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2017 | 1 | 2 | 78–93

Article title

Science-Art: Neuronaturalism Beyond the Decentred Spectator



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Science-art collaborations are a growth area. An example is the Wellcome Collection exhibition “States of Mind”. I focus on one work yellowbluepink by Ann Veronica Janssens. As framed within the exhibition this piece is understood to present a model of spectatorship in which the art-encounter prompts an awareness of the p o s s i b i l i t y of neuroscientific self-understanding. I take it that science-art projects want to spread this celebration of “objective thought”; this is their realist agenda. The scientific framing of yellowbluepink fails in this regard because of a striking contradiction at its heart. The dominant art historical interpretation of this piece includes a spectator who is “decentred”, u n a b l e to know him or herself. This contradiction creates a methodological problem for the project, one that negatively impacts its ability to a m b i t i o u s l y promote its agenda. On the basis of this analysis I sketch out the conditions for an ambitious project. It would need to acknowledge the “artworld” and it would require the invention of a new model of spectatorship, one that promoted (self)-awareness of humankinds’ impressive epistemic capacity. This anti-phenomenological figure is formulated with reference to the nemocentric subject.








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  • University of Lincoln


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