Monday, January 30, 2012

Bar notes

So last night--went to a bar to sing Karaoke. Brought along my "thesis" questions. First I will list the questions, then I will transfer my inebriated handwriting to this digital form. I must admit--this is probably not going to make any sense (not that my blogs make sense generally)--but I think of it as a way of archiving an intense brainstorming session.


1.) Is BioArt a posthuman(ist) art?

2.) What is the relationship between BioARt and net.Art/Digital art

3.) What makes BioArt, "art"

4.) What happens to the impact/effects of BioArt when it is mediated through images, criticism, websites, etc. Is it never not mediated?

5.) Does manipulating living tissue/genetics make something automatically "BioArt"? (here i have written "no!"

6.) Does BioArt actually have to be 'made' in order to have an impact/effect? (I have written here "yes, but only as a way to make it visible")

7.) How does the Tissue Culture and Art Project's work differ from the deployment of these techniques in a "technoscience" context? '

8.) What is the relationship of BioArt to "Animal Studies"?

9.) How does BioArt relate to science fiction?

10.) How is BioArt a form of writing? (this is something I explored extensively last night)

11.) What does BioArt have to offer theoretical humanities/Discourse? (this relates to the Animal Studies question)

12.) Does BioArt have to be visual/visible?

13.) Is BioArt a "practice" or an "art object" or both or neither?

14.) Does BioArt have to manipulate 'living' matter in order to be considered BioArt?

15.) What ethical and political responsibilities do we have to BioArt creations? (this moves beyond my scope)

16.) How can we think of BioArt so that it supports the idea that human beings are "always already technological"? (see David Wills, Dorsality)

17.) What is the relationship between telepresence of Kac and transgenic/BioArt?

18). Is BioArt the artform of the biopolitical, as elucidated by Foucault or Hardt and Negri?


Art is a practice--a mode of understanding rather than art as an "object" --> This helps us break down the distinctions between so called 'visual' art and 'other' art (textual, material, whatever)

See Claire Pentecost on breaking down and changing artistic practices as the key to opening the public to science.

BioArt's connection with digital or NetArt is its distribution--the very fact that I can access BioArt through digital media shows that its impact does not depend on physical proximity (this may relate somehow to Kac and telepresence)

BioArt is fruitful for Posthumanism because it questions the ontological distinction between human and animal as well as human and machine.

Descartes compares animals with machines--perhaps the mistake is not this conflation, but rather the idea that somehow we are somehow different--we are not machinic (we are not technological). See Derrida "Animal"

It is here ^ perhaps that we need to think agency.


Regarding whether BioArt is the Art of the Biopolitical --> if the biopolitical is defined as regarding the circulation of ideas, images, etc. without being subject to the law of scarcity. Look back at the H&N's Commonwealth. 

I"m still thinking about this idea that it (BioArt) is writing in two senses of the word

1.) Makes a mark, trace, not only that but it challenges the easy assumptoins about "who does the writing" ? (I think here I am thinking of the 'artwork' created by animals)

ex: The "killing ritual" (in Tissue culture and art project) is the audience's 'writing' the organism -- "the letter killeth"

2.) Kac's "Genesis" the light 'writes' on the organism/gene, altering the phrase from the bible--it is a "re-writing" (see Kac on Genesis) --See Barthes on photography as light directly contacting the surface.

Furthermore, an artwork like Kac's has been appropriated/parodied by Sonya Rapaport (its here when I really start to think about BioArt and writing)

art may be about the 'singular' (see Kac), but just like a signature, it creates the possibility of its iteration in a different context. Indeed, in one sense, because the artwork is 'displayed' by different museums (easy to show by citing websites)

BUT what about the killing ritual? This at once makes the artwork iterable through different media  and at the same time (?) irrepeatable with the same "object", but if art is not about the OBJECT per se this hardly matters-- (aside: See Derrida on Heidegger's "grasping"-- Geschlecht II?)


Perhaps the difference between technoscience's bio manipulations is the difference between creating na object for 'use' and creating a 'context' (see Kac) or a making visible what remain invisible (see Wolfe on GFP bunny and the architecture chapter--8). Or that an artwork disrupts such an easy 'use' appropriation OR that the technoscientists may not realize that they are creating something (I think maybe here I should look back at Eugene Thacker about 'net.Art' and science fiction)

Again let me re-iterate-- the artwork is iterable but not based on its "objectness" this STILL does nto mean that its materiality doesn't matter. See Derrida "Limited Ink II" on his notion of "materiality" (comes from reading de Man)

BioArt is also writing because it functions as a creation of form (that is kind of 'unform') --I think here I was thinking of Wolfe's discussion of the "formlessness" of the architecture is What is Posthumanism -->

Writing communicates not humans--by marks and traces. The "perception" may be incommunicable, but the communication is iterable. Communication = Writing (translating Luhmann's terms to Derrida's). That is "writing" is something separate from language (or can be. . .)

Look back at Fatal Strategies for Baudrillard's biological tropes.

Cyborg Manifesto-- Writing and "chimeras"

Is it the idea that art allows for an openness to interpretation of its 'function' whereas 'technoscience' is not critical? It only seeks to produce a usable object.

This gets us back into the discussion of Heidegger on "Origin of Work of Art" and Derrida's critique of it--need to look into that. present-at-hand vs. ready-to-hand. See Verbeek on how art is something different.


Writing is communication--language is a media (see Wolfe on Luhmann)

Maybe its that perception always implies some kind of "representation" or that communication is always a representation and perception is something different.

Does it matter that the artworks are actually created?

Yes, because only through actually doing it can we show the limits of the techniques/creations/contestable futures even if the 'possibilities' could be shown through image or discourse--some other form of writing.

Perhaps rather than thinking transgenic art (Kac's Genesis, etc). is an "invisible aesthetics" (see Bardini) we need to think how form the perspective of writing and rhetoric art as defined by Luhmann "makes visible" the invisible (see Derrida in Gift of Death on visible/invisible/absolutely invisible)

Does Kac's work make visible the 'invisible victims" (Catts and Zurr's terms)

Yes beacause from the perspective of a consumer of food, for instance, the process of growing is hidding and the visibility of the transgenic food becomes naturalized.

Because it is 'dialogic" (see Kac for definition) it allows the audience to participate to the same degree as the Catts and Zurr installation with its killing/feeding rituals--at least for most of the participants. We need to look at the degree of participation present in Stelarc's work as well.

Kac's work depends on an "observer" (second order?) Some of Tissue Culture and Art Project depends on the observer (I'm not quite sure what I was thinking here. . .I think I was trying to think about how the "worry dolls" of Catts and Zurr effectively function in a dialogic manner similar to Kac's work).


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