The exhibition focuses on the topics related to contemporary transformation in the perception of community, which artists touch upon more and more often. As he pondered on these issues, Giorgio Agamben once proclaimed the emergence of a community where every member will be a role model. In the face of ongoing hybridisation, leading to internal complexity and diversity, in the face of no shared characteristics around which communities used to gather, a new necessity surfaces to put a special emphasis on the bonds that tie together the members of the new community. Up until now, the communities’ hybrid character was caused by global migrations and the development of global tools of communication, as those communities were composed of humans. Right now, aside from people, non-human and posthuman beings are becoming new members of communities and at the same time factors changing the intra-community bonds.
What constitutes our sense of belonging, what is the basis of our identity? When it comes to the concept of “community”, its etymology is of key importance. Munus means a special kind of gift, related to making a commitment towards others. Being in a community means that an individual partially renounces themselves in favour of communis. For Robert Esposito, community is an opposite of the personal space of an individual, a concept in which the individual becomes lost and from which it must defend itself. Pursuing the Communitas and the immunitas are the processes that are conditioned by one another.
Contemporary vectors of changes demonstrate that the technoculture lacks balance in this sphere. In terms of thinking about environment, our body and its experiences, affections and sexuality, the technological construction of our “I” and “us” more and more frequently realises itself without our awareness of those processes. We experience quasi-participation which is so absorbing that direct participation in social rituals is no longer possible.
In social practices, it is important to co-exist in a cohabitated reality, share this reality. Modern hybrid worlds are not only human communities, but also many new constellations of other subjects that we are going to bond with. Among them, we can find a variety of non-human living beings and many posthuman, fabricated forms. Technological corporations make promises about artificial worlds, where we will no longer feel lonely or unhappy, because virtual beings will welcome us and take care of us. This synthetic standby-for-something-else mode may in fact prove really attractive, especially in comparison with the indifference of real people.
In the process of transhumanisation of communities, we must remember that we inhabit the world in our bodies. Transgression and the need for bonding between different components of TransCommunities emerge as one of the most important challenges for the contemporary world.
Curators: Ryszard W. Kluszczyński, Ada Florentyna Pawlak
Artists and projects: