Jan Bennett

Scientists, Monsters and Other Allies: Hybrid Becomings

Imagery concerning the future of the human body and how it might be altered or enhanced filters into all levels and areas of visual culture. The role of art and image-making is especially important in relation to biotechnology, which is often seen as ‘Janus-faced’. Whilst it has many valuable biomedical applications, it may also involve the controversial engineering or manipulation of living tissues and genetic material.

To date, little work has been undertaken to determine the principal pathways by which artworks and popular scientific imagery impact on and influence the public perception of biotechnologies. This project critically examines the purposive and/or performative nature of these types of images, through both theory and art practice.

The research-value of the study lies in: 
• the development of new artistic responses which both extend and challenge existing representations, and thus contribute to the visual construction of understanding in art and science, and 
• the identification and explanation of the aesthetic mechanisms involved.​