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Date: 31 March 2016
Speaker: Ghislaine Platell
There are approximately 3,000 termite species worldwide, efficiently digesting plant matter (primarily cellulose) in various forms ̶ from wood, to grass to soil. They use a combination of the enzymes they produce and that of thousands of microorganisms in their gut. First generation bioethanol technologies convert sugar or starch (i.e. food) into fuel. Could termite gut bacteria hold the key to cost efficient and ethically sound biofuel production?
Ghislaine Platell is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Integrative Bee Research (CIBER) and the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology (PEB) at UWA. She studies the diversity of the gut bacteria of Western Australian termite species. She was selected for the inaugural round of the Homeward Bound program, a global leadership and strategy initiative for women in science, culminating in a three week voyage to Antarctica.
Ghislaine will put her work on termite gut bacteria in the wider context of renewable energy, ending on how it led to her visit of the only termite-free continent.
Date: 28 March 2017
Speaker: Kieron Broadhurst
Kieron Broadhurst is a artist based in Perth. His work investigates the speculative potential of fiction within contemporary art practice. After completing a BFA(Hons) from Curtin University he was selected to participate in Hatched at PICA. He has since exhibited regularly, including at Firstdraft, PSAS, Moana, Success, FELTspace and Free Range. Broadhurst is currently undertaking a Doctorate of Philosophy (Art) at Curtin University, where he also works as a tutor.
Broadhurst's current research focusses on how concepts from science fiction (SF) might be appropriated into contemporary art practice. This research has been practice led, with concerns that contemporary art shares with SF being addressed through the deployment of these appropriated SF concepts. This presentation will examine the science fiction concept of cognitive estrangement, and how he utilised it within his exhibition The Island at Moana Project Space (2016), to produce a work that speculates on the role utopian thought plays in relation to gallery space and the art objects within it.