The Listener, 2012

philosophyLAB

The Listener, 2012

Courtesy of the artist

What might this little creature be feeling? This humanoid figure that Patricia Piccinini’s crew painstakingly put together out of silicon, fiberglass and human hair doesn’t seem the least bit threatening. Actually, its vulnerability is what makes the strongest impression. With a friendly look on its face, it seems to be seeking acceptance and hoping that we’re not put off by its strangeness. In a world in which human beings can use new technologies to modify and reform the creatures of nature, in which the diversity of life has reached a new stage, and in which the new possibilities of synthetic biology bring forth more questions than answers, we mustn’t lose our capacity for empathy.

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