Interdisciplinary Trouble: Performing Science in Media Arts


Session Title:

  • Art-Sciing: Slippery Terminologies and Language Performances in Art and Science Collaborations

Presentation Title:

  • Interdisciplinary Trouble: Performing Science in Media Arts



  • This paper is meant to create trouble in the interdiscipline, to stir up the networks in order to articulate differences, to announce positions, and to argue against easy connectionism in favor of a carefully context sensitive practice.


    The title paraphrases Judith Butler’s book Gender Trouble, where she points out how gender identities are constructed through every day performances. I am not proposing to discuss the relationship between media arts and scientific disciplines through Butler’s work, though perhaps one should pay increasingly attention to how perceptions of what being an artist and a scientist are gendered. Interdisciplinary trouble in my title refers on the one hand to the ways in which new media arts practice often challenges cultural narratives of what it means to perform one’s art or one’s science, and how this relationship is often also used to legitimize works of art. For instance, does one not invest in the future oriented narratives of nano- and biotechnology, many works by such artists as Eduardo Kac or Stelarc loose large parts of their contextual meaning, and the work approaches technological performance, performing with technology.


    Full text (PDF) p. 134-135