Regan Brashear

Project: 
FIXED: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement (Video)
FIXED is a video documentary that explores the burgeoning field of “human enhancement” technologies from the perspective of individuals with disabilities. Fixed uses the current debates surrounding human enhancement technologies (i.e. bionic limbs, brain machine interfaces, prenatal screening technologies such as PGD or pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, etc.) to tackle larger questions about disability, inequality, and citizenship. This documentary asks the question, “Will these technologies ‘liberate’ humanity, or will they create even more inequality?” There is a growing buzz around the potential for science and technology to create significant "human enhancement" applications, such as bionic limbs, improved memory or cognition, or the ability to choose specific characteristics for our offspring. The possibilities stir the imagination and excitement of many, while for others the rhetoric and current research into human enhancement signals alarms of a new eugenics. And yet, for most non-scientists, this sounds like the realm of science fiction, a world awash in mystery and misunderstanding. This documentary film is attempting to decipher the wide world of "human enhancement" technologies and to make sense of what sorts of ethical and social questions come along with these advancements by following two individuals with disabilities who are deeply engaged in these debates. Additionally, through profiling several areas of current cutting-edge research, speaking with scientists and researchers, along with a variety of different stakeholders (government officials, academia, industry, NGOs,…) the film will raise questions about the blurring line between ability vs. disability; therapy vs. enhancement; human vs. human 2.0; as well as looking back at our intimate co-evolution with technology since day one. Regan Brashear was awarded a grant from the Pacific Pioneer Fund for the completion costs of FIXED.
Advisor: 
B. Ruby Rich
Class of: 
2008