Immortality

Issuing from one of the last bastions of pure optimism in the western world, the Silicon Valley vision of eternal life is typically techno­utopian. Where Spanish adventurers believed in the Fountain of Youth, Californians like Ray Kurzweil are working to build their own. They argue that once achieved and adopted by the elite, the technologies of eternal life will spread to the mortal masses. "It is only the rich that can afford [these technologies] at an early point, when they don’t work, work really well, they’re almost free.”Kurzweil has said. "By the time they work really well, they’re almost free.”

This project confronts these assumptions by imagining the establishment of immortality in Russia. Taking as its basis Kurzweil's prediction of endless life by 2045, the project looks at it through a lens of Russia's most pressing problems ­ inequality, population decline, and authoritarian rule. Indefinite life extension could provide solutions to each of these issues, it argues, but only if introduced with a spirit of transparency and access that seems almost antithetical to contemporary life.
Cover image: Thinkstock.com