Thesis Info

Thesis Title
Failures and Other Strange Biological Objects
Isabelle Desjeux
2nd Author
3rd Author
Masters in Arts (Fine Arts)
Number of Pages
Lasalle College of the Arts (Singapore)
Thesis Supervisor
Adeline Kueh
Supervisor e-mail
adeline.kueh AT
Other Supervisor(s)
Jason Wee
Language(s) of Thesis
Department / Discipline
Fine Arts
Languages Familiar to Author
French; English
URL where full thesis can be found
Failure ; Science ; Pataphysics; Performance Lecture;
Abstract: 200-500 words
Intrigued by the way scientists pursue their research and by how things sometimes don’t work, I have taken a scientific approach to understanding the paradox of failure in the making of science. As part of the research, I have looked at scientific method, culture and communication in Life Sciences academia. Then, I have used scientific techniques to study the setbacks of science. In this context, I have looked at Mark Dion’s work and his appropriation of the scientific method to study other systems. In the context of communication and transmission of information, this thesis has also been informed by Francis Alÿs’ approach to urban myths and their propagation. There is a long history in science of using humor and irony to offset the seriousness of the topic and play with the perceived notion of the scientist as an all-knowing persona, allowing for a culture of internal jokes to propagate. Here, I have looked particularly at the use of ‘Pataphysics as a means for non-scientists to impersonate scientists, and have pushed the mechanism further by using as much actual data and logic in my research as possible. The resulting work looks and feels like the work of a scientist, and for all intent and purpose, is, except maybe for the unexpected outcome.