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UAL Research Online

The Prosthetic Impulse: From a Posthuman Present to a Biocultural Future

Morra, Joanne and Smith, Marquard (2006) The Prosthetic Impulse: From a Posthuman Present to a Biocultural Future. The MIT Press, Cambridge. ISBN 0262195305

Type of Research: Book
Creators: Morra, Joanne and Smith, Marquard

As stated in our Introduction to 'The Prosthetic Impulse', this co-edited collection recognizes that ‘prosthesis' (an addition or replacement) has become a staple in the armoury of metaphors utilised by authors and artists concerned with general interactions between the body and technology in Modernity. However, 'The Prosthetic Impulse' resists and challenges this ‘metaphorical opportunism’ (David T. Mitchell and Sharon L. Snyder) and in so doing re-asserts the specificity of the phenomenological, material, and embodied nature of prosthesis. At the same time, the contributors are wary of dismissing out of hand, the metaphorical potential of prosthesis, since it sets into motion imaginative analyses and interpretations. This volume’s strategy makes it unique.

In my chapter ('Drawing Machine: Working through the Materiality of Rauschenberg's Dante and Derrida's Freud'), I recuperate the visual, corporeal and psychic aspects of the graphic by focussing on the ways in which drawing has been elided within Derrida’s philosophical theorizations of writing as prosthesis. I accomplish this by examining how Robert Rauschenberg’s transfer drawings of Dante’s 'Inferno' (1958-60) enable me to rethink Derrida’s work on Freud’s drawing machines. Thus, I reveal the way in which critical theory has subsumed the visual into the textual, and disclose the repression of materiality and the body within modernist formalism.

Official Website: http://mitpress.mit.edu/catalog/item/default.asp?ttype=2&tid=10600
Additional Information (Publicly available):

Giovanna Morra

Research Interests

Modern and contemporary art; psychoanalysis, autographic narratives, subjectivity, and intimacy; art-making, materiality, and the spaces of practice, critical theory; translation, transcultural aesthetics and

Current Research

My research interests are in modern and contemporary art; critical theory; psychoanalysis as a theory and practice; spaces of practice – specifically, the writer’s study, artist’s studio, gallery, and psychoanalytic consulting room; autographic narratives and subjectivity; translation and transcultural aesthetics; the question of materiality as its pertains to art-making.

I am presently working on a single-authored books entitled ‘Inside the Freud Museum: Contemporary Art and Psychoanalysis’. In it I consider debates opened up by the 50 contemporary art exhibitions held at the Museum over the past 25 years. I examine issues raised by the art, the museum and psychoanalysis, such as the site specific nature of the Museum; questions of archaeology, archives and antiquities; memory, migration and trauma; dreams, delusions, desire and death; and autobiography and the patient ‘case history’. I am particularly interested in the way these psychoanalytic issues are inflected and transformed by the artistic interventions in the Museum. The book also includes a chapter on the Vienna Freud Museum and the contemporary art collection housed and displayed there.

I have written on the work of many contemporary artists, including, Faisal Abdu' Allah, Chantal Akerman, William Cobbing, Tacita Dean, Mona Hatoum, Barbara Kruger, Susan pui san Lok, Adrian Piper, Elizabeth Price, Robert Rauschenberg, Mario Rossi, Pam Skelton, Emma Talbot, Erika Tan, and Chris Wainwright.

I have published on translation and the visual arts over many years. Beginning with a consideration of literary and Biblical narratives and their translation into visual arts practices (painting and drawing, for instance), I have recently extended this work into an interrogation of transcultural aesthetics, gender, and sexuality, wherein I have contemplated questions of intimacy, skin, diaspora and autographic narratives.

As a Founder and Principal Editor of the 'Journal of Visual Culture' (2000- onwards) and a Founder of the cultural theory journal 'Parallax' (Editor 1993-1998), I have been involved in provoking and establishing debates in critical theory and its relationship to a wide range of disciplines, from art history to gender studies, postcolonial theory, and cultural studies. These publications have also critically interrogated and simultaneously established visual culture studies as a new field of inquiry in the academy.

Publisher/Broadcaster/Company: The MIT Press
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Central Saint Martins
Date: 2006
Funders: Leverhulme Research Fellowship, Central Saint Martins
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2009 12:40
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2016 16:07
Item ID: 894
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/894

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