Testing vision: transforming bodies and the 'test site'

Devereaux, Emile (2013) Testing vision: transforming bodies and the 'test site'. In: Trans-what? across and beyond (artistic) research Symposium, Sunday 28 July 2013, Berlin, Germany.

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Abstract

This paper presentation examines the correlation between experiments with new technologies that test and transform live bodies, and the ways in which visual display frames, isolates and informs these tests. In 1994 a study of decommissioned U.S. government reports revealed a series of radiation experiments conducted unknowingly on medical patients, prisoners and other citizens from 1944-74. These human subjects were exposed to low levels of radiation so that the results could be watched and charted, sometimes over the course of decades. A product of the Cold War, radiation experimentation brought in close alliance the healing arts and the development of military weaponry (each targeted in opposite directions). The hopes and possibilities introduced by the development of atomic energy and ultraviolet technologies were also marked by the slow manifestation of intangible bodily symptoms and items like radioactive tracers that allow for the tracking of life processes within the body. A thinking through of Avital Ronell’s ‘test site’ (2005) as an expanded arena, imposed by technologies in everyday life, considers testing in light of its permutations beyond the laboratory and extension through mobile communication networks.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Film and Music > Media and Film
Subjects: E History America > E151 United States (General) > E0740 Twentieth century
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR > N0061 Theory. Philosophy. Aesthetics of the visual arts
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Emile Devereaux
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2014 06:31
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2014 06:31
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/49072
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