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Instances of Consciousness An Essay on the Signs of Evolution

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In this article, I will present a close-reading of the bioart installation, Blue Morph (2010 version), created by nano scientist James Gimsewski, and artist Victoria Vesna. My close reading will be based on the relationship between the art work and a concept of an Ideal User. It attempts a narrative-hermeneutical approach. The aim of examining Blue Morph from this perspective is to explore potentials inherent in the work that point towards levels of understanding and meaning making, which will allow me to identify new stages of human subjectivity. With a starting point in Blue Morph, and the challenges that this installation presents to a narrative- hermeneutical reading, I will use, dialogue with, and question central terms from Søren Brier’s cybersemiotic theory of information, cognition, signification and communication. The integration of scientific, technological and philosophical paradigms which is typical of technoetic art, and also of Blue Morph, demands of the Ideal User the formation of an interpretative narrative that moves across scientific disciplines, philosophy and spirituality, while actively questioning human knowing per se. With a focus on the oscillation between art work and Ideal User, and in my quest to define new states of subjectivity, I will turn my attention towards a level of first person perspective that takes a primary focus upon what Brier calls the processes of intra-semiosis (semiosis internal to the body-mind).
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Keywords: cognition; combination; communication; cybersemiotics; human subjectivity; introspection; sensation; technoetic art

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2012

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