The Extropic Art Movement, most importantly the Extropic Art Manifesto, is the art world's answer to the work currently being done in AI research, transhumanity, and singularity research. Extropic Art can also be referred to as Transhumanist Art.
Beginnings of the Extropic Movement
Transhumanist Arts was founded and the Transhumanist Arts Statement (TransArt) written in 1982 by Nancie Clark (now known as Natasha Vita-More) as an art period reflecting creative works of transhumanity. Admittedly even today it is still a grassroots movement, but the ideas of the art are slowly but surely gaining momentum as many of the transhumanist projects are beginning to be realized. Just as Modern Art represents much of the arts of the 20th Century, Transhumanist Arts covers the late 20th Century into the 21st Century. The Transhumanist Arts period coalesces arts, sciences and technologies in reflecting the efforts of scientists who are researching and predicting the scope of transhumanity- including the idea of consciousness existing in an electronic media. The ideas generated by those whose work is transhumanist in scope, exemplifies the content of the transhuman culture and is generated through many modes, from painting to New Media, and modes yet to be discovered. Transhumanist Arts include creative works by those whose vision and creativity are integral to transhumanity.
The first "piece" of Transhumanist Art was produced at the University of Colorado Film Department by Nancie Clark (Vita-More). This piece is an 8mm film titled "Breaking Away". The location of the film was Red Rocks Amphitheater and was filmed by Don Yannacito, head of the Independent Film Archives at the University. Other known art pieces include the video "2 Women in B&W" which received special recognition at Women In Video (1985), painting exhibition at EZTV Los Angeles titled "Portraits" in 1987, "T - and Counting" (in deference to FM-2030, Marvin Minsky, Carl Sagan, Hans Moravec, Anais Nin, Susan Sontag and other transhumans, futurists and great thinkers) which was exhibited at the United States Film Festival, 1992. Over the years, there have been many digital art pieces and net.art pieces covering the 1990s. Numerous exhbitions have been available on the Internet through Extropic Art and other venues such as manTRANSforms, EZTV, ASCI.
Other renowned artists have been involved in early extropic art, including Timothy Leary, Francis Ford Coppola, and Vito Accocini, a famed Italian performance artist.
Extropic Art Projects
The two most noted projects of the Extropic Art Movement are contradictory; one has received a lot of media attention, whereas the other existed mainly as a footnote on most major newspapers.
The former, the KEO Project, is French artist Jean Marc Phillipe's vision since 1994 when singularity research was first becoming mainstream. Concerned with the increasing rapidity of technological discoveries, many in the artistic world wanted to keep a snapshot of humanity as we know it, and so Phillipe's romantic combination of science and artistry was born. The KEO satellite, which launched in 2001, is flying high above the Earth with messages from anyone with Internet access and the will to write. In fact, to encourage diversity, the KEO sponsors managed to provide Internet access to many remote and underdeveloped areas so that a more complete picture of humanity can be portrayed. As well as text messages, the sattelite includes a tiny capsule with all of the elements for life on the planet- oxygen, water, DNA, and a drop of human blood. The sattelite has been designed to travel for 50 millenia in orbit and then to return to Earth, to project, supporters researched the most frequent phonemes whomever or whatever still exists. To name their satellite in major world languages and came up with "K," "E" and "O." A phoneme is the smallest phonetic unit in a language that is capable of conveying a distinction in meaning. This project can definitely be considered an artistic response to what is happening in the technological world.
The other, the Extropic Art Manifesto, is similar in premise but differs in its goal- to pen one of the last messages of humanity as we know it today before transhumanity technologies are realized. Penned by American Natasha Vita-More in 1997, the Manifesto is currently onboard the Cassini Huygens spacecraft on its mission to Saturn, expected to return in 2020, near the time when scientists predict that many A.I. technologies will be perfected and the options for one's state of being growing.
Although not considered a project, I believe the anime Serial Experiments Lain also deserves consideration as an important starting point of transhumanity ideals in motion pictures. The Matrix is another important milestone torwards transhumanist ideas gaining acceptance in the media and with the layman. In the writing world William Gibson's Neuromancer,Idoru and other works can be considered definitive classics of the movement.
Goals of Extropic Art
As stated in the Extropic Art Manifesto, the strongest goal of transhumanity artists is to find new modes of expression as technological discoveries continue to grow at an exponential rate; that is, continue the growth of art at the same pace as growth in other arenas of intellectual thought.
The second goal is to have a say in what many consider the lack of ethical consideration in transhumanity. Writers, orators, and artists are stating their opinions about transhumanity to both increase public awareness, and to create a sort of stepping stone for what may be the biggest moral dilemma in the history of humanity.