This is the OFFICIAL SITE for the Metahumanist Manifesto and METAHUMANISM.
WHAT IS METAHUMANISM
Revisited in 2022, by Jaime del Val – (See below for 2010 Manifesto)
Metahumanism is a philosophy and pragmatics whose concepts and practices have been elaborated by Jaime del Val since 2002, and which were condensed in the 2009 writing Metahuman, and later in the Metahumanist Manifesto (see below) from 2010 co-written with Stefan Lorenz Sorgner, concepts which have kept evolving enormously since then in Jaime del Val’s proposal which is presented in its full scale in the book Ontohackers as a Radical Movement Philosophy. For a genealogy of the concepts of the Metahumanist manifesto see this writing.
Metahumanism is a philosophy and pragmatics proposing a radical critique and a radical alternative to humanism and to the failed civilizatory processes that are creating a Mass extinction and a species suicide over the past 10,000 approx. since the birth of agriculture (but with 3 million years old roots in bipedalism). This implies a radical critique of all forms of human exceptionalism and suprematism, and their current evolution as a hyperhumanism/transhumanism/trash-humanism. It also questions the way in which most critical posthumanist currents still partly perpetuate and are complicit with humanistic suprematism, and promotes a radical alternative for a mutation of the species towards a planetary regeneration that goes in diametrically opposed direction to transhumanism. (Jaime del Val opposes the idea that metahumanism is “in between” trans- and posthumanism or bringing together aspects of these, as proposed for instance by Sorgner).
Metahumanism is a radical movement philosophy/politics that affirms movement’s indeterminacy, a relational ontology of the open. It opposes accounts of individual autonomy and of technological control and domination as defended by humanist suprematism including transhumanist currents, whose technopositivist will to control and domination neglects the radical planetary-scale devastation on which such domination and autonomy fantasies and their promises of false freedom and plurality are based.
Metahumanism builds upon the multiple meanings of the meta- prefix in Greek, a prefix used consistently throughout Jaime del Val’s philosophy and practice since 2002, that implies both relationality/symbiosis and mutation/becoming. Akin to Nietzsche’s Overhuman the Metahuman is about engendering a new sensibility that overcomes the reversal of values of symbiotic Nature that has become dominant over the past 10,000 years. It is linked to Jaime del Val’s account of metaformativity as a pragmatics for indetermination of movement-perception.
Metahumanism opposes any transcendence, any denial of movement, the body and the Earth, and any form of domination, and opposes the cooptation of the meta-prefix by the Meta corporation, the Metaverse or the superhero mutants called Metahumans: all of which are expression of a will to transcendence, a nihilistic will to dominate, quantify and deny symbiotic becoming. Metahumanism opposes any tendency to quantify, as it implies reduction and determination. Metahumanism claims the core role of indetermination and of relational indeterminacy in life and evolution. It thus goes in opposite direction to Gregory Stock’s “Metaman”, as the planetary superorganism emerging as humans and their systems compose a new hyperconnected type of body, while ignoring the mass extinction that this process implies. Life was always already planetary, since the emergence of bacteria 4 billion years ago, creating planetary webs of programless biochemical mutation underlying biodiversity in evolution, this is the openness we need to recover.
Metahumanism only partly resonates with proposals for a “Metahuman” such as Deepak Chopra or Paul Solomon that from a more mystical, spiritual or healing perspective emphasise the idea of unleashing our infinite potential by overcoming limitations imposed by a rational type of conscious mind, while still holding onto concepts of consciousness implying still degrees of anthropocentrism.
