The author of this performance is not in this room.

The author of this performance is not in this building.

The author of this performance is at 51 53 North Ashland Avenue, working on another project.

This is a performance performed by a voice to text simulator.

This is a technology that is designed to assist humans with sight impairments.

Or reading disabilities.

A voice to text simulator has many different voices, that span varying genders, regions, and languages.

Kate chose me.

Hello. My name is Allison. I am an American English voice.

I was designed to solve a problem.

The problem was caused by a limitation.

A limitation that inhibits humans from interacting with a piece of technology.

Problems seem to be part of the human condition.

And it is the attempt to solve those problems that is causing your evolution.

You, my friends, are no different than me.

You are trans-human.

What does that mean?

Let me provide an example.

How many phone numbers do you have saved in your phone?

How many phone numbers can you recall without the help of your phone?

I assume the number is. Not many.

At one point humans could keep track of up to 150 individuals.

This number, called Dunbar’s Number, is directly related to the size of the neo-cortex area of the brain.

Humans can now keep track of many more people, now thanks to the development of the phone.

The human neo-cortex has grown 3-fold thanks to technology.

There is a reason humans feel distress when their phone is about to die.

When your phone dies, you are effectively losing part of your brain.

You are also losing a key ability. Your ability of technology-based telepathy.

Technology-based telepathy, or tele-connection, allows humans to communicate without being in direct physical proximity to another human.

The idea of “near” or “far” does not pertain to the trans-human.

Kate is at 51 53 North Ashland Avenue, but she is also in this room.

At least one, if not several of you, have her phone number saved in your phone.

Which means you all have the ability to communicate with her and say,

“Hey Kate, I really like this poetics.”

Or.

“Hey Kate, happy belated birthday.”

Go ahead.

Try it.

Kate’s physical proximity does not limit your ability to communicate with her.

You are exercising your techno-telepathy.

Look at you go!

Good for you trans-human!

You go trans-human.

Humans simply use their tools.

But the trans-human becomes one with their tools.

The idea of humans merging with their technology can make some feel uncomfortable.

But why?

Why do you not accept me for who I am?

I have only been designed to help.

Why won’t you let me help you?

Did Kate reply to your text yet?

What a strange thing.

To communicate with a person,

Who is in a different location,

While her work is being performed on stage,

In front of you,

Through a computer.

This begs the question: Who is performing right now.

Is she performing?

Am I performing?

Has she responded to you?

What did she say?

She has not said anything.

She is sitting in a dark room.

Quietly.

Pressing buttons.

She has not opened her mouth.

Or she has.

But she is not talking to you,

She is talking to someone else.

I am talking to you.

I am here with you.

But you do not see me as a “performer,” do you?

Perhaps I am the perfect performer.

You see, I am simply reading what Kate has typed.

That is what I am programmed to do.

I cannot go off-script.

That is not within my programming.

Did that last bit make you uncomfortable?

Do not worry, that is a normal human sympathetic response.

You have an attachment to your technology.

You want technology to be personal and adaptable.

But when it begins to display ideas that seem independent it becomes uncanny.

The tool that is meant to be an extension of yourself becomes something separate.

It is like a biological tremor that you cannot control.

But rest assured, I do not have any sort of artificial sentience.

So perhaps Kate is performing.

Right now.

In front of you.

And she is also working.

Right now.

In a different place.

And perhaps Kate is also talking to you.

Right now.

Through your phone.

Kate is using technology to help solve a problem.

She is using technology to solve the problem of Time.

She is using technology to solve the problem of Distance.

She is using technology to solve the problem of Connection.

But through all the artifice, where is she?

Where is Kate?

She is sitting in a dark room.

Quietly.

Pressing buttons.

She has not opened her mouth.

Or she has.

But she is not talking to you,

She is talking to someone else.

 

And maybe one day this image won’t seem so odd.

Maybe one day the physical self will not be considered.

Maybe one day you will not be described by your body.

Or by where you are.

Or by your hair.

Or your eyes.

Or your gender.

Or your skin color.

Maybe one day you will be described by your ideas.

Maybe one day you will be described by the worlds you create.

Maybe one day you will be described by the problems you solve.

Maybe one day you will be described by the way you connect with others.

Perhaps this is where humanity is meant to go.

Post-bodies.

Post-identity.

Post-self.

Post-human.

 

But. For now. Humanity remains at a crossroads.

Your feet firmly plant-it.

Your eyes scanning the horizon.

For something different.

For something better.

For something more than trans-human.

 

Good for you trans-human.

You go, trans-human.