• Posthuman Art Network

Yvonne Jones

Born in North Wales. UK, Yvonne Jones has been a lifelong student, training as a teacher of Math and Biology, including studying Sociology and Psychology. Art ‘happened’ to her as she began expressing emotions, desires, ideas in a naïve manner. Attending Liverpool Art College she gained a BA in fine art practice, from Winchester School of Art an MA with distinction, going on to research notions of the posthuman through art practice, gaining a PhD from WSA, part of UoS. She continues her focus on the posthuman and has shown work extensively with pieces in collections in UK, Germany, and USA. Her home is now in the New Forest, UK




One perspective of Posthumanism I consider myself to be an emerging posthuman (feminist). Emerging, because every new line of thinking or understanding that is absorbed alters my state. Posthuman because I recognise all the old meanings of human, that allowed such questions as are women human, to be asked; the notion of us becoming immortal through taking “me” and having it transferred into a new created body, or that the body is obsolete (Hans Moravec and Stelarc) causes me concern, while appreciating the pluses to technical development that prolongs our lives; the hope that humans will choose death of their own free will (Katherine Hayles) seems far-fetched, while the idea of the posthuman subject is intriguing, maybe bringing about a global acceptance and understanding of ourselves and our planet through distributed cognition. (Feminist) in its brackets, because while true post humanism will hold equality for all within it, the case remains that women still struggle to be accepted as equal, and it would seem, that currently, there is a need for me to exist as an ongoing feminist. I am an artist who uses art to express my experiences of this living, corporeal body, within the inner mechanics described above, a visual philosopher, exploring issues of the posthuman. Sitting between a future of robotic immortal humans and the development and existence of the posthuman subject, both with inherent issues, I am currently exploring my experiences and reactions of this body and this mind, this existence of being. Artists are not illustrators of philosophy they are adventurers, creating reactions through their work and the resonances that prompt thoughts and feelings to viewers ready to experience them.

The following from my thesis helps to position me: from Peeling the Body https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/165501/ Abstract This practice based research focuses on events of the body, using the participating observer- researcher's experiences of medical events undertaken by her within a western medical environment to investigate her living existence as a 'unit', an 'experiencing corporeal body'. The project addresses a sharp awareness of body experienced by the researcher. It investigates this body in terms of the literal posthuman associated with Moravec, alongside the theoretical posthuman associated with Hayles where the 'defining characteristics involve the construction of subjectivity'. Using action research as the methodology and video installation as practice the project considers the position of the researcher in relationship to the medics, a situation of subject / object. With the female participating researcher as a given it becomes relevant to reference ideas from the ideals of feminism and to consider the question 'are women human?' The project produces evidence of change in the relationship of subject / object specific to this research when the researcher actively engages with attributes of the posthuman and it demonstrates how an altered emerging subject resulted from this engagement. There is a movement for the researcher from a liberal humanist subject to an emerging posthuman subject, an empowering and emancipating change. Conclusion … studio process pushes fine art practice further, as it operates to draw together internal and external evidence of the medical experience. This juncture is closely investigated and reveals how ideas of the posthuman are situated in the context of the participating- researcher's experience of her medical repairs in the western medical tradition. …. It contributes by raising awareness of the potential futures of living Homo sapiens. …. ….From the project comes the knowledge that examining, understanding, and applying some elements of the notion of the posthuman creates changes in position for the researcher; that elements of the notions of the posthuman can be productively used as tools of empowerment. … ….The project offers a new perspective on how the boundary of fine art can be extended to contribute to theories of the posthuman, suggesting an empowered subject”… Since this work I have continued to research my own experiences and with further medical interventions including breast cancer. This experience gave rise to the notion that the corporeal being can ‘know’ about itself before the conscious mind. I am currently developing built canvases as they present themselves to me, searching out the distributed cognition available to me. My proposal is to continue to develop new visual works, siting them alongside notions of the posthuman, spring boarding discussions of our future, without which we could fall unconsciously into a non-human future.


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