PUBLIC TALK: Taking the non-human Other seriously: exploring alterity through the aesthetics of care
|Taking the non-human Other seriously: exploring alterity through the aesthetics of care : Public talk with Biological Arts PhD candidateTarsh Bates
Tarsh Bates is a PhD candidate at SymbioticA. During this seminar she will present her proposal for her PhD research in which she will describe her intention to explore the complexities and contradictions of human relationships with two non-vertebrate organisms, bees and the single-celled yeast, Candida albicans. Bees and candida are of particular interest as they are both domesticated organisms, requiring care, and are intimately connected to our well-being, yet can pose some threat to that well-being. Recent critical theory has investigated the nature of relationships between humans and other animals. However, the vast majority of this research ignores encounters with non-vertebrate species, particularly those with which we live intimately or have domesticated. Non-vertebrates such as insects, fungi and bacteria are by far the most prevalent organisms which humans encounter, yet these creatures are often disregarded; unlike mammals and other vertebrates, they are difficult to recognise as kin as they do not look back at us. Nevertheless these organisms are critical to biocultural diversity and environmental survival.
Tarsh’s PhD research follows on from her recent Master’s project, in vitero, which involved her living with and taking care of eight scientific model organisms for a period of seven months in a laboratory and public art gallery. Like this project, her PhD research will be undertaken through critical artistic inquiry, combining theoretical and philosophical inquiries with aesthetic and phenomenological research. Tarsh’s current project aims to extend the notion of alterity, which philosopher Emmanuel LÃ©vinas described as a phenomenological mode of negotiating Self and Other, from strictly human relations into those between humans and non-humans. Tarsh hopes to facilitate understandings of human encounters with non-vertebrate, non-human Others through artistic explorations and conscious self-experimentation with bees and candida.
Feedback on the presentation is encouraged and welcomed.
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