[ISEA2023] Paper: Hannah Rogers & Adam Bencard — Metabolic Arts


Short Paper. Theme: Bioart – Biodesign Subtheme: Symbiotic Organizations

Metabolism holds potential as both a crucial topic and an analytical tool for our current biopolitical moment, for understanding the agency and significance of material forces as they move into and through bodies. From this vantage point, this statement suggests practicing a metabolic gaze by reading together metabolism and contemporary art. It discusses ways of defining metabolism that might be productive in helping to produce tools and touchstones for metabolic readings, before presenting examples of artworks which might be interestingly illuminated by light of this sign. Keywords: metabolic arts, metabolism, ASTS, bioart, microbes, digestion, soil, non-human, art-science.

  • Hannah Star Rogers holds a PhD from Cornell University in Science and Technology Studies and an MFA from Columbia University, USA. She is the lead editor of the Routledge Handbook of Art, Science, and Technology Studies and her monograph from MIT Press, Art, Science, and the Politics of Knowledge appeared in 2022. She is currently based at the University of Copenhagen, DK, where she is researching Metabolic Arts as part of a Novo Nordisk grant through the Center for Basic Metabolic Research (CBMR). Rogers works as a curator for art and science exhibits including “Emerge: Artists and Scientists Redesign the Future” at Arizona State University, “Shadows and Ashes: The Perils of Nuclear Weapons” at Cornell University, and “Art’s Work in the Age of Biotechnology: Shaping Our Genetic Futures” at North Carolina State University and the University of Pittsburgh. Her exhibition “Making Science Visible: The Photography of Berenice Abbott,” received an exhibits prize from the British Society for the History of Science and resulted in an invited lecture at the Smithsonian Archives of American Art. hannahstarrogers.com
  • Adam Bencard, Associate Professor, Centre for Medical Science and Technology Studies, University of Copenhagen, DK