[ExI] Art/Design Re: Élan Vital and Radical Life Extension

natasha at natasha.cc natasha at natasha.cc
Wed Oct 28 20:36:23 UTC 2009

Hi -

In looking for a philosophical/theoretical "aesthetics of existence  
(or radical life extension), Henri Bergson?s élan vital[1] (/Creative  
Evolution/[2] 1907) comes close, not only in a poetic sense but in  
regards to the continuum of life/existence (which many of us think  
will transform from wet bio to synthetic media/platforms).

Mechanist theory[3] makes sense for design purposes (telos); but it is  
the élan vital that has a certain poiesis that forms an affinity with  
the arts.  The theory of élan vital offers potential to the artist  
(and in some instances the designer who employs an intuitive approach  
to product-making) in considering existence as fluid and  
transformative (i.e., Burnham?s book Beyond Modern Sculpture[4] 1968),  
and which finds links between élan vital and the art of sculpture as  
developed in the media of computer art, kinetics art, installation  
art, animation art, immersive design, etc. (those art forms which are  
not considered to be visually constant like marble or wood.)

Because Primo Posthuman[5] or ( Primo Posthuman[6] ) is both art and  
design (i.e., it is an artistic conception of the imagination and  
which has a purpose/function/goal), I am asking:  Does anyone have a  
view on how new advances and greater insights/knowledge into existence  
in science/technology (molecular biology, for example), might revisit  
Henri Bergson?s theory of élan vital?


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89lan_vital
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mechanism_(philosophy)
[5] http://www.kurzweilai.net/articles/art0405.html?printable=1
[6] http://www.natasha.cc/primo.htm
[7] http://www.natasha.cc

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