This book demonstrates how and why vitalism—the idea that life cannot be explained by the principles of mechanism—matters now. Vitalism resists closure and reductionism in the life sciences while simultaneously addressing the object of life itself. The aim of this collection is to consider the questions that vitalism makes it possible to ask: questions about the role and status of life across the sciences, social sciences, and humanities and questions about contingency, indeterminacy, relationality and change. All have special importance now, as the concepts of complexity, artificial life and artificial intelligence, information theory, and cybernetics become increasingly significant in more and more fields of activity.

‘Contemplating a Self-Portrait as a Pharmacist’: A Trade Mark Style of Doing Art and Science

‘Contemplating a Self-Portrait as a Pharmacist’: A Trade Mark Style of Doing Art and Science

‘Contemplating a self-portrait as a pharmacist’: A trade mark style of doing art and science

‘Becoming a brand name is an important part of life’, says Mr Hirst. ‘It's the world we live in.’ (The Economist, 10 February 2001)


In this statement, the artist Damien Hirst proclaims the importance of being a brand name, an identity that has also been imputed to young British artists (yBas or NBA1), whose acronymic titles are sometimes taken as an aspiration to global corporatism:

Britain is developing macro-brands – whole industries where the word ‘British’ raises the value of the product. British film, British fashion, British art and British architecture are more fashionable than ever. Damien Hirst ...

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