Jens Hauser’s seminar last Tuesday (17 April) was a very inspiring overview of the field of bioart as wet art. 

Based on a precirculated paper (‘Observations on an art of growing importance: Towards a phenomenological approach to art involving biotechnology’) Jens developed his idea that bioart as wet art is a phenomenon of increasing re-materialization in art and that it needs to be analysed in its phenomenological oscillation between meaning effects and presence effects.

 

Martha Fleming introducing Jens

The presentation was too rich to be summarised here — it is part of a larger work for the MIT Press and will be published in due time — but it clearly of great potential importance for the way we think exhibitions of contemporary biomedicine.

For example, I wondered whether one could think in terms of bringing functional biolabs into the museum space? Or maybe one should think of research laboratories and clinics as ‘museum colonies’, as working spaces which can also be seen (through a peep-hole or a webcam?) as installations and showcases?

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