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Critical Appropriations of Biosensors in Artistic Practice

by John MacCallum and Teoma Naccarato

Cite: Naccarato, T.J. and MacCallum, J. (2017) ‘Critical Appropriations of Biosensors in Artistic Practice’. in Proceedings of the Conference on Movement and Computing (MOCO). London, UK.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3077981.3078053

Key Words:  critical appropriation, re-contextualization, representation, bodies, technology, cross-disciplinary collaboration, ethico-aesthetics

Abstract: In this article we discuss the ethical and aesthetic implications of the appropriation of biomedical sensors in artistic practice. The concept of cross-disciplinary appropriation is elaborated with reference to Guattari’s ethico-aesthetic paradigms, and Barad’s metaphor of diffraction as methodology. In reviewing existing artistic projects with biosensors, we consider ways in which the recontextualization of technologies, and likewise techniques, can both propagate and violate disciplinary expectations and approaches. We propose that by way of critical appropriations of biosensors in artistic practice-that is to say, de- and re-contextualizations of biosensors that acknowledge the shift of ecology and epistemology—artists have a vital role to play in troubling reductive representations of bodies, and furthermore, destabilizing the ethico-aesthetic boundaries of differently constituted disciplines.