The chosen artwork for this assignment takes an embodied approach to the question for the means of our mental and physical existence: the artist Thomas Thwaites lived among a herd of goats in the Alps wearing a goat exoskeleton to escape “the angst inherent in being a human.” (Thwaites, Thomas: http://www.thomasthwaites.com/a-holiday-from-being-human-goatman/)
Thwaites turns Nagels question of “what is it like to be a bat“ (Nagel, Thomas: “What is it like to be a Bat?”, The Philosophical Review; Vol. 83, No. 4 (Oct., 1974), pp. 435-450) into “what is it like to be a goat” – not so much though to experience the being of another species than human but to escape the humanness. One might see here a certain functionalism-thinking set into place: if the artist looks like a goat, eats and walks like a goat – is he thus a goat? This evoking of the goat, of the Other leads Thwaites to a maybe analogical conclusion as Benjamin Bratton, saying that Turings question of „can machines think?“ conceals the possibility to learn „what thinking can be (and for that matter, what being human can be)“ Bratton, Benjamin: Outing A.I.: Beyond the Turing Test. The New York Times, 2015/02/23. Thwaites concludes: „(…) the characteristic most useful in modern life is something else; being present in the moment perhaps.“ It seems that it´s worthwhile to rethink the questions we pose today instead of sticking to old questions and concepts.