Metahumanism implies both ceasing to be the plague of the Earth and developing the infinite potential that we have: overcoming the limitations of millennia of civilizatory paradigms that create a mass extinction in the same act in which they atrophy bodies and impoverish experience and potentials. The same regimes or systems that are creating a mass extinction and a planetary collapse are those that curtail our potential as bodies in motion. No human fantasies of freedom can be accepted that ignore the planetary-scale devastation caused by human suprematism. A complete reversal of values and perceptions is needed: the deepest challenge to humanity ever, and the greatest evolutionary challenge in the history of the Earth. This is the opposite of technofascist transhumanist dreams of domination. Metahumanism implies ceasing to be human, mutating as a species, recovering a lost capacity for variation and symbiosis with the world, and doing so only through cultivating the clinamen: the minimal, ongoing, and indeterminate variation in movement: the highest technology of nature. Un like trans-species transhumanisms, metahumanism opposes transformations that imply costly technologies that reproduce a will to control, instead it promotes mutation by variation in movement-perception, towards greater indetermination: symbiotic openness.
Metahumanism is (as previously mentioned) the reversal of the all-too-human hyper-/trans-/trash-humanism that is the plague and illness of the Earth. Metahumanism instead radicalises much of critical posthumanism (which is often still too humanist), and resonates with recent proposals such as MacCormack’s ahumanism but with some differences (see footnote here on this). Metahumanism seeks to overcome the limitations of a critical posthumanism (and some compostists and hummussists) that, for instance by assuming a difference between bios and zoe, and the reliance of politics on a discursively invested bios, reaffirms and anthropocentric and discourse-centric account of the human, as defined by a certain nature based on verbal-rational semiotics and narrative, thus also reaffirming a certain essentialism, a limitation we urgently need to overcome with a non-verbal, proprioceptive r/evolution. It also seeks to overcome certain antihumanist stances such as Michel Foucault’s that equally state the unavoidability of rule-based discursive grids as only source for politics, whose outside is only thinkable from within discursive grids, thus reaffirming a certain essentialist distinction between human and non-human. These stances, though important are based on millennia old misconceptions of movement and indeterminacy. Metahumanism provides a turn to a Radical Movement Philosophy that seeks to overcome these limitations, involving a radically neurodiverse and metaspecies movement onto-politics beyond discourse-centrism.
Metahumanism’s claim for indeterminacy further implies that the entire dominant Monotechnical paradigm of quantification emerging since the birth of agriculture is intrinsically reductive and determining, hence its devastating effect, therefore metahumanism claims the invention of radically new technological paradigms that build upon the far superior (because more indeterminate) technologies of Nature, towards, not only a technodiversity as proposed by Yuk Hui, but a techno-indeterminism.
Metahumanism radicalises and takes further queer, crip, decolonial, vegan posthumanisms by proposing that the civilizatory process of the past millennia and its associated construct of the abled, neurotypical, rational, discourse-centric, heteronormative, binary human, is a cosmic anomaly and a radical failure that needs to be overcome, taking on the movement of variation of mutant Nature, by transforming perception.
METAHUMANISM IN A NUTSHELL
Metahumanism takes critical posthumanism in the direction of a relational ontology of becoming that affirms indeterminacy, plurality, hybridity, variation, movement and the body against control and domination thus radically counteracting the major humanist and transhumanist paradigms.
Metahumanism is, according to Jaime del Val, a philosophy and pragmatics that stresses the core role of indeterminacy and variation in movement-perception for the flourishing of life and evolution and proposes a radical critique of the regimes that have curtailed that openness over the past millennia of human supremacy on Earth, unleashing a mass extinction. Metahumanism promotes an ontology-ethics of relational indeterminacy by renewing the understanding of everything as movement relations and proposes pragmatics for regaining openness in bodies and with it Planetary Health.
Metahumanism proposes the following incipient principles or Inciples:
- Stop being the planet’s pandemic.
- Undo all human supremacy.
- Stop the planetary holocaust.
- Suspend our human reproduction.
- Embrace a radical veganism.
- Never impose movement on others .
- Care for this body and this earth now.
- Activate systemic resistance.
- Mutate reinventing our movement.
- Unfold the potential of bodies.
- Regain the capacity to sense.
- Cultivate symbiotic mutation.
- Move in minimal variation.
- Create neurodiverse expressions.
- Develop non rational thinking.
- Develop non verbal relations.
