Caty Enders

Stories in Sound

Forever

Science journalist Caty Enders is producing a podcast and an immersive sound installation, titled Forever, which delves into biotech and AI programs aimed at achieving immortality.

Caty Enders, © Camille Blake

Caty Enders

Thanks to recent breakthroughs in everything from diet science to genetic engineering—as well as billions in capital flooding longevity startups—we seem to be on the brink of what Silicon Valley calls “disrupting death.” At the same time, life expectancy in the United States actually declined in 2018, with the average American facing record levels of chronic disease, suicide, and addiction. Enders, an award-winning reporter, argues that the gap is so large that most media coverage fails to connect the great leaps in biotech with the rest of society. But we all want to know how to live longer, and better.

Caty Enders: Forever
Caty Enders, Forecast Forum 2019. Photo: Camille Blake.
Caty Enders: Forever
Caty Enders, Forecast Forum 2019. Photo: Camille Blake.

So which of the avenues freshly laid down by biohackers and paved with venture capital will be our route out of death? Digital doppelgängers, caloric restriction, CRISPR-designed pig organs, stem-cell injections, brain preservation? And what, for that matter, does it all mean for humanity?

With Forever, Enders aims to pull back the curtain on life-or-death technology, meeting the people behind it. Working with radio journalist Joe Richman as mentor, she mixes approachable science reporting while also exploring the newest—sometimes miraculous, sometimes dark and dubious—longevity startups. She will also take up the question of what living a good life really means, and whether more of it necessarily equals better.

Caty Enders: Forever
Caty Enders, Forecast Forum 2019. Photo: Camille Blake.
Caty Enders: Forever
Caty Enders, Forecast Forum 2019. Photo: Camille Blake.
Stories in Sound: mentor Joe Richman and mentee Caty Enders
Caty Enders: Forever
Caty Enders, Forecast Forum 2019. Photo: Camille Blake.

Enders and Richman will meet for a work-stay at the contemporary art institution SALT Galata in Istanbul, in March 2020, and will do a radio workshop there. “I envision this non-fiction project as a mix of science, philosophy, and sound art,” says Enders, “the blend allowing for the sort of beauty and ambiguity that exists in the area of health and longevity. I also want these episodes to be presented in physical space in ways that allow the audio to transport the listener in new and innovative ways.”