Anatomy of the automaton, from body to machine

In partnership with Mamco of Geneva, the UM and La Panacée join forces for a hybrid exhibition on view until February 28. More than ever, ambiguity hangs over the status of the human body, whose identity is challenged by technological advances that push back the boundaries of the "humanly possible" ever further.
Whether it's a promise of a radiant future or a programmed nightmare, the question remains open, but is by no means new. From the "machine man" conceptualized by René Descartes to the "augmented man" of the transhumanist movement, human beings have never ceased to question their specificity in terms of their relationship to the mechanics of objects.

Man and his double

In the age of cyborgs and artificial intelligence, are we witnessing a shift from a strictly utilitarian relationship to a new form of otherness, or even an inversion of the balance of power? Is there not a risk that the singularity of man will be diluted to become no more than an ersatz, "the ultimate lure of a natural identity", as Christian Bernard, director of Geneva's Mamco and curator of the exhibition, suggests?

Distinguishing between the human and the inert, the conscious act and the programmed reflex, is becoming increasingly complicated as the organic being merges with the machine.

The exhibition Anatomy of the Automaton takes as its starting point the blurring of a boundary that is more fluid than ever, and revisits this duality that has fuelled philosophical debate and controversy since the 17th century. By contrasting contemporary works of art, anatomy pieces from the UM, documentary collections and robots from the LIRMM (Montpellier Laboratory of Computer Science, Robotics and Microelectronics), the exhibition offers a condensed history of the ambivalent relationship between man and his mechanical double.
A dialogue between the arts, sciences and heritage is the aim of this exhibition, which will also feature "point-of-view visits" where viewers will meet UM researchers, who will share their "scientific" vision of the exhibition. Artists will offer an offbeat take on the Conservatoire d'Anatomie, a jewel in the crown of the university's heritage.
Workshops for young visitors and a wide range of outreach activities will be part of this exhibition, on view from November 21 to February 28.

  • Exhibition & Resource Center: November 21 - February 28
  • Wednesday to Saturday, 12 am to 8 pm
  • Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • And some evenings for events /
  • Free admission
  • Café de La Panacée
  • Wednesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.
  • Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Center for contemporary culture
  • 14 rue de l'Ecole de Pharmacie - 34000 Montpellier
  • Tel : + 33(0)4 34 88 79 79 -