Sci-Art/Bio Art – Molecules, Bodies and Life

Monday, 11 July 2016: 14:30
Location: Hörsaal 22 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Eva SLESINGEROVA, Masaryk University, Czech Republic
Biotechnologies, synthetic biology, new genetics or biomedicine in general represent the contemporary key areas of life sciences characterised by rapid technological and scientific development. We are witnessing profound change of our societies via biosciences and biotechnologisation. Such processes are not only a part of broader developments of sciences related to particular technologies and technomedia-scapes, but they also question existing approaches to the concept of human body and embodiment. The paper will be focused on the production and circulation of “bio-objects”, such as stem cells, chimera, tissue samples or genetically modified organisms (Tamminen, Vermuelen, Webster 2012) and dealing with, materializing and visualizing them. Especially, the visual images of bio-objects (DNA, embryo, cells) have become cultural icons and important parts of how we see and speak about the human body, also they are referring to the potentiality or materialization in sense as Deleuze and Guattari wrote about “body without organs” (Deleuze, Guattari 1987) or body as symbolic space (Douglas 1966). There are many artists and visual performers who use live cells, tissue, or genes to create, perform and re - program living things, and work with the specific visual imagination of the human body. They are part of a broader current of artists who are intrigued by DNA, genetics, and working with live tissues. In this sense, the imagery and materialisation of body also in Bio-Art provide space for iconic representation of life and fact of human embodiment and also for its molecularization and essentialisation. Visual framing of public understanding of the bio-objects within Bio-Art also implies changes in public understanding of the brain, the body, the person and the society (Kac, Heyles). The paper is a sociological conceptualisation of the theme of human body as the specific space for assamblage of non/trans/humaness above all through the analysis of Bio-Art works.