Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2803

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Co‐Creatively Producing Knowledge With Other‐Than‐Human Organisms in a (Bio)Technology‐Controlled Artistic Environment

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Abstract:  Along with the increasing awareness about the destructive force of humankind on nature, existential questions about how to create a more sustainable relationship with the natural world have emerged. To acquire a more eco‐friendly attitude, we need to go beyond the well‐established knowledge cultures that highlight a nature versus culture dichotomy. This study focuses on bio art as an epistemic vehicle to re‐imagine our understanding of and connection to the natural world. Drawing on the theoretical stance of philosophical posthumanism, we discuss how artistic co‐creation processes involving humans and other‐than‐humans hold the potential to introduce a shift in our worldview from anthropocentric to ecocentric. We further question what this shift might imply for how we approach the complex relationship between humans and other‐than‐humans in our own research. We conducted a within‐case and cross‐case analysis of five bio art projects that previously won the Bio Art & Design Award (2018–2020). To analyze the data, we used a combined approach of visual and context analysis and material semiotics. Qualitative interviews were used as a data collection technique to investigate the lived experiences of both artists and scientists involved in the projects. Our findings suggest that bio art’s epistemic significance can primarily be found in its multispecies perspective: By following the wills and ways of bio‐organisms, bio art makes the invisible connection between nature and culture visible. Bio art can provoke our thinking about how to include and approach other‐than‐human agency in the context of socially engaged research practices.

Keywords:  bio art; ecocentrism; epistemology; other‐than‐human agency; posthumanism

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/si.v11i3.6609


© Antje Jacobs, Steven Devleminck, Karin Hannes. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.