Inspired by the 150th publication anniversary of The Origin of Species, Darwin’s evolutionary treatise, Super Human: Revolution of the Species turns the spotlight on collaborations between artists and scientists and the impact these investigations have on what it means to be human, now and into the future.

Focusing on Cognition (Mind), Augmentation (Body) and Nanoscale Interventions (the Soul, the ‘not visible’), the two-day Super Human symposium features the following remarkable keynote speakers, who will each tease out our aspirations and fears about our bodies and their extraordinary functions.

Barbara Maria Stafford
Barbara Maria Stafford is the William B. Ogden Distinguished Service Professor, Emerita, at the University of Chicago. Her work has consistently explored the intersections between the visual arts and the physical and biological sciences from the early modern to the contemporary era. Her current research charts the revolutionary ways the neurosciences are changing our views of the human and animal sensorium, shaping our fundamental assumptions about perception, sensation, emotion, mental imagery, and subjectivity. Stafford’s most recent book is Echo Objects: The Cognitive Work of Images, University of Chicago Press, 2007.

Ju Gosling
Ju Gosling aka ju90 is a disabled artist who works largely with digital lens-based media, but also with performance, text and sound. She works mainly within the theories and traditions of the international Disability Arts movement. Ju is artist-in-residence at the UK’s National Disability Arts Collection and Archive (NDACA) and is a former New Work Network Associate and Artsadmin Digital Fellow. Her exhibition ‘Abnormal: Towards a Scientific Model of Disability’ is currently touring the UK, funded by the Wellcome Trust. Ju has a PhD in Communications and Image Studies.

Junichi Ushiba
Junichi Ushiba is an Assistant Professor at Keio University, Japan. Drawing upon his knowledge of neuroscience, he has developed a Brain-Machine Interface (BMI) as an assistive technology for those with physical disabilities. His work has successfully resulted in his tetraplegic colleague being able to operate an avatar in a virtual world (Second Life) by thought alone. The potential of similar BMI technology for chronic stroke patients has equally profound neurorehabilitative implications and opens up a new era in BMI.

Tami Spector
Tami Spector is a professor of organic chemistry at the University of San Francisco. She is on the board of Leonardo/ISAST, chairs the Leonardo Scientists Working Group and serves as the co-editor of an on-going special section on Art, Nanoscience and Nanotechnology for the journal Leonardo. Trained as a physical organic chemist, her scientific work has focused on fluorocarbons, strained ring organics, and the molecular dynamics and free energy calculations of biomolecules. She has also published and presented work on molecular aesthetics, the visual image of chemistry and the intersections of chemistry and contemporary visual art.

Paul Brown
Paul Brown’s work as a ground-breaking artist and writer is recognised through his inclusion in the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) publication, Digital Pioneers. He has an international exhibition record at major venues including the TATE, V&A and the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in the UK; ARCO in Spain; the Substation in Singapore and the Venice Biennale. His work is held in public, corporate and private collections throughout Australia, Asia, Europe, Russia and the USA. Since 2000 he has been an Honorary Visiting Professor and artist-in-residence at the Centre for Computational Neuroscience and Robotics in the School of Informatics at the University of Sussex.

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A report showing Junichi Ushiba’s Brain-Machine Interface (BMI), an assistive technology for those with physical disabilities.

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