“I explore the physical, emotional and political relationships between humans and /Candida albicans/ (an opportunistic fungal pathogen of humans). These relationships span immunology and ecology, sexuality (both human and microbial) and evolutionary biology, public health and body discipline, institutional frameworks and kinship. I examine the microbiopolitical implications of the recent revolution in our understanding of the human body as being at least half non-human. I combine scientific experimentation, art–making, evolutionary ecology and queer theory to posit the human body as a queer ecology and explore the sexuality, performativity and community of /C. albicans /within this ecology. This talk gives an overview of my previous practice-led research with the CandidaHomo ecology and introduces work currently in development. I ask the audience to consider the human body from the perspective of the microbe, as a complex, dynamic and sensual habitat.”
Tarsh Bates**is an artist/researcher interested in the aesthetics of interspecies relationships and the human as a queer ecology. She recently submitted her PhD in Biological Art and is currently a research associate at SymbioticA, UWA and The Seed Box, Linköping University. She 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 popular culture, an editor, a bookkeeper, a car detailer, and a life drawing model. She is particularly enamoured with /Candida albican/s.