Science-art: neuronaturalism beyond the decentred spectator

Klee, Steve (2017) Science-art: neuronaturalism beyond the decentred spectator. Eidos: A Journal for Philosophy of Culture, 1 (2). pp. 78-93. ISSN 1692-8857

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Science-art: neuronaturalism beyond the decentred spectator
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Science-art collaborations are a growth area. An example is the Wellcome Collection exhibition “States of
Mind”. I focus on one work yellowbluepink by Ann Veronica Janssens. As framed within the exhibition this
piece is understood to present a model of spectatorship in which the art-encounter prompts an awareness of
the pos s ibi l it y of neuroscientific self-understanding. I take it that science-art projects want to spread this
celebration of “objective thought”; this is their realist agenda. The scientific framing of yellowbluepink fails in
this regard because of a striking contradiction at its heart. The dominant art historical interpretation of this
piece includes a spectator who is “decentred”, u nabl e to know him or herself. This contradiction creates
a methodological problem for the project, one that negatively impacts its ability to ambit ious l y promote
its agenda. On the basis of this analysis I sketch out the conditions for an ambitious project. It would need
to acknowledge the “artworld” and it would require the invention of a new model of spectatorship, one that
promoted (self)-awareness of humankinds’ impressive epistemic capacity. This anti-phenomenological figure
is formulated with reference to the nemocentric subject.

Keywords:Art, Ann Veronica Janssens, Neuroscience, The Nemocentric Subject, Ray Brassier, Realism, The Decentred Spectator, Rosalind E Krauss, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V350 History of Art
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V550 Philosophy of Science
W Creative Arts and Design > W100 Fine Art
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V500 Philosophy
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts (Fine Arts)
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ID Code:30603
Deposited On:18 Feb 2018 20:02

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