Yesterday, London's Wellcome Collection opened the doors to a fascinating new exhibition about the future and past of human augmentation, titled Superhuman. It runs until October 16 and there is some incredible imagery and other materials available online as well. I'm particularly intrigued by the way artists push on the cultural and psychological complexities of human augmentation by creating work that blurs the line between our technology and ourselves. Above is an image from artist Floris Kaayk's 2006 faux documentary Metalosis Meligna, about a disease in which implants become parasitic, devouring their host bodies.
Glasses, lipstick, false teeth, the contraceptive pill and even your mobile phone – we take for granted how commonplace human enhancements are. Current scientific developments point to a future where cognitive enhancers and medical nano robots will be widespread as we seek to augment our beauty, intelligence and health.
Superhuman takes a broad and playful look at our obsession with being the best we can be. Items on display range from an ancient Egyptian prosthetic toe to a packet of Viagra, alongside contributions from artists such as Matthew Barney and scientists, ethicists and commentators working at the cutting edge of this most exciting, and feared, area of modern science.