…of new monsters, Earth created more’, reported Ovid of a post-apocalyptic mythical antiquity. Now, two millennia after The Metamorphosis, humans are capable of creating hitherto unknown species. And it seems that they are not alone in this: machines are also close to such a creation of life.
Yet today it does not matter where these new creatures will inhabit—walking around the planet, living in virtual space, or meet in the recesses of our imagination. Life is everywhere. And it's all the harder to spot.
Unusual life forms can surprise and shock, amuse and inspire. But it certainly does not leave one indifferent. It may be that our remote ancestors had it easier in this respect: a host of spirits hovered around them, and every blade of grass, stone or spring possessed consciousness.
Despite heated debates in recent years about the inhuman and other undermining the usual picture of the world, it is difficult to imagine such all-pervading animation for modern humans, who still possess residual, mostly unconscious attitudes about the clear division of matter into living and non-living. Though, in practice, we all successfully exist in these new conditions.
And yet, faced with the unknown, people usually try to drive this marvellous something into the boundaries of the known, to ‘cure’ it in some way. And like that meme, they ask people around them: ‘Is there a doctor among you?’ On the one hand, of course there is. Since the pandemic began, everyone has designated themselves as doctors. But on the other hand, of course not. We are artists, photographers, curators, theorists, creative people, intellectuals. We pass by, we drop in for a peek. We can only observe.
— Sergey Guskov