Accepted Paper:

Visualising the Laboratory: Choreography, Photography and (Nano)technology  


Kerstin Hamilton (University of Gothenburg )

Paper short abstract:

How can the practice based artistic researcher approach complex questions in territories of science and technology? Discussing my own film Zero Point Energy, I will address these issues drawing on Karen Barad, also addressing ethics of photographic representation through a quantum physics lens.

Paper long abstract:

At nano level, biological processes can be interpreted as technology and quantum physics provides the logical framework for the existence of the particles. The only way we can access the nano particles is through specialised technological equipment and depictions of 'nano worlds' are always representations of something which we can not see with our eyes. The level of abstraction involved in any representation is made explicit, and representations, one might argue, are not to be understood as evidences that establish truths but as unstable objects that may facilitate new modes of engagement.

My recent film, Zero Point Energy (currently exhibited at Moderna Museet, Sweden), is set in a nanofabrication laboratory and takes as its starting point the 'choreography of science'. In the film, a choreography including ballet dancing and close-to-authentic movements by the researchers themselves is performed, exploring activities of humans and apparatuses.

This paper will discuss how camera based representations can be used to expose and examine territories of science and technology. It will also address how artistic research methods might facilitate new ways of engagement with these milieus. I will position my own work in relation to relevant art practitioners and drawing on Karen Barad, terms such as 'entanglement' and 'agent realism' will frame a discussion on representation and knowledge production. How can the artist, by way of practice based artistic research and interdisciplinary collaborations, approach complex questions of ethics and existence, for instance, in other ways than the natural scientist or social scientist could?

Panel T019
Science and Technology through Critical Art Practice