2018 Seminars

Send Lawyers, Guns and Money1: Is Organised Crime (Yazuka) the Reason Japan Is the Safest Country in the World? 

Date: 13 April 2018
Time: 3:00pm
Location: SymbioticA
Speaker: Kent Anderson, Professor of Law and Japanese Studies, The University of Western Australia

Japan is the safest country in the world (when measured by violent crime rates) and has the greatest success with managing crime (when measured by rates of recidivism).  How has it achieved this? 

This discussion will rely on the four paradigms of Japanese law (ie, Culturalism, Structuralism, Managerialism, and Rationalism) to try to resolve the question, paying particular attention to the role of Japanese organised crime (yakuza) within the seeming enigma of Japanese criminal justice. I conclude with the normative questions of whether the negative associations of organised crimes can be justify by associated positives, and whether the yakuza is a culturally unique structure that leaves no lessons for how other countries might seek to regulate organised crime and reproduce the safe society of Japan.

Professor Kent Anderson is an international lawyer who specialises in comparing Asian legal systems. He joined the University as Deputy Vice Chancellor (Community & Engagement) in 2014. He has an eclectic background, having completed tertiary studies in US, Japan, and the UK in Law, Politics, Economics and Asian Studies. He also worked as a marketing manager with a US regional airline in Alaska and as a commercial lawyer in Hawaii. Before joining UWA, Kent was Pro Vice Chancellor (International) at University of Adelaide and before that Dean of the then Faculty of Asian Studies at the Australian National University. He started his academic career as associate professor at Hokkaido University Law School in Japan. Kent is on the National Library of Australia Council, Ministerial Council for International Education, New Colombo Plan Advisory Board, Board of Canberra Grammar School, and a variety of academic and community boards including President of The Asian Studies Association of Australia. 

[1] Warren Zevon, ‘Lawyers, Guns and Money’, Excitable Boy (1978). 

Prelude to the Teratoma: Before They Grow Teeth and Hair

Date: 6 April 2018
Time: 3:00pm
Location: SymbioticA
Speaker: Lyndsey Walsh

The teratoma is a monstrous figure amassed in the terrifying totality of its bodily forms. It is commonly characterized as a disfigurement of tissue arising in the formation of of tumor embedded with teeth and hair. For Lyndsey Walsh, the teratoma is a monster speaking to a greater discussion about the cellular body and its environment.

As part of her Masters of Biological Arts, Lyndsey Walsh invites you to join her for a discussion about her upcoming exhibition entitled “Return of the Teratoma: Back with More Teeth and Hair,” opening 4th May at the Moore Building in Fremantle. Her works enact to deconstruct ideas about monstrous form, the in vitro “body,” and the complex relationship between making and knowledge.

Lyndsey Walsh is an American artist and researcher. Her fascination with modes of making has guided her work through various disciplines and mediums. Lyndsey views modes of making as one of the main sources of creating knowledge about the world around us. Her practice involves not only experimenting with different materials as a way to investigate different types of knowledge systems, but also exploration of their accompanying ideologies and influential narratives.

What is Creativity and How do We Develop it in an Educational Setting?

Date: 16 March 2018
Time: 3:00pm
Location: SymbioticA
Speaker: Alana Lewis

In 2008, the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians, states that successful learners are ‘’creative, innovative and resourceful and are able to solve problems in ways that draw upon a range of learning areas and disciplines’’. Through polymathic principles, is it possible that we can re-develop old school educational pedagogy to challenge traditional methods of classroom teaching to incorporate transdisciplinary practice for 21st century learners? Is it time to create a new educational “ism” - Polymathicism.

As an artist, Alana Lewis is a jack of all trades, she uses an eclectic mix of conceptual and material practices. As an educator she is interested in developing creativity through transdisciplinary practice in secondary education. In 2017 she was awarded the NSW Premier’s Copyright Agency Creativity across the Curriculum Scholarship to research transdisciplinary practice through Science and Art.

The Unsettling Eros of Contact Zones: Queering evolution in the CandidaHomo ecology

Date: 9 March 2018
Time: 3:00pm
Location: SymbioticA
Speaker: Tarsh Bates

I explore the physical, emotional and political relationships between humans and Candida albicans (an opportunistic fungal pathogen of humans). These relationships span immunology and ecology, sexuality (both human and microbial) and evolutionary biology, public health and body discipline, institutional frameworks and kinship. I examine the microbiopolitical implications of the recent revolution in our understanding of the human body as being at least half non-human. I combine scientific experimentation, art–making, evolutionary ecology and queer theory to posit the human body as a queer ecology and explore the sexuality, performativity and community of C. albicans within this ecology. This talk gives an overview of my previous practice-led research with the CandidaHomo ecology and introduces work currently in development. I ask the audience to consider the human body from the perspective of the microbe and as a complex, dynamic and sensual habitat.

Tarsh Bates is an artist/researcher interested in the aesthetics of interspecies relationships and the human as a queer ecology. She recently submitted her PhD in Biological Art and is currently a research associate at SymbioticA, UWA and The Seed Box, Linköping University. 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, posthumanism, counter realism and popular culture, an editor, a bookkeeper, a car detailer, and a life drawing model. She is particularly enamoured with Candida albicans.

Preparing for Beyond the Cradle

Date: 2 March 2018
Time: 3:00pm
Location: SymbioticA
Speaker: Dr. Sarah Jane Pell 

Pell presents her artistic role in Performing Astronautics across the three phases of spaceflight as: the Architect (building new forms of Absolute Space), the Astronaut (embodying all of Representational Space), and the Avatar (live(d) art of Spaces of Representation). By framing her experimental and emerging practice as nodes of transfer and transformation, she explores movement in the relative qualities of space and spatiality over spaceflight time. By aligning her work to the gravity-shift arc of spaceflight, the artist hopes to prepare an embodied toolkit for audiences to experience new phenomena including the moment of earthly release, the orbital perspective or overview effect, and space-earth adaptation and residual bodily memory as described by many astronauts. For this, she suggests we design for a body of water.

Dr. Sarah Jane Pell’s practice intersects performing arts, interactivity design, and underwater diving – with parallel interests in human spaceflight and habitat technologies. Interested placing the body in real and imagined spaces for encountering “new frontier worlds”, Pell plays with elements of speculative fiction, live-lab style stunt and daring to explore the visceral and bodily fascination in high-risk exploration. An Undersea Simulation Astronaut to Project Moonwalk EU, Astronaut Candidate Project PoSSUM US, and Mars Desert Research Station MDRS Crew 188, she is carving out new opportunities for the artist-astronaut. Her Edith Cowan University PhD proposing ‘Aquabatics as new works of live art’ received Best PhD Art & Science, MIT LABS. She has logged over 500 commercial dives in zero visibility imagining an artist-in-space experience, with spin-off projects connecting to NASA, JAXA, ESA and the EU Commission. She has joined residencies and workshops including events hosted by SymbioticA: the art & science laboratory, the Arts Catalyst, Live Art Surgery, UK, International Space University, Singularity University and European Space Agency Topical Team Arts & Science (CoChair 2011-2014). Her work is exhibited, performed and published widely. Notable venues include Ars Electronica, Robotronica, CHI, MOMA, BEAP, NRLA, ISEA, NGV, PICA, PIAF, AIAF, MIAF, TNAM, & ESTEC. Dr. Pell is a TED Fellow, Gifted Citizen, and an Australia Council Fellow.