Quite Frankly

Quite Frankly: It's a Monster Conference
University Club of Western Australia
17-19 October 2018

Buy Registrations and Day Passes: HERE

$485 FULL





2018 marks 200 years since the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus. Shelley’s “Creature” is usually conceived as a human creation, the stitched-together, tragic victim of scientific and technological experimentation. We rupture these stitches, revealing that the Creature is more than the sum of its parts. SymbioticA and Somatechnics join forces to present Quite Frankly: It’s a Monster Conference. We invite you to explore the dynamic ecosystems evolving within and from the gaps between the Creature’s fragments.

Life has become a raw material for re-assembling organisms, tools and consumer products. We are firmly entrenched in a “[bio]informatics of efficiency,” where both biology and technology are subjected to control, optimisation, computation and surveillance at ever decreasing and increasing scales. In light of current ecological and bio-political devastation, we induce extinction.

Keep calm and contaminate. There is hope, there is resistance; the Creature offers the potential to escape control and fight back.

Quite Frankly invites explorations that (re)form kinships and provide niches of refuge and asylum for explorations at the limits of precarity. We encourage liberations of Frankenstein’s Creature from its anthropocentric singularity to an intra-active entanglement; from the living-dead to the compost-able. We revel in re-craftings of biotechnical industrialisations and commodifications and managerial aesthetics. As Karen Barad reminds us, “the political potential does not stop with regeneration, for there are other wild dimensions within and without that rage with possibilities.”

Join us to unpick the Creature’s stitches and liberate its companion species.

Keynote Speakers:

• Karen Barad Ph.D., Theoretical Particle Physics, SUNY Stony Brook

Karen Barad is Professor of Feminist Studies, Philosophy, and History of Consciousness at the University of California at Santa Cruz. Barad's Ph.D. is in theoretical particle physics and quantum field theory. Barad held a tenured appointment in a physics department before moving into more interdisciplinary spaces. Barad is the author of Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning (Duke University Press, 2007) and numerous articles in the fields of physics, philosophy, science studies, poststructuralist theory, and feminist theory. Barad's research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Hughes Foundation, the Irvine Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Barad is the Co-Director of the Science & Justice Graduate Training Program at UCSC. Barad received an honorary doctorate from Gothenburg University in 2016, and is on the faculty of the European Graduate School.
See also:  and

• Ambelin Kwaymullina

Ambelin Kwaymullina is an Aboriginal law academic, illustrator and speculative fiction writer. Her dystopian Young Adult series, The Tribe, is a work of Indigenous Futurisms, a form of storytelling whereby Indigenous creators use the speculative fiction genre to challenge colonialism and imagine Indigenous futures. Ambelin’s academic and creative work is grounded in her standpoint as a Palyku woman, and as such, she understands reality to be holistic, non-linear and animate in nature. Ambelin works across the academic, business and literary sectors to explore the means by which non-Indigenous peoples can ethically engage with Indigenous peoples so as to create the as-yet unrealised possibility of a just future.

• Fiona Wood

Winthrop Professor Fiona Wood is a Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon specialising in the field of burn care, trauma and scar reconstruction. Wood is the Director of the WA Burns Service of Western Australia and a Consultant Plastic Surgeon at Princess Margaret Hospital and Fiona Stanley Hospital. Her research through the Burn Injury Research Unit UWA and the Fiona Wood Foundation is focused on scarless healing. In bringing basic science to the bedside the aim is to build a unique capacity to facilitate direct research collaborations between researchers and practitioners across basic science, population health, clinical care and clinical outcomes. Fiona Wood has also been involved in a number of education and disaster response programmes associated with her interest in burns and has presented and published a variety of papers over the years. Fiona and Marie Stoner, co-founders of Clinical Cell Culture,  now Avitamedical, won the 2005 Clunies Ross Award for their contributions to Medical Science in Australia. Wood received the honour of being named Australian of the Year in 2005.

• Kira O’Reilly

Kira O’Reilly is an artist currently based in Helsinki where she leads a pilot masters programme in in Ecology and Contemporary Performance at the Theatre Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki. Her practice, both willfully interdisciplinary and entirely undisciplined, stems from a visual art background; it employs performance, drawing, makings, biotechnical practices and writing with which to consider speculative reconfigurations around The Body. But she is no longer sure if she even does that anymore. She writes, teaches, mentors and collaborates with humans of various kinds, technologies and non-humans of numerous divergences including mosses, spiders, the sun, pigs, cell cultures, horses, micro-organisms, bicycles, rivers, landscapes, tundras, rocks, trees, shoes, food, books, air, lichen, green glitter, moon and ravens.

