has been remarkably stable. The Life series examines the collision of data and DNA, biology and digitization. As our biology is measured and tracked in unprecedented ways, how does our definition of life transform? Will we use science to become, somehow, “more human,” or will we surrender ourselves to become mirrors of our technology?
Technology is tracking our gestures, our conversations, our faces, and even our dreams. When our biography is written every day — a million traces of ourselves are saved in the cloud — what becomes of those memories when we die? The Death series asks: what happens when our data outlives our bodies?