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Brave BioArt 2: shedding the bio, amassing the nano, and cultivating posthuman life

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This article will address an overview of BioArt, biomedia and its practitioners, developed through a series of semi-structured, qualitative interviews and openended discussions with more than fifteen experts in the field. BioArt is approached from the perspective of scientific exploration, visual design in interactivity and installation, and social commentary and political activism. Of consequence is the fact that BioArt is relatively new, its nomenclature is without a codified definition, and bioartists have varied views on the parameters of its biomedia. Regardless, BioArt has been escalating as a fecund medium with the potential for spawning visionary and critical practices and theories. In lieu of a slippery slope in which artists rely on freedom of expression in substantiating artworks, the burden of proof is placed on artists to be creative and objective in understanding what it means to tamper with biology and alter life forms. Issues of ethics have already affected artists' practices and venues for exhibition, and as BioArt continues to develop, research practice has become a necessary field of study. In addition, as biomedia evolve and emergent technologies partner with current biotechnologies, there is concern if the concept of BioArt is ambiguous in light of the fact that biotechnology is dovetailing nanotechnology, artificial general intelligence and cognitive science. Herein there is a need for practice-based scenarios for questioning constructive and destructive viewpoints about BioArt and, more particularly, concerning the future of life forms.

Keywords: BioArt; NBIC technologies; biomedia; ethics and bias; future studies; transBioArt

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Plymouth.

Publication date: 2007-09-18

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  • Technoetic Arts focuses upon the juncture between art, technology and the mind. Divisions between academic areas of study, once rigidly fixed, are gradually dissolving due to developments in science and cultural practice. This fusion has had a dramatic effect upon the scope of various disciplines. In particular, the profile of art has radically evolved in our present technological culture
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