WhiteFeather will deliver an artist talk, entitled Microbial Agency, Ltd. about the past few years of her research, to be held at SymbioticA Centre of Excellence in Biological Art at the University of Western Australia.
Microbial Agency, Ltd.
Date: 22nd March 2019
Time: 3:00 pm
Speaker: WhiteFeather Hunter
The concept of “agency” is a popular framework for discussing work with vital (live) materials, often used to imbue them with human qualities such as the capacity for “collaboration”. Biomaterials development communities, including artists, can be particularly fraught with makers who envision such relationships as edgy, post-human initiatives. WhiteFeather’s previous MFA thesis work, Biomateria; Biotextile Craft (2015) was deeply influenced and also critical of these conceptual links, inspired by texts such as Jane Bennett’s Vibrant Matter, which was itself influenced by Bruno Latour’s Actor-Network Theory.
WhiteFeather will present an artist talk, providing an overview of her own biomaterials research projects, including tissue-engineered textile “sculptures”, bacterial cellulosic garments and other textile objects generated from kombucha, as well as microbial textile dyes. These projects will be discussed within the critical framework of “agency” and the multiple structural limitations that all but null any form of actual agency in biomaterials production.
Canadian artist-researcher, WhiteFeather Hunter, has recently joined the University of Western Australia to complete a PhD in Biological Art, happily occupying a desk and lab bench at SymbioticA in the process.
Image: Detail of SCOBY rope carrying bag, part of the current project, Wastelands with Tagny Duff.
Photo: WhiteFeather Hunter