SAM Seminar: Life After Nature: Speculative and Post-Natural Biologies in Art/Science

When:12 Mar 2019, 3:30pm - 5pm
Venue:Cinema 327, Robert Webster Building
Who:Elizabeth Stephens (University of Queensland) with a response from Lindsay Kelley (UNSW Art & Design)

life after nature

Life After Nature: Speculative and Post-Natural Biologies in Art/Science

A growing field of experimental artwork focuses on attempts to revive endangered or extinct forms of life. Such work encourages us to reflect on the status of the biological in a post-industrial age, and to critically engage with similar projects to re-engineer the biological within the sciences. Where scientific projects in “de-extinction” are commonly framed as the reanimation of past life form in the present, art projects in this field foreground the way such attempts involve not so much a reanimation but the speculative design and manufacture of something new: a re-engineered, synthetic or post-natural biology. Drawing on recent work in feminist science studies and critical theory, this paper will examine these recent artworks as sites of critical intervention as well as collaboration between the arts and sciences, and consider what this has to tell us about the status of life after nature.

Elizabeth Stephens is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow and Associate Professor of Cultural Studies in the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at University of Queensland, Australia. Her most recent books are Normality: A Critical Genealogy, co-authored with Peter Cryle (University of Chicago Press, 2017) and Anatomy as Spectacle: Public Exhibitions of the Body from 1700 to the Present (Liverpool University Press, 2011).

A response will follow from Lindsay Kelley, an artist, scholar and ARC DECRA Fellow at UNSW Art & Design.



SAM Seminar Series

This series provides a showcase and forum for local as well as international scholars, researchers, industry practitioners and creative artists – ranging from early-career to well-established – to present on their work. No need to book, all welcome.

Coming next:
Week 6 - Tuesday 26 March
Frontline Communities and Extractivism: Grassroot resistance to natural resource extraction
Dorothy Kidd (University of San Francisco), Tanya Notley (WSU), James Goodman (UTS), chaired by Valentina Baú (UNSW)
Visit the event page

Find out more and see the full program.
Enquiries contact: SAM Seminar Convenor, John Attridge – 

Finding us
Robert Webster Building is located mid-way off the UNSW main walkway. Map Reference G14. Cinema 327 is located on the third floor.

More information on getting to UNSW.
Download a campus map.  (PDF)

Supported by UNSW Creative Practice Lab

View Past Events
Join our Newsletters