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call for contributions - deadline September 15th 2010 in vivo The artist on display? [Plastik Art&Science]

Art that is created out of the living world (bio-art, body-art, environmental art...) is today commonly directed by a desire that one could define using the prefix: „trans-‰. One is of course immediately reminded of the transgenic, and Eduardo KAC's research, for example, on the genetic marker Lucifrase which he transmits to mice, or his creation, Edunia, a petunia carrying fragments of his own DNA. One is also reminded of transmutation, and the doll's clothes made out of animal skin cultures by the SymbioticA group.

Or of transgression in relation to contemporary ethics, which could apply to the two preceding examples, but also to more performatives experiments, such as Blue by Yann Marussich, a performance in which, installed in an airtight box, he sweats blue methylene from every pore of his skin, when the substance is declared dangerous if ingested even by the manufacturer. The preoccupation with transmission is also omnipresent in artistic practices involving the living, as one can see in works such as The cosmopolitan chicken project by Koen Vanmechelen, in which the artist is attempting to produce a genetically universal hen by marrying hens of different origin each season in order to obtain, within a few decades, the absolute mixed race hen. And certainly, such considerations also remind us of the question of transversality and transdisciplinarity, processes which these artists inevitably touch upon as they work towards their goal: a comprehension that differs from the living world in its analysis that is jointly artistic and scientific. In fact, we are obliged to note that the artists who are interested in the living world are increasingly distancing themselves from the notion of the reproducibility of reality to experiment with the transformation of this world. This type of art seems to seek a way of going beyond the criteria of representation, and perhaps even of the design of the living world, through an almost necessarily experimental confrontation with reality, which is why we have decided to use the prefix „trans‰ here: „beyond‰, „through‰. The question almost immediately arises on the definition of the artist as auto-experimenter. Up to what point might he or she be ready to experiment on the living and on his or herself in particular in order to succeed in going beyond a new frontier of artistic representation? We would like to present a reflexion on the performative dimension of this type of art. In the search for a form of transformer art related to the living world, it seems indeed essential that we question the creator's position, as he or she is perpetually obliged to reconsider his or her experience, in order to allow the spectator to apprehend a world living itself in the process of transformation. How does the artist therefore plan to address the spectator in an artwork on the living that he or she is the first living being to test? Is the spectator's comprehension of an artwork increased or decreased by the experimentation? Does the spectator feel mobilized by such procedures? Many questions aimed at suggesting the state of the analysis of the contemporary living world by artists, whose experiments reach sometimes improbable dimensions, and can remain at the project stage. This is why we want to insist on the prospective dimension, which leaves enough room for fiction and research, in this call for projects. Limit for the reception of entries: Please send your entries by email before the 15th of September, 2010. Rédaction [Plastik] CERAP ˆ Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne 47 rue des Bergers 75015 Paris - France Olga Kisseleva Conditions for the reception of entries: Authors are invited to propose texts of 3000 to 10000 characters. Up to 10 images can be included, with a resolution of 72 dpi. They should be sent separately, with mention of their place, title and source. The same goes for pictures and other illustrations in an image format. The first page should contain: the title of the article, the name(s) of the author(s), their affiliation(s), their email and postal addresses, a summary of 10 to 15 lines and a list of key words characterising the content of the article. It is important to specify that we are not referring here to „live arts‰, i.e. with the performing arts, but with the visual artworks dealing with the questions of the living world, in the scientific sense of the term, including biology, ecology and the behavioural sciences (ethology).

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