Som at læse blindskrift med en meget lille finger. Naturvidenskabelige repræsentationer og kunstneriske fortolkninger heraf

  • Pernille Leth-Espensen


As if Reading Braille with a Very Tiny Finger

The subject of this article is image technologies in the natural sciences, and artists that interpret these technologies with their artworks. The philosopher of technology Don Ihde argues that since a major part of the natural sciences is concerned with phenomena that are small, invisible, out in space, inside a body, etc, almost all science today is technologically mediated. According to Ihde, interpretation plays a substantial role in science, as scientific data are mediated by the use of technologies. Ihde thus wants to expand the concept of hermeneutics so as to include the natural sciences. He considers the natural sciences to be hermeneutic, as the instruments used in science always already interpret the phenomena they measure. The philosopher of technology Peter-Paul Verbeek and the sociologists of science Bruno Latour and Steve Woolgar also stress the technological mediation in science. The first part of the article thus discusses a number of scientific imaging technologies in the light of the theories of Don Ihde, Peter-Paul Verbeek, and Bruno Latour and Steve Woolgar. The second part discusses artworks that interpret scientific representations. In the last 20 years, an increasing number of artists have created artworks with technologies from the natural sciences. Among these, a range of artists work with processes of representation in the natural sciences. In the article it is argued that these artists interpret scientific imaging technologies by representing phenomena in ways that explore the processes of representation.