The Transforming Creativity Research Group hosted a panel at the recent Cultural Histories Creative Futures conference at Winchester School of Art. The conference is the third in an ongoing relationship between WSA and the Culture Industry Research Centre at Nanjing University. A major international conference, it brought together scholars from the UK and China to engage with the past, present and future of scholarship in culture, history and creativity.
The ‘posthuman creativity’ panel argued for the significance and applicability of theoretical debates around critical posthumanism to contemporary creative production and cultural experience. Megen de Bruin-Molé, Danielle Sands, and Matt Hayler sketched out the key aspects of critical posthumanist theory and to their own research and industry networks, focusing on the real-world impact and potential of posthuman thought today. Dan Ashton interrogated assumptions and misassumptions about the role of automation and robotics in creative industries and work today, testing predictions for automation against the material and economic relationships prevalent in creative labour. Seth Giddings argued that everyday life has been posthuman since at least 1979 with the arrival of playful AI in the form of videogames – and that existing relationships with virtual animals offer insights into an emerging human-nonhuman culture.