Feature Documentary

HD video

16:9 anamorphic

dolby digital 2.0

3 x 52 minutes

 

Are we prepared for dealing with the prospect that humanity is not the end of evolution? Technocalyps is a three-part documentary on the notion of transhumanism. The latest findings in genetics, robotics, artificial intelligence, bionics and nanotechnology appear in the media every day, without any analysis, however, of what seems to be their common aim: that of exceeding human limitations and creating higher, transhuman forms of life. This documentary is an enquiry into the scientific, ethical and metaphysical dimensions of technological development. The film includes interviews with top experts and thinkers on the subject worldwide, including Marvin Minsky, Ray Kurzweil, Terence McKenna, Hans Moravec, Bruce Sterling, Robert Anton Wilson, David Noble, Margareth Wertheim, the Dalai Lama and many others.

Part 1: Transhuman
Leading scientists from the different fields of genetics, artificial intelligence, brain research and nanotechnology talk about their research. Their prognoses for the near future share one idea: we are on the edge of a transhuman era where we will face the option to improve or surpass mankind as we know it.

Part 2: Preparing for the Singularity 
Advocates and opponents of a transhuman future are weighed against each other. Prognoses are made about when we can expect the transhuman revolution and how people are already preparing for it now.


Part 3: The digital Messiah
This part covers the metaphysical consequences of the new technological revolution. On the one hand, scientists start using metaphysical concepts to describe the impact of their research. On the other hand, a surprisingly large number of scientific projects is inspired by religious aspirations and more and more theologians from any religious or spiritual belief are getting interested in these aspirations of new technology, making the discussion inextricably complex.

 

Credits:

 

  • Written & Directed by Frank Theys

  • Concept, Research & Interviews: Michel Bauwens & Frank Theys

  • Executive Producer: Bert Leysen

  • Coproduced by: Toneelhuis, Antwerpen

  • With the support of Vlaams Audiovisueel Fonds (VAF)

H ART | Niels Van Tomme, 2006

"Technocalyps is een indrukwekkende trip doorheen technologische ontwikkelingen en wetenschappelijke fantasieën, maar is bovenal een rijke ideeën-documentaire. Frank Theys heeft ervoor gezorgd dat de vaak utopische discours van de wetenschappers wordt afgewisseld met de nuchtere blik van de kunstenaar. Het is die blik die uiteindelijk klaarheid brengt door de vaak complexe theorieën aan kunsthistorische en filosofische bespiegelingen te verbinden."

DITS N° 8-9 | Alexander Streitberger

"L’imagerie de Technocalyps, de par la variété des images utilisées, de leur provenance et de leur réalisation technique sort du cadre habituel du genre documentaire. Ce film transmet les tensions émotionnelles et expressives d’un sujet épineux et estompe les frontières établies entre l’art et le documentaire. Finalement, en paraphrasant Dominique Bacqué selon laquelle il faudrait ‘penser le document (…) comme une formidable machine á penser », on constate que Frank Theys a construit une « machine aux images » (documentaires et artistiques) afin de repenser les formes et les contenus du document."

 

Technocalyps, Part1: Transhuman | excerpt