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Photography
Jun
12
H+ by Matthieu Gafsou
Alexander Zaxarov
Jun 12, 2020

In Matthieu Gafsou’s H+, a map of augmented humanity threatens to become a transcription of everything.

Transhumanism is an intellectual movement that aims to augment the human body through use of sciences and technique. This topic refers to everyday purposes, which are already banal, such as the use of pacemakers or smartphones. It also refers to fantasies which advocate immortality and even claim the abandonment of the body made of flesh in favor of the machine. From the myth of the cyborg to the chimera, transhumanism can bring to mind a new religion.

H+ is about the present. What really exists, what we can see, where we can see it. From Switzerland to Russia, between France, Germany and Czech Republic, he has been tracking, the people – from biohackers working in garages to major labs –, the objects and sometimes the concepts related to this movement. When he started his research in 2014, Matthieu Gafsou quickly realized that the problem would not be to find information or subjects, but to sort those out, to prioritize and to build a clear map of the transhumanist movement. It is the sum of various fragments that weaves a network of meaning, a mesh rather than a narrative. Implicitly, this allows Gafsou to formulate his relation to documentary photography: it is a bridge of sight and not a truth. There are, therefore, many defects and deformations. Gafsou opts for a radicality of renditions, which testifies of the latent violence involved in the technological transformations under way.

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Alexander Zaxarov
June 12, 2020

In Matthieu Gafsou’s H+, a map of augmented humanity threatens to become a transcription of everything.

Transhumanism is an intellectual movement that aims to augment the human body through use of sciences and technique. This topic refers to everyday purposes, which are already banal, such as the use of pacemakers or smartphones. It also refers to fantasies which advocate immortality and even claim the abandonment of the body made of flesh in favor of the machine. From the myth of the cyborg to the chimera, transhumanism can bring to mind a new religion.

H+ is about the present. What really exists, what we can see, where we can see it. From Switzerland to Russia, between France, Germany and Czech Republic, he has been tracking, the people – from biohackers working in garages to major labs –, the objects and sometimes the concepts related to this movement. When he started his research in 2014, Matthieu Gafsou quickly realized that the problem would not be to find information or subjects, but to sort those out, to prioritize and to build a clear map of the transhumanist movement. It is the sum of various fragments that weaves a network of meaning, a mesh rather than a narrative. Implicitly, this allows Gafsou to formulate his relation to documentary photography: it is a bridge of sight and not a truth. There are, therefore, many defects and deformations. Gafsou opts for a radicality of renditions, which testifies of the latent violence involved in the technological transformations under way.

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