Dorcas Müller

Stammbaum des Neurochips

»Stammbaum des Neurochips« by Dorcas Müller. You can see a finger pointing to a wall with neurochips. These are subtitled and are on a black and white checkered surface.
Dorcas Müller
Stammbaum des Neurochips
Medium / Material / Technic
Semiconductor chips and neuronal systems

Semiconductor chips and neuronal systems: Dorcas Müller’s »Stammbaum des Neurochips« (Genealogy of the Neurochip) documents the scientific history of two different fields of knowledge, raising an implicit epistemic question. Its first tier dates back to 1990, looking towards the future. For 30 years now, German researchers have been investigating how direct electrical connections can interface between semiconductor chips and neuronal systems. The long-term goal of this research is the development of neuroprosthetics.

Equipping human beings with tools and technologies shifts the relation between the natural and cultural existence of humanity with every major innovation. To visualize this idea, the artist makes reference to Ernst Haeckel’s »Stammbaum des Menschen« (Genealogy of Man). In his »Anthropogeny« (1874), the proponent of Darwinian evolution outlines a complex evolutionary history of humankind.

Since the year 2000, a collection of the first single- and multi-cellular neurochips has formed, which represents the various stages of evolutionary hybridization between humans and technology. 36 of these neurochips form the »Stammbaum des Neurochips«. The logic of this genealogy raises the question: Do these chips represent medico-technological possibilities of restitution for injured people, or do they hold evolutionary potential for »Homo protheticus«, reaching for a new stage of human evolution?

In cooperation with: Armin Lambacher (Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry Martinsried/Munich), Günther Zeck (Vienna University of Technology); special thanks to: Peter Fromherz.