'A Splice of My Life', PhD 2020


The Divine Shaman and Her proteges




‘A Journey of Young Lives, Conversations and Self-Reflexive Creativity Encompassing AI, Superintelligence and the Future World(s) of Posthumanism Framed by the Anthropocene.’




This arts-based, practice-led, qualitative theoretical work amplifies young people’s ethical opinions of what it means to be human both now and in the future through three cumulative technological lenses. These are artificial intelligence (AI), and the anticipated superintelligence which has already commenced (Andrews, 2017), which enables the third lens of posthumanism, defined by the Oxford dictionary as ‘The idea that humanity can be transformed, transcended, or eliminated either by technological advances or the evolutionary process; artistic, scientific, or philosophical practice which reflects this belief (Dictionary, 1970).'


Posthumanism auspices Transhumanism, which is defined as using technology to further enhance the skills, abilities, and lifespans of human beings who ultimately become posthuman (H+). This research renders a superintelligent AI which might orchestrate the qualities that future humans / posthumans will have, considering eugenics, gene modification, and the ultimate designing of entities and/or sentient beings, has already happened and is expressed via art and narrative experience as research. Transcending our biology to coexist with future world(s), including inter-dimensionally, is suggested as being inevitable when technological acceleration is viewed not linearly, but exponentially, especially considering quantum superintelligence(s).


This research examines both the ethical lives of young people (extrapolated from recorded interviews) and of the author (through retrospective art and memory). It splices across generational divides, as well as past analogue and current/ future digitisation, compares young people today and in years gone by, also splicing human or posthuman survival as framed by the Anthropocene, (‘Anthrop’ meaning human and ‘cene’ meaning a geological period of time, in simple language, ‘The Human Era’), stemming out of compassion for nature and the living world, while conversing with young people about global catastrophic risks.


An unexpected existential creative artefact(s) emerges through the methodologies of A/r/tography, Arts-Based Research, Narrative Inquiry, otherwise referred to throughout as Living inquiry. This metaphorically mirrors ‘The Event Horizon’ of the technological singularity discussed within the data collection section, in which outcomes are and were impossible to predict. The metaphor of me talking to students about events unknowable past a technological singularity, or event horizon, is precisely what happened as my memories and art revealed themselves with the help of healers, and detailed in the creative component ‘A Splice of My Life.’ I have since learned that this idea can be attributed to Deleuze.




Young people, ethics, artificial intelligence, superintelligence, posthumanism, arts-based research, a/r/tography, global catastrophic risks, shamanism, Anthropocene, autobiographical narrative

This is the film that is referenced within my Arts-Based Research, A/r/tographical PhD dissertation. I created it in a time of destitution in 2005 and is password protected because it contains sensitive information and I only want to release it to a select few who are interested in my research/work. To ask for the password please email me.

‘Richard is an artist of technical facility and considerable conceptual inventiveness, but he is also an artist of courage - he explores concerns that are, if not taboo, then extremely riskyHe fearlessly follows his instincts and we are lucky to share his musings.' 

- Anne Loxley, Managing Curator, Penrith Regional Gallery.

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