Thesis Info

Thesis Title
Biomateria--Biotextile Craft
WhiteFeather Hunter
2nd Author
3rd Author
November 2015
Number of Pages
Concordia University, Montreal, Canada
Thesis Supervisor
Dr Tagny Duff
Supervisor e-mail
tagny.duff AT
Other Supervisor(s)
Dr Ionat Zurr
Language(s) of Thesis
Department / Discipline
Studio Arts: Fibres and Material Practices
Languages Familiar to Author
URL where full thesis can be found
biomaterials; textiles; craft; bioart
Abstract: 200-500 words
BIOMATERIA is a vital materialist mixed media and digital installation of works. The artworks in Biomateria form an inquiry into the aesthetic, conceptual and practical crossovers between textile techniques, wet biology laboratory practices and micro-ecology. Much of this work specifically comments on the relationship between nonhuman agents (cells) and human technological and creative industry, via the crafting of textile-based forms seeded with live mammalian cell lines. Through a series of reflections on making and conceptualizing, I propose a methodological strategy and philosophy for thinking around the hybrid works in Biomateria. I call this philosophy, “Haptic Epistemology”. The process-based and hands-on nature of research-creation, in addition to the ‘matter’ (physical, political, cultural) of life science praxes, is a core research concern. The works mean to, in addition to craft and aesthetics, explore the variety of nebulous political areas concerned with BioArt: DIY bio/ bio-hacking, ethics, academic bureaucracy and institutionalism, as well as artistic goals, responsibilities and failures. Interdisciplinary practice between art and science, including methodological intersections, current policies, and thinking around the formation of new policies, have been studied as key considerations in both the execution and display of BioArt. I consider economic nuances in relation to labour practices, from a feminist materialist and craft perspective. The works presented in this exhibition are a combination of actual and representational. Applied science/ technology, enforced institutional bureaucratic indicators, and artistic manipulations/ representations are displayed in tandem. Below, each section explores objectives, methodologies, philosophical ideas and a brief historical context situating Biomateria. Section headings refer to specific concerns that arose during the creation of the work. *Images of the works referenced in the text can be seen here: