Brainbodies and the imaging of plasticity

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Abstract

This article considers two conceptual formations – brainbodies and plasticity – through some of the image-form processes of neuroscience, art and curation. Underpinned by the writings of philosopher Catherine Malabou, the ethnography of Science and Technology Studies (STS) scholar Joseph Dumit, and the artistic projects of curator Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, the article firstly examines Positron Emission Tomography (PET) (as articulated by Dumit) and its image-making processes to show how plasticity is at work in the brainbody’s molecular negotiations with the scanning apparatus. Secondly, the article analyses the entanglements generated out of the receptions of neuro-aesthetic and artistic image-forms in the curatorial directions of two of Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev’s projects: dOCUMENTA (13) and the 14th Istanbul Biennial SALTWATER: A Theory of Thought Forms. A diffractive methodology of reading, as articulated in the feminist technoscientific writings of Donna Haraway and Karen Barad, helps to re-register the plasticity of matter in the contexts of art and curation. The image-forms that feature in this article expose some of the boundaries and limitations of cultural meaning-making and their associated forms. This includes the productive insights generated out of the crossing through of disciplinary perspectives and their image-making mechanisms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-256
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Visual Art Practice
Volume18
Issue number3
Early online date4 Jul 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2019

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