Resisting the Colonization of 'Life': Technoscience, Feminist Critique and Contemporary Art
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This thesis is a critical and interdisciplinary engagement with the consequences of new biotechnologies. In particular, it is an inquiry into the contemporary phenomenon of biopiracy/biocolonialism. The first part of the thesis will explore the genealogy of this complex issue that draws on the legacy of the Western scientific revolution and the history of colonization. The dominant paradigms surfacing during these historical events in combination with the recent emergence of molecular visualization techniques have facilitated the ultimate step towards the colonization of 'life itself'. ‘Life itself’ has been rendered a privately/corporately owned commodity leading to the enclosure (and decrease) of biodiversity. An alternative posthuman(ist) understanding of the world as consistent out of both 'human' and 'nonhuman' agents would form a solid ground for resisting the colonization of 'life'. Such an understanding requires a posthuman(ist) reconceptualization of matter, species and 'life', which the second part of this thesis provides. The final part, then, turns to the field of contemporary art in which four artworks are presented and analyzed as productive attempts of resistance towards biopiracy/biocolonialism.