What does “disabled” mean when a man with no legs can run as fast as many Olympic sprinters? What does “normal” mean when cosmetic surgery procedures have risen over four hundred percent over the last fifteen years* and increasing numbers of students and business people with no diagnosed condition turn to “smart drugs” every day to get ahead at school or work? With prenatal screening able to predict hundreds of probable conditions, who should determine what kind of people get to be born? If you could augment your body’s abilities in any way imaginable, would you? What would you do – and is the science already on its way? From pre-implantation genetic diagnosis to neural implants and bionic limbs to exoskeletons, researchers around the world are hard at work developing a myriad of technologies to fix or enhance the human body, but what does it mean to design “better humans” in the 21st century and do we want to?
Welcome to the companion site for FIXED: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement, a documentary that explores disability, transhumanism and the body in the context of emerging human enhancement technologies.
62 million Americans live with disabilities today; it is one minority group which anyone can enter at anytime and we will all likely experience at some point in our lives as we age.
Our goal with this film is to challenge entrenched notions of “normal” by supporting new ways of thinking about disability, ability and difference. FIXED looks at the blurring line between therapeutic and augmentation applications of technology. Where are we now? Where will we be in ten or twenty years? What is science and what is science fiction?
Most importantly, who or what exactly needs to be fixed?
How can we learn from the history of the eugenics movement in the U.S.? How do we reconcile deep-seated negative societal beliefs and institutional systems which continue to marginalize people with disabilities with these new technologies which promise to eradicate disability forever?
Is this game fixed? Or are we on the crest of a new wave of technology which will vastly improve the quality of life of many?
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(*Statistic from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery @ http://www.surgery.org)