Matheus Siqueira

Delleuze and Bioart - The New Flesh through Biotechnology

Researching on neo-baroque I stumbled upon this statement:

If the Baroque has often been associated with capitalism it is because the Baroque is linked to a crisis of property, a crisis that appears at once with the growth of new machines in the social field and the discovery of new living beings in the organism. Delleuze, The Fold, 1993:110

My initial interest was on the crisis of property in digital cinema as a form of neo baroque. But the latter part of living beings in the organism incited my curiosity and searching how to relate this I found about Bioart.


What is Bioart? Curator Jan Hauser from the exposition L’art Biotech staged in Aix-en-Provence defines it by saying that

Bio Art is first and foremost an art of transformation in vivo that manipulates "biological materials at discrete levels (e.g. individual cells, proteins, genes, nucleotides)" 2005 – the last part of the sentence comes from the prominent bioartist Eduardo Kac

What started as a cientific experiment when soon gave rise to a movement that by incorporated biologists to create works that use live human and animal tissues, bacteria and living organisms as materials.


A brief description of the movement can be found in this article. For now I continue to explore the relation to Delleuze with a short excerpt of this study made by Anne Munster in 2005.

I think we can begin to ascertain an aesthetics for bioart that is not simply steeped in negation; that is, bioart is not genetic art, not digital art, not new media. Rather we can understand bioart as a practice propelled by a set of energies that gain their force from the work of the differential. We are then lead to another set of considerations: if bioart is produced through the differential folding of flesh, and its artefacts embody differentially inflected and produced flesh as contemporary embodiment, then to what extent does this respond to a ‘crisis in property’?

Returning to the quote by Deleuze, we have to then examine the status of bioart (and especially its parasitic relation with biotechnologies) as either an aesthetic that is generated in response to a contemporary property crisis or as part of the ongoing nature of that crisis. In working to transform and often to produce living things at the level of biotechnical manipulation bioartists engage (to pick up on the positive aspects of crisis invoked by Deleuze) ‘new machines in the field of the social’ and in fact discover, or at least call forth, new modes of living for the organism (to now paraphrase Deleuze’s discovery of new living beings in the organism’).

I have been studying recently about this change of perception from projection (unidimensionalty) to fold (polydimensionalyt). As Delleuze explains the concept is that we changed from reading on a plain screen to understand reality in a polimorfic way, in other words, we stopped reading in a plain paper to decipher the words in a origamic form.

Tim Murray applies this to electronic and new media arts, but Munster in her draft paper goes one step further to propose that even our human flesh has changed through art to a polidimensionality that is only achievable by the latest biotechnology.

bioart_ear_2 I found this really interesting and for me it was inevitable to remember of David Cronenberg and the new flesh. From fiction to reality.

Diary - The new flesh of Robocop


José Padilha 2014

Time of watching 05:14

As a brazilian my initial interest on the movie was because José Padilha, a director that achieved great success in Brazil with his Tropa de Elite films directed this as his hollywood debut.

From what I read the critics on the film was that in mainly focused on the story of Alex Murphy and very little on camera action scenes. What called my attention is the whole idea of the new flesh inserted in comparison with the previous Robocop film.


What is the new flesh? The human body beyond it's original form, the body as a canvas for improvment. I copied this description from the book La Nueva Carne - Una estética perverso del cuerpo editied by Antonio José Navarro and published in 2002 by Valdemar that throughout its chapters analyzes the New Flesh from Cronenberg to body art, tatoos, piercings, etc.

¿Qué es la Nueva Carne? Ni el más aguerrido analista cultural sería capaz de proponer una definición válida capaz de englobar las distintas manifestaciones creativas -y filosóficas- que en los últimos veinte años han transformado el cuerpo humano en un nuevo ente monstruoso, el cual, de forma extremadamente gráfica, mediante pústulas y supuraciones infecciosas, tumores y malformaciones provocadas, cirugía extrema y manipulaciones genéticas, sexo violento y carne apaleada, injertos tecnológicos e invasiones víricas, expresa terrores que desde siempre anidan en el alma humana. Miedos viejos bajo envoltorios nuevos.

¿Y cuáles son esos miedos? «El temor al cuerpo mutilado, a la transgresión de las fronteras corporales (interior-exterior). Vivimos en una situación en la que la integridad física y psíquica del ser humano está continuamente en entredicho. A los monstruos que nacen se unen, entonces, los que la sociedad fabrica (guerra, accidentes, crueldad, psicosis...). La unidad del ser humano se rompe y se instituye el desorden, el caos y lo impuro. Lo monstruoso es entonces lo intolerable, aquello que hace nacer en nosotros el horror, la angustia». A lo que cabe añadir la disgregación del cuerpo como supresión de todos los vínculos con la realidad, alejándolo de la arquetípica metamorfosis que lo transforma en otra cosa —cf. las diferentes expresiones de la zoantropía—, dando lugar a lo informe, que «niega que cada cosa tenga su propia forma, imaginar que el sentido se ha vuelto sin forma (...) Los límites de los términos no son trascendidos, simplemente transgredidos o rotos, produciendo lo Informe por la delicuescencia, la putrefacción o el pudrimiento».

