anthropotechnics and the posthuman

Expanding on his teacher and mentor Jacques Derrida’s project of deconstruction, Bernard Stiegler posits that to be human has always been to be technological. Rather than the classical view of humans as essentially rational and the humanist view of humans as imago Dei, Stiegler holds that the origins of the human is concomitant with humans grasp of technological innovation during the earliest tool-making period of hominid development.

According to Peter Sloterdijk, anthropotechnics is the modern project of management and manipulation of humans through techniques and technologies of power. This modernist project is fueled by what Sloterdijk calls the mobilization of ambition: the endless pursuit of life-affirmations though consumption, expenditure, and destruction. Our modern world creates generation after generation of “carriers of ambition” who are techno-managed consumers of endless expenditure. 

We would extend anthropotechnics to the notion that human existence is essentially mediated through technology to the posthuman concept that we are becoming 1) anthrotechnological beings, and 2) our living existence is increasingly mediated through digital environments. The old dichotomy between humanity and nature or the human-animal divide is now replaced by the triangulation of human-techonology-media. Our tools, technologies, codes, etc., are therefore to be studied and analyzed not simply as extensions of ourselves but as media through which humanity is made possible. Media as medium as environments. Thus, biomedia would be understood as the study of how life is mediated through technology, the medium being codes, robots, enhanced reality, social media, networks, devices, technoprosthetics, an so on. The medium is the environment and the environment is the location of the human.