This one-day curated symposium will will explore and contest some of the fantasies surrounding tech based future food systems. It will focus on the attempts optimise and standardise food production by removing uncontrollable variables such has sunlight (shorthand for seasonality and weather) and soil (or more generally, what we used to call nature…).
The idea of decontextualising biological outputs from ecological systems in the name of sustainability will be unpacked by a range of epistemologies by interdisciplinary speakers such as artists, farmers, historians, philosophers, STS and environmental humanities scholars.
In AgTech’s narrative, the means of production are growing ever distant from nature, in which we can achieve abundance without consequences. But more likely, AgTech calls for a metabolic rift; a state when a broken nature is no longer able to provide us with means of existence. Can we imagine different food futures?
A series of individual speaker’s sessions will be followed by a round table panel discussion that will be streamed to the SeedBox Community Garden Festival. Followed by a dinner party by Fervour – Australian Popup dining.
Estimated running time: 90 min
Dr Tarsh Bates obtained her PhD at SymbioticA, The University of Western Australia, which explored the microbiopolitics of interspecies relationships and the human as a multispecies ecology. This and previous research has included living in a public art gallery for 3 months with eight other scientific model organisms, exploring the aesthetics of care and alterity and the labour of non-human organisms. 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. She is particularly enamoured with Candida albicans.
Oron Catts is the Co-Founder and Director of SymbioticA: The Centre of Excellence in Biological Arts, School of Human Sciences at the University of Western Australia (UWA) and was a Professor of Contestable Design at the Royal College for the Arts UK. Together with Ionat Zurr he founded the Tissue Culture & Art Project. From 2000–2001 he was a Research Fellow at the Tissue Engineering and Organ Fabrication Laboratory at Harvard Medical School.
Dr Ionat Zurr is the Chair of the Fine Arts Discipline at the School of Design UWA and SymbioticA’s academic co-ordinator. Zurr is an Australian artist, researcher, curator and lecturer and has been a visiting tutor in Design Interactions for the Royal College of Art. Zurr, together with Oron Catts, founded the Tissue Culture & Art Project in 1996 and is a pioneer of making art with living, engineered tissue. Zurr instigated the Master of Science (Biological Arts), an interdisciplinary program involving both art and biology.
Sarah Collins joined the University of Western Australia in 2018, after holding research fellowships at Durham University and the University of New South Wales, a visitng fellowship at Harvard University, and a lecturing appointment at Monash University. She is the author of Lateness and Modernism: Untimely Ideas about Music, Literature and Politics in Interwar Britain (Cambridge UP, 2019), and The Aesthetic Life of Cyril Scott (Boydell, 2013); editor of Music and Victorian Liberalism: Composing the Liberal Subject (Cambridge UP, 2019); and co-editor, with Paul Watt and Michael Allis, of the Oxford Handbook of Music and Intellectual Culture in the Nineteenth Century (Oxford UP, forthcoming). Her research has been published in the Journal of the Royal Musical Association, Twentieth-Century Music, Music & Letters, Musical Quarterly and elsewhere. She has co-edited special issues of Nineteenth-Century Music Review, Musical Quarterly and the Australian Humanities Review. Sarah is also reviews editor of the Journal of the Royal Musical Association and the RMA Research Chronicle.
Sarah has been a peer reader for the Journal of the American Musicological Society, the Journal of Victorian Culture, Cambridge UP, Oxford UP, Ashgate and Boydell, and has served as President of the Victorian Chapter of the Musicological Society of Australia, and as secretary and treasurer respectively of the Queensland chapter.
Dale Tilbrook is a Wardandi Bibbulmun woman whose traditional Aboriginal country is the Margaret River, Busselton area. Dale has been a Swan Valley local since 1998, when she opened the Maalinup Gallery with her brother Lyall, offering authentic Aboriginal art, gifts and souvenirs. The Experiences part of the business has steadily grown as customers seek more knowledge about Aboriginal culture and life.
Having spent many years gathering knowledge from her elders and other sources, Dale is often called on to talk about bush food, which she loves presenting and encouraging people to incorporate into their everyday cooking. She is passionate about education and works extensively with students of all ages.
“Educating the world about Australian native edibles is an important part of my cultural journey. Being part of the local tourism community gives context. I represent the Swan Valley region at every chance; travelling as far as Turin, Italy with the Swan Valley and Eastern Region Slow Food Convivium to Terra Madre to cook at Australia on a Plate for 100 people, and present a Bushtucker Masterclass which was a wonderful opportunity,” said Dale. I was also part of the Swan Valley contingent which launched the Swan Valley Trails in Singapore in 2019. My trail is "Bushtucker and Beyond". Dale's previous background is in buying, merchandising and marketing in department store groups in the UK and Australia. She also has experience in accommodation, functions and catering.