[-empyre-] living bodies differently

High, Kathy highk at rpi.edu
Sun Mar 5 04:34:48 AEDT 2017

Hi Tarsh,

You said:
So here is the main point of my work, I guess: If bodies sometimes
irritate or kill their hosts, what, if any, response-ability (to borrow
from Astrid Schrader) does that host have to those bodies? If we cant
get rid of them, how do we live with them? Can we live our bodies

I, too have been thinking about these questions quite a lot a I have been
working with 

the gut microbiome as of late. And this question has come up a lot for me.
And I ofter ask myself,
am I a host, or am I a vessel? I am not sure anymore. When I make bad
decisions (drinking to much,
Eating sweets, etc.) is it me not taking responsibility for my micro biome
friends/frenemies - or
Are my actions the result of their ³desires² prompting me to make these
Frankly, these days - I am not sure who is driving this thing we call a

But these questions amaze meŠ many thanks, Kathy

On 28/02/2017, 9:44 PM, "empyre-bounces at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au on
behalf of Tarsh Bates" <empyre-bounces at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au on
behalf of tarshbates at gmail.com> wrote:

>----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>Thanks for the intro Renate and thanks to Paul, Lindsay, Byron and Kathy
>for your fascinating discussions.
>I am currently working on my PhD in biological art at SymbioticA. My
>research is focused on the human body as an ecology. This project has
>raised quite a few physical, metaphysical, aesthetic and ethical
>questions, such as: how do we think of the self if we are multiple, do
>we treat our bodies differently if we think of ourselves as hosts, can
>thinking of ourselves as ecologies change how we treat our external
>ecologies, how do the participants in the human ecology perceive their
>ecology/environment, can we understand "what it might be like to be a
>[member of this ecology]", can we understand bodies differently . I work
>with /Candida albicans, /which is one of the species of this ecology and
>usually much maligned as "thrush" or "yeast infection". I make artworks
>with this yeast, using scientific and artistic experimental tools and
>methods, for human consumption.
>Although I am interested in the philosophical aesthetic tradition, such
>as Kant and Nietzsche, I am much more interested in materialist
>aesthetic experiences, in the sensuality and eros of encounters as a
>more-than-human. Phenomenology doesnt work well for CandidaHomo
>entanglements, as consciousness is irrelevant. Sarah Ahmed's
>"orientation" and Karen Barad's queer performativity are more
>interesting here. The two main questions I am working with are 1. how to
>understand the other that is self - Barad's intra-active phenomena have
>been helpful here where there is no ontological difference; and 2. how
>to understand the "self-other" who doesnt have a face, who is not
>similar. Empathy based on similarity or vision doesnt apply to
>CandidaHomo relations. Bodies are all.
>So here is the main point of my work, I guess: If bodies sometimes
>irritate or kill their hosts, what, if any, response-ability (to borrow
>from Astrid Schrader) does that host have to those bodies? If we cant
>get rid of them, how do we live with them? Can we live our bodies
>Tarsh Bates
>PhD (Biological Art) Candidate SymbioticA, The University of Western
>w: tarshbates.com <http://tarshbates.com/>
>On 28/02/2017 10:29 AM, Renate Terese Ferro wrote:
>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>> Thank you Paul for your incredibly thoughtful response which really
>>helped me to understand specifically what your meant by ethics.  I¹m
>>going to let you also respond to Erin, but I hope you won¹t mind that I
>>introduce our last three guests just a bit early.  I thought it might be
>>interesting to bring in Tarsh Bates, Antoinette LaFarge, and Margherita
>>Pevere who will join you Paul and hopefully anyone else out there (Erin,
>>Kathy, Byron) who also might want to join Paul on this thread of ethics.
>> Just a note that we will keep this discussion open through Sunday.
>>Welcome and thanks.
>> Biographies:
>> Tarsh Bates (AU) Tarsh Bates is an artist/researcher/educator
>>interested in how knowledge and experience form and transfer through the
>>relationships between material, bodies, environment and
>> culture. She completed a Master of Science (Biological Arts) in 2012
>>and 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 pop
>>culture, an editor, a bookkeeper, a car detailer, and a life drawing
>>model. She is currently a candidate for a PhD (Biological Arts) at
>>SymbioticA UWA where her research is concerned the
>> aesthetics of interspecies relationships and the human as a
>>multispecies ecology. She is particularly enamoured with Candida
>> Antoinette LaFarge is an artist and writer whose beat is virtuality and
>>its discontents. She has a special interest in avatarism, expanded
>>narrative, and feminist techno-arts. Recent publications include ³Pseudo
>>Space: Experiments with Avatarism and Telematic Performance in Social
>>Media² (MIT Press, 2016) and ³Social Proxies and Real-World Avatars:
>>Impersonation as a Mode of Capitalist Production² (Art Journal, 2014.
>>Recent new media performance and installation projects include Far-Flung
>>follows function (2013), Galileo in America (2012), and Hangmen
>> Also Die (2010). She is currently working on projects centered on
>>resurfacing work by women innovators and botanical artists of the late
>>19th century. She is on the faculty of the Art Department at UC Irvine.
>>Deeply fascinated by biological processes,
>> Margherita Pevere (DE/FI) is a visual artist and researcher
>>investigating decay and transformation as they are common destiny of
>>human and non-human matter. Her practice features a unique combination
>>of organic and technological materials: she grows bacterial cultures,
>>manipulates paper and photographic film, collects organic relics and
>>plans to store a digitized collection of memories on bacterial genome.
>>Pevere holds a degree in Political Sciences and Arts and New Media and
>>is PhD candidate at Aalto University, School of Arts, Design at
>>Architecture in Helsinki. In Berlin she actively collaborates with the
>>DIYbio group BioTinkering e.V. and Art Laboratory Berlin. Most recent
>>exhibitions include the Article Biennial, Stavanger (NO), curated by
>>Hege Tapio and Nora
>> Vaage; the Dutch Design Week ­ BioArt Laboratories, Eindhoven (NL),
>>curated by Jalila Essaidi; State ­ Festival for Open Science, Berlin,
>>curated by Daniela
>> Silvestrin.
>> Renate Ferro
>> Visiting Associate Professor
>> Director of Undergraduate Studies
>> Department of Art
>> Tjaden Hall 306
>> rferro at cornell.edu
>> _______________________________________________
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>> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
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