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Slippery mutants perform and wink at maternal insurrections: Patricia Piccinini's monstrous cute


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Goriss-Hunter, A 2004 , 'Slippery mutants perform and wink at maternal insurrections: Patricia Piccinini's monstrous cute' , Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, vol. 18, no. 4 , pp. 541-553 , doi: 10.1080/1030431042000297653.

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This paper focuses upon the work of internationally renowned Australian artist Patricia Piccinini in order to explore the hypertexted streams of meanings that intertwine narratives of maternal bodies and technologies that appear in her artwork. Focusing on the installations, The Young Family, Still Life With Stem Cells, and Truck Babies, I consider how flows of maternity and technology thread through Piccinini’s creatures, all of which feature monstrosity. My critique develops an interpretation drawing on feminist theories about maternity and technology as well as Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari’s notion of “becoming”. I identify one particular response to Piccinini’s work, which I call “monstrous cute”, and I consider the implications and politics of this reading practice. Throughout the paper I draw upon David Bell’s concept of the hypertextual moment derived from his work concerning the constantly expanding field of cyberculture studies. This moment refuses to concentrate on a single fixed focus. Instead, in the hypertextual moment, readings offer more than one, sometimes contradictory perspective. The notion of the hypertextual moment is useful to my argument as it enables identification and description of the flickering intersections of technologies and maternity that are inspired by Piccinini’s work.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Goriss-Hunter, A
Keywords: Monstrous cute, maternity, technology, Patricia Piccinini, The Young Family, Truck Babies, Still Life with Stem Cells,David Bell, hypertextual moment, Deleuze and Guattari, becoming
Journal or Publication Title: Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies
DOI / ID Number: 10.1080/1030431042000297653
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