Übergordnete Werke und Veranstaltungen

#Dis/Orderly Bodies

Chronica (body of evidence). Biomedical technologies and abstractions of experience

DE 2021

From lived experiences of chronic health conditions including trauma or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), I began to explore the politics of disability issues, healthcare inequalities and the history of biomedical technologies. In my experiences of illness and encounters with healthcare infrastructures, my body is measured and objectified through a biomedical gaze, using technologies that aim to visualise or externalise internal bodily processes. However, this doesn’t necessarily allow a more ‘direct’ representation of bodily experience as is often perceived, but is another form of mediation. It equates visibility with empirical ‘evidence’ and therefore ‘legitimacy’, which may not be useful when discussing and understanding ‘invisible’ or less visible disabilities. I became interested in biohacking as a way of reclaiming bodily autonomy and agency; in my installations and performances different biofeedback technologies are used to measure my live anxiety levels, where live data changes the order of the videos that are projected, and where bodily processes directly generate or fuel part of the work itself. Rather than being a one-way process, the relation between the body and technology is more reciprocal, each re-shaping the other. In my practice and research, I relate experiences of being queer, non-binary and part of the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) diaspora to wider forms of structural violence, and how alliances can be formed where different kinds of inequality and marginalisation intersect. Experiences may feel individualised through medical diagnoses, when there may be wider sociopolitical causes (e.g. racism, homophobia, classism), which are experienced on collective scales. In terms of biomedical technologies and knowledge, there is a long history tied to and overlapping with state and military techniques of surveillance, security and control; from the polygraph ‘lie detector’ test, to psychologists being recruited by the US government to develop torture techniques. While technology may have emancipatory potential, it comes down to power, or who is it being used by and for what purpose.

This work was realised within the framework of the European Media Art Platforms (EMAP) programme at Antre Peaux (ex Bandits Mages) (FR) with support of the Creative Europe Culture Programme of the European Union.

Lecture by Sophie Hoyle (GB), moderated by Erkan Affan (GB)

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