Intra-Active Sense-Making. Towards a Performative Understanding of Biomedical Imaging


  • Nicole Miglio Università degli Studi di Milano
  • Giulio Galimberti Università degli Studi di Milano



Intra-action, Performativity, Biomedical Imaging, Visualization, Sense-making


Our paper is situated within the broader exploration of the epistemic and aesthetic potential of biomedical imaging technologies on the human lived experience. Intra-Active Sense-Making is guided by the grounding thesis that imaging technology ought to be understood as a set of material, rhetorical and performative processes, and as a way to challenge the ocularcentric presuppositions. By drawing on the new materialistic theses that phenomena are not pre-existent to intra-action, and that agency should be understood as distributed on human, animal, objectual, and ‘physical’ levels, we offer a performative understanding of biomedical imaging operations complementary to the reflective paradigm. Biomedical imaging may be understood through our idea of intra-active sense-making; while much literature states that medical imaging establishes a view of the self as quantified, atomized, and governable, we argue that the co-configuration of human senses and digital sensors is a source of new sense-making capabilities.

Author Biographies

Nicole Miglio, Università degli Studi di Milano

Nicole Miglio is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Philosophy Department of the State University of Milan, where she is working on a project on biomedical visualization, imagination, and embodiment. She obtained a Ph.D. in Feminist Phenomenology (San Raffaele University), and then held a postdoctoral position at the University of Haifa. Dr. Miglio’s main research areas are contemporary aesthetics, critical phenomenology, and gender studies. She published peer-reviewed articles and edited special issues for various national and international journals (e.g., Puncta, The Journal of Somaesthetics, Chiasmi). Her first monograph Gestational Phenomenology. The Radical Intercorporeality of Pregnancy is forthcoming for Lexington Books.

Giulio Galimberti, Università degli Studi di Milano

Giulio Galimberti is a PhD student in Philosophy at the State University of Milan working on the project Digital Devices and “in Vivo” Imaging. He graduated in Philosophical Sciences from the University of Milan with a thesis on synesthesia in contemporary art and digital technologies. He published peer-reviewed articles in national journals and he participated in peer-reviewed conference of Society for Phenomenology and Media (SPM2022). His current research focuses on the aesthetic and performative experience in relation to imaging devices.




How to Cite

Miglio, N., & Galimberti, G. (2023). Intra-Active Sense-Making. Towards a Performative Understanding of Biomedical Imaging. Cinéma & Cie. Film and Media Studies Journal, 22(39), 69–82.