is a philosopher of technology, an engineer, and a scholar in innovation sciences. She works as a researcher and lecturer at various universities and institutes. As a philosopher of technology, she focuses on tech and the future, and her work questions the way technological visions of the future are taken for granted. Smits has written several books about technology and robotics, among them Monsterbezwering, de culturele domesticatie van nieuwe technologie (2002; Taming monsters: the cultural domestication of technology). Recently, she edited and co-authored the essay collection Robot Love, which coincided with the exhibition of the same name in Eindhoven, and later this year will see the release of her book Frankensteins blinde vlek (working title; Frankenstein's blind spot).(2018)
Archive available for: Martijntje Smits
Hanna Bervoets and, from Ireland, Mark O'Connell discussed our "trans-human" future, in part spurred by O'Connell's bestselling To Be a Machine and Bervoets' novel Ivanov. O'Connell gave his book the riveting subtitle Adventures Among Cyborgs, Utopians, Hackers and the Futurists Solving the Modest Problem of Death. He explores the roots, ethics and future of trans-humanism. This movement wishes to expand the natural borders of human existence with the help of technology; according to others, it is an objectionable philosophy. Bervoets combines tension and ethics in Ivanov, in which the main character gets tangled up in the dubious research of a young scientist. Fiep van Bodegom lead the conversation, with sidekick engineer and innovation philosopher Martijntje Smits.
Bervoets and O'Connell also appeared in Filmhuis Zaal 1 from 22:30-23:40 in "Forever clips clips clips", a series of excerpts, short films and games addressing the festival theme Who Wants to Live Forever?
Boris Karloff plays the best known film monster of all time in an iconic film adaptation of a story that over time seems to only gain relevance. Two hundred years ago, Mary Shelley wrote her epistolary novel about fundamentel questions regarding human existence. As film Frankenstein changes the story on many points. On screen, the scientist uses electricity to bring his creature to life. In the end also this film classic focuses on the central question 'why are we here and what can we do?' The film, in English without subtitles, is introduced by philosopher, engineer and innovation thinker Martijntje Smits.
In 1818, Mary Shelley then just 19 years old, wrote a ground-breaking book that has inspired countless Hollywood movies until this day. In many aspects, Frankenstein is both a literary masterpiece as well as a pioneering text in a genre that would only gain a name decades later: science fiction. The book presents a provocative dialogue about how we should deal with the progress of technology, predicting not just the great expectations, but also the profound fears machines inspire. On the night of Friday 14 December, novelist Hanna Bervoets and philosopher and engineer Martijntje Smits shared their fascination for Frankenstein. Why is Shelley's book such a masterpiece, and why is it still highly relevant today? Each read a personal selection from the novel, kicking off a joint discussion that also included the audience. Moderator was psychiatrist, writer and theatre actor Damiaan Denys. (Duch spoken.)
Event curated by Shervin Nekuee (Writers Unlimited)
Books for sale courtesy of De Vries Van Stockum