Bio-cartography: Towards a New Theory of Portraying
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The project of bio-cartography interconnected the metamorphoses of subjectivity with the progress of representational thought, having drawn on the different fields of reflections concerned with the changing self: poststructuralist philosophies, feminist theories, studies of science and technology, linguistics, postcolonial and social sciences. Thus, through its title, this paper established the interrelations between theory, science, and art practice. The ubiquitous notion of representation (hence its different variations: figuration and transfiguration) was examined on the ground of bio-art works, and various exemplifications became not only illustrations of presented ideas, but also dynamic mappings of vivid metamorphoses. The attempt was to prepare new tools which facilitate the reception of new class of portraits, which I called ‘bio-portraits’. The concept of the bio-portrait was born on the crossroads of the philosophical reappraisal of the representational approach, the etymological roots which came from different origins and the background of bio-technological development. My aim was to show that the art practice no longer represents reality, but it transfigures and transcends it. Therefore, my analysis showed the presented works as effects of sociopolitical power relations and the way of their transformations, having opened possibilities of two-directional way of cooperation between theory and practice, science and art, reality and its representation.