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Shannon Bell

Research 2004-13

With receipt of the SSHRC Standard Research Grant (2004-07) for Fast Bodies and Cyber Humans, I began to study first-hand the new so-called extremes in art: tissue engineered bioart and robotic art.

As part of my commitment to an empirically informed aesthetic theory, in 2005 I was artist-in-residence at Symbiotica, Department of Anatomy and Human Biology, University of Western Australia, Perth. At Symbiotica I worked in the lab with the pioneering artists in the field of tissue-engineered art, Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr.  I showed the remains and images of my tissue-engineered artwork in two international art exhibitions: ‘New Species,’ Breaks 2.3, Ljubljana, Slovenia (2005) and  ‘Repositioning the Coordinates,’ Columbus, Ohio (2007).


My participant study of bioart and bio-roboart, the artist residency I did with Symbiotica and my time as Thinker-in-Residence with the Film Department in the School of Communications and Contemporary Arts at Edith Cowan University in Perth, gave me the necessary skills to do theory in a new way, this is, to image theoretical concepts, or what I have come to call Shooting Theory.

Shannon Bell listening

Shooting Theory (2007-13) brings together digital video technology and print textual philosophy/theory through imaging philosophical/theoretical concepts. The idea is to transpose Martin Heidegger’s claim regarding technology, ‘that you can’t think technology technologically,’ to the praxis of political thought. The overarching argument is that you can’t think political theory simply within language. Heidegger contended that the place from which to think technology is art. I contend that the sites in which to think, produce and enliven written theoretical textual concepts are visual images and sound-scapes that can be brought forth by digital video technology. The intended end product is a scalar and print book.

To date I have produced twelve image texts (print and film):

2007 Martin Heidegger – Dynamic Stillness, 40 days and nights of sunrise and sunset, Judean Desert

2008 Edmund Husserl – Epoché Reflections and Blind Residuum Caves, Judean Desert, Negev, Golan, and Galilee  

2009 George Bataille and Simone Weil – Beautiful Waste: Dead Sea Sinkholes, Dead Sea,

2009 Paul Virilio – ‘Camel Vision Machine’ (Wadi Ram- Jordian Desert)

2010 Gilles Deleuze – Shooting the Blur: the Syrian state, the Israeli state, the British state, the Jordanian state, Golan, North shore of the Dead Sea, Abu Dis, Jerusalem, Gilo/ Beit Jala

2011 Jacques Lacan and Paul Virilio-‘Imaging Time and the Real’

2012 Emmanuel Levinas – Shooting the Elemental, Aleyska and Seward Highways, Girdwood, Whittier and Prince William Sound\ Lake George Valley, Lake George Glacier,Colony Glacier, Whiteout Glacier and Surprise Glacier, Alaska   Text:

2012 Walter Benjamin – Flâneuring Ancient Arcade Ruins, Israel/Palestine.

2013 Martin Heidegger - Flashes of Perception - Pangnirtung, Cumberland Sound, Saniru in Baffin Island, Eastern Arctic

2013 Samuel Mallin – ‘Shooting Sinuousity’, Ancient Minoan lines - Gournia, Knosos, Malia, Phaestos in Crete Full Text:The%20Sinuous%20Turn

External Research Funding 2013-20

Co-investigator, Canadian Consortium on Performance and Politics in the Americas, SSHRC Partnership Grant 2013-20 ($2,500, 000) received March 2013. The Principal Investigator is Dr. Peter Kulchyski, University of Manitoba. Co-investigators include fifteen scholars from Canadian research centers and universities and one American scholar from the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics.



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