Shannon Bell

Further information

Country of origin



Bell has been producing work such as images, films, written texts, live performances, and workshops on the female phallus and female ejaculation since 1989.


Shannon Bell (born 5 July 1955) is a fast feminist immersion philosopher who lives and writes philosophy in action. Her books include: Fast Feminism (Autonomedia, 2010) []; Reading, Writing and Rewriting the Prostitute Body (Indiana University Press 1994 Japanesetrans. Seikyusha 2001) Whore Carnival (Autonomedia 1995 Japanesetrans. Seikyusha 2000); Bad Attitude/s on Trial coauthored with Brenda Cossman, Lise Gotell and Becki Ross (University of Toronto Press 1997); New Socialisms eds. Robert Albritton, Shannon Bell, John R. Bell and Richard Westra (Routledge 2004).

More recently Bell has been researching extremes in art – particularly bio and hybrid art. Bell is currently working on shooting theory –– videoing-imagining philosophical concepts such as Heidegger’s stillness, Husserl’s epoché, Batiallian waste, Weil’s attention, Deleuzian deterritorialization, Virilio’s vision machine and accident.

Bell is an associate professor in York University’s Political Science department, Toronto, Canada. She teaches modern and postcontemporary theory, cyberpolitics, aesthetics and politics, violent philosophy and fast feminism.

Research project

Two Phalluses and Big Toe

Shannon Bell’s residency at SymbioticA was to construct and grow tissue engineered male and female phalluses as living art objects that show the internal and external female erection (the external clitoris, the internal urethral sponge, or what has been popularized as the g-spot) as a connective integrated whole comparable in size and stature to the male sex organ.

Bell also grew a big toe as part of the project.

Bell's project, titled 'Two Phalluses and Big Toe,' in addition to displaying the structural similarity of the male and female sex organs, functions as an addendum to the philosophers Jacques Lacan and Georges Bataille’s writings on the phallus and big toe. Once in the bioreactor, the three objects merged as a neo-sex organ.


Whilst on sabbatical from York University, Canada, Bell's three month residency in 2004 and 2005 was funded through various funding grants, including the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

Period of research