Short Documentary On The DIY Bodyhacking/Transhumanist Underground

kevin warwick

The Verge did a short documentary, and a piece of long form, participatory journalism, on the DIY transhumanist/bodyhacker/grinder/whatever movement:

The boys from Grindhouse Wetwares both sucked down Parliament menthols the whole time we talked. There was no irony for them in dreaming of the possibilities for one’s body and willfully destroying it. “For me, the end game is my brain and spinal column in a jar, and a robot body out in the world doing my bidding,” said Sarver. “I would really prefer not to have to rely on an inefficient four-valve pump that sends liquid through these fragile hoses. Fuck cheetahs. I want to punch through walls.”

Flesh and blood are easily shed in grinder circles, at least theoretically speaking. “People recoil from the idea of tampering inside the body,” said Tim. “I am lost when it comes to people’s unhealthy connections to your body. This is just a decaying lump of flesh that gets old, it’s leaking fluid all the time, it’s obscene to think this is me. I am my ideas and the sum of my experiences.” As far as the biohackers are concerned, we are the best argument against intelligent design.

Neither man has any illusions about how fringe biohacking is now. But technology marches on. “People say nobody is going to want to get surgery for this stuff,” admits Cannon. But he believes that will change. “They will or they will be left behind. They have no choice. It’s going to be weird and uncomfortable and scary. But you can do that, or you can become obsolete.”

Full Story: The Verge: Cyborg America: inside the strange new world of basement body hackers

(via Grinding)

See also:

Transcending the Human, DIY Style

DIY transhumanism on the cheap

One in four Germans wants microchip under skin

4 Comments

  1. I do wonder why they were so down on Lepht, though.

    • My knee jerk reaction is sexism, but to give them more credit, they might just be trying to distance what they’re doing from her haphazard experimentation.
      Imagine what it would be like if you were trying to setup the very first “legit” tattoo shop and you want to convince people what you’re doing is safe and sanitary, but the most famous tattoo artist in the world is known for doing really dicey work with improvised tools.

      • Ok; that’s excusing the Grindhouse guys’ comments (and I’ve called Lepht insane myself, admiringly, so…), but what about the journalist in the article? Quoting a blog post that explicitly had nothing to do with Lepht’s work as evidence of that work’s debilitating effect on them (we’ll leave aside the fact everyone completely ignored Lepht’s stated gender pronoun preference in all pieces) is downright deceptive.

        • Well, I don’t know much about Anonym, apparently not enough to know of a stated pronoun preference. But I didn’t think Anonym came across poorly in the article, I thought the guys’ comments in the video were what you were referring to. I don’t know the context of the quote, but it doesn’t really sounds like it has much to do with grinding. But on the other hand it didn’t come off all that negative to me, just the writer worrying that adding a “sixth sense” might lead to some bad mental phenomena. You’re right though, looking now at that blog post that quote looks out of place.

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