Before Humanity is a project that takes up the question of the “post-” in the “posthuman” from the position of “ancestrality”. As we are “about to forget” the human, we are thrown back to the very beginnings of the human. The “before” in Before Humanity means both:
- what happens just before we apparently become human (i.e. a critique of paleoontology, evolution and hominisation narratives)? and
- witnessing the “end” of (at least a certain notion of) humanity, what tasks lie “before” “us”?
In other words, as others rush ahead into technoutopias of artificial intelligence and posthuman evolution, we are interested in the proto-, paleo-, ante-… conceptualisations on which most of these “science factional” scenarios unquestioningly rely.
In other words, Before Humanity asks whether “we” ever been “human” and if not, what could (or should) “we” have been?
The contents table currently looks like this (click to see advanced draft versions):
- Ancestrality 1 – Before…
- Golding and the Other Human (William Golding, The Inheritors)
- Ancestrality 2 – Languages and Evolutions
- Ancestrality 3 – Animism without humans
- Intermezzo 1 – Ape/Man
- About to Forget… the Human (Max Frisch, Man in the Holocene)
- Ancestrality 4 – Geology and Deep Time
- Intermezzo 2 – Lascaux, Geophilia and the Cradle of Humanity
- Conclusion-Ancestrality 5 – Becoming Inhuman