new-york

“The Final Frontier”

New Museum

The frontier examined in this exhibition is both an internal and external one: that of the body as it meets and dissolves into the technological. It is becoming clear that the things we have thought of as integral and unique to the body no longer are, as technological prostheses continue to amplify and distend its properties. Genetic and cosmetic selection can turn out legions of identically desirable chickens, tomatoes, and pectorals; true love can be found in the virtual meeting places of the Net.

To renegotiate what counts as human is not just to accept technological innovation; it also involves reconsidering the distance between humans and other living things. Part of what was disquieting about “The Final Frontier” was that it marked both the emptiness of places once sacred to the “human” and its obverse—the unexpected places in which these sacred qualities now appear. In the show’s

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