From Patricia Piccinini’s sculptures to SymbioticA’s fish brain robot, many visionary artists are focused on the power of science and technology in culture. This course will offer an overview of artworks that use and critique science and technology, with an eye to how we can study these works and think about the tasks these pieces attempt in society. While these artists do theorize about their own work, a nexus of academics’ critiques which include cultural theorists, art historians, philosophers, historians, and science communicators are also taking an interest in these artworks, so we will examine Stephen Wilson’s Information Arts and Robert Mitchell’s Bioart and the Vitality of New Media to get a sense of the ways these artworks are being approached. Then we will study some early proponents of this type of work including Joe Davis, Matthew Barney, and Patricia Piccnini. The course will end with some meditations on the institutions that fund art that engages with science and the way the media presents these artworks.
Tags: Aesthetics and Science, Art and science studies, Bioart, Science & Technology Studies, Technology and Society