Artists working with life (sciences) in contestable settings

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7 Citations (Scopus)


As technology is becoming more lifelike and life is becoming a technology, there is a growing need to culturally scrutinize and articulate the meaning(s) of the concept of life. This happens at a time when fact and fake are becoming interchangeable, and the rhetoric of control over complex systems suggests fantasies about human desire for full dominance over the unintentional and constructed world. When it comes to the concept of life, who is calling the shots? This paper aims to explore the complexities in the relations between meaning makers (let us call them artists), fact makers (let us call them scientists), tool makers (let us call them engineers) and money makers (let us call them opportunists), especially as they relate to the idea of life. Life – an enigmatic concept – is always going through changes, physically and conceptually. How do we understand and articulate these changes through the work of artists using the tools of the fact makers to manipulate living bodies or their parts? What is the role artists play across the boundaries of fact, fiction, exploitation and care? In particular, we ask how art can avoid becoming instrumentalized in the service of the opportunists and the tool makers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-53
Number of pages14
JournalInterdisciplinary Science Reviews
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2018


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