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Isobel graduated from Griffith University in 2021. She intends to forward her practice-based research in a studio context over the next year so that she can realise a solo show. 

Meeting at the Interface


Meeting at the Interface uses expanded painting to discover an understanding of being human within a posthuman ontology. The project addresses the limitations of prominent constructs in posthuman arts practice, such as the hybrid, the monster, and the cyborg. These constructs evidence a reluctance to make claims for a posthuman subjectivity. Posthumanism, as a broad ideology, has concerned itself with the increasingly blurred boundaries between entities in order to problematise humanist modes of thinking. In this discussion, I focus on how an understanding of self can be communicated within this interconnected relationship between human and non-human. My project examines the gap between feminist post-humanist theory and its visual reflections in art practice. The limitations I identify in works by feminist posthuman artists like Lee Bul and Patricia Piccinini, are that they are unable to visualise what is lost or supplanted of the human in its new configuration. I suggest that this configured posthuman subject, located in future or imaginary realms of possibility, distances the viewer from interpreting temporally and spatially, how subjectivity can continuously be made and remade.

This practice led research responds to the question, ‘How can an expanded painting practice give visibility to the construction of the posthuman subject?’ In this exegesis, I will argue that more legible visual strategies in arts practice can contribute to feminist posthuman discourse concerning the nature of subjectivity. My research examines the discrepancies between theoretical imaginations of the posthuman, led by Donna Haraway, Rosi Braidotti and Katherine Hayles and the creaturely constructs that materialise these posthuman identities in visual traditions. The practical response of this research exploits the boundaries associated with painting tradition as a way of examining the construction of a posthuman subject. Using mixed media artworks to create an experience like painting, Meeting at the Interface conceives of a zone of intersection between human and non-human, where the formation of self takes place. Rather than relying on speculative alternatives that represent a posthuman subject, an expanded painting methodology makes apparent the multiple moments of interconnection, that define a posthuman experience.

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