In the Stone Age from the first simple splitters to the fist-axes, which are more refined but not so different, there is a gap of one million years. Instead, between the discovery of fire and today’s fire-based many different devices pass four hundred thousand years. For thousands years, until the invention of the telegraph, the speed of people, animals, things and information had approximately the same order of magnitude. In roughly one century and half the information speed had an extraordinary boost to: in fact today the information can roughly reach the speed of light that is being more than five hundred thousand times quicker than people, animals and things.
The acceleration also happened in the media realm. In the USA the radio required 38 years to reach 50 million people, the television needed 13 years, the cable 8 and the Internet 5. And inside the Internet-based communications Facebook required less than 4 years to reach 50 million users, while Skype took roughly two years. Sciences and technologies deeply influenced human life. In ancient Greece the average lifespan was 30 years, in the Roman era it was about the same, and by the end of the XIX century it reached 40 years. Today, in roughly one century, in the so called “technological world”, the lifespan expectation has doubled.
Humans also developed a wide range of artefacts, machines, entities that are quickly becoming more and more powerful, complex, autonomous, and independent. These could be defined to a certain extent as “living entities”, expanding the idea of life and of life forms. All this processes seem pushing forward the human biological, cultural, technical boundaries. How do they happen? Where are technologies based on? Can these processes give any glimpses on a possible evolution?
Pier Luigi Capucci (b.1955, Lugo, Italy) is a researcher and art theorist. Since the early ‘80 he has been concerned with the communication’s studies, the new media and the new art forms, and with the relations among arts, sciences and technologies. He extensively published texts in books, magazines, catalogues and proceedings and he has written the books Reality of the Virtual (1993), The Technological Body (1994), Art and Technologies (1996). In 1994 he founded the first Italian online magazine and in 2000 he founded NoemaLab, a web magazine on culture-sciences-technologies interrelations. He has participated to international conferences and has delivered lectures in universities and institutions in Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria, UK, Brazil, France, Turkey, USA, Greece, Norway, etc. He has been a professor at the Universities of Rome “La Sapienza”, Bologna, Florence, at the SUPSI – University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland and at the University of Urbino. Currently he is professor at the NABA International Academy of Arts and Design, Milan and he is a supervisor in the M-Node PhD Research Programme of the Planetary Collegium (University of Plymouth).