Superada la mórbida fascinación victoriana por la carne deforme y tumefacta de los freaks que, de feria en feria, se exhibían ante los ojos de un público aún marcado por el puritanismo religioso — los freaks eran «el fruto del pecado original», tal y como puede verse en un efectista pasquín publicitario durante una secuencia de El hombre elefante (The Elephant Man, 1980), de David Lynch—, la Nueva Carne es una monstruosidad que reniega del folclore y de la mitología, de la moralidad y de la lógica. La Nueva Carne, ya sea a través de las pinturas de H.R. Giger, las fotografías de Joel-Peter Witkin o las viñetas de Charles Burns, acomodándose en los films de David Cronenberg o en los cuentos de Clive Barker, hace que el infierno sea algo físico, no imaginado. Así pues, uno de los principales méritos de la Nueva Carne consiste en su habilidad para crear monstruosidades creíbles y tangibles. Sus monstruos son posibles, tienen las proporciones adecuadas. Ninguna sensibilidad artística anterior se ha arriesgado tanto en el camino de la realidad grotesca. Todas esas contorsiones, caras bestiales y muecas diabólicas son profundamente humanas. En una palabra, es difícil precisar el punto en que la realidad y la fantasía se confunden.

(...)Sin embargo, la gran paradoja de la Nueva Carne es que numerosos eruditos afines a lo fantástico, a lo bizarre, saben lo que es, pero no pueden acotar su esencia en un discurso hermenêutico más o menos consensuado entre las diferentes corrientes artísticas de vanguardia.

Diary: Why Don't You Play in Hell?

Why Don't You Play in Hell?

Shion Sono - 2013


Just watched this last night and I falled in love with this movie! From the director of one of my favorite movies (Love Exposure) comes this marvelous and humorous depiction of love to cinema.

Altough you won't cry of emotion like La Nuit Américaine this scene for sure is going to make the filmmaker inside you want to grab a camera and run shooting!

Diary - Frances Ha

Another very late movie night, or early morning during work depending from the point of view. Recently discovered the website to stream the movies and found Frances Ha to watch.

DISCLAIMER: As with the series Girls my viewing of the movie sufferes from prejudice.


Recently I read a very interesting blog post about why our generation is unhappy and I think this film relates perfectly to this. Having many friends who live off their parents income while striving for someone to discover their artistic genius I find interesting this portrait from Noah Baumbach.

What bothered me the most is also what intrigued me the most– the rhytm and self irony. After talking to a couple of friends that heavily criticized the movie a tought of tracing relations between Frances Ha and the movie below :)


Although not further developing the idea in this diary entry I lay here a little seed of discussion about what differentiates the creative ambiance and means of Frances Ha, to Noah Baumbach, to Woody Allen? Going even further renaiscance artists that dependend on mecenas? Just tought this would give an interesting research on analyzing the production means entitled From Mecenas to Parents.

Step Across the Border (1990)

Found this while searching for Vincent Moon and found this preciousness that relates to Moon's work as an influence on how to bring aura back to music.

Step Across the Border (1990)

Nicolas Humbert and Werner Penzel

Diary - 47 Ronin

Also watched during my night shifts as a receptionist this movie is surely the worst I have seen in the last years and 50% of the reason is the bad dubbing over the chinese characters that probably didn't speak good english. I'm trying to find at least something good to say about it but I can't. There is absolutely nothing worth in viewing it, not even if you are a fan of kung fu flicks it is worth it.

Diary - A Hangover from Bromances

After being awake during 48 hours working and still having to come to my night shift I was looking for something really simple to keep me awake.

Searching through some online film stream sites I found the latest Hangover movie to watch and decided to catch up the series after being obligated to watch the 1st movie with my friends.

After watching Hangover II and Hangover III I can't stop thinking about what I been studying at Nuria's Bou classes on the Imaginary of Classical cinema and how in contemporary cinema to show the same emotions it becomes necessary to elaborate complicated schemes.

These bromances are an updated version of the men club movies from the golden age (think westerns or filmes like "Only Angels Have Wings"). The difference is that now it can't be innocent, for a couple of friends to bond it becomes necessary a very intricate and manly reason that relates them to each other.

Dammi i Colori - Seeds for a discussion about color, urban landscape and dictatorship

Tower color
Comparison of Let's Colour (right) with Dammi i Colori (left)

Dammi i Colori

Anri Sala

The collective appropriation of the urban landscape through the overuse of color not as a detail, but as the organs of a body. Chaos amidst a political view and the real influence of colors in common day life.

Let's Colour

Dulux Commercial

The private funding coloring of collective life as a benefit for social environment.

The 5th Wall

One of the remarkable notes that I took on a recent class was from the movie Shirin, from Kiarostami.

The idea of the film is that we as spectators understand the film through the eyes of the viewers of the movie theater. Our whole perception of film is filtered by the reflection of the film upon another viewer as ourselve.



Recently I found something that remembered me of this although it shows clearly the ironism and misses the whole magicality that we find in Kiarostami.



The Unbearable Lightness of Seeing

Searching for references on experimental cinema for my MA thesis I found this precious short film, although it is quite famous in film studies I still didn't see it. Anyways, I was blown away by how the camera works to show the presence of lightness in this movie.