Transhumanism (H+) is a contemporary international cultural movement that advocates the potential to radically alter or negate human limitations through technology. In Transhumanist Soap Opera, Pony Express portray on how the movement’s promises of human life extension, genetic engineering, gender fluidity, green infrastructure and techno-utopianism have completely revolutionised the way humans relate to reality. Despite these advances, however, the leaders of H+ are still as mired in the pathos of human drama and relationships as ever. The work asks: once we transcend our bodies, what will happen to our egos?
Transhumanist Soap Opera is an interactive installation, where audiences enter a constructed environment and encounter dynamic elements that shape a narrative around them. The stars of the soap opera are the leading transhumanists of today, who are frequently altering their bodies or reincarnating entirely in new ones through the course of the work. The audience also meet our versions of some of the technoscientific breakthroughs of transhumanism: augmented body parts, sentient machines, and internet-based consciousness.
The storyline uses video portraits to chronicle the history of the movement’s leaders, particularly the overlapping moments of conflict and drama that have shaped H+’s influence on current culture, as told through the melodramatic style of the daytime soap opera. Interactive elements and decision points move the audience along the trajectory to H+, through the fountain of youth and towards eventual re-embodiment, participating in their own path of speculative evolution along the way.