Way back when I lived in the Far West (Perth) for a while, I spent many a Friday hanging out at UWA at the SymbioticA seminars. For those of you unfamiliar with this artistic laboratory, here’s a little explaining of what they are and what they get up to:
‘SymbioticA is a research facility dedicated to artistic inquiry into knowledge and technology in the life sciences. SymbioticA has resident researchers and students undertaking projects that explore and develop the links between the arts and a range of research areas such as: neuroscience, plant biology, anatomy and human biology, tissue engineering, physics, bio-engineering, museology, anthropology, molecular biology, microscopy, animal welfare and ethics.
Having access to scientific laboratories and tools, SymbioticA is in a unique position to offer these resources for artistic research. Therefore, SymbioticA encourages and favours research projects that involve hands on development of technical skills and the use of scientific tools.
The research undertaken at SymbioticA is speculative in nature. SymbioticA strives to support non-utilitarian, curiosity based and philosophically motivated research.
In broad terms the research ranges from identifying and developing new materials and subjects for artistic manipulation, researching strategies and implications of presenting living art in different contexts, and developing technologies and protocols as artistic tool kits.’
My mate Tarsh Bates is currently doing postgrad studies there, working with growing all sort of things in beautiful glass uteruses (see picture), and Madame Moselle aspires to one day be a resident there, experimenting with a certain white fluid… Kira O’Reilly has done work there too, and Boo Chapple, Orlan, Shannon Bell and lots of other fascinating folk.
Check out the full list of artists, undergraduate units, postgrad programs, exhibitions and what have you on their website.