Sound Work and Visionary Prosthetics: Artistic Experiments in Raoul Hausmann


The oeuvre of Raoul Hausmann, Berlin’s ‘Dadasoph,’ provides a rich case of an artistic experimentalism revolving around prosthetic devices. Highly critical of the contemporary technosciences and their way of fixing maimed bodies by means of prosthesis, Hausmann did not disregard prosthetic technologies in general, quite the contrary, he had larger aims with them in mind. He envisioned the fusion of art and technology as a decisive step in the shaping of ‘new man,’ the human of the future, liberated from the constraints of nature and tradition. Several of his innovative art forms like the photomontage or his typographic arrangements focus on this double aim of breaking away from tradition and transgressing the biological boundaries of the body. Hausmann’s vision of re-engineered human bodies perceiving ‘nature’ in hitherto unknown ways may have lost much of its appeal, but his art opened up new ways of exploring technoscientific epistemologies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPapers of Surrealism
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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