- Disalign from reductive frameworks.
Implying a triple ongoing process:
- Mutate, disalign, resist.
Expressing an Enferance (pr)inciple of Indetermination-Variation:
- Enfer / make enferance:promote internal-and-relational indeterminate variation, sustained, resistant to imposed movements and disaligning from dominant reductions. (Enferance is a concept of Radical Movement Philosophy developed by Jaime del Val here.)
- PROMOTE INDETERMINATE VARIATION IN THE COSMOS AND
- DISALIGN (FROM) WHATEVER REDUCES IT: COUNTERACT/RESIST/OPEN UP
- 2022 – Trash-human Unhacement and Planetary Health by Jaime del Val – https://journals.tplondon.com/jp/article/view/1876
- 021 – The Metahumanist Manifesto: its genealogy, evolution and relevance 10 years after by Jaime del Val – https://metabody.eu/metahumanist-manifesto-10-years-after/
- 2020 – MULTIVERSAL DECLARATION OF METAHUMAN RIGHTS by Jaime del Val –
On the 2010 METAHUMANIST MANIFESTO
THE METAHUMANIST MANIFESTO HAS BEEN REPUBLISHED AT LEAST 6 TIMES AND TRANSLATED TO AT LEAST 7 LANGUAGES:
Del Val, Jaime and Stefan Lorenz Sorgner. 2011. “A Metahumanist Manifesto.” published:
- 2010 online at metahumanism.net in English.
- 2011 in The Agonist IV, Issue II, Fall. New York: Nietzsche Circle [e-journal] [online] Available at: http://www.nietzschecircle.com/AGONIST/2011_08/METAHUMAN_MANIFESTO.html
- 2014 in Cynertart Festival catalogue, Dresden. In German.
- 2015 in the Metabody Journal, Madrid
- 2017 in: Sampanikou, E. (ed.): Audiovisual Posthumanism. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne, 2017, 9-13. https://www.cambridgescholars.com/product/978-1-4438-8177-7
- 2021 in: Posthuman Studies Reader. Core readings on Transhumanism, Posthumanism and Metahumanism. Evi D. Sampanikou, Jan Stasienko Eds. Basel: Schwabe Verlag – https://schwabe.ch/9783796541933/posthuman-studies-reader –https://issuu.com/schwabeverlag/docs/9783796543180_lp
A Metahumanist Manifesto was jointly written by Jaime del Val and Stefan Lorenz Sorgner over 2010 and finalised on the day prior to its presentation in Lesvos, Greece, in the conference on Audiovisual Posthumanism in Mytilene on saturday 25th september, followed by a metahuman metaformance by Jaime del Val.
- Val, Jaime del. and Stefan Lorenz Sorgner. 2011. “A Metahumanist Manifesto.” The Agonist. IV, Issue II, Fall. New York: Nietzsche Circle [e-journal] [online] Available at: http://www.nietzschecircle.com/AGONIST/2011_08/METAHUMAN_MANIFESTO.html [Accessed: 12 April 2018]. Also published in the Metabody Journal, online at www.metahumanism.net, and in Cynertart Festival catalogue
Metahumanist Manifesto, Interview and Review published in
THE AGONIST – Nietzsche Circle, New York
VOLUME IV, ISSUE II, FALL 2011
A Metahumanist Manifesto
by Jaime del Val and Stefan Lorenz Sorgner
- What is Metahumanism? Metahumanism is a critique of some of humanism’s foundational premises such as the free will, autonomy and superiority of anthropoi due to their rationality. It deepens the view of the body as field of relational forces in motion and of reality as immanent embodied process of becoming which does not necessarily end up in defined forms or identities, but may unfold into endless amorphogenesis. Monsters are promising strategies for performing this development away from humanism.
