Date of Award

2014

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Communications and Arts

Faculty

Education and Arts

First Advisor

Dr Nicola Kaye

Second Advisor

Dr Lydia Edwards

Third Advisor

Dr Dean Chan

Fourth Advisor

Dr Christopher Crouch

Abstract

This research advocates a multi-method approach to bioarts praxis, reflexively and critically questioning the contemporary contexts that frame our engagement with nonhuman life. In doing so, the research aims to generate further community engagement with nonhuman life and the environment, and engender critical discourse on the implications of developing biotechnologies.

Hegemonic institutions influence the way culture is produced and how information is constructed and understood. Habermas (1987) suggests that these institutions will inevitably influence the individual’s lifeworld as they shape lived experience through the process of systemic colonisation. I assert that this process also shapes how individuals engage with or understand nonhuman life. Through the implementation of three major projects the research aims to develop the capacity of bioarts in challenging such institutions by providing the opportunity for hands-on life science activities and real-time interactions with nonhuman life. The research by employing such methods aims to counter-act the impact of urbanised living and indifference to environmental conservation.

Each aspect of the creative praxis provides a reflexive case study to establish the research aims and answer the research agenda. This includes my creative bioartworks, an art-science secondary educational course and a curated group exhibition, symposium and workshop. This research provides an alternative communicative approach to hegemonic institutions such as the mass media, scientific biotechnological industries and traditional gallery spaces (Shanken, 2011).

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