A Capsule Aesthetic: Feminist Materialisms in New Media Art

In A Capsule Aesthetic, Kate Mondloch examines how new media installation art intervenes in the fields of technoscience and new materialism, showing how three diverse artists—Pipilotti Rist, Patricia Piccinini, and Mariko Mori—contribute to the urgent conversation about everyday technology and the ways it constructs our bodies.

A Capsule Aesthetic establishes the unique insights that feminist theory offers to new media art and new materialisms, offering a fuller picture of human–nonhuman relations. In-depth readings of works by Rist, Piccinini, and Mori explore such questions as the role of the contemporary art museum in our experience of media art, how the human is conceived of by biotechnologies, and how installation art can complicate and enrich contemporary science’s understanding of the brain. With vivid, firsthand descriptions of the artworks, Mondloch takes the reader inside immersive installation pieces, showing how they allow us to inhabit challenging theoretical concepts and nonanthropomorphic perspectives.

Striving to think beyond the anthropocentric and fully consider the material world, A Capsule Aesthetic brings new approaches to questions surrounding our technology-saturated culture and its proliferation of human-to-nonhuman interfaces.

Kate Mondloch is professor of contemporary art and head of the Department of the History of Art and Architecture at the University of Oregon. She is author of Screens: Viewing Media Installation Art (Minnesota, 2010).