Dehlia Hannah

Title | Organization: 
Job Candidate | Ph.D. in Philosophy
Areas of Specialization: 

Philosophy of Science, Aesthetic Theory and Philosophy of Art

Areas of Competence: 

Kant, Feminist Philosophy, Queer Theory, Science Studies


Classics of Western Epistemology, Ethical and Political Thought 


Dissertation:  Performative Experiments: Scientific Method as Aesthetic Form in Contemporary Art

My dissertation examines the scientific experiment as a formal practice in contemporary visual and performance art. Bringing together work in the history and philosophy of science and aesthetic theory, I show how artworks embody and interrogate the epistemological structures through which knowledge is generated in scientific experiments. These works, which I call performative experiments, reveal aesthetic dimensions of experimentation whose epistemic significance in turn demands analysis. At the same time, they disclose how the aesthetics of natural processes and entities are mediated by standards and techniques of empirical enquiry of the sciences. I examine the use of molecular genetic techniques as a medium of portraiture and in the emergent genre of self-experimentation, as well as the deployment of climatic models in environmental art. I argue that, in their formal self-reflexivity and media-specificity, performative experiments form an archive of novel exemplars against which to compare and revise philosophical models of scientific experiment.