SymbioticA

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Previous seminars

Find out what we have presented in our previous seminars:

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Photovoice: Giving Voice to Refugee Settlement

Date: 10 June 2016
Time: 3:00pm
Location: SymbioticA
Speaker: Associate Professor Farida Fozdar, The University of Western Australia

Refugees are an over researched population. Often research into refugee issues silences the very voices it is attempting to assist.  This paper shares the results of a research project that sought to give voice to refugee participants through allowing them to represent their own settlement experiences through the taking photographs. It considers the pros and cons of the method and some surprising effects.

Farida Fozdar is Associate Professor in Anthropology and Sociology, at The University of Western Australia. Her research focuses on race relations and migrant settlement, racism, citizenship, nationalism and postnationalism, and issues to do with refugees and asylum seekers. She has published widely including 3 books, 15 book chapters and more than 45 journal articles, as well as authoring reports to government and research consultancies. 


On Being a Microbioartist: Art-making in a Microbiology Laboratory

Date: 24 June 2016
Time: 3:00pm
Location: SymbioticA
Speaker: Tarsh Bates

I discuss the challenging nature of making art with microbial pathogens in an era of global epidemics and fears of bioterrorism and present a series of artworks that explore the physical, emotional and political relationships between humans and Candida albicans (an opportunistic fungal pathogen of humans). These relationships span immunology and epidemiology, sexuality (both human and microbial), public health and body discipline, institutional frameworks and the biopolitical implications of the recent revolution in our understanding of the human body as being at least half non-human. In addition to the challenges of working with pathogens, the rapid simplification of genetic engineering technologies (eg the Bento Lab, “an easy-to-use, laptop-sized DNA analysis laboratory”) and increasing commodification of human microbes (eg fecal transplantation) raises complex questions about whether these organisms have ethical standing: are they living or merely machines? I ask the audience to consider the perspective of the microbe, of the pathogen, as a creature that is more-than-human, through a series of artworks developed in a microbiological laboratory.

Tarsh Bates completed a Bachelor of Science with Honours from Murdoch University in 2000 and studied contemporary art at Edith Cowan University between 2003 and 2005. In 2012, she became Master Bates* after living in a public art gallery for 3 months with eight other scientific model organisms, exploring the aesthetics of care and alterity. She has worked variously as a pizza delivery driver, a fruit and vegetable stacker, a toilet paper packer, a researcher in compost science and waste management, a honeybee ejaculator, an art gallery invigilator, a raspberry picker, a lecturer/tutor in art/science, art history, gender & technology, and counter realism, an editor, a bookkeeper, a car detailer, and a life drawing model. Tarsh is currently a PhD candidate at SymbioticA, The University of Western Australia, where her research is concerned with the aesthetics of interspecies relationships and the human as a multispecies ecology. She is particularly enamoured with Candida albicans.