Biomorphs are always speculative or ‘critical bodies’, experiments in unliving. Posthumanism, unbound, provides a speculative deployment of life without limiting it with any vitalist distinction between life and matter or mechanism. It is a conceptual abattoir.
Perhaps, some will remark that my use of ‘speculation’ here is disturbingly reminiscent of its financial sense. Perhaps ‘unbinding’ concedes too much to the ways Capitalism is terraforming the Earth? Rosi Braidotti and Francesca Ferrando distinguish the ‘perverse’ post-anthropocentrism of advanced capitalism – with its constant disruption of boundaries and species – from the ‘good’ posthumanism that recognizes the distinctive existence of all life (Roden 2014, 184-5; Braidotti 2013, 60-1; Ferrando forthcoming). However, I argue here that the posthuman is perverse to its core. It does not give us an ethical purchase. Its notion of life is so generic, empty and anti-teleological (counter final) that it cannot tell us either what life is or what we (that is, any living collective) should become. It makes no philosophical decisions, including ethical ones. It biomorphizes ethics by making forms of existence: whether through capitalist or non-capitalist means. In this sense, perhaps, posthumanism is an expression of the technological logic of modernity, including capitalist modernity, as a variant of non-philosophy. However, as stated, it is structurally aesthetic in that this making is self-explicatory. To put it otherwise, posthumanism is not art and has no aesthetics, but the arts can exhibit biomorphisms, the production of life or unlife without prior conceptual models.
Braidotti, R. 2013. The Posthuman. Cambridge: Polity.
Ferrando, Francesca. (Forthcoming). Philosophical Posthumanism. Bloomsbury.
Roden, David. 2014. Posthuman Life: Philosophy at the Edge of the Human. London: Routledge.