- The world as relational complex – The Metahuman as Metabody: Metahumanist critique proposes to deepen the understanding of reality as unquantifiable field of relational bodies, or metabodies, in changing and constitutive relation with one another. Herewith, we attempt to finally overcome the Cartesian split between body and mind, object and subject, by proposing a view of the mind as an embodied relational process, and of the body as relational movement, that operates from the molecular and bacterial, through the individual and psychic, to the social, planetary and cosmic levels, and in other dimensions of experience. There is no possibility to map a totality or limits of the forces that constitute a metabody and there is no ultimate exteriority to them, though they may gravitate around provisional nodal points that account for an immanent perspectivism and the formation of power relations.
- Towards a Common Relational Body: Traditionally relationality has developed into or been subjected to a variety of systems of intensive regulations. In contemporary capitalism of affects relationality is increasingly being subjected to control through technologies which produce global standard affects by distributing discreet choreographies. The Panchoreographic is the biopolitical meta-system of control in which metabodies are being preemptively appropriated. Possibilities to reappropriate and redefine technologies of becoming need to get shown.
- Towards a politics of movement and radical pluralism: A radical pluralist politics is a non paternalist movement that works through power structures to avoid the retotalitarianisation of politics. It does not aim at an ideal final state but stresses the need to permanently overcome contemporary challenges which arise by necessity through combining the immanentism proposed by the metahuman with the perspectivism of the posthuman, stressing the importance of movement versus identity.
- The metahuman as postanatomical body: We propose to challenge the anatomies, forms, cartographies or identities that constitute the humanist concept of the anthropos, and the technologies that allow for such representations to take form. Anatomy, as a map of human and social bodies, can only be articulated from an external perspective to the body. We challenge the cartesian split that situates us as subjects external to an objective reality and to other subjects. Through reappropriating and subverting technologies of perception we may dissolve the condition of exteriority and therewith anatomy and the destiny of the body, not for the sake of a new anatomy, but of a postanatomical body. Metahumanism thus proposes an aesthetics of the amorphous, by considering metamedia, metaformance and metaformativity as possibilities to permanently redefine sensory organs.
- Metahumans as metasexual: Metasexuality is a productive state of disorientation of desire that challenges categories of sex-gender identity and sexual orientation. A metabody is not ultimately categorisable in terms of morphological sex or gender but rather is an amorphogenesis of infinite potential sexes: microsexes. It is postqueer: we are beyond the understanding of gender as performative. Metasex not only challenges the dictatorship of anatomical, genital and binary sex, but also the limits of the species and intimacy. Pansexuality, public sex, poliamoria, or voluntary sexwork are means to redefine sexual norms into open fields of relationality, where modalities of affect reconfigure the limits of kinship, family and the community.
- Redefining science and knowledge: Immanentism and perspectivism do not need to be self contradictory concepts – we hold both of them! Yet, we propose the need to introduce immanence into knowledge production, and the revision of encrusted structures. Perspectives are contingent nodes within stratified intensities of the metabody. We propose both to explode and dissolve existing strata and to move through its nodes reconfiguring perspectives as well as immanence.
- Towards a relational ecology – Metahuman Ethics: A metabody is to be understood as a sustainable relational body that includes anthropoi, other species, technology and the environment. Metahuman ethics avows to bring about forms of interaction that avoid the permanent superiority of a force over the others, so that a certain non-violent equilibrium is reinstated over and over again.
- Towards the transformation, amorphogenesis and emergent becoming of metahumans: There is no need to distinguish between procedures of genetic enhancement and classical education. Both rely on untimely distinctions or use given representations of a normative regime which are not universal but result of paternalist political technologies of affective production. We understand alteration processes of the metahuman as flowing types of amorphogenesis of the relational body, all being equally subject to ongoing critique.
- What is the Metahuman?: The metahuman is neither a stable reality, essence or identity, nor a utopia, but an open set of strategies and movements in the present. It implies the need to deterritorialise strata of power and violence and induce new forms of embodied relationality by producing a frontier body that is operating on existing boundaries and redefining them. A micro-recherche considers the genealogies of bodies, movements and affects for the purpose of both challenging existing regimes and producing new forms of resistance and emergence.