Journée Paroles et Manœuvres: Google and eternal life

Special event presented as part of the International Digital Art Biennial (BIAN)

Saturday May 21st, 2pm

Journée Paroles et Manœuvres

In the spirit of exchange and reflection, Skol invites the public to participate in Journées Paroles et Manœuvres. A cross-disciplinary meeting of interventions, conferences, performances and discussions, this event aims to inverse roles, to encourage collaboration between different types of expertise and to support hybrid forms of communication. Journées Paroles et Manœuvres is an opportunity to take time, together, through various forms and ideas.

Google and Eternal Life

As the American army invests billions in the biomechanical invention of the human body, and as Google hires Kurt Kurzweil, a major figure of transhumanism, one has to wonder what kind of future these market and state superpowers have in mind for common people.

« How can one understand that transhumanism’s wildest dreams- to live for many centuries, to upload one’s mind on a USB key, to reprogram one’s genome, to transform into a cyborg- finally appear credible and accessible? Perhaps this utopia is not as extravagant as it seems, and perhaps it is, on the contrary, in absolute accordance with the present times. » – Damour, Frank, La tentation transhumaniste, 2015.

Through a program of video, performance, conferences and discussions, Google and Eternal Life proposes a critique of transhumanism, of its societal vision and of the ways in which its mechanisms are already an integral part of our daily lives.



–2pm : VIDEO BY SEAN CAPONE: Codas (Man Is a Bubble b/w better living through nanotechnology) 4:45 min. Presented in loop.
The science fiction romance of the ’80s and ’90s promised us an era of cyberpunk techno-mysticism, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and omniscient, shamanistic avatars… a future brought to us courtesy of the mutated post-nationalist form of tech-driven hyper-capitalism that was then taking shape. Well, at least some of it has come true. These characters are summoned from the vapor of that era in an attempt to recuperate those lost promises.

– 2:30pm and throughout the event: PERFORMANCE BY CORAZÓN DESFASADO : Cybertransfiguration; “out-of-bounds” performances..
Corazón Desfasado (Helena Martin Franco): Montréal saint, hybrid, ambiguous and one-of-a-kind. Queen of the dollar store, she is misunderstood, acquiescent, her heart out of phase. During the Cybertransfiguration of May 20th (live streaming) and 21st (at Skol), the gallery space will be transformed into a consecrated workshop of transfiguration for the saint with an uprooted heart. New prayers and messages of redemption will be revealed to the faithful, true believers in contemporary art and new technologies. On May 20th, the Cybertransfiguration will appear exclusively at On May 21st, a custom prayer-creation service will be available. Don’t forget to bring your prayer requests. 

 – 2:30pm : CONFERENCE BY EMMANUELLE CACCAMO: Pour une (techno)CRITIQUE DU TRANHUMANISME (For a techno-critique of transhumanism)
Whether seen as a movement, ideology, or self-proclaimed cultural group, transhumanism envisages the transition from a human to post-human civilization. Liberated from the biological body, the immortal post-human will be a robotic being doted with human consciousness (vestige of the human mind’s binarization), a floating “intellectual substance” connected to the Network. Apprehensive of the rigid model of human that claims to be able to explain everything (NBIC), predominant transhumanist thought imposes its own set of fixed (supposedly apolitical and amoral) values, in the name of technological singularity and techno-libertarian individualism. As transhumanism takes in more and more adepts, it is important to examine this ideology and discuss to discuss its fundamental underlying issues.


3:30pm : PAUSE

– 3:45pm : CONFERENCE BY MYRIAM LAVOIE-MOORE AND JOËLLE GÉLINAS (GRISQ): Pouvoir et subjectivité du Big Data (Power and subjectivity of Big Data)
The emergence of digital technologies has brought together quantifying, computer-based means and identity-oriented modes of expression and production (socio-digital media). Digital traces of our everyday activities are stored in massive data bases (Big Data), that, with their algorithmic logic, have become much-used tools for analyzing reality. The predominance of Big Data raises important preoccupations in that the portrayals it generates are legitimized not only by way of commercial optimization and preventative surveillance on the part of government, but also, increasingly, with the argument of social control. Big Data’s claim of being able to mirror reality is contingent on removing all subjectivity from the process, which however necessarily brings into play power relationships which we intend to discuss.


Photos: Paul Litherland