With this artwork I explore the scientific researches and debates that are at stake with the hybrid body, from the military, philosophical, medical and theceforth (bio)cultural viewpoints. To use the medium of the drawings and illustrations is not just for fun: it allows the viewers (dilettante) to get the point in a easier way. Lilou’s acts and thoughts, who is a hybrid model, and her numerous real-life experiments, is fiction; however it’s strongly connected to the philosophical, ethical and anthropological issues in regard with the human body of our time.Next to the drawings the reader will be provided with a brief comment on the real techniques and/or technologies developed in today’s world.
N°1. Alternative Limb Project provides unique prosthetics to blend in with the body or stand out as a unique piece of art, reflecting the wearer’s imagination, personality and interests.
N°2. The Terminator vision is a project led by the DARPA (Defence Advanced Project Agency from the Pentagon’s far-out research branch) that enhances the military vision. DARPA has unveiled in December 2010 the Soldier Centric Imaging via Computational Cameras effort, or SCENICC. Imagine a suite of cameras that digitally capture a kilometer-wide, 360-degree sphere, representing the image in 3-D onto a wearable eyepiece. DARPA is dealing with the notion of an enhanced human, rather than repaired or reconstructed, requiring biomaterials (reconstruction materials external to the human body). The need for such humans seems obvious for the military, who, according to Michael Clark Goldblatt of DARPA, consider that “the human has become the weakest link, both physiologically and cognitively” (Roco, 2002 : 337). This is because “military systems are limited in their performance by the inability of the human body to tolerate high levels of temperature, acceleration, vibration or pressure or by human requirements in air, water and food” (Roco, 2002 : 291). For this reason, DARPA finances scientific research into the enhancement of human functional performance, in order to increase the efficiency of the fighting soldier (rather than teach him how to play the piano), by giving him physiological and cognitive super-capacities, and to minimise or reduce conflict mortality rates. As early as 1964, the “human amplifier” project, designed by Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory for the US Department of Defence, was one of the early attempts to bring a cyborg to life, now echoed in its more recent version of a future warrior. DARPA is running many other military projects.