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By Charlotte Kropf / / March 9, 2018 / 7:13pm
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Cryogenically frozen chincillas in a liquid nitrogen tank. Collage by Charlotte Kropf.

Is there anything to lose in cryogenically freezing your body after you die? Immortality seems like a fictional phenomenon, but developments in modern science are beginning to convince some that it could be attainable in mere centuries. Take for instance, the Russian Transhumanist Movement (РТД), which facilitated creating Krio Rus (КриоРус), the “first and only cryonics company in Eurasia ‘at the moment.’ Their philosophy is deeply inspired by a 19th century cosmist named Nikolai Fyodorov. He believed in a utopian future in which the universal “Common Cause” could be fulfilled by immortality. He described it as a “Resuscitation,” which was the “supreme task” that a united mankind had to confront. I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to be convinced…

The cosmist movement began in Russia before the October Revolution and developed through the ‘20s and ‘30s; like Marxism and the European avant-garde, Russian Cosmism aimed to create not merely new art or philosophy but a new world. By the time the movement had developed by the 1930s, “Stalin quashed Cosmism, jailing or executing many members of the movement.” Now that “philosophical imagination has again become entangled with scientific and technological imagination, the works of the Russian Cosmists seem newly relevant,” according to the book Russian Cosmism, by Boris Groys.

Krio Rus has a storage facility two hours north of Moscow. The 4-8 hour long process involves draining the body of blood and replacing it with -196 degrees celsisu liquid nitrogen. If $36,000 for having your entire body cryogenically frozen sounds too expensive, you could just have your head done for half the price. Pets can also get the treatment. The facility has a chinchilla…

Chapters of РТД are mainly existent in Russia and Ukraine, but Krio Rus is inclusive for “patients” from all over; there is one American among the 56 frozen bodies. Even one of our presidential candidates, Zoltan Istvan, ran as a transhumanist (before changing to the Libertarian party in 2017). At this point I’ve been fully persuaded– and I’m being sincere. Though the thought of waking up in the year 3000 is both incredibly terrifying and exciting, utopia or a dystopia, I’ll be ready.

For further info, check out http://transhumanism-russia.ru/ and http://kriorus.ru/en. And visit Giuseppe Nucci’s website https://www.giuseppenucci.org/ , a photographer who documented his visit at the Krio Rus facilities and with the transhumanism community.

Contact contributing writer Charlotte Kropf at ckropf@oberlin.edu.