Wiretap 6.09 - ART in the Age of Technological Procreation

On ART as in Assisted Reproductive Technologies, with Elisabeth Schimana (A) and Sandy Stone (USA).

Wiretap 6.09 - ART in the Age of Technological Procreation

flyer, part 1

Sep 2000
18:00 to 21:00
location: V2_, Eendrachtsstraat 10, Rotterdam

ART (Assisted Reproductive Technologies), such as in vitro fertilisation, artificial insemination, artificial wombs and clones, have for long sparked our imagination. They have been a source of scientific marvel and cultural panic from Frankenstein's monster to the first test tube baby Louise Brown (1978) and the cloning of sheep Dolly (1997). Reproductive technologies are heavily suffused with ideologies of maternity, (medical) normalcy, kinship, gender, race, and mortality. Whether they have sparked heated debates on lesbian moms or pregnant men, or whether they have formed the genetic playground for eugenic practitioners; ART seems to touch the heart of our existence. 

Reproductive technologies have been strongly intertwined with developments in informational and visual technologies. Reproduction is increasingly becoming a matter of bodily surveillance and management where the foetus is subjected to "quality control" through ultra-sound, amniocentesis, and genetic testing. However, different reproductive techniques also beg a revision of fundamental questions. Cloning for example, challenges the idea of a unique body and the singularity of birth. Other bio-technologies, such as hormonal therapy and sex re-assignment surgery for transsexuals/genderists, offer alternative strategies for reproducing one"s body and experience "rebirth" in the gender of choice. Hence the body is continuously (re)produced by technology.

Wiretap 6.09 presented two artistic viewpoints which explored the cross-overs between culture and technology. Cyber-diva and author of the renowned Posttranssexual Manifesto Allucquère Rosanne Stone is well-known for her "theory performances" in which she uncovers the interactions between art, technology, virtual systems, and gender. The Austrian sound artist Elisabeth Schimana adapted her piece Obduktion for this Wiretap. She recorded audio in morgues during autopsies, and consequently performed her own dissection on the recorded material through digital manipulation. The decoupling of sound, body and action was continuously reproduced during her live-performance.


Nederlands / Dutch text

ART (Assisted Reproductive Technologies), zoals proefbuisbabies, artificiële inseminatie, surrogaat-zwangerschappen en klonen, begeesteren sinds geruime tijd onze verbeelding. Enerzijds vormen zij een bron van wetenschappelijke verbazing maar anderzijds ook van culturele paniek, gaande van Frankensteins monster tot de eerste proefbuisbaby Louise Brown (1978) en het gekloonde schaapje Dolly (1997). Reproductieve technologieën zijn doordrongen van ideologieën over moederschap, medische normen, verwantschap, sekse, ras en sterfelijkheid. Of er nu verhitte debatten ontstaan over lesbische moeders en zwangere mannen, of dat deze technologieën de genetische speeltuin worden van eugenetici; ART lijken de kern van ons bestaan te raken.

Gasten: Elisabeth Schimana (A) en Allucquère Rosanne (Sandy) Stone (USA)



Ars Electronica Festival: Next Sex

Sandy Stone

Elisabeth Schimana

Reproductive Technologies Web

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