Ana Rajcevic: Chimera: the Animal, the Machine, and the Almost Human
Defensio von Ana Rajcevic, Doktoratsprogramm Künstlerische Forschung (PhD in Art)
The research “Chimera: the Animal, the Machine, and the Almost Human” explores the ontological instability of human bodies and the mutable nature of our experience. Representing a dynamic convergence of artistic and scientific inquiry, it questions how culture and technology have altered our understanding of being human across different temporal landscapes. Specifically, the investigation delves into the enduring concept of Chimera, a creature central to Rajcevic’s enquiry, which symbolizes a fusion of entities and practices, born from the amalgamation of machine, animal, and human, as well as the blend of artistic, scientific, and cultural endeavors. In conjunction with Rajcevic’s artistic practice, which creates Chimera entities by altering and extending the body through non-anthropomorphic artifacts or ‘chimeric embodiments’, the study explores diverse scenarios of possibilities, consequences, and experiences of mental and somatic boundaries and mutations. It particularly investigates the role of animal–human imaginings as a catalyst for reconfiguring discourses around technological advancement and as a possible driver for redesigning socio-political entities that can explore and imagine futures. Through a dialog between historical and contemporary practices of hybridity and human augmentation, the research interweaves stories of scientific advance in robotics, prosthetics and stem-cell implantations, with the imaginative realms of mythology, history, art, and literature.
Including Rajcevic’s own Chimera artworks spanning the last 13 years, the exhibition will present two most recent Chimera artworks: Mechanical Bloom and The cell.
17 – 19 January 2024, 13:00 – 16:00h
Zentrum Fokus Forschung
Rustenschacherallee 2-4, 1020 Wien
22 January 2024, 15:00h
Supervisor: Virgil Widrich
Examination committee members: Margarete Jahrmann, Lara Torres, Sven Jonke, Jurij Krpan, Virgil Widrich