Arne Hendriks – The Incredible Shrinking Man

A performative lecture on downsizing the human species

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Over the past 8 years Arne Hendriks has investigated if and how the human species can become smaller. “The Incredible Shrinking Man” investigates the possibility of a smaller human species. Small people need less and have more. At present Homo sapiens is growing towards scarcity where we should be shrinking towards a situation of abundance. The human species is one of the most hypervariable species on Earth. The smallest person known to human history was Chandra Bahadur Dangi from Nepal, who measured 54.6cm. American Robert Wadlow was the tallest person in recorded history with a height of 272cm.

“The Incredible Shrinking Man” suggests to shrink to 50cm. At this height we need less then 25% of the resources we need today. The challenge is not so much how to become smaller, this is a matter of genes and food, but how to desire to become small. People have an irrational love for tallness, growth, more. We don’t want to become smaller. Yet we must. Arne Hendriks will share his ideas on how to overcome the seemingly impossible and take the first few small steps towards a smaller human species. Rule one: Suspend disbelief.