Ars Electronica Garden Silicon Valley

What is our digital humanity?

Open Austria Art + Tech Lab (US/AT)

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Technology has become the most pressing question of our time. Who creates it, who controls it, who has access to it, and who doesn’t are the new parameters that determine emerging power structures around the world. But technology will also be front and center as we tackle our global climate crisis and advocate for more justice, diversity and inclusion in our fight against poverty and inequality, and work to improve the health of billions of people around the world. The concept of digital humanism can be seen as a necessary evolution of Silicon Valley’s transhumanist vision for humanity. A marriage of transhumanists’ excitement about the immense potential of technology and a new humanism that aims to restore our dignity as human beings online and offline. A digital humanist understands technology as a tool that can be used for both good and bad. Digital humanists are realistic about its potential to elevate us and cause harm though a host of unintended consequences. The consequences of merging the off- and online world as we gradually turn into digital humans aren’t fully explored yet. In order to understand the many layers that constitute a digital human, policy makers, tech companies and technologists need to break out of their respective silos and start working together to assure that universal human rights are being protected regardless of their differences. Art and culture shape our common reality. Artists as cultural ambassadors are best equipped to identify the potential and pitfalls of our current digital transformation. They pose, explore and promulgate the question of what constitutes a human being in the digital world. What is our digital humanity? The Ars Electronica Garden Silicon Valley, hosted and curated by the Open Austria Art + Tech Lab, engages with artists, curators and cultural facilitators as well as technologists, tech executives, think tanks, diplomats, and policymakers to pose this question in a variety of settings through art panels, workshops, immersive experiences, and keynotes.


Curatorial Director: Clara Blume, Head of Open Austria Art + Tech Lab