Since graduating from the University of Wales Institute Cardiff in 1998 her work has been exhibited widely throughout the UK, Europe, Australia, China and Mexico. She has presented at conferences and symposia on both live art and science, art and technology interfaces. She has been a visiting lecturer in the UK, Australia and U.S.A in visual art, drama and dance. A forthcoming monograph on her practice, Kira O’Reilly: Untitled Bodies will be published winter 2017 in the Intellect Live Series by Live Art Development Agency and Intellect Books.  

Conference Venue

The conference will be held at The University Club of Western Australia. The University Club has been custom designed to provide a first-class conference and event venue just 8 minutes’ drive from Perth CBD.

The University Club of Western Australia
The University of Western Australia
Hackett Entrance #1, Hackett Drive
Crawley, WA


Deals have been arranged with a range of providers in relation to the conference. Options for delegates can be found here.

Visa Information

Visa Information
Regardless of how long you intend to stay, you must have a valid Australian visa if you want to visit Australia.

There are multiple visa options, depending on your length of stay, reason for travel and country of origin.

The Australian Government Department of 'Home Affiars' website has a visa finder, offering advice as to which visa might be appropriate for your situation.

Letter of Invitation
The SymbioticA 2018 Conference will offer invitation letters to persons who have registered and paid the complete registration fee. The letter will provide proof of registration and proof of payment. Letters of invitation will only be issued for legitimate conference delegates who have already registered and paid to attend the conference. Invitation Letters may be obtained by contacting 
Conference Online. Please note that when applying for your Visa you should include a copy of your Conference registration confirmation.

Please note this procedure is intended to assist participants who need to obtain a visa or permission to attend the Conference. It is not an official invitation covering fees and other expenses. It does not imply any financial support from the Conference.

General Information

Banking and Currency
Banks are generally open from Monday to Friday from 9.30am – 4.00pm. Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) are widely available.

Currency exchanges are located at airports, banks and major hotels. All prices quoted are in Australian Dollars (AUD) and include GST.  Decimal currency is used in Australia (AUD) and currency units are dollars and cents. Australian notes are: $100, $50, $20, $10, $5. Coins are: $2, $1, 50, 20, 10, and 5 cents. Australian currency fluctuates on the international monetary exchange. Therefore we recommend checking with your local bank for the exchange rate just prior to your arrival in Australia or visit for the current exchange rates.

Credit Cards
Most hotels, large restaurants and shops will accept international credit cards, the most widely recognised being American Express, MasterCard and Visa.

Please ensure that along with your passport and visa, you also pack your registration confirmation letter within your carry-on luggage. You may be asked to produce this when going through customs at your arrival airport. In addition to this, please be sure to fill out your Incoming Passenger Card with all details and answer each question honestly.

Delegates carrying commercial goods or samples may need to obtain permits for their goods depending on the nature of the goods, regardless of value. Quarantine and wildlife regulations and other restrictions may also apply to certain goods. All travellers must declare amounts of $10,000 or more in foreign or Australian currency (notes and coins) you take into or out of Australia. For more information visit

October is Spring and in Perth, you will experience warm days with cooler evenings. The average temperatures are maximum of 25 (°C) and minimum of 15 (°C).

Australian electricity supply is 240/250V, AC 50Hz. The Australian flat three-pin power outlet is different from that in many countries, so you will need an adaptor. If your appliances are 110V, check if there is a 110/240V switch. If not, you will need a voltage converter. Universal outlets for 240V or 110V shavers are usually found in leading hotels.

Vaccinations are not required unless you have come from a yellow fever- infected country zone within six days prior to your arrival. You do not need any other health certificate to enter Australia. Australia has a high standard of hygiene and doctors and dentists are highly trained and hospitals are well equipped. In the event of illness, hotel staff can arrange a doctor for you.

It is strongly recommended that delegates take out adequate travel and health insurance prior to the commencement of travel. Further information can be obtained from your travel agent.

English is the official language of the Conference.

The Organising Committee and/or the Conference Organisers shall not be held liable for personal accidents or losses or damage to private property of registered delegates. Delegates should make their own arrangements with respect to personal insurance.

No Smoking Policy
Delegates should be aware that smoking is banned in public buildings and many hotels and restaurants throughout Australia, including the Conference Venue.

Tax and Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS)
Australia applies a tax to the purchase of both goods and services called the Goods and Services Tax (GST). The rate of tax that applies to taxable products and services is 10%. Tax is already included in the advertised prices. Non-Australian delegates may be eligible for a refund of GST via the Tourist Refund Scheme.

International travellers can claim a refund of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) paid on goods bought in Australia. The refund only applies to goods taken as hand luggage upon departure. The refund will be paid on goods costing A$300 or more, bought from the same store. For details visit

Tipping is not as widespread or regulated in Australia as it is in other parts of the world. Tipping is your prerogative, a reward for service. It is customary to tip hotel porters, and a gratuity of about 10% is usual in restaurants if good service is received. NO service charge is added to hotel or restaurant bill.