Roberta Buiani

Viral Methodologies: beyond the myth of the object?

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Microscopy; Biopolitics; Bioart; Viruses; Methodology; Uncertainty.

Viruses are half-living (or semi-living, or undead) yet surprisingly active substances. With their hybrid status, they require multiple and multilayered processes to be assessed scientifically. Their material aspects intersect to various degrees with the fabric of culture, causing assumptions, anxieties and human and non-human aspects to sometimes mix imperceptibly. This connection complicates any traditional attempt to determine viruses as self-contained substances, often producingprovisional and uncertain results. In order to seize the complex configuration of these substances, a series of recent artistic contributions have proposed alternative narratives that embrace, rather than struggle to tame, their uncertain and provisional features. In this paper I examine these artistic works asking whether their particular configuration could help put an end to the outcome-driven attachment to certitude and predictive determination that pervade science and popular